INMHA Institute Advisory Board Members – Biographies

Yves De Koninck (Chair)
Professor of Psychiatry & Neuroscience
Université Laval

Yves De Koninck is Professor of Psychiatry & Neuroscience at Université Laval, Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at McGill, Scientific Director of the CERVO Brain Research Centre and Director of Research of the Quebec Integrated Health and Social Services Centre. He founded the Quebec Pain Research Network and is a former President of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience. He now leads Sentinel North, a global initiative to harness the power of light for the benefit of health, the environment and sustainable development in the North.

He holds a Canada Research Chair in chronic pain and related brain disorders. He founded the Neurophysics training program, the Neurophotonics Centre and the Canadian Neurophotonics Platform where physicists and neuroscientists converge to design novel, transformative technologies to probe and manipulate the brain. He also founded and leads the Neurophotonics Summer School and the Frontiers in Neurophotonics Symposium series.

Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and of the Royal Society of Canada, he is recognized for his research on sensory mechanisms, especially as they pertain to pain, and for the design of novel technologies to probe the brain.

He served on numerous advisory boards world-wide, including for FRQS, CIHR, NSERC, Brain Canada, French ANR & INSERM, Wellcome Trust, NSF, NIH and the Gairdner Foundation. He received numerous prizes, including the Jacques-Rousseau Prize from Acfas for multidisciplinarity, an honorary doctorate from Université de Montréal, the Barbara Turnbull Award, and the Distinguished Career Award from the Canadian Pain Society.

Dr. Judy Illes (Vice-Chair)
Professor of Neurology and Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics at University of British Columbia (UBC) and Director of Neuroethics Canada (formerly, the National Core for Neuroethics, UBC).

Dr. Illes is Professor of Neurology and Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics at the University of British Columbia. She is Director of of Neuroethics Canada (formerly, the National Core for Neuroethics) at UBC, and faculty in the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC and at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. She also holds affiliate appointments in the School of Population and Public Health and the School of Journalism at UBC, and in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. USA, and is a Life Member of Clare Hall, the University of Cambridge. Dr. Illes was appointed to the Order of Canada in December 2017.

Dr. Illes' research focuses on ethical, legal, social and policy challenges specifically at the intersection of the neurosciences and biomedical ethics. This includes studies in the areas of incidental findings and functional neuroimaging in basic and clinical research, addiction neuroethics, stem cells and regenerative medicine, dementia, neurodevelopmental disorders, and the commercialization of cognitive neuroscience. She also leads a robust program of research and outreach devoted to improving the literacy of neuroscience and engaging stakeholders on a global scale.

Dr. Illes is an internationally recognized author, lecturer, and mentor. Her most recent book is Neuroethics: Anticipating the Future (Oxford University Press, 2017). She is a Founder, Governing Board Member, and Immediate Past President of the International Neuroethics Society, a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, and a former member of the Forum on Neuroscience and Neurological Disorders of the Institute of Medicine (IoM) and Internal Advisory Board for the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) (2002-2009). She is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2011), a Fellow Royal Society of Canada (2012), and a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (2013) and, in addition to her role as Vice Chair of INMHA’s newly reconstituted IAB, also serves as Vice Chair of CIHR’s Standing Committee on Ethics.

Dr. Jaideep Bains
Full Professor
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Hotchkiss Brain Institute
University of Calgary

Dr. Bains is a Professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology and a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary. He holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from Queen’s University. He has held awards from the Human Frontiers Science Program Organization, The American Epilepsy Society.

The main focus of Dr. Bains’ research is to understand how the brain interprets, responds to and is modified by stress. He uses pre-clinical models to better understand the synaptic and circuit correlates of stress. His team in increasingly invested in the use and development of optical and electrophysiological approaches to understand the circuit basis of stress-related behaviors and the mechanisms of stress transmission among individuals. Dr. Bains leads the Brain and Mental Health Stress Neuroteam at the University of Calgary.

Since 2014, Dr. Bains has been a Senior Editor at the Journal of Physiology. He previously served as Reviewing Editor for The Journal of Physiology (2011-14) and on the Editorial Board for The Journal of Neurophysiology (2008-11). He previously served on the INMHA IAB (2008-14). He has served as Chair, Scientific Officer and reviewer for multiple CIHR Peer Review Committees. Dr. Bains is also actively involved in Knowledge Translation, having founded and launched 'ThinkBig – a night out with your brain' a quarterly community engagement event that is a partnership between the HBI and the Calgary Public Library. He was also the Chair of the Program Committee for the Annual Canadian Neuroscience meeting in 2017 and is currently the Vice President for the Canadian Association for Neuroscience.

Jennifer A. Chandler
Bertram Loeb Research Chair, Full Professor
Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, Faculty of Law
University of Ottawa

Jennifer A. Chandler is a Full Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa. She holds degrees in law from Queen’s University and Harvard Law School, and a BSc from the University of Western Ontario. She holds the University of Ottawa’s Bertram Loeb Research Chair.

Professor Chandler’s main research focus relates to ethical, legal and policy issues at the intersection of the brain sciences, mental health care and the law. She has published widely in legal, bioethical and health sciences journals and is the co-editor of the book Law and Mind: Mental Health Law and Policy in Canada (2016).

Patricia Conrod
Full Professor
Fondation Julien/Marcelle and Jean Coutu Chair in Social and Community Pediatrics, Chercheure Boursier, Fonds de Recherche du Quebec en Sante.
Department of Psychiatry
University of Montreal

Patricia Conrod is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychiatry at Universite de Montreal. Her research team is based at the CHU Sainte-Justine Mother and Child Hospital Centre in Montreal. She was previously a Senior Clinical Lecturer in the Addictions Department, King's College London (2003-2010). Her research focuses on cognitive, personality and biological risk factors for the development and maintenance of drug abuse and the factors that mediate the co-occurrence of addictive behaviours with other mental disorders. Her research findings have led to the development of new approaches to substance abuse treatment and prevention that target personality risk factors and the underlying motivational determinants of drug use in subtypes of substance misusers. She developed the Preventure Program, which is identified as an evidence-based drug and alcohol prevention program by a number of national registries of evidence-based programs and the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Addiction. Dr. Conrod was a member of the King's College London Research Ethics Committee (2005-2010) and served as Chair of the Institute of Psychiatry Research Ethics Committee (2008-2010). She is an Associate Editor of Current Reviews in Drug Abuse and consults to the UN and the European Commission on guidelines for drug and alcohol prevention and has published extensively on this issue. Her research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Fondation de Recherche du Quebec - Santé, European Commission (Health and Humanities/Social Sciences), Medical Research Council-UK (MRC), National Health and Medical Research Council - Australia (NHMRC), and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Karen D. Davis, PhD
Department of Surgery and Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto
Head, Division of Brain, Imaging and Behaviour – Systems Neuroscience, Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network

Dr. Davis obtained a PhD in physiology at the University of Toronto (1988), and did postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University (1988-91). Currently she is a Full Professor in the Department of Surgery and Associate Director of the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto, heads the Division of Brain, Imaging and Behaviour – Systems Neuroscience at the Krembil Research Institute and is a Councilor of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). Dr. Davis previously served as graduate coordinator and associate director of the Institute of Medical Science for 10 years, and also served a 10 year term as Section Head for the 'pain measurement and imaging' division of the journal Pain.

The main focus of Dr. Davis's work is to understand the basic neurophysiological and anatomical mechanisms underlying acute and chronic pains, pain-attention interactions, brain plasticity, and the impact of individual versus disease-driven factors through a combination of electrophysiology, psychophysics, and brain imaging approaches.

Dr. Davis also has a strong interest in neuroethics and ethics training. She chaired the IASP presidential task force on the use of brain imaging with recommendations published in Nature Reviews Neurology (2017)). She has developed ethics training programs, and created a Graduate Student Oath adopted by the University of Toronto Institute of Medical Science and published in Science in 2008. Dr. Davis’s focus on excellence in mentorship has been recognized by mentorship awards from the Canadian Pain Society and the University of Toronto.

Dr. Davis was an elected member of the University of Toronto Academic Board (2010-2013). Dr. Davis previously served as member and vice-chair of the CIHR IAB for the INMHA and has also sat on grant review panels for CIHR, NIH and the Canada Research Chair program, and was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2009. She has given over 170 invited lectures with over 165 publications that are highly cited (15,000+ citations, H-index=63) including papers in top journal such as Nature, Nature Neuroscience, and PNAS.

Deanna Groetzinger
Manager, Neurological Health Charities Canada

Deanna Groetzinger directs Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC), a coalition of organizations that represent people with brain diseases, disorders and injuries in Canada. NHCC provides leadership in evaluating and advancing new opportunities for collaboration specific to advocacy, education and research to improve the quality of life for people affected by brain conditions.

She is the former national vice-president of government relations and policy for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada retiring from the Society in December 2013. After leaving the MS Society, she served as interim executive director of the Health Charities Coalition of Canada and worked with other coalitions, assisting with policy and advocacy issues.

Deanna served on the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction Advisory Board from 2007 and 2013. She was also a member of the Implementation Committee for the National Population Health Study of Neurological Conditions, served as chair of the Membership Committee for Neurological Health Charities Canada and was a member of the Policy Committee of the Health Charities Coalition of Canada.

She has an MA from the University of Waterloo in political science with a specialty in communications theory. She worked as a journalist before joining the MS Society. In September of each year, she can be seen standing in line at the Toronto International Film Festival, indulging her passion for movies beyond the multiplex.

Henry Harder
Professor and Past Chair
School of Health Sciences
University of Northern British Columbia

Dr. Henry G. Harder is an Indigenous Scholar and is Professor and past Chair of the School of Health Sciences at the University of Northern British Columbia. He currently holds the Dr. Donald B. Rix BC Leadership Chair in Aboriginal Environmental Health. He is a registered psychologist. Dr. Harder has been in the fields of mental health, rehabilitation and disability management for over 30 years. His research interests are in Aboriginal health, disability issues, workplace mental health, and suicide prevention. He is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded scholar. Dr. Harder is a published author and has made presentations and conducted workshops throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. He is a member of the College of Psychologists of British Columbia, Network Environments for Aboriginal Research in BC, Canadian Psychological Association, Canadian Association of Suicide Prevention, International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, and other professional organizations.

Marco Antonio Maximo Prado
Robarts Research Institute
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology/Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
Brain and Mind Institute
University of Western Ontario

Marco Prado, a Brazilian-born Canadian neuroscientist, has a strong interest in understanding how molecular and cellular changes in neurodegenerative diseases contribute to protein misfolding and cognitive failure. He uses novel genetically-modified mice to model neurochemical deficits in dementia and also to manipulate proteostasis in mouse models of neurodegenerative diseases. He is particularly focused on studying how long-term changes in neuronal signalling modulate gene expression, cognition and mechanisms that control neuronal resilience. His group discovered that the prion protein interacts with different receptors, including mGluR5, which has emerged as a major target in Alzheimer’s disease. Marco Prado received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship (Guggenheim Foundation), a Faculty Scholar Award (University of Western Ontario), the Dean’s Research Excellence Award (University of Western Ontario) and a visiting faculty award from the Brazilian. His laboratory has been funded consistently in the last 24 years by government and private agencies in three different countries (Brazil, USA and Canada). He has published over 160 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Antonio P. Strafella
Senior Scientist
Krembil Research Institute
University Health Network

Dr. Antonio P. Strafella is a Canada Research Chair in Movement disorders and Professor in the Dept. of Medicine (Division of Neurology) at the Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto. He is a Senior Scientist in the Krembil Research Institute at the University Health Network, and a Scientist in the Research Imaging Centre at Centre of Addiction Mental Health. Dr. Strafella is also a faculty member of the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. The focus of his clinical research is on Parkinson’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders using advanced neuroimaging technology and novel PET radio-ligands. He is using a number of PET tracers and novel radio-ligands combined with MRI techniques to investigate the pathophysiology of motor, cognitive and behavioral symptoms in Parkinson’s disease and atypical parkinsonisms. Over the course of his career, Dr. Strafella's research studies have been funded by several granting agencies including CIHR, CFI, Canada Parkinson's Society, National Parkinson Foundation-US, Parkinson Disease Foundation-US, Tourette Syndrome Association-US, E. J. Safra Foundation, Ontario Gambling Research Centre and the Canada Research Chair Program. Dr. Strafella has been invited to participate in various scientific and editorial boards and a member of grant review panels at national (CIHR committees; Parkinson Society Canada) and international levels (Michael J. Fox Foundation, National Parkinson Foundation-USA; NIH-USA; and others).

Helen-Maria Vasiliadis
Senior Research Scholar
Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Santé
Professor and Researcher
Université de Sherbrooke

Dr. Vasiliadis is a Senior Research Scholar of the Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Santé and Professor and Researcher at the Université de Sherbrooke in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and at the Research Centre of the Charles Lemoyne Hospital.

She holds a doctorate degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from McGill University and a master's degree in Pharmacology from the Université de Montréal. Her post-doctorate at the Harvard School of Public Health focused on psychiatric epidemiology.

Her program of research aims to estimate a balanced mental health care system by evaluating mental health performance indicators at the population and individual levels for an efficient mental health system to adequately meet the mental health needs of populations. She is currently leading a large population-based cohort study of community living older adults on issues regarding chronic physical and mental illnesses and ethics in research for vulnerable populations, as well as the economic aspects of healthcare funding and inequality surrounding the receipt of appropriate mental health care in Canada.

Simone Vigod
Chief, Department of Psychiatry, Women’s College Hospital
Shirley A. Brown Memorial Chair in Women’s Mental Health Research, Women’s College Research Institute
Associate Professor & Director of the Division of Equity, Gender and Population, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Adjunct Scientist, ICES, Toronto, Ontario

Dr. Simone Vigod is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and Chief, Department of Psychiatry at Women’s College Hospital. Her background includes an Honours BSc in Psychology from McGill University (1999), MD from the University of Toronto, UofT (2003) and psychiatric residency at UofT (FRCPC, 2009) and a Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the UofT Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) (2011). Dr. Vigod’s research addresses disparities in health and health care for individuals with psychiatric disorders, with a specific focus on women across the lifespan and on equity in access to treatment for diverse populations. She is an Adjunct Scientist at ICES in Toronto, Ontario where she conducts her population-based epidemiological research focused on the health of women with mental illness and their children. In 2018, she obtained the Shirley A. Brown Memorial Chair in Women’s Mental Health Research at Women’s College Research Institute at Women’s College Hospital where she runs a clinical research program that focuses on novel health system interventions to improve access to and uptake of care for women with mental illness.

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