Trainee Get-Togethers

Two trainees smiling at the camera during a break

HBHL trainees come from diverse backgrounds and locations, from the main campus to all McGill-affiliated institutions across Montreal. The objective of the monthly HBHL Trainee Get-Togethers is to provide an opportunity for trainees who are interested in neuroscience to network, learn from each other and build collaborations. The Get-Togethers include a variety of research talks as well as social activities.

The HBHL Trainee Get-Togethers are organized by the HBHL Trainee Committee. All graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with an interest in neuroscience are welcome. hbhl.trainees [at] (Please email us any inquiries you may have)

2021-2022 Trainee Get-Togethers

Date Presenters and Presentation Titles Sponsors Photos

October 29, 2021

Virtual Fellows Networking Event None None

November 25, 2021

  • Dr. Yue Li (keynote)
  • Neelima Vaddadi (PhD Fellow): “Structural basis and function of Kirrel3 homophilic adhesion in axonal targeting”
  • Nadia Blostein (MSc Fellow): “Heritability, Cross-Species Differences and Latent Variables of Behaviour in Shape Measures of the Striatum, Thalamus and Globus Pallidus”
None None

January 25, 2022

  • Dr. Yang Zhou (keynote): “Synaptic gene mutation in neurodevelopmental disorders, a view from basic research”
  • Sneha Senthil (MSc Fellow): “Development of Rapid High-Resolution MR Spectroscopic Imaging In The Human Brain”
  • Brittany Intzandt (PhD Fellow): “Sex-specific effects of obesity on cerebral macrostructure in older adults, does physical activity have a compensatory role?”
None None

February 25, 2022

  • Dr. Yasser Iturria-Medina (keynote): “Multiscale Brain Models for Understanding Disease Mechanisms and Treatment Needs in Neurology”
  • Refilwe Mpai (MSc Fellow): “A characterization of perineuronal nets in the human cerebellum: are these structures impacted by child abuse?”
  • Quadri Adewale (PhD Fellow): “Multiscale interactions between neuroimaging signals and gene expression in aging and Alzheimer’s disease”
None None
March 28, 2022
  • Dr. Claudine Gauthier (keynote): Quantitative imaging of cerebrovascular health in aging”
  • Alexandra Chapleau (MSc Fellow): “Using Patient-Derived iPSCs to Model a Rare Neurodegenerative Disorder”
None None

2020-2021 Trainee Get-Togethers

Date Presenters and Presentation Titles Sponsors Photos
October 27, 2020 Virtual Fellows Networking Event None View photo from Oct. 27, 2020 Get-Together
November 24, 2020
  • Dr. Manuela Ferrari (keynote): A 2.0 Mental Health Services Model: from Measurement-based Care to Video Game Interventions 
  • Kadjita Asumbisa (Doctoral fellow, trainee of Stuart Trenholm): Dynamics of the head direction system following vision loss
  • Konstantin Senkevich (Postdoctoral fellow, trainee of Ziv Gan-Or): Comprehensive analysis of shared biologic architecture between neurologic and psychiatric traits
None None
January 20, 2021
  • Dr. Jean-Baptiste Poline (keynote)
  • Dr. Noha Gerges (guest speaker)
  • Ali Fazlollahi (MSc, trainee of Rolando Del Maestro): Effectiveness of the Virtual Operative Assistant Compared to Expert-based Instruction in Neurosurgical Training
BioLegend None
February 24, 2021
  • Dr. Loydie Jerome-Majewska (keynote): "Forming the head of an embryo - what is the contribution of splicing?"
  • Mikka Cabral (BASC student in Molecular Biology and International Development Studies): “An insight into the cancer burden of a majority-Black population: the case of Bermuda”
  • Abdullah Azeem (PhD Fellow, trainee of Jean Gotman): “Interictal Spike Networks Predict Surgical Outcome in Patients with Drug-resistant Focal Epilepsy”
  • Jasmine Phénix (PhD Fellow, trainee of Lisa Münter): “The Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein (CETP) in Alzheimer’s Disease”
BioLegend None
March 24, 2021
  • Nadia Blostein, (MSc Fellow, trainee of Mallar Chakravarty): "Subcortical structure areal expansion in the human compared to the chimpanzee and heritability"
  • Arna Ghosh (PhD Fellow, trainee of Blake Richards): "BP2T2: Towards biologically-plausible temporal credit assignment in recurrent neural networks"
  • Laura Suárez, (PhD Fellow, trainee of Bratislav Misic): "Learning function from structure in neuromorphic networks"
  • Dr. Marie-Elyse Lafaille-Magnan (postdoc, Ashley Wazana lab)
  • Anne-Sophie Pépin (PhD candidate in Pharmacology): "WIN4Science: a Women's Initiative for Science to hack the gender gap"
BioLegend None
April 28, 2021
  • Susan Molnar (Graduate Career Advisor): "Strategies & Misconceptions of the Job Search Process for Neuroscientists"
  • Arielle Crestol (MSc Fellow, trainee of Natasha Rajah): “Women’s brain health at midlife: Assessing the circuitry for spatial context memory”
  • Jisoo Choi (PhD Fellow, trainee of Sylvain Williams): “Neuronal mechanism of memory consolidation during REM sleep”
BioLegend None

2019-2020 Trainee Get-Togethers

Date Presenters and Presentation Titles Sponsors Photos
October 16, 2019 Fellows Meet and Greet BioLegend View photos from the Oct. 16, 2019 Get-Together
November 19, 2019
  • Dr. Danilo Bzdok (keynote): Data science in neuroscience: 3 examples in 30 minutes
  • Dr. Noha Gerges (Business Development Director, Mitacs): Programs for graduate students offered by Mitacs
  • Camille Cassel de Camps (Master's fellow, trainee of Dr. Christopher Moraes): Microengineering brain organoids: addressing variability in organoid generation
BioLegend View photos from the Nov. 19, 2019 Get-Together
January 16, 2020
  • Dr. Sarah Woolley (keynote): Plasticity of auditory preferences in a female songbird
  • Stephanie Tullo (Doctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Mallar Chakravarty): Mapping alpha synuclein spreading and disease progression in a mouse model of Parkinson's Disease
  • Manesh Girn (Master's fellow, trainee of Dr. Nathan Spreng): LSD attenuates the macroscale functional hierarchy of the brain
BioLegend View photos from the January 16, 2020 Get-Together
February 11, 2020
  • Dr. Adrien Peyrache (keynote): Memory replay during sleep: wherever the brain may roam
  • Amanda McFarlan (Doctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Jesper Sjöström): Spike timing-dependent plasticity at neocortical VIP interneuron outputs
  • Dr. Rhalena Thomas (Postdoctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Edward Fon): Midbrain organoids as a model for Parkinson’s Disease and single cell RNA sequencing
  • Dr. Oualid Benkarim (Postdoctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Boris Bernhardt): Approaches to functional idiosyncrasy characterization in typical and atypical
  • Lani Cupo (Doctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Mallar Chakravarty): Methods development: multimodal, longitudinal magnetic resonance techniques in mice
BioLegend View photos from the February 11, 2020 Get-Together
April 30, 2020 (virtual)
  • Dr. Sylvia Villeneuve (keynote): Functional brain age prediction suggests accelerated aging in preclinical familial Alzheimer’s disease, irrespectively of amyloid pathology
  • Nicholas James (Master's fellow, trainee of Dr. Gerhard Multhaup): Towards understanding neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease with the amyloid-β42-oligomer interacting peptide (AIP)
  • Arielle Rabinowitz (Doctoral fellow, trainee of Drs. Robert Zatorre and Alain Dagher): How apathy and anhedonia affect music reward in Parkinson's Disease
None None
June 2, 2020 (virtual)
  • Dr. Laurence Dumont (keynote): Doing research during a pandemic – Opportunities and Obstacles
  • Min Ju You (Master's fellow, trainee of Drs. Kieran O’Donnell and Michael Meaney): Genetic and environmental contribution to Perinatal Maternal Mental Health
None None

2018-2019 Trainee Get-Togethers

Date Presenters and Presentation Titles Sponsors

Oct. 29, 2018

HBHL Fellows Meet and Greet

View photos of the Oct. 29, 2018 Get-Together


Nov. 21, 2018

  • Dr. David Stellwagen (keynote): The role of TNF in synaptic plasticity underlying behaviour
  • Arna Ghosh (Master's fellow, trainee of Drs. Marie-Helene Boudrias and Georgios Mitsis): Demystifying the effects of acute cardiovascular exercise on motor learning: A deep learning approach
  • Ross Markello (Doctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Bratislav Mišić): Deriving clinical subtypes in de novo Parkinson's disease with multimodal data fusion

View photos of the Nov. 21, 2018 Get-Together


Jan. 15, 2019
  • Dr. Mallar Chakravarty (keynote): Translational neuroimaging in the study of neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Bernat de las Heras (Master's fellow, trainee of Dr. Marc Roig): Promoting brain plasticity during sub-acute stroke: The interactive role of exercise and genotype
  • Neelima Vaddadi (Doctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Jean Francois Cloutier): Role of Kirrels in axon targeting in the mouse olfactory system

View photos of the Jan. 15, 2019 Get-Together

Feb. 13, 2019
  • Dr. Celia Greenwood (keynote): The potential of using hierarchical Bayesian models to estimate the effects of rare copy number changes on IQ in general population cohorts
  • Amanda McFarlan (Doctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Jesper Sjöström): The characterization of Vip interneuron plasticity in the mouse motor cortex
  • Caitlin Fowler (Doctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Jamie Near): A neuroimaging study of the effects of anti-inflammatory treatment in Alzheimer’s disease

View photos of the Feb. 13, 2019 Get-Together



Mar. 12, 2019
  • Dr. Jesper Sjöström (keynote): Atypical NMDA receptor signalling at central synapses
  • Anna Cook (Doctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Alanna Watt): Combination therapy: Can we combine diverse therapeutic strategies to achieve a full rescue of SCA6 pathology?
  • Michalis Kassinopoulos (Doctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Georgios Mitsis)How to deal with physiological noise in fMRI

View photos from the March 12, 2019 Get-Together

April 10, 2019
  • Dr. Alanna Watt (keynote): Purkinje cell axonal torpedoes act homeostatically to enhance action potential fidelity and
  • cerebellar function
  • Manesh Girn (Master's fellow, trainee of Dr. Nathan Spreng): Large-scale functional network dynamics underlying healthy cognitive aging
  • Alexandra Keinath (Postdoctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Mark Brandon): CA3 mediates remapping of the CA1 rate code by entryway

View photos from the April 10, 2019 Get-Together

May 13, 2019
  • Dr. Sylvain Baillet (keynote)
  • Rana Ghafouri-Azar (Master's fellow, trainee of Dr. Pia Wintermark): Sildenafil to repair cerebellar damage following hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
  • Daryan Chitsaz (Doctoral fellow, trainee of Dr. Tim Kennedy): Deep learning for high-throughput quantification of oligodendrocyte ensheathment at single-cell resolution

View photos from the May 13, 2019 Get-Together



2017-2018 Trainee Get-Togethers

Date Presenters and Presentation Titles Sponsors Photos

Oct. 16, 2017

All HBHL Fellows: meet and greet

Flyer and photos of the event

Bon Opus Bio

Nov. 21, 2017

  • Dr. Laurence Kirmayer (keynote): The place of social science in HBHL: thinking through context
  • Greg Kiar (trainee of Dr. Alan Evans): Enabling scalable, sustainable, and reliable big-data neuroscience
  • Seung Hyun (Sam) Min (trainee of Dr. Robert Hess): The effect of patching duration on ocular dominance plasticity

Flyer and photos of the event

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Jan. 30, 2018

  • Dr. Timothy Kennedy (keynote): Playing well with others in the McGill Program in Neuroengineering
  • Vincent Laliberte (trainee of Dr. Lawrence Kirmayer): How can the social sciences contribute to the neurosciences?
  • Carolina Makowski (trainee of Dr. Martin Lepage): The hippocampus and psychosis: Lessons from a little structure with big responsibilities

Flyer and photos of the event

Integrated DNA Technologies

Feb. 21, 2018

  • Dr. Olaf Witkowski (keynote): From life to brains: The emergence of collective intelligence
  • Kaitlyn Easson (trainee of Dr. Marie Brossard-Racine): Quantifying myelin integrity in youth born with congenital heart disease
  • Edwin Wong (trainee of Dr. Timothy Kennedy): Animal models of Alzheimer's disease: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Flyer and photos of the event


Thermo Fisher Scientific

Mar. 13, 2018

  • Dr. Robert Zatorre (keynote): From perception to pleasure: Musical processing in the brain
  • Tyler Cannon (trainee of Dr. Samantha Gruenheid): Intestinal infection as a trigger for Parkinsonism in genetically susceptible hosts
  • Isabella Straub (trainee of Dr. Eric Shoubridge): Functional studies on mitochondrial proteins CHCHD10 and CHCHD2 associated with neurodegenerative disease

Flyer and photos of the event


Apr. 18, 2018

  • Dr. Suparna Choudhury (keynote): Critical neuroscience: The adolescent brain in its social context
  • Ricardo Pizarro (trainee of Dr. Amir Shmuel): Using deep learning to automatically identify brain MRI contrast
  • Andy Gao (trainee of Dr. Anne McKinney): How a cellular "traffic jam" impairs learning

Flyer and photos of the event


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