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Current Graduate Students and their Research

Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology Labs

BPK Graduate Student Association

President: Allison Campbell

Vice-President: Matthew Dorton

Department Representative: Catherine Taylor

Department Representative: Anis Zahedifard

GPC Representative: Erin Williams

GPC Representative: Amin Nikmanesh

GSS Representative: Justin Wang

Secretary/Treasurer: Rebekah Lee

TSSU Representative: Mohammadamin (Amin) Nikmanesh

TSSU Representative: Milad Hafezi

TSSU Representative: Naseem Givzad

TSSU Representative: Vinicius da Eira Silva

Aerospace Physiology Lab Students

Catherine Taylor
PhD Student

Supervisor: Dr. Andrew Blaber

E-mail: cjtaylor@sfu.ca  

Lab-phone: 778-782-5694

"I have a passion for bioastronautics and assisting humanity to become a space-faring species. My ultimate goal is to assist astronaut crews in withstanding the physiological effects of space as they explore deeper into (and beyond) our solar system. My research will assess how confinement affects physiology during Terrestrial Space Analog missions."

Aging and Population Health Lab Students

Peter Young
MSc Student

Supervisor: Dr. Dawn Mackey

E-mail: peter_young_2@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: 778-782-5794

"My research aims to standardize the selection of outcome measures for future clinical trials of physical activity with older adults. Within this, and in conjunction with patient-oriented research approaches, I hope to incorporate and empower the voices, knowledge, and curiosity of older adults in outcome selection."

Autism Research Centre, Behavioral & Cognitive Neuroscience Institute Students

Evan Hutcheon
PhD Student

Supervisor: Dr. Sam Doesburg

E-mail: ehutcheo@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: n/a

"I'm interested in how hypoxia and hypocapnia affect attention and brain connectivity."

Amparo Viridiana Marquez
PhD Candidate

Supervisor: Dr. Sam Doesburg & Dr. Sylvain Moreno

E-mail: amarquez@sfu.ca  

Lab-phone: n/a

"I study social communication difficulties in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and its neural correlates. To do so, I implement neuroimaging modalities such as EEG and fMRI in correlation with behavioural assessments."

Cancer Genetics Lab Students

Sneha Ralli
PhD Candidate

Supervisor: Dr. Angela Brooks-Willson

E-mail: sralli@sfu.ca 

Lab-phone: n/a

"My research focuses on finding susceptibility genes in families affected by lymphoid cancers. These cancers begin in infection-fighting cells and collectively are the 5th most common cancer in Canada. In families, lymphoid cancers are thought to be driven, in part, by mutations in genes. Recent genetic discoveries reveal that there might be multiple genes involved in causing these malignancies. I analyze the genomes of family members affected with lymphoid cancer to discover genes with mutations as they can help expand our knowledge of lymphoid cancers and empower the development of new interventions or avenues for prevention."

Cardiovascular Physiology Lab Students

Farhaan M. Khan
MSc Student

Supervisor: Dr. Victoria Claydon 

E-mail: farhaank@sfu.ca 

Lab-phone: 778-828-8560

"My research investigates the relationship between syncope, anxiety, and unexplained sudden cardiac arrests in the young. Syncope and anxiety are common in the young, and with 50% of paediatric sudden cardiac arrests occurring without an explanation, I explore the potential role of the autonomic nervous system in these occurrences. "

Matthew Dorton
PhD Student  

Supervisor: Dr. Victoria Claydon

E-mail: mdorton@sfu.ca  

Lab-phone: 778-782-8560

"I study the secondary consequences of spinal cord injury (SCI) and their impact on the cardiovascular system. My research focuses on establishing and improving predictive indices for cardiovascular disease risk in individuals with SCI and exploring the relationship of cardiovascular disease and other secondary consequences of SCI."

Allison Campbell
PhD Student

BPK GSA President

Supervisors: Dr. Victoria Claydon and Dr. Anita Cote

E-mail: allison_campbell_5@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: 778-782-8560

"My work aims to add to the limited body of high quality research on female athletes and their performance in various hormonal milieus. I will do so by measuring the cardiovascular performance of athletes through development, in the different phases of the menstrual cycle, and with the use of hormonal contraceptives. "

Normand Richard
PhD Student

Supervisors: Dr. Victoria Claydon and Dr. Anita Cote

E-mail: Nar11@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: N/A

"I am examining how the female cardiovascular system adapts to various exercise scenarios (cycling in heat, postpartum, overreaching).My main variable of interest is cardiac output."

Elin Sober-Williams
MSc Student

Supervisor: Dr. Victoria Claydon

E-mail: eks5@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: 778-782-8560

"I use quantitative and qualitative methods to pursue patient-oriented research aimed at improving quality of life for individuals living with spinal cord injury. My interest lies at the intersection of the cardiovascular and autonomic nervous systems where I investigate avenues to reduce autonomic dysfunction, largely through optimizing bowel management practices."

Vera-Ellen Lucci
Postdoctoral Fellow

 

E-mail: vlucci@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: 778-782-8560

"I have a keen interest in cardiovascular autonomic control. My PhD work aim to evaluate, classify, and treat cardiovascular dysfunction after spinal cord injury. I now hold both a CIHR and a MSHRBC Postdoctoral Fellowship for my work investigating the cardiovascular mechanisms of syncope (fainting)."

Community Health Research Lab Students

Tope Daodu
MSc Student

Supervisor: Dr. Scott Lear

E-mail: tbd2@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: 604-806-8242

"My research interest focuses on the prevention and management of chronic diseases. I am currently investigating the advancement of the COVID-19 vaccine, with the goal of keeping the current low number of COVID-19 cases and prevent the spread of the disease."

ImageTech Lab Students

Injury Prevention and Mobility Lab Students

Natalie Shishov
PhD Candidate

Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Robinovitch

E-mail: nshishov@sfu.ca  

Lab-phone: 778-782-6679

"I study the factors that separate injurious and non-injurious falls, particularly in older adults, with the overall goal of improving our understanding on the cause and prevention of fall-related injuries. Specifically, by analyzing video footage of real-life falls, my research explores how the nature and consequences of falls by older adults depend on environmental, situational and physiological factors."

Omid Vakili
PhD Student

Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Rovinovitch

Lab-Phone: 778-782-6679

"I am pursuing research in the area of injury biomechanics in ice hockey. My research seeks to improve our understanding of the dynamics of head-to-shielding (or glass around the rink) impacts, and how head impact severity is affected by modifications to the effective stiffness and mass of the shielding. Ultimately, my findings can promote safer environments to protect the brain health of ice hockey players."

Olivia Aguiar
MSc Student

Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Robinovitch

E-mail: oaguiar@sfu.ca

Lab Phone: 778-782-6679

"My research examines the characteristics and severity of head impacts in ice hockey. By improving our understanding of the nature, frequency and severity of head impacts, we can guide strategies to prevent traumatic brain injuries in high impact sports"

Laboratory of Exercise and Environmental Physiology Students

Clara Etter
PhD Student

Supervisor: Dr. Mathew White

E-mail: cetter@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: 778-782-6895

"My research focuses on the aetiology of cold injuries, primarily frostbite, and vulnerabilities to cold-related symptoms during arctic conditions in humans. The goal of the research is to investigate the role of biophysical factors, principally sex and morphology, situational factors, mainly clothing insulation, as well as qualitative factors, such as thermal perception on cooling physiology during arctic environmental conditions. The outcomes of the research largely apply to outdoor workers, including military and search and rescue groups operating in arctic and subarctic regions."

Locomotion Lab Students

Pawel Kudzia
PhD Student (ENSC)

Supervisor: Dr. Maxwell Donelan

E-mail: pkudzia@sfu.ca  

Lab-phone: 778-782-4986

"I am interested in understanding the neurocontrol and biomechanical determinants of fast agile locomotion. This research will have important applications in understanding human evolution, sport performance and the control of fast running robots. I love to run, bike, swim and immerse myself in nature, hobbies that dynamically inspire my academic exploration of the human body"

Pavreet Gill
MSc Student

BPK GSA Secretary/Treasurer

Supervisor: Dr. Maxwell Donelan

E-mail: pavreet_gill@sfu.ca 

Lab-phone: 778-782-4986

"My research aims to understand why energetic expenditure is elevated during walking in children with cerebral palsy. I use causal models and bayesian statistics to understand what factors (eg. motor control, kinematics) have the largest impact on their energetic expenditure and if their oxygen utilization is different from children with typical development."

Patrick Mayerhofer
PhD Candidate

BPK GSA Department Representative 

Supervisor: Dr. Max Donelan

E-mail: pmayerho@sfu.ca

"The central objective of my research is to provide sportsmen and women with real-time feedback and control over their goals by combining wearable sensing, machine learning algorithms, and control algorithms to maximize their athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury."

Molecular Cardiac Physiology Group Students

Alia Arslanova
MSc Student

Supervisor: Dr. Glen Tibbits 

E-mail: arslanov@sfu.ca 

Lab-phone: 604-875-3851

"My research focuses on investigating the mechanisms of the cardiac arrhythmia condition known as catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) using human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). This study utilizes a variety of techniques including CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, multielectrode arrays assay, optical mapping and patch clamping, and has a potential to contribute to disease modelling and personalized medicine in vitro using a hiPSC-CM model."

Tiffany Barszczewski
MSc Student

Supervisor: Dr. Glen Tibbits

E-mail: tiffany_barszczewski@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: 604-875-3851

"I use CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing and fluorescence imaging to study inherited cardiomyopathies such as hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy (HCM, DCM) in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). My research interest lies within the sarcomere (the basic contractile unit of cardiac muscle cells) and how contractility is affected in disease.

Josh Ham
MSc Student

Supervisors: Dr. Damon Poburko

E-mail: josh_ham@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: 778-782-9555

"My research largely focusses on purinergic transmission – the role of ATP as a neurotransmitter, including its storage, transport, and mechanisms of release. Although a ubiquitous form of energy in organisms, ATP has been found to be involved in complex signal transduction and signalling cascades. My findings have relevance to understanding pathologies associated with the cellular handling of ATP, such as chronic neuropathic pain and chronic inflammation."

Ekaterina Stogova
MSc Student

Supervisor: Dr. Glen Tibbits

E-mail: estogova@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: 604-875-3851

"I use hiPSC-derived atrial cardiomyocytes to study molecular and electrophysiological changes associated with lone atrial fibrillation."

Stephanie Rayner
MSc Student

Supervisors: Dr. Damon Poburko

E-mail: smr22@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: 778-782-9555

"My research focuses on the release mechanics of adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) as a neurotransmitter. The techniques I use combine bioinformatics, molecular cloning and immunofluorescence labelling in cultured mammalian cell lines."

Kevin Ye
MSc Student

Supervisor: Dr. Glen Tibbits

E-mail: kzye@sfu.ca

"My research uses induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) derived cardiomyocytes (CM) as a model for genetically inherited heart diseases, and to discover the mechanisms underlying them."

Neuromuscular Mechanics Lab Students

Quantitative Exercise Biology Lab Students

Eli Mizelman
PhD Student

Supervisor: Dr. Dave Clarke

E-mail: eli_mizelman@sfu.ca  

Lab-phone: 778-782-4211

"My PhD research is in the area of sports analytics, and the development of mathematical and statistical models to quantify performance and physiological processes in professional athletes."

Taylor McColl
PhD Student

Supervisor: Dr. Dave Clarke

E-mail: tmccoll@sfu.ca

Lab phone: 778-782-4211

"My research is focused on developing models of the cellular signalling dynamics in skeletal muscle following nutrition and exercise intervention." 

Aidan Kits
MSc Student

Supervisor: Dr. Dave Clarke

E-mail: akits@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: N/A

"Through the use of wearable technology and statistical modelling, my research aims to assist athletes in managing their day-to-day training loads to achieve their goals and individual potential."

Respiratory Rehabilitation Lab Students

Sensorimotor Neuroscience Lab Students 

Milad Hafezi
PhD Student

BPK GSA TSSU Representative 

Supervisor: Dr. Dylan Cooke 

E-mail: mhafezi@sfu.ca 

Lab-phone: 778-782-5770

"I study the motor cortex using high resolution electrophysiological procedures and aim to determine the role of individual differences in brains in their resilience to injury or stroke. This can shed light on new rehabilitation and prevention methods that could be employed to improve recovery from stroke. "

Amin Nikmanesh
PhD Student

Supervisor: Dr. Daniel Marigold

E-mail: mohammadamin_nikmanesh@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: N/A

Amin earned his BSc. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Isfahan in 2015. During this time, he worked on a human hand exoskeleton. Here, he realized how he enjoyed learning about how the human body works. Subsequently, he moved to the Iran University of Science and Technology in the fall of 2015, where he conducted his graduate research in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Biomechatronic Laboratory. Amin's graduate work focused on signal processing to predict hand movement. Amin's interests are focused on the use of programming to solve biomedical and neuroscience problems. He is currently working with mobile eye-tracking in the Sensorimotor Neuroscience Lab for his doctoral thesis. His current research concerns how humans navigate in crowded places. In his free time, Amin enjoys programming and web design.

SFU Run Lab

Meihui (Alice) Li
PhD Student

Supervisor: Dr. Chris Napier

E-mail: meihui_li@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: 604-589-2069

"With 10 years of sporting experience, I know how sports injuries can negatively affect athletes. Even a trivial injury during exercise could stop a professional career. As a future kinesiologist, I hope to help people prevent knee injuries through movement optimization."

Minju Kim
PhD Student

Supervisor: Dr. Chris Napier

E-mail: mka230@sfu.ca

Lab-phone: 778-882-9260

"I study the running biomechanics and injury prevention. My research aims to set guidelines to help runners develop efficient ways of running, the smart use of wearable technology, and reasonable choices of footwear to prevent a running related injury, especially ankle and foot injuries."