Congratulation to Dr. Jude Frie!

We are so excited to announce that PhD candidate Dr. Jude Frie defended at the University of Guelph, Department of Biomedical Sciences on April 9.

Not only did Dr. Frie successfully defend, the presentation and questioning went as smoothly as one can imagine -- lots of invigorating conversation with his whole defence committee that showcased his technical and theoretical know-how.

Dr. Frie's thesis, entitled "Open-source Tools to Facilitate Preclinical Alcohol and Nicotine Use Research" will be available to read at the University of Guelph Atrium later this year.

Congratulations again, Dr. Frie!

April 2024

Jude Frie Receives a CPDD Travel Award!

Congratulation to Jude Frie, PhD candidate, for receiving a travel award to attend this year's College on Problems of Drug Dependence conference.

Jude will present his work at the conference from June 15-19 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Be sure to say hi if you will also be attending!

April 2024

Dr. Jibran Khokhar Presents at NIDA!

On April 4, Dr. Jibran Khokhar visited the National Institute on Drug Abuse Intramural Research Program (NIDA IRP) in Baltimore. 

Alongside Dr. Evins, he presented the Khokhar lab's research on schizophrenia and cannabis use during symposium on mental health and substance use organized by Dr. Amy Janes.

April 2024

Iman Aziz Speaks at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco conference!

Iman Aziz (MSc student) travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland to present her thesis work during the 2024 Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco conference.

Iman presented during the "1+1 = 3: Understanding the Impacts of Nicotine in Polysubstance Use" symposium. Her talk was entitled: "Impact of Vaporized Nicotine and Cannabis Co-Use in Adolescence on Sex-Specific Behavioral and Neuronal Effects in Adulthood".

Great job representing the lab, Iman!

March 2024

Esther Choi Receives an IBRO Travel Award to Attend the Canadian Association for Neuroscience Conference!

Esther Choi (MSc student) receives an IBRO travel award so that she can attend attend and present her research at the Canadian Association for Neuroscience conference.

The conference will be held in Vancouver, Canada from May 19-22, 2024.

Congratulations, Esther!

March 2024

Dr. Jibran Khokhar Speaks at the 2024 Molecular Psychiatry Conference!

Dr. Jibran Khokhar attended the 2024 Molecular Psychiatry Conference hosted in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii this year. 

Dr. Khokhar was invited to speak at the symposium "Translational Studies in the Comorbidity of Mood and Addiction Disorders"; his talk was entitled "Cell Adhesion Molecule 2: A Gene Candidate in Cannabis Use Vulnerability and Psychopathology".

Great job, Jibran! Hope you had lots of fun in the science and sun!

March 2024

Dr. Jibran Khokhar Receives the Open & Reproducible Science Award by the Society for Social Neuroscience!

In recognition of the Khokhar lab's commitment to open-source innovation and scientific transparency, Dr. Jibran Khokhar was awarded the Open & Reproducible Science Award in the non-human animal social neurosciences category. The award announcement states:

"Jibran is a committed advocate for open-source tools in behavioral neuroscience research. Notably, Jibran and his team recently released FARESHARE, which is an affordable, open-source solution for tracking fluid consumption in socially housed rats. FARESHARE overcomes the limitations of commercial software by providing an open-source platform that ensures reproducibility, accessibility and flexibility for researchers. In addition, Jibran and his team have released multiple open-source tools for behavioural neuroscience ranging from automated apparatuses for catalepsy and drinking behaviour as well as an open-source system for exposing animals to drug vapor from e-cigarettes. He is also a member of the OpenBehavior team, which is a collaborative initiative dedicated to disseminating and advocating for open-source tools in behavioral neuroscience research."

You can read the full article on the Society for Social Neuroscience website here.

March 2024

A Long-Awaited Outing -- The Khokhar Lab Goes to the Kinsmen Sugar Bush!

Marking the Khokhar lab's first social outing since starting at Western University, the Khokhar lab had a great time touring the Kinsmen Sugar Bush Farm in early March.

We hope everyone who could attend, especially those with their families, had a great time. Thank you to Kendra Loedige (MSc student) for organizing!

March 2024

The Khokhar Lab Attends Western University's Neuroscience Research Day!

This February 22nd-23rd, the Khokhar lab attended Neuroscience Research Day (NRD) at Western University, an annual event hosted by the Society of Neuroscience Graduate Students to showcase the great neuroscience research happening on Western's campus.

Dr. Jibran Khokhar and Jude Frie (PhD candidate) participated in a formal debate about the value of cannabidiol to treat neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders. The argued in favour of cannabidiol as a therapeutic agent against their opponents, Drs. Dan Hardy and Marieka DeVuono. 

February 2024

Announcing our latest publication in Neuropsychopharmacology!

The latest publication from the NODD lab, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, investigates how age and sex may influence behavioural, pharmacological, and neurobiological outcomes of nicotine vapour exposure.

You can read the study in full through Neuropsychopharmacology or the lay article on the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry's website.

December 2023

Hayley and Jibran go to the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual conference!

Dr. Jibran Khohkar and Dr. Hayley Thorpe (postdoctoral fellow) attended the 2023 ACNP conference in December this year.

Hayley was invited to present her work on the role of Cell adhesion molecule 2 (Cadm2) on cannabis/THC intake and responsivity using a preclinical model. Jibran presented on Jude Frie's (PhD candidate) FARESHARE system for measuring individual levels of liquid intake in rats. Both had a great time hearing the amazing science the field of neuropsychopharmacology has to offer, and can't wait to see everyone next year!

December 2023

Hayley becomes the new Neuropsychopharmacology Editorial Intern!

Dr. Hayley Thorpe (postdoctoral fellow) was selected to become one of two new Editorial Interns for the journal Neuropsychopharmacology!

In this role, Hayley will work closely with the Neuropsychopharmacology editorial board on special issues related to the journal. These special issues historically covered topics like gender imbalances in accepted articles, trends in open access publishing, and how social media engagement influences article citations. 

Neuropsychopharmacology is the official journal of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Congratulation, Hayley!

December 2023

Jude and Jibran Go to the Society for Neuroscience Conference!

Dr. Jibran Khohkar and Jude Frie (PhD candidate) attended the 2023 SfN conference in November this year.

Jude, who was the recipient of an SfN Trainee Professional Development Award, presented his work on the FARESHARE system he developed. FARESHARE is an open-source social drinking device that allows researchers to measure drinking microstructures from individual rats when they are housed in groups. His poster, "An open-source device for measuring drinking microstructure in socially housed rats", was featured during a special awardee poster session and the Psychological Methods poster session. Way to go, Jude!

November 2023

Dr. Susumu Tonegawa, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1987 for his work on the genetics of antibody diversity, was invited by Dr. Khokhar to deliver this year's Murray L. Barr Lecture at Western University.

Dr. Tonegawa gave an outstanding overview of his research on how overlapping engrams in the brain contribute to memory. Using sophisticated chemogenetic and in vivo optical visualization tools in rodent systems, Dr. Tonegawa shows how these engrams form the biological basis of generalizable knowledge.

On behalf of Western University, it was a privilege to have you join us and hear you speak in person, Dr. Tonegawa. Thank you for taking the time!

October 2023

The Khokhar Lab Has a Happy Reunion at the Anatomy and Cell Biology Departmental Research Day

Say hello to the Khokhar Lab, Western University! 

For the first time since joining the Anatomy and Cell Biology Department, Khokhar lab members across the University of Guelph and Western University labs come together to attend the ACB Research Day. Most of the lab was in attendance to hear about all of the department's exciting research, and Iman (Masters' student), Jude (PhD candidate), Richard, and Hayley (Postdoctoral associates) presented their findings on the day.

Here's to many more get-togethers as the lab completes its transition to Western in early 2024!

October 2023

Hayley Goes to the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics

Dr. Hayley Thorpe presented her research at WCPG2023 entitled "From Genes to Beans: Genetic Correlations with Habitual Coffee Intake Reveal Gene-Culture Influences Across UK- and US-Based Cohorts". This work is also available as a preprint on medRxiv!

October 2023

“The vaping industry is an evolution of ‘big tobacco’ and may be using vaping to create future customers for combustible tobacco... and there are so many players in the market – local to international – we are struggling to even catch up... more data is needed to know whether tobacco control measures are working. And now with the legalization of cannabis, what are the multi-substance use trends among youth?” said Khokhar.

You can read the full article published in Rapport here.

September 2023

Kendra Joins the NODD Lab

Kendra Loedige joins the NODD lab as a MSc student at Western University this fall. Welcome to the lab, Kendra!

September 2023

Dr. Jibran Khokhar announced as a new Canada Research Chair in Translational Neuropsychopharmacology (CIHR Tier 2). Tier 2 funding ($120,000 per year for a five-year term) will be used to support of the Khokhar lab's ongoing exploration of the connection between substance use and mental illness.

August 2023

The NODD Lab Goes to the GRC: Cannabinoids in the CNS

Dr. Jibran Khokhar, Dr. Abdalla Albeely (Postdoctoral Fellow), Dr. Hayley Thorpe (Postdoctoral Fellow), and Iman Aziz (MSc Student) present their work at the 2023 Gordon Research Conference (GRC): Cannabinoids in the CNS in Barcelona, Spain. Trainees also attended the associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) leading up to the GRC.

The team received several recognitions of excellence at the conference! Dr. Khokhar acted as Vice Chair during the conference and in 2025 will Chair the conference. Dr. Albeely was selected by his peers at the GRS to be the next GRS Chair in 2025. Dr. Thorpe received an award for being the Most Active Participant during the GRS, and received an award for Best Poster at the GRC. Way to go, NODD lab!

July 2023

Azlan Joins the Lab

Azlan Ahmad joins the NODD lab as an undergraduate student in Computer Science at Western University and will assist the lab in all of its computational needs. Welcome, Azlan!

July 2023

Esther Receives an Award from the Korean Canadian Science Scholarship Foundation

NODD lab MSc student Esther Choi is recognized for her research excellence by the Korean Canadian Science Scholarship Foundation. Congratulations, Esther!

July 2023

The NODD Lab Goes to ICRS

Dr. Jibran Khokhar, Dr. Abdalla Albeely (Postdoctoral Fellow), Pedro Marinho (PhD Student), Iman Aziz (MSc Student), Dr. Hayley Thorpe (Postdoctoral Fellow), Esther Choi (MSc Student), and Dr. Richard Quansah Amissah (Postdoctoral Fellow) present their work at the 2023 International Cannabinoid Research Society conference in Toronto, Canada. Go, NODD lab!

June 2023

Abdalla Wins Best Talk at Neuroscience Day

Dr. Abdalla Albeely, postdoctoral fellow in the NODD lab, received the Best Talk Award at the 2023 University of Guelph Neuroscience Day. Well deserved, Abdalla!

May 2023

Former PhD candidate and now Dr. Hayley Thorpe successfully defended her PhD thesis on May 2nd at the University of Guelph. Her thesis, "Cell Adhesion Molecule 2 and Cannabis Use Vulnerability: Insights from a Neuropsychopharmacological Assessment of a Knockout Mouse Model", is available to read on the University of Guelph Atrium. Hayley will continue to work in the NODD lab as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology at Western University. Congratulations, Dr. Thorpe!

May 2023

Hayley Receives a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship

PhD candidate Hayley Thorpe receives a competitive CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship ($135,000), which will support her postdoctoral research over the next three years. Congratulations, Hayley!

April 2023

Western University awards NODD lab leader Dr. Jibran Khokhar with a 2023 Dean's Award of Excellence in the category of Research and Innovation (Early Career, Basic Research). The award is testament to Dr. Khokhar's excellent lab leadership. Well deserved!

April 2023

Iman and Esther Receive the Canadian Graduate Scholarship-Master's Awards

Two MSc students, Iman Aziz and Esther Choi, receive the competitive CGS-M scholarships through NSERC, valued at $17,500. These scholarships will support Iman's and Esther's Master's research at Western University. Congratulations, Iman and Esther!

April 2023

Pedro Receives the ACB Travel Award

NODD lab PhD student Pedro Marinho is awarded an ACB Travel Award that will support his attendance at high-impact conferences, allowing him to gain valuable feedback on his research. Congratulations, Pedro!

March 2023

Aysha Joins the NODD Lab

Aysha Abdul joins the NODD lab this month as a work study student. Aysha is a bioinformatics student at Western University and will be helping postdoctoral fellow Dr. Patrick McCunn with neuroimaging analysis. Welcome, Aysha!

December 2022

The NODD Lab Goes to the ACNP Annual Conference

Dr. Jibran Khokhar and Hayley Thorpe (PhD Candidate) attend the prestigious American College of Neuropsychopharmacology conference this year in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. On top of presenting their newest research, Jibran is granted ACNP Associate Membership status. Congratulations, Jibran!

December 2022

The newly appointed Dr. Bryan Jenkins crafted a masterful PhD thesis and defended it on October 21, 2022. This marks the first ever doctoral candidate to successfully complete their PhD in the NODD lab! His thesis, "Cannabis Differentially Disrupts Neural Circuit Oscillatory Dynamics and Sensory Filtering in Rats: Implications for Schizophrenia", is available to read on the University of Guelph Atrium. Bryan will now uptake a position as postdoctoral fellow at John Hopkins University School of Medicine under the supervision of Dr. Elise Weerts and Dr. Cassie Moore. Congratulations, Dr. Jenkins!

October 2022

NODD lab PhD Candidate Jude Frie wins the Dr. Hubert van Tol Travel Fellowship ($1,000) to support his attendance at leading conferences so that he may disseminate his research across the wider scientific community. Well deserved, Jude!

October 2022

NODD lab PhD Candidate Jude Frie has his research article, "Addiction-Related Outcomes of Nicotine and Alcohol Co-use: New Insights Following the Rise in Vaping", highlighted by the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research as an Editor's Choice article. Keep up the great work, Jude!

July 2022

Abdalla Joins the NODD Lab

Dr. Abdalla Albeely joins the NODD lab this month as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Western University. Great to have you on the team, Abdalla!

July 2022

The NODD Lab Goes to CAN 2022

Dr. Jibran Khokhar, Dr. Hakan Kayir (Lab Manager), Dr. Bryan Jenkins (PhD Candidate), Hayley Thorpe (PhD Candidate), Ahmad Hassan (Undergraduate Student), and Jaiden Smith (Undergraduate Student) attend and present their work at the 2022 Canadian Association for Neuroscience annual conference. Go team!

May 2022

Iman Joins the NODD Lab

Iman Aziz joins the NODD lab this month and will begin her MSc at the University of Guelph's Department of Biomedical Sciences in the fall. Welcome to the lab, Iman!

May 2022

Hayley Wins the CCIC Student Spotlight Award

Hayley Thorpe, a NODD lab PhD candidate, is awarded a Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids Student Research Spotlight Award for her doctoral work investigating the genetics of cannabis use with a preclinical model. She will have the opportunity to present her work at the upcoming CCIC conference and is awarded $1,000.

March 2022

NODD postdoctoral fellow Dr. Patrick McCunn wins the Stratas Foundation Matthew Burke Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship, valued at $5,000, will support Patrick's research using neuroimaging techniques in preclinical models to help understand the biology of mental illness.

January 2022

Jessica Ruffolo, an MSc in the NODD lab, passes her MSc with flying colours on January 10, 2022. Her thesis, "Long-Term Effects of Adolescent Alcohol and Vapourized Nicotine Co-Use on Behaviour and Cognition", is available to read on the University of Guelph Atrium.

January 2022

The NODD Lab Celebrates its Four Year Anniversary

How time flies! From a lab of just Dr. Khokhar and a few graduate students, the NODD lab has become a huge network of past and present researchers across all stages in their careers. We have seen many successes over the last four years and look forward to many more. Congratulations to the NODD lab!

January 2022

The NODD Lab is Moving!

This week, Dr. Jibran Khokhar was hired as an Associate Professor at Western University in the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. This means that the NODD lab will become a blended family -- some team members will transition to Western University while others complete their work at the University of Guelph until the lab fully moves to London, Ontario. The NODD lab will continue its diverse research on the neural and behavioural substrates of adolescent development, substance use, and mental illness. Congratulations to Jibran and the whole NODD lab!

December 2021

Jibran is Promoted to Associate Professor

Dr. Jibran Khokhar is promoted to Associate Professor and receives early tenure in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph. Congratulations on this amazing achievement, Jibran!

December 2021

Richard Receives a MITACS Accelerate Fellowship

NODD lab postdoctoral fellow Dr. Richard Quansah Amissah is awarded a MITACS Accelerated Fellowship, which will fund his research for the next two years. Congratulations, Richard!

November 2021

The NODD Lab Attends the GRC: Cannabinoids in the CNS

Dr. Jibran Khokhar, Dr. Richard Quansah Amissah (Postdoctoral Fellow), Hayley Thorpe (PhD Candidate), and Bryan Jenkins (PhD Candidate) present their work at the 2021 Gordon Research Conference (GRC): Cannabinoids in the CNS in Ventura, California, USA. Trainees also attended the associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) leading up to the GRC.

The team received several recognitions of excellence at the conference! Dr. Khokhar was selected by conference attendees to become the Chair of the 2025 GRC. This means that at the 2023 GRC, he will also act as Vice Chair. Hayley Thorpe also received an award for being the Most Active Participant during the GRC Way to go, NODD lab!

November 2021

The NODD Lab Welcomes Larissa, Omar, and Sara

Three new undergraduate students joined the NODD lab this year: Larissa Kouroukis, Omar Anany, and Sara Hussein. We welcome you to the team and look forward to showcasing your excellent work!

September 2021

National Science and Engineering Research Council: Alliance Grant 

The Khokhar lab was successful in receiving the Alliance grant ($142,784) from the National Science and Engineering Research Council. This grant aims to test novel cannabis-derived compounds in rodents models of cannabis toxicity toward reducing cannabis-induced toxicosis in pets.  

July 2020 - June 2022

Canadian Institutes of Health Research: Vaping Catalyst Grant

The Khokhar lab received the Vaping Catalyst grant ($99,990) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The goal of this grant is to compare the developmental differences in the rewarding effects of JUUL e-cigarette vapour in adult and adolescent rats, as well as the neural correlates of these difference.

July 2020 - June 2021

University of Guelph researchers are the first to discover that adolescents react differently to ecigarette vapour than adults. Led by Prof. Jibran Khokhar, Department of Biomedical Science in U of G’s Ontario Veterinary College, the rodent-based research measured behavioural responses related to vaping.

September 2020

Brain activity ‘dampened’ by vaped THC, similar to those with schizophrenia: Ontario study

Global News

CTV News Kitchener

September 2019

March 2019

Abanoub Rizk Awarded Second Place at the Western Student Research Conference 2019

MP Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, toured the research lab of Professor Jibran Khokhar, who will be establishing a neuroscience laboratory to study addiction and mental illness. MP Longfield celebrated research investments through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF).




Pedro Joins the NODD Lab

Pedro Marinho joins the NODD lab this fall and will begin his PhD in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Western University. Welcome to the lab, Pedro!

September 2022