People

Current Graduate Students

 Nole Hiebert: My PhD, currently being completed under Dr. Penny MacDonald and Dr. Adrian Owen, is centred on elucidating the cognitive profile of Parkinson’s disease by understanding functions performed by the ventral and dorsal striatum using behavioural and neuroimaging techniques.  My MSc, also completed in Dr. Penny MacDonald’s lab, investigated the neural correlates of stimulus-response learning using functional magnetic resonance imaging and Parkinson’s disease.  My research interests include the pathophysiology of brain diseases and mental illnesses and using neuroimaging techniques as a diagnostic aid. 
 Andrew Vo: I am currently completing my doctoral studies in Psychology (Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience) under the direction of Dr. Penny MacDonald at the Brain and Mind Institute, Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario.  I am interested in the role of dopamine and the striatum in different aspects of cognition.  My dissertation explores how cognitive functions mediated by the ventral striatum evolve with the progression of Parkinson’s disease and how dopaminergic therapy might address these symptoms.  We use behavioural, psychopharmacological, and functional MRI in both patients with Parkinson’s disease and healthy volunteers to test our hypotheses.
blank2Daniel Glizer: I am a master’s student under the supervision of Dr. Penny MacDonald in the behavioral and cognitive neuroscience program. For my thesis I am examining cognitive training in patients with Parkinson’s disease using behavioral measures. My future directions aim to also use fMRI to study neural connectivity in individuals with Parkinson’s disease and explore whether cognitive training leads to changes in the brain. In my previous work I investigated a computerized working memory intervention program with college students with ADHD using behavioral measures and electroencephalography (EEG). Specifically I looked at the P3b, an event-related potential associated with early visual attention and context updating. My broader interests are working memory, attention and cognitive training in clinical populations.
Shiny Yang: I am currently working towards my MSc in Psychology (Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience) under the supervision of Dr. Penny MacDonald. My thesis project aims to elucidate the effects of Parkinson’s disease and dopaminergic medication on cognitive control and motor planning in reaching movements using a countermanding paradigm. I am also involved in a project investigating how dopaminergic medication affects different aspects of impulsivity in Parkinson’s disease. My research interests lie in understanding the involvement of dopamine in various cognitive functions. 
Abdullah Al-Jaja: My name is Abdullah Al Jaja. I am completing my masters in neuroscience (M.Sc. Neuroscience) under the co-supervision of Dr. Penny MacDonald and Dr. Jessica Grahn. My research investigates several aspects of Parkinson’s disease (PD). From a molecular level, we are looking at the genetic polymorphisms that increase or decrease dopaminergic signaling in the striatum. In another study, I am examining the effect of cognitive training and anxiety reduction on freezing of gait in PD patients. And lastly my third project investigate the changes in brain EEG activity and neural connectivity following auditory and visual processing. Globally, my projects aim to increase and strengthen our understanding of the dorsal and ventral striatum in PD.  

Current Post-doc(s)

  • Yoshiko Yabe

Current Undergraduate Students

  • Rita Gustainis
  • Brian Lauzon
  • Lauren Chan

Internal Collaborators

External Collaborators

  • Ouri Monchi
  • Adam Hampshire

Former Graduate Students

  • Brian Robertson, MSc:  UWO Medical School
  • Kate Merritt, MA

Former Thesis Students

  • Collier Jiang (Medical School)
  • Halley Gallant
  • Alyson Zwicker
  • Jeffrey Lam
  • Omer Dost (Currently in Medical School at UWO)
  • Alexander Yan
  • James Joon-Hyuck Im
  • Allyson Partridge

Former SRTP Students

  • Shreya Roy
  • Cody Van Valkenburg

 Former Research Assistants

  • Alex A. MacDonald  Currently in Medical School at the University of Toronto
  • Ruzbeh Tamjeedi:  Currently in Law School at the University of Ottawa
  • Stephanie Solcz
  • Allison Berger