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The Brain and Mental Health Strategic Research Theme is pleased to welcome new researchers working in the areas of Brain and Mental Health at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Paul Arnold (The Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education)
July 2015

Dr. Paul Arnold is the new director of The Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education at the University of Calgary. He was recently recruited to the university’s Department of Psychiatry and Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) in the Cumming School of Medicine. Arnold’s work focuses on the genetics and neurobiology of childhood OCD and related neuropsychiatric disorders. His research has the potential to predict risk factors and target treatment for mental health disorders. He is establishing Calgary’s first neurogenetics laboratory to study the role of genetics in mental health, which will be the first laboratory in the province to focus on genetic origins, specifically, in childhood mental illnesses. Arnold’s research program is supported by a seven-year provincially funded Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions Translational Health Chair in Child and Youth Mental Health. (more)

Dr. Oury Monchi (Cumming School of Medicine)
September 2014

Dr. Oury Monchi joins the Hotchkiss Brain Institute in the Cumming School of Medicine as the Tourmaline Oil Chair in Parkinson's Disease. Dr. Monchi's lab has been a pioneer in using different neuroimaging techniques to study the origins and evolution of cognitive deficits in Parkinson's disease with the ultimate goal of the early prediction of dementia in the disease. Interactions between cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms are also being studied. Non-medication therapies such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and cognitive training are also being explored. Methods used include functional and anatomical MRI, TMS, PET, neuropsychological evaluations, and genotyping.

Dr. Keith Yeates (Faculty of Arts)
April 2014

Renowned pediatric neuropsychologist Dr. Keith Yeates joined the University of Calgary on April 1 as a key recruit to the campus-wide Brain and Mental Health Strategic Research Theme. Dr. Yeates, who is well known for his research in the field of traumatic brain injury in children and youth, will spearhead the development of a comprehensive neuropsychology research program within the concussion and brain injury initiative. 

As well as working with the university’s department of psychology in the Faculty of Arts, Yeates will be involved as a senior scientist and dual member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.

In Calgary, Yeates will be developing a neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology research laboratory to better understand concussion recovery and promote more effective treatment. He will also be providing leadership to the collaborative concussion efforts across the campus. (more)

Dr. Lorraine Venturato (Faculty of Nursing)
January 2014

Dr. Lorraine Venturato joined the Faculty of Nursing in January 2014 and holds a Chair in Gerontological Nursing. She has previously held a Joint Position as a Senior Research Fellow in Australia and is an advocate for partnership approaches to research, education and practice.

With over 20 years experience as a clinician, educator and researcher in long-term aged care, Venturato's passion for working with older people has led her to explore creative and innovative approaches to meeting the challenges that face older people and those that care for them. Her current research focuses on the interplay between nursing practice, education and research in gerontology, with particular interest in the nexus between service delivery and workforce development. Venturato's research program includes the development and testing of models of care, professional practice models and staffing frameworks for the aged care industry. She is also engaged in translational research and practice development in aged care. Her clinical research focuses on quality of care and models of care for people living with dementia. (more)

Dr. Marina Martinez (Cumming School of Medicine)
January 2014

Following a central nervous system injury (CNS), multiple sensory and motor functions are impaired to various degrees depending on the location and severity of the damage but in most species, including humans, some functions can recover to some extent. By which mechanisms functional recovery occurs after a CNS trauma? Following a CNS trauma, various compensatory mechanisms that can be re-grouped under the general heading of neuroplasticity occur within the whole neuraxis. However, up to date, a direct link between these neuroplastic events at all levels and functional recovery has not been clearly established. The primary focus of Dr. Maria Martinez's research is to clarify these relationships by using relevant animal models that will allow to dissect out the contribution of specific CNS structures in functional recovery. Within this focus, she is particularly interested in studying the compensatory mechanisms involved in the recovery of sensorimotor functions after spinal cord injury. Her research combines lesion, behavioural, electrophysiological, and anatomical approaches. (more)

Dr. Brent Edwards (Faculty of Kinesiology)
November 2013

The broad focus of Dr. Brent Edwards' research is to understand the mechanisms underlying musculoskeletal injury and to use this knowledge to develop diagnostic and preventive measures to reduce their occurrence. His research spans multiple dimensional scales ranging from whole-body to tissue-level mechanics, and includes basic, applied, and translational approaches. In addition to his formal education in biomechanics and motor control, he has a strong academic foundation in engineering mechanics. Thus, he draws heavily on experimental, analytical, and modelling techniques from each of these disciplines. Specifically, Dr. Edwards is interested in the effects of mechanical loading (or lack there of) on musculoskeletal health, mechanisms underlying skeletal fatigue and fragility fracture, as well as computational modelling to extract clinically relevant information and help guide clinical decision making. (more)

 Dr. Bruce Pike (Cumming School of Medicine)
September 2013

Dr. Pike recently joined the University of Calgary as the CAIP Chair in Healthy Brain Aging and will serve as Head of the Division of Image Science and Deputy Head (Research) in the Department of Radiology. He is also a Professor of Clinical Neurosciences and member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. Prior to his arrival in Calgary, Dr. Pike was the Killam Professor of Neurology and James McGill Professor of Biomedical Engineering at McGill University.  For the past 15 years he was also Director of the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre at the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Dr. Pike obtained his Ph.D. (Hons., 1990) at McGill University with his thesis research focused on magnetic resonance angiography. He conducted postdoctoral studies in Radiological Sciences at Stanford University and joined the faculty of McGill in 1993.

Dr. Pike investigates magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods and applications for basic and clinical neuroscience research. His recent research has focused on quantitative MRI techniques for measuring tissue microstructure and physiology. He has used his methods to demonstrate focal pathology in multiple sclerosis patients that antedate the development of conventional MRI visible lesions by up to two years. He has also performed pioneering studies on the relationship between cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism in the cortex over a broad range of activation and inhibition conditions in healthy subjects and patients. Dr. Pike has published more than 200 scientific papers and book chapters, is an editor of the journal NeuroImage, chairs the CIHR MPI grants panel, and serves on the advisory board for numerous international programs. (more)

Dr. Guillaume Millet (Faculty of Kinesiology)
September 2013

Professor Karlee Fellner (Werklund School of Education)
July 2013

Professor Fellner is Cree/Métis from central Alberta. In 2007, she completed her B.A. with Cooperative Work Experience in Psychology at the University of Alberta. She then went on to receive her M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta in 2009. Professor Fellner worked as a sessional instructor, research coordinator/manager, and therapist before commencing her Ph.D. in 2010 at UBC in Vancouver. Professor Fellner has been working with diverse clients in counselling and assessment for over six years, prior to which she was working in inpatient psychiatric facilities. She has independently designed and taught courses in counselling and psychology at universities and a private First Nations college, and has published book chapters and research articles in the fields of psychology, health, and social work.

Professor Fellner's areas of interest include multicultural psychology, Indigenous research, Indigenous curriculum and pedagogy, culturally appropriate counselling, working with trauma, holistic and traditional approaches to wellness, and miyo-pimatisiwin (living a good life). She centres Indigenous epistemologies and methodologies in her research, pedagogy, and counselling practice. She strives to nurture diversity in all facets of her work in hopes that upcoming generations of diverse students will feel empowered bringing their own worldviews, traditions, beliefs, stories, and values into their areas of research, education, and practice. Her current research uses a nehiyaw-otipemisiwak (Cree/Métis) paradigm to investigate how mental health services can be shaped so as to better serve Indigenous peoples. (more)

Dr. Chris Lee (Faculty of Social Work)

Dr. Kathryn Schneider (Faculty of Kinesiology)
July 2013

Sport-related concussion (SRC) is a commonly occurring sport injury and the majority of individuals who sustain a sport-related concussion recover in 7-10 days, however up to 30% of individuals may have persistent symptoms, many of whom are children. The focus of Dr. Schneider's research program is evaluation of the cervical spine and vestibular systems and their relationship with concussive risk, persistent symptoms following a concussion and rehabilitative strategies. Due to her clinical expertise developed over the preceding 15 years of practice as a physiotherapist, she was able to complete a randomized control trial evaluating a combination of cervical and vestibular rehabilitation and found that a greater proportion of individuals who were treated with this form of treatment were medically cleared to return to sport within eight weeks. This work has influenced a change in the treatment of sport related concussion, as evidenced on the recently published Consensus statement on concussion in sport, and plans for a larger scale trial to better understand optimal forms of treatment is currently underway.

Dr. Schneider and colleagues have also found that healthy youth ice hockey players with symptoms of dizziness, neck pain, and headaches at the beginning of the season were 1.5-3.1 times more likely to suffer a concussion during the following season of play. They are currently evaluating clinical tests to further understand this relationship between these symptoms and concussion risk. A better understanding of concussion risk factors, symptoms, clinical tests and treatment strategies will provide a greater understanding of injury prevention and treatment strategies in individuals at risk of or who have suffered an mTBI. (more)

Dr. Andrew Szeto (Faculty of Arts)
July 2013

Dr. Szeto's research interests can be broadly divided into three areas. First, his work at the Mental Health Commission of Canada involves the evaluation of anti-stigma programs for their efficacy in reducing stigmatizing attitudes towards people with mental disorders. The anti-stigma programs Dr. Szeto and colleagues currently evaluating take the form of hour-long presentations to more comprehensive multi-session workshops, with audiences of employees in a workplace setting, health care providers, and more diverse population samples. His second research area is a blending of his current interest in the stigma of mental disorders and my general interest in social psychology. For example, he is conducting studies examining the application of intergroup prejudice findings to the mental disorders stigma domain, such as the use of the Implicit Association Test or prejudice related measures as moderators of negative attitudes towards people with mental disorders. Other research falling within this category include current studies on the effects of media representations on stigmatizing attitudes and personality correlates of such negative attitudes. Finally, Dr. Szeto's third area of interest extends from previous work on the interface of motivation and cognition across cultures. One current project in this area examines the emotional reactions to achievement and social events as a function of one's uncertainty self-regulation style in four divergent cultures. (more)