The Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health is pleased to announce that Dr. Catharine Winstanley has been appointed the new director of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience (GPN)!

Dr. Catharine Winstanley is a professor in UBC’s Department of Psychology. Her research focuses on exploring the neural, neurochemical and molecular basis of higher-order cognitive processes such as impulse control and gambling. A better understanding of the biological mechanisms underpinning these processes can lead to new and improved treatments for psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, personality disorders and drug addiction.

Other than her research, one of Dr. Winstanley’s favourite parts of her job is mentoring trainees.

“I feel inspired when chatting with our trainees and hearing their ideas,” says Dr. Winstanley. “They can find new ways of thinking about a topic that either of us by ourselves probably wouldn’t have come up with.”

With faculty members from over 20 departments and representing a range of neuroscience disciplines, the GPN offers collaborative opportunities in research and clinical settings for students that extend beyond the traditional boundaries of neuroscience. In addition, the program also helps students to develop a broad skillset that can translate to careers outside of academia.

“I am looking forward to working with our GPN faculty members and graduate students,” says Dr. Winstanley. “Together we can ensure that the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at UBC continues to be recognized nationally and internationally.”

Dr. Winstanley has received numerous awards for her research, including Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Award and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award.

Special thanks to previous GPN director Dr. Miriam Spering, who is moving on to a new role as UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Education.