Principal Investigator

As a neuroscientist I am working on improving perinatal health outcomes by deepening our understanding of brain's responses to ante- and perinatal asphyxia, inflammation/infection and stress. My lab uses modern machine learning (ML) techniques for signal analyses (e.g., see here) combined with A.I. frameworks to convert the medical data deluge into representations of physiological phenotypes carrying individualized predictive potential (e.g., see here).

I believe that such approach will render new treatment options and help prevent or mitigate long-term sequelae of prenatal or perinatal exposures to harmful stimuli resulting in brain, gut or heart injuries. My lab has been developing monitoring technologies (ECG, EEG) that can help detect babies at risk non-invasively and in a widely available manner.

In the preclinical line of research, I have been interested in how prenatal events harmful to the baby, e.g., infection, shape the brain development after birth with focus on glial biology, in particular microglia and astrocytes. Understanding this connection is relevant to research in etiology of adult neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer's. You can find more about this on my neuroinflammation page. Excitingly, this preclinical work is connected to the fetal health monitoring idea my lab has pursued: bioelectronic medicine approach holds promise to monitor and manipulate the "vagus code" to detect, predict and restore pathophysiological brain states at early stages of developmental trajectories.

Research Associate

  • TBD

Current students (and collaborators involved in co-supervision)

  • Yael Frank, undergraduate student [UW]
  • Ben Janoschek, undergraduate student [UW]
  • Colin Wakefield, undergraduate student [UW]
  • Deborah Nelson, undergraduate student [UW]
  • Xuan Li (PhD candidate, York U)
  • Nathan Gold (PhD candidate, with Dr. Steven Wang and Dr. Huaxiong Huang, York U | [publications preprints])

Collaborators (an incomplete list)

Former trainees (last ten years)

  • Victoria Dahl, undergraduate student [2016-2017, UW]
  • Dr. Mingju Cao, PhD, MSc [2010-2016, research associate - THANK YOU for everything! | publications]
  • Hai Lun Liu, MSc [2014-2017, first UBC summer BSc student, then co-supervised as MSc student with Dr. Guillaume Sebire, McGill U] - kudos, Helen!!! [publications]
  • Dr. Qiming Wang, PhD (2013-2015, postdoc, York U)
  • Shahin Tavakol (2015-2016, first summer student, then MSc candidate, perinatal neurosciences, UdeM, with Dr. Hau-tieng Wu, U of Toronto)
  • Valerie Cesar (2015 fall-winter internship, biomedical sciences BSc program at UdeM)
  • Harwood Kwan (BSc candidate, 2015 summer student, UBC) [publications]
  • Dr. Daniel L. Durosier, MD, MSc (completed! BRAVO Daniel!) [publications]
    • [fetal heart rate variability monitoring in animal model and humans] | [recipient of the MITACS/NeuroDevNet internship award and the CIHR-supported QTNPR scholarship]
  • Mackenzie Michel-Robinson, MSc (with Dr. Jack Antel)
  • Tina Shafiee, summer 2014 undergraduate student, UBC (now working in the industry)
  • Keven Jean, summer 2014 undergraduate student, U de Montreal (now working for the Government of Canada)
  • Dr. Luca Garzoni, MD (2012-2014, postdoc) (now Chef de Clinique, Unité de Gastroentérologie, Hépatologie et Nutrition, Département de l'Enfant et de l'Adolescent
  • Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, Switzerland)
  • Jenny Lee, summer 2014 undergraduate student, UBC
  • Shikha Kuthiala, summer 2013 undergraduate student, University of Toronto (now M.D. student at Queens) [publications]
  • Hai Lun Liu, summer 2013 undergraduate student, UBC (now doing her Master's in our lab)
  • Mathieu Rail, summer 2012 undergraduate student, Ecole Polytechnique
    • joint project with industry partner
  • Dora Siontas, MSc, 2011-2012, research assistant (now working in the industry)
    • [Fetal neuroinflammation in vitro and in vivo]
  • Charles Kathleen, 2012 undergraduate student, U de Montreal
  • Dr. Carl Duchatellier, M.D., 2010-2011, research assistant and then MSc student (transferred to continue M.D. residency)
    • [fHRV signature of inflammation]
    • supported by NeuroDevNet/MITACS Accelerate internship program (with industry partner)
  • Priyanka Vittal, 2009-2010 undergraduate student, University of Western Ontario, London, ON (now working in the industry)
    • [Quantitative analyses of laser scanning confocal microscopy]
  • Ashley Keen, 2007-2010 MSc student (co-supervised with Dr. Bryan Richardson) (now midwife)
    • [Fetal electrocortical activity in prediction of ante- and intrapartum acidemia] [publications]
  • Mark Szynkaruk, 2007-2009 undergraduate student (now M.D. student at U of T)
    • [Biosignal analyses in cardiovascular system of fetal sheep] [publications]