Contributors — 2022 Spring

Bahar Golbon is a first-year MSc student investigating the diagnostic study and surgical management of primary hyperparathyroid patients under the supervision of Dr. Jesse Pasternak. In her free time, you can find Bahar struggling to complete her millionth puzzle, and drinking coffee!
Twitter: @BaharGolbon
Instagram: @gol_99

Beatrice Ballarin is completing her PhD at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Medical Science and she is specializing in Cardiovascular Science. She is working under the co-supervision of Dr. Michael Tymianski and Dr. Michael Salter. Her research focuses on investigating the effect of a Nerinetide, a neuroprotectant drug, in promoting stroke recovery.

Carmen Li is a 2nd year MSc student under the co-supervision of Dr. Thomas Eiwegger and Dr. Theo Moraes at SickKids Hospital. Her work focuses on utilizing flow and mass cytometry to understand the immunological mechanisms of oral immunotherapy in food allergic children undergoing treatment. In her spare time, you can catch her baking or reading in a coffee shop.

Elizabeth Karvasarski is a MSc IMS student studying pulmonary hypertension at Mount Sinai Catheterization Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Susanna Mak. Her research involves exploring whether the temporality of pulmonary vascular loading differ with exercise in pre-capillary vs. post-capillary pulmonary hypertension. Outside of research, Elizabeth practices martial arts and is a 4th degree black belt.

Iciar Iturmendi Sabater is a first year PhD student working with Dr. Meng-Chuan Lai at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. Her research focuses on understanding how people with autism spectrum disorder cover-up or mask their social and communication differences, a process known as ‘camouflaging’. Iciar enjoys traveling, meeting new people and spending time with family and friends.
Twitter: @iciar_itur

Kyla Trkulja is a first-year MSc student at IMS studying under the supervision of Dr. Armand Keating, Dr. John Kuruvilla, and Dr. Robert Laister at Princess Margaret Hospital. Her work focuses on novel cancer therapies for lymphoma. Outside of academia, Kyla enjoys reading, writing, road trips, and going for walks in nature

Laura Best is a recent IMS alumni currently completing post-doctoral fellowships in addiction neuroimaging at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and child welfare with the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Laura is passionate about mental health and wellness, as a yoga instructor herself, and loves long walks with her pup!
Twitter: @laurbest
Instagram: @laurbest

Madhumitha (Madhu) Rabindranath is a first year MSc student at IMS who is supervised by Dr. Mamatha Bhat. Her research focuses on leveraging AI to non-invasively diagnose liver graft fibrosis in post-transplant patients. Outside the lab, Madhu likes reading a good book and exploring the city.

Nayaab Punjani is a second year MSc student at IMS working with Dr. Michael G. Fehlings. Her research is examining a preclinical drug treatment that aims to provide a multifaceted approach targeting neural regeneration and inflammation following cervical spinal cord injury. She enjoys watching action and mystery genre movies and TV shows, as well loves sketching in her free time.

Noor al Kaabi is an MSc student working with Dr. Dmitry Rozenberg at Toronto General Hospital. Her research is focused on respiratory health, physical activity and quality of life in people with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders. Outside of research, she loves photography, digital art and is a certified personal trainer.
Twitter: @noornotnour

Serena Peck is a MSc student studying under the supervision of Dr. Paaladinesh Thavendiranathan. Her research looks at physical activity levels during cancer treatment and post-treatment cardiac function, cardiorespiratory fitness, and quality of life in women with breast cancer. Serena loves being in nature and tending to her plants!
Twitter: @peck_s_s

Shu’ayb Simmons (they/them) is a 1st year MSc Candidate working with Dr. Tripathy at the CAMH Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics. Their research pertains to the biological crux of disparity, aiming to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of racial disparity in neuropsychiatric illnesses – using bulk RNAseq data. Shu‘ayb enjoys social activism, lyricism, and fashion in their free time. 
Twitter: @shuayb_neuro

Stacey J Butler is a 3rd year PhD student at IMS, specializing in respiratory medicine and epidemiology, under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Gershon. Outside of academia, Stacey enjoys creative activities, board games and cooking hearty vegetarian meals. 
Twitter: @StaceyBeePhD

Sonja Elsaid is a 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.

S. Hussain Ather is a first-year Ph.D. student working under John Griffiths at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). He uses and develops computational modeling techniques to investigate the brain connectivity structures underlying neuropsychiatric disorders. He also likes cosplaying.

Vaidhehi (Veena) Sanmugananthan is a 2nd year MSc student under the supervision of Dr. Karen Davis at the Krembil Brain Institute, Toronto Western Hospital. Her research focuses on examining pain and attention interactions in people that suffer chronic pain. Outside of the lab, Veena loves to run, play squash, sketch, and challenge herself to learn new art mediums!
Twitter: @sanmugananthan

Social Media Team

Sandy Che-Eun Lee is a 5th year PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Marianne Koritzinsky at the Princess Margaret Cancer Research Center. Her research focuses on characterizing a novel oxygen sensitive enzyme in the hypoxic tumour microenvironment. Outside of the lab, Sandy enjoys running and exploring new activities like rock climbing! 
Twitter: @sandyserena___