Contributors — 2020 Spring

Mashal Ahmed is a 2nd year MSc student at IMS, studying under the supervision of Dr. Stefan Kloiber and Dr. Isabelle Boileau. Her research employs neuroimaging techniques to learn more about the neurobiological mechanisms associated with anxiety-spectrum disorders. Mashal is double-jointed and can twist her arm by 540 degrees!

Laura Best is currently a PhD student with Dr. Isabelle Boileau at CAMH. Her work uses neuroimaging to investigate the involvement of the endogenous cannabinoid system in alcohol use disorder. Laura loves to spend time outside in the park, trail-running with her rescue dog or teaching yoga.

Nadia Boachie is a 2nd year MSc IMS student studying the effects of cannabis on the brain under the supervision of Dr. Isabelle Boileau. Her research uses neuroimaging techniques to assess changes in the brain of chronic cannabis users after approximately 1-week cessation. In her free time Nadia is passionate about cooking, baking, and painting.

Sonja Elsaid is a 3rd year IMS PhD student investigating brain function and cannabis use in individuals with social anxiety. Prior to going back to school, Sonja was a clinical research and medical communications professional with nearly 20 years of experience.

Krystal Jacques is a 3rd year IMS PhD student using human embryonic stem cells and lineage tracing mouse models to study the origins of pancreatic stem cells under the supervision of Dr. Derek van der Kooy. Outside the lab she is passionate about fine art photography, writing fiction, painting and running. Instagram: @KrystalJacques

Jason Lo Hog Tian is a PhD student at IMS investigating how stigma impacts the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV under the supervision of Dr. Sean Rourke. He is committed to developing his scientific communication skills and increasing science knowledge through writing for the magazine. Twitter: @JasonLoTweets

Natalie Simonian is a 1st year MSc student at IMS. She is working under the supervision of Dr. Harry Janssen investigating the pathology behind Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). In her free time she likes to spend time with family and friends, write short stories, and travel. Instagram: @_nataliesim

Mikaeel Valli is currently completing his PhD at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Medical Science with a specialization in neuroscience. He is working with Dr. Antonio Strafella and his lab using neuroimaging techniques to ultimately better understand the underlying pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease.