Five new faculty join McGill through the HBHL Start-Up Supplements Program
In line with our commitment to advancing brain research excellence at McGill, HBHL is happy to introduce five exceptional recruits who have recently joined McGill across three different faculties. These talented individuals have received funding through HBHL's New Recruit Start-Up Supplements program, which provides critical supplementary funding to McGill's hiring faculties, empowering them to attract standout faculty members whose research aligns with HBHL's scientific priorities.
Meet the Latest Awardees
Among these recent recruits, three align their research with HBHL’s Research Theme 3, Applied Cognitive Neuroscience of Brain Plasticity, while the remaining two have research interests relating to Research Theme 4, Population Neuroscience and Brain Health.
Research Theme 3
Katie Lavigne was hired within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Services in Psychiatry. She is dedicated to advancing cognitive and brain health research in the field of transdiagnostic psychiatry, which focuses on understanding and treating mental health issues by identifying shared causes and solutions across different emotional and psychological problems, rather than treating each problem separately. Her work seeks to develop a digital, open-source collection of cognitive health tests that can be used across diverse settings and devices, providing a valuable tool for understanding cognitive deficits in psychiatric populations. By investigation short- and long-term changes in cognition, she aims to shed light on the intricate connections between cognitive deficits, brain changes and overall functioning in individuals with psychiatric disorders, ultimately contributing to improved mental health care.
Majid Mohajerani has joined the Faculty of Medicine and Health Services in Psychiatry. His research focuses on understanding the basic processes behind sleep regulation and brain fatigue, particularly in how the brain’s different parts interact. His approach combines optical imaging, electrophysiology, behavioural methods and computational tools to explore how various brain regions communicate, the role of sleep in memory processing across whole brain networks and factors influencing this process. His lab also develops new tools to study brain activity in more detail and expand the range of behaviours that can be observed in mice, helping us better understand brain function and the formation of memories.
Through neuroimaging and genetics, Dana Small aims to uncover the logic of human gut-brain communication in health and disease. Joining the Faculty of Medicine and Health Services and the Department of Neurology & Neurosurgery, her research explores the fundamental connection between behaviour, metabolism, and the ways organisms obtain energy for survival. Her inquiries investigate how our brains respond to food-related signals, whether they are conscious or not, and how these signals impact our learning and eating habits. By employing advanced neuroimaging techniques and dietary experiments, she aims to uncover the complex connections between metabolism, sensory perception and learning, allowing us to better understand how our brains adapt to changing food environments.
Research Theme 4
Tasmia Hai’s clinical research aims to map the neural, cognitive and academic mechanisms of family focused interventions in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A significant addition to the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology in the Faculty of Education, her research program explores the complex connections between neuroimaging techniques and various behavioural outcomes, such as cognitive, social and academic functioning. She is particularly interested in understanding how sociocultural factors such as ethnicity, socio-demographic status, race, gender and disability intersect with brain mechanisms, affecting learning and behaviour in children with ADHD. Her innovative approach aims to develop personalized care by combining neuroimaging data with behavioural and academic performance data, ultimately advancing our understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders and enhancing the lives of affected children.
Delphine Raucher-Chéné has joined the Faculty of Medicine and Health Services in Psychiatry. Her clinical research project, ‘The Bipolar and Recognition in Enhanced Psychiatric Services (BiCEPS) project: Remote Measurement-Based Care for Bipolar Disorder,’ aims to enhance the care for individuals with bipolar disorder, a complex condition that often starts in adolescence and persists into adulthood. The BiCEPS project uses a digital platform to assess the condition comprehensively and provide tailored interventions to patients. This approach is a step towards better understanding the experiences of individuals with bipolar disorder and offering innovative and accessible treatment that suits their needs.