About Committee 2016-2017

Committee 2016-2017

Robin Sawaya

Welcome Neurograds!

I am honoured to be serving as GSAN's president this academic year! My goal this year is to optimize planning and organization so that GSAN can work as smoothly and efficiently as ever. Mostly behind-the-scenes, under-the-hood, back-end stuff. But I'd also like to improve communication with all GSAN members, whether through our website, social media, or by email. So feel free to reach out to any of the committee members or send us an email! I hope that you'll take advantage of all that GSAN has to offer: fun social events, interesting academic events, french classes, awesome neuro-clothing, delicious samosa sales, and the (second edition of the) inter-university NeuroSymposium! Bref, I aim to be the astrocyte maintaining homeostasis so that all GSAN neurons can function at their optimum! Hope to see you soon!

Polina Ash
VP Academic

I am VP Academic for GSANeurds and my goal is to provide opportunities for learning and connections outside the lab. As such, my team and I plan workshops, lectures, and panels that relate to neuroscience (for within as well as well as without our community). We are always looking for ways to branch out so please feel to reach out if you have any ideas for events or collaborations! While in the lab, I aim to decipher the neural circuits underlying emotional processing. I also enjoy exploring the city as well the outdoors, yoga, reading, and artsy pursuits.

Nick Bent
McIntyre Representative

I’m your McIntyre rep for this year. I’m a 1st year Masters student with Dr. Cullen and Dr. Chacron studying how the brain processes passively vs actively generated motion. I have a Physics/Math undergrad from the University of Ottawa. When I’m not in the lab you can find me on Molson field playing rugby for the McGill varsity team. My role as McIntyre rep is to make sure that the questions and concerns of McIntyre are heard at GSAN meetings and to foster relationships within the McIntyre community. If you ever need to talk, or want help with math, or need someone to walk your dog don’t hesitate to send me an email or visit me on the 12th floor. Please just let me walk your dog.

Max Wolpert
New and International Student Officer

I'm one of your New and International Student Officers this year. I am a new and international student myself, from the US, and I work in bilingualism and speech and sentence processing. Noor and I will be planning events to help new and international students integrate into the community here in the IPN, McGill, and Montreal (old and local students, too!). I'm happy to try to answer any questions you may have, so don't hesitate to contact me!

Neelima Vaddadi
Student Well-being Officer

Hi there! I'm your new student wellbeing officer this year! :) I'm a first year PhD student working at the MNI in Dr.Cloutier's lab. My project explores the mechanisms involved in synapse formation and axon targeting in the context of learning disabilities.

Apart from my research, Mental health and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are topics that really interest me. Daniel and I would be coordinating a number of activities related to mental health, suicide prevention and other fun social activities related to general wellbeing (in collaboration with other GSAN groups)! So watch out for this space! Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions and feel free to share your suggestions,feedback and concerns with us!! We hope to make you're journey here at the IPN a happy one :)

Daniel Yi Zhou
Fundraising Officer

!! My parents named me Yi Zhou, but decided I could choose my own English name in grade 1. This was a lot of pressure for a 6 year old, so I settled for something that sounded a lot like the nickname my grandparents gave me (in retrospect I should have gone with something a little more exciting, like Megatron or Blue Ranger, or whatever I was into back then). Anyway, I go by Daniel these days. I'm 3rd year master's student trying to graduate and my research focuses on functional genomics and how it relates to depression and suicide. This year, I'll be your fundraising officer and I'll be organizing samosa sales as well as raising money for the NeuroSymposium we'll be having in June. Let me know if you have any crazy or scandalous fundraising ideas!

Clément Bourguignon
Douglas Institute Representative

Hi everybody! I’m Clément, one of the Douglas reps. I’m a first-year PhD student working on a dopaminergic oscillator with Dr Storch at the magnificent Douglas. You can find me on the third floor of the Perry (E-3204), with any question or idea. And don’t forget, the Douglas may be far, but this is only to protect it from the jealousy of downtowners!

Stef Perrier
Social Officer

Hello Neuro students! My name is Stef and I am one of your Social Officers for the 2016-2017 year. I am excited to be planning events for you all to enjoy this year! I am a first year Master’s student studying genetic diseases called Leukodystrophies at the Glen site of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. I hope to make this year fun for everyone with awesome events and activities; take a break from your lab work and studying to come join us! Feel free to contact me if you have any ideas or questions!

Jacob Vogel
VP External

I'm unequivocally about that Neurd life. But sometimes, we all have to step outside of our respective windowless lab dungeons and deal with things that are not "of that Neurd life". Well, as VP External, I'm here to make sure you stay in that dungeon and focus on being a nerd. Working with External Officer Rowan Pentz, I will be handling and providing assistance with all activity involving faculties, entities and individuals that are not subsumed under the GSAN umbrella. Specifically, we will be taking care of the GSAN Clothing orders, interfacing with companies to help reduce prices and form relationships, document such interactions, and facilitating communication between GSAN and all things not GSAN. When not being your go to guy, you can find me playing music, climbing and enjoying the finer things in life. But mostly you can find me working :-(

Angela Tam
PGSS Representative

As one of three PGSS reps, I attend monthly PGSS council meetings regarding issues affecting grad students and postdocs and I act as a liaison between GSAN and PGSS. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know!

Jonathan Côté
MNI Representative

Greetings all! I’m Jonathan, ?th year PhD student under Étienne de Villers-Sidani at the MNI. I am one of the rare Montréal-born-and-raised members of IPN. On the academic level, I’m interested in auditory functions and brain imaging. When I’m not at the lab, one can find me either jogging, learning martial arts, watching strange “exploitation films” or attending some sort of artsy venues.

Maryse Thomas
Language Classes Coordinator

Bonjour GSAN! I am a PhD student studying auditory plasticity and development and this is my second year coordinating language classes for you. One of my favourite things about GSAN is our amazing diversity of students and I am very happy to take advantage of that to create opportunities for IPN students to learn and teach a second (or third, or fourth!) language. In addition to French classes, this year you will be able to take Spanish classes and sign up for a language buddy for conversation practice in any language. As always, I would love to hear from you about how GSAN language classes could be better, so feel free to contact me with ideas, comments, or suggestions.

Lawrie Shahbazian
MNI Representative

Hi Neuro grads, my name is Lawrie and I will be one of your MNI reps for this year! I’ll be making sure that you are all aware of GSAN events no matter which wing, hallway or corner of the MNI your lab in is. My inability to sit still for long periods of time means you’ll see me walking around the MNI and “occasionally” decorating the walls with our event posters so don’t hesitate to stop and say hi! If you have any questions, comment or suggestions you want to be relayed to GSAN, you can also find me running around Dr. Stifani’s lab (or you can just stop by to see our great view of the stadium)!

Yvonne Yau
Sports Coordinator

Holla, this is your sports coordinator speaking. If you ever find yourself with a desire to go running, trampolining, boxing, swimming, water-polo, axe-throwing, curling, bouldering, rock-climbing, hiking, skiing, surfing, volleyball, basketball, or anything that’s somewhat sporty, give me a shout! GSAN will be organizing a bunch of (seasonal) sports activities throughout the year so keep your eyes peeled.

Kasia Szyszkowicz
Academic Officer

Hey hey! My name is Kasia and I am one of your Academic Officers this year. I’m originally from Ottawa, and this is my first year both at the IPN and in Montreal so I’m super excited about working with GSAN and meeting all of you lovely neurds. With Polina and Edwin, I hope to bring you a variety of interesting academic events throughout the year, so keep an eye out for those!

I’m currently at the Douglas, where I am starting a project on the role of the gut microbiome in regulating behaviour throughout development. My down time is currently spent improving my culinary skills, forming strong opinions about Montreal’s used bookstores, putting my piano to good use, and telling myself to practice coding instead of watching so much TV. Don’t hesitate to give me a shout! :)

Pasquale Scotti
Fundraising Officer

Hey all! I’m a first year M.Sc. student under the supervision of Dr. Marcoux at the Montreal General Hospital. I work closely with the trauma and neurosurgery departments to research traumatic brain injuries. As a fundraising officer, my goal is to raise money to help bring GSAN’s exceptionally awesome and creative ideas and traditions, such as the NeuroSymposium, to life.

When I’m not working through radiology scans, staring blankly at papers, or following my supervisor around the wards, you can find me participating in GSAN events like the samosa sales, squeezing in a little cardio at the gym, or just hanging out in Montreal (my home city). If you’re into trying new food, geek culture, or cars, or just want to go on an adventure, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Daniel Almeida
Student Well-Being Officer

My experience in peer support began 5 years ago with training in suicide and crisis intervention while serving as a crisis worker at the Distress Centres of Ontario. When I moved to Montreal to start graduate school, I felt the need to continue this type of work. As such I became a Bringing in the Bystander: A Sexual Violence Intervention Program facilitator, and Consent McGill member. Not surprisingly, my interest in mental health extends past the peer support world to my research based in the McGill Group for Suicide Studies. My goal as GSAN’s Wellbeing officer is to provide a peer based support system for graduate students in distress. My hope is to create a safe community where IPN graduate students feel emotionally supported throughout our studies at McGill.

Alexa Pichet-Binette
VP Finance and Operations

Hi! My name is Alexa and I am VP Finance and Operations for GSAN. I’ll make sure that we have enough money to plan all the events that we have in mind for this year! I’m also involved in planning the second inter-university NeuroSymposium and in finding additional funding for GSAN. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to help! You can also find me at the Douglas in Dr. Sylvia Villeneuve’s lab :)

Steve Beukema
VP Social

Steve's the name, procrastination's the game. When it comes to skirting responsibility and letting loose, you can rely on me to add onto your ever-building guilt. Having been a social executive of pretty much every committee since the dawn of time, I know what it takes to host some memorable events. Academically, my interests are rooted in the neuroscience of vision with regards to visual illusions and subjective perception. Personally, I watch a ludicrous amount of television, jam on the keyboard, or hate myself during a run. I'm looking forward to spending time with IPN students both new and old, and encourage you to reach out to me in times of crippling loneliness for a coffee, drink, or hug.

Maude Bordeleau

Hi IPNers, I'm Maude and I will have the pleasure to mesmerize you with some awesome posters, so that you feel the need to participate in the events organized by GSAN. You probably figure it out... I'm GSAN's designer this year.

Other than doing some arts, I'm doing some sciences at the Douglas. Originally from the countryside, I survive my days in the big city through continous pet therapy. Indeed, I own a jumping bunny and a purring cat which you are welcome to come pet anytime as a treatment for your winter blues.

Julie Bailly
Douglas Institute Representative

Hi guys. My name is Julie and I’m one of your Douglas Institute reps this year. I’m a new PhD student working on the mu opioid receptor in the habenula. I know that the Douglas site seems so far away of the main McGill campus but my role would be to maintain a sense of community and promote social events at the institution. Don’t hesitate to come to second floor of the lovely Perry and share your idea with me ! 

Alex Rokos
Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital Representative

Hello GSAN! I am excited to be this year’s Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital Representative!

I am a first year Master’s student based out of the Feil-Oberfeld Research Centre studying consciousness and cognition through the use of electroencephalography. As an institute rep, I am here to voice any student issues or concerns to the GSAN committee as well as relay any GSAN related information back to you. Feel free to email me anytime!

Marie-Julie Allard
Glen Site Representative

Allo NEURds! I'm glad to be (again) this year's GSAN rep for the Glen Site, the not so new Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. I'm a 2nd-year PhD student in Dr. Sébire’s lab, working with a rat model of maternal infection and autism. If you can’t find me at the Glen (S1 or M0 floor), feel free to e-mail me for any questions, comments, running buddy requirements, and fun stuff.

Anastasia Glushko
Blog Coordinator

Hi there! I'm Anastasia, a third-year PhD student in IPN, working in neuropsychology of language and music. Together with Erin, I'm coordinating the NeuroBlog and taking care of keeping you in the GSAN-loop on twitter!

Noor Al-Sharif
New & International Student Officer

Hello, IPNers! This is my second year at the IPN and I'm one of your ~New & International Student Officers~! which means I'm here to welcome all you newlings into my warm, loving open arms of hospitality and 2nd year veteran wisdom. My co-officer, Max, and I will be planning little events here and there to help you acclimate to the IPN, McGill and Montreal as a whole so that you're not feeling lost and alone, like a little sheep straying from the herd in a storm. Want to know where the best cafes are? where to find the best doughnuts in town? how not to die in winter? what the heck a tuque is? We'll save you, I promise. Welcome to the IPN!

Edwin Wong
Academic Officer

Hello fellow Neurds! My name is Edwin and I am one of the Academic Officers this year! I am a second year Masters student working in the MNI and loving Montreal so I can still apprendre quelque français (hope I didn’t accidentally offend anyone). As part of the Academics team, our job is to really 'neurdify' your graduate experience by providing some really cool academic events. If you have any suggestions on what we could do in the future, my cochlea is ready to listen. FYI, you are obsessed with Harry Potter, Friends, Criminal Minds, Marvel movies or Pokemon, we should plan to hang out soon over all-you-can-eat sushi asap :)