I am pursuing fundamental neuroscience research with Dr. Christian Éthier's supervision at the Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Québec in Québec City, Canada as part of the doctorate program in neurobiology at Université Laval. Our exciting research focuses on using paired associative stimulation (PAS) in animal models to further understand neural plasticity in the nervous system, and use leading techniques such as optogenetics (where brain cells are made responsive to light stimulation) and brain-machine neuroprostheses to potentially restore function after nervous system insult, an important goal for millions of people around the globe. Please visit the Éthier Lab website here to learn more about our work!
Prior to this, I worked on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) research in Toronto. TBI is a major health problem in Canada. Around the world, millions of people each year suffer a TBI. The consequences can significantly impair quality of life for these patients. Individuals who suffer TBI come from all walks of life. Motor vehicle accidents, physical falls, abuse, and athletics are all potential sources of TBIs. The symptoms can be exceptionally debilitating. Current methods of diagnosis and prognosis rely on subjective report and overt neurological symptomatology, which may be suitable for more severe cases, but are not sensitive enough for mild TBI (mTBI), the most common type of injury. My previous research centred on finding non-invasive biomarkers for mTBI assessment and prognosis. Through this, the team hopes to develop objective standards for mTBI assessment that are quick and accurate, which can be used in tandem with subjective measures by the sidelines or by clinicians in a healthcare setting to assess the severity of concussion. I conducted this research under the supervision of Dr. Michael Cusimano at St. Michael's Hospital, in Toronto.I was a member of the Injury Prevention Research Office (IPRO) at St. Michael's Hospital, an amazing multidisciplinary team of research scientists, clinician-scientists and students guided by Dr. Cusimano who bring different areas of expertise together to understand the mechanisms, outcome, and societal impact of Traumatic Brain Injury, and to promote TBI awareness in North America and around the world. If you are interested, please visit the IPRO website here to learn more about their research.