- Lab Manager: Kaz Laird – email@example.com
Nicole Gervais, PhD – firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole is the recipient of a research fellowship co-funded by the Alzheimer’s Association and Brain Canada Foundation to study early markers of Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged women with a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, and spontaneous menopause. She focuses on four themes related to Alzheimer’s disease: 1) memory, 2) brain structure, 3) sleep, and 4) inflammation. She uses structural MRI to estimate volumes of the hippocampus, entorhinal, perirhinal, and parahippocampal cortices and relate any changes to differences on memory tests. Nicole measures objective sleep parameters using polysomnography to investigate sleep disturbance. Her training was in behavioural neuroscience, working with rats during her PhD (Concordia University, 2014) and aging common marmosets during her first postdoc (University of Massachusetts – Amherst, 2014-2016). Her primary research interests are to understand how aging, sleep, and hormones influence memory and its neural substrates across species. These interests include: 1) how structures in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) sub serve memory, 2) how sleep and cognition are altered by aging, 3) how chronic inflammation contributes to cognitive aging, and 4) the impact of biological sex and hormones on aging, with a focus on memory.
Nicole Gervais' Publications
Anne Almey, PhD – email@example.com
Anne’s research focuses on the role of estrogens in a variety of cognitive processes, diseases, and disorders in women, and the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie these hormonal effects. Her interest in hormones and behavior began during her undergraduate thesis, which examined the role of estrogens in sex differences in social learning and aggression in mice. Anne’s graduate research continued in a similar vein examining the contribution of estrogens to numerous dopamine-dependent cognitive processes, including selective attention, reversal learning, and perseveration in rats. She also examined the ultrastructural distribution of estrogen receptors in dopaminergic brain regions as a mechanism for these effects of estrogens. Following her graduate research she transitioned from animal models to humans, and at present she holds the Posluns Postoctoral Fellowship in Women’s Brain Health and Aging and is co-supervised by Dr. Gillian Einstein at the University of Toronto and Dr. Natasha Rajah at McGill University. Anne’s current project examines the cognitive and neurobiological effects of early ovarian hormone deprivation in women with BRCA mutations, to clarify the role of estrogens in female cognition, age related cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Anne Almey's Publications
- Arija Birze – Doctoral Student – firstname.lastname@example.org
Arija is seeking to integrate feminist, biological and sociological theory into an analysis of the embodiment of stress in gendered, emotional work. This inter-disciplinary research will examine how the gendered organization of work (what is typically known as “women’s work” and “men’s work”) shapes biological, psychological, and social experiences of stress in high-stress occupations. More specifically, using physiological, survey, interview and observational data, this research will explore the emotional landscape of the 911 police communications setting and how this stressful work is biologically translated into health inequalities, or is ‘written into the body’.
- Danielle Jacobson – Doctoral Student – email@example.com
Dani is entering her first year of doctoral studies this September in Public Health Sciences, more specifically, Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. Coming from a background in Cognitive Neuroscience, researching sensorimotor learning, she hopes to integrate her experience in Psychology with her passion for women’s health. In her time outside of the lab, Dani enjoys playing piano, being in nature, and exploring the city.
- Nida Mustafa – Doctoral Student – firstname.lastname@example.org
Nida Mustafa is a PhD student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She recently completed a Master’s degree in Health Sciences, specializing in women’s mental health. Her research in the past has focused on eating disorders in minority women, and she is greatly interested in immigrant mental health advocacy. Nida’s current work focuses on exploring elderly women’s experiences of pain within Toronto’s South Asian community.
Nida Mustafa's Publications
- Arija Birze – Doctoral Student – email@example.com
- Laila Rahman, M.S. – Doctoral Student – firstname.lastname@example.org
Laila Rahman is a PhD candidate in Social and Behavioral Health Sciences in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She hopes to contribute to achieving health equity and social justice through intellectual activism and research. Before joining the graduate program, she conducted research on maternal health, sexual and reproductive health, and violence against women and girls using quasi-experimental designs. Funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research and Lupina Senior doctoral fellowships, Laila is currently in dialogue with postcolonial feminism, intersectionality, and Johnson’s violence typology in gender-based violence research in Bangladesh. In complicating the current male physical intimate partner violence (MPIPV) against women discourse, Laila’s project seeks to explore MPIPV-involved women’s and men’s intersecting social locations, their experience of multiple forms of MPIPV including intimate terrorism and situational couple violence, and women’s act of resistance against the MPIPV.
- Rebekah Reuben – Doctoral Student – email@example.com
Rebekah is a first year doctoral student at the University of Toronto. She is broadly interested in topics of women’s health and sexuality, as well as the intersection between neuroscience and social influences in her research. In her free time, Rebekah enjoys cooking, traveling, and appreciating film and art. She is honored and excited to be a part of Dr. Einstein’s lab!
- Laura Gravelsins – Doctoral Student – firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura recently received her Honours B.Sc. at the University of Toronto in 2017, and she is very excited to be back to start her M.A. year in Psychology at the Einstein Lab. She feels fortunate to have been a part of the lab during the 4th year of her undergraduate degree, and strongly values its interdisciplinary, diverse, and feminist research. The complex relationship between genes, hormones, and cognition is fascinating to Laura, and her current research focuses on investigating cognitive performance in oral contraceptive users. Outside of the lab she is a don at Victoria College and enjoys playing ice hockey with friends and family!
- Alana Brown – Masters Student – email@example.com
Alana is starting her first year as a Psychology Masters student at the University of Toronto. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from UofT in 2016, and is fortunate to have worked on a variety of projects in the Einstein Lab for two years prior to joining as a graduate student. She is particularly interested in the impact of hormones on brain structure and function in the context of spatial abilities, navigation strategies, and wayfinding behaviors in humans. Outside of the lab, Alana enjoys science fiction, drawing, photography, cooking spicy food, and exploring the city.
Work Study Students
- Clara McNamee
- Gina Nicoll
- Elizabeth Baker-Sullivan
- Alisa Chun Li
- Leanne Mendoza
Independent Research Project Students
- Devon Aitken
- Jada-Diamond Dun
- Claire Lauzon
- Jessica Scott
- Ava Ma Bon De Sousa
- Gina Nicoll
- Pascale Tsai
Research Opportunity Program Students
- Leah Velikonja
- Brittany Demircan
- Salima Hackeek
- Leena Johnson
- Amelia Semenak
- Hussam Sheikh
- Amelia Zhang