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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
September 15, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

Behavioural Neuroscience Grad Students



Behavioural Neuroscience graduate students at Laurier work with one advisor during their Master's program. During the Doctoral program students work with at least two faculty members beyond their primary advisor, increasing the breadth of research training. Students are engaged in a multitude of interesting projects as youíll read below

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Carolyn

M.Sc. candidate

I am a first year M.Sc. student in the Behavioural Neuroscience program at Laurier working under the supervision of Dr. Paul Mallet. I also obtained my undergraduate H.B.Sc. degree at Laurier, completing my Honourís thesis in the lab of Dr. Paul Mallet. My current projects revolve around characterizing the neurobehavioural effect of the novel psychostimulant Ďmephedroneí, with further investigation into chronic and acute effects of popular substances of abuse, including delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Aside from working with Dr. Paul Mallet in this field, I have in the past made collaborations with Dr. Bruce McKay and Dr. Nicholas Cozzi.

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Adam Celejewsk

Ph.D. candidate
cele8580 [at] mylaurier.ca

I am a second year Ph.D. student in the Behavioural Neuroscience program at Laurier working wit Dr. Rudy Eikelboom. I first started at Laurier as a M.Sc. student after completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. I am interested in how and why appetitive behaviours, such eating/drinking, sex, exercise or drug use can become excessively expressed. More specifically I have been working on a model of excessive sugar/sweetener intake and examining the parameters controlling changes in consumption.

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Sandy Dhillon 

M.Sc.candidate
    dhil2990 [at] mylaurier.ca

My research focuses on examining the pattern of immediate-early genes such as arc in mitral cells of the olfactory bulb (OB) in response to odors. Specifically, I am interested in discovering whether or not mitral cells are input specific, that is that the same mitral cell is more likely to transcribe arc following repeated exposure to the same odor relative to mitral cells of animals exposed to 2 different odors. We are also investigating the extent to which the mitral cell response to odors can be modified by conditioning an association. I am working with Dr. Diano Marrone in the memory and ageing lab and plan on completing this research in 2013. 

Supervisor: Dr. Diano Marrone, Behavioural Neuroscience 

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Mary-Beth Dunn 

M.Sc. candidate

I am interested in the neural mechanisms that underlie increased substance use, abuse and dependency issues in adulthood following exposure to an intoxicant (such as alcohol or toluene) during adolescence.  I am working in Dr. Bruce McKay's lab, and anticipate graduating in 2013.

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Ali Gheidi

Ph.D. candidate
ghei3956 [at] mylaurier.ca

I'm a third year Ph.D. student in the Behavioural Neuroscience program at Laurier working in the lab of Dr. Diano Marrone. I did my undergraduate degree at York University and my M.Sc. at Wilfrid Laurier. Broadly, my research interest lies within the realm of the neurobiology of memory. More specifically, my primary research currently focuses on understanding cellular reactivation via IEG methods in the mammalian hippocampus and cortex. My secondary research interests include non-drug addiction and pathological plasticity in the nervous system in relation to addiction. Current research in our lab focuses on a number of issues involved in memory and aging including the functional role of neurogensis in memory, aging and depression.

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Stephanie Grella

Ph.D candidate grel0810 [at] mylaurier.ca

Under the supervision of Dr. Diano Marrone, I am currently enrolled as a first year Ph.D. student in the behavioural neuroscience program at Wilfrid Laurier University. Specifically, I am interested in neuroplasticity and experience-dependent changes in the brain following stress. My previous research was focused on a diverse number of brain stress systems involved in drug seeking following abstinence. Currently, my research involves investigating how norepinephrine signals from the locus coeruleus to the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, induced by novel stimuli, alter hippocampal representations of the environment by the recruitment of different neural populations using a molecular technique called catFISH. Further, my research explores how dysregulation of this system contributes to stress-related disorders and associated deficits in memory.

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Susan Samuel-Herter

M.Sc. candidate samu0190 [at] mylaurier.ca

I am a first year Master's student in the Behavioural Neuroscience program working in Dr. Bruce McKay's lab. I completed my undergraduate degree at Laurier and graduated with an Honours Psychology Research Specialist degree with a minor in Biology. My research interests relate to the motor effects of acute toluene exposure. My current project uses electrophysiology techniques to look at cells in the nigro-striatal dopaminergic pathway in order to understand the effects of toluene on synaptic transmission in these cells.

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Angela Mastroianni

M.Sc. candidate
mast7710 [at] mylaurier.ca

A wheel-induced feeding suppression model (WIFS) suggests a potential link between reduced food intake and exercise. These findings may have implications for better understanding energy balance, as well as the biological basis of Anorexia Nervosa. I am a second year Behavioural Neuroscience Masters student working with Dr. Rudy Eikelboom to further explore this phenomenon in rats. I will be focusing specifically on housing, sex and estrous factors in the WIFS, as well as how these variables can affect wheel running. I completed my B.Sc. undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, majoring in Psychology.




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Gehan Senthinathan

Ph.D candidate sent3130 [at] mylaurier.ca

I am a first year Ph.D. student in the Behavioural Neuroscience program at Wilfrid Laurier working with Dr. Rudy Eikelboom. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto and my M.Sc. at Wilfrid Laurier. The Eikelboom lab studies appetitive behaviours (consumption of drug and non-drug rewards) with particular interest in the transition from normal to excessive addiction-like consumption. I am interested in how the development of excessive behaviours is mediated by age.

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Sabrina Simmons

M.Sc. candidate
simm0150 [at] mylaurier.ca

I am a 2nd year Master's student in the Behavioural Neuroscience program at Laurier working in the lab of Dr. Angelo Santi. I completed my Bachelor's degree at Laurier where I completed an undergraduate thesis under the supervision of Dr. Santi. Broadly, my research interests lie within the realm of comparative cognition. More specifically, my primary focus is on the coding of hedonic presence/absence samples in rats and how the signal detection theory may help explain the retention functions found when using these samples.

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Gabrielle Willems

M.Sc. candidate
will1310 [at] mylaurier.ca

Iím currently a first year Masterís student in the Behavioural Neuroscience program working in Dr. Paul Malletís lab at Laurier. I also completed my Bachelorís degree at Laurier where I completed an undergraduate thesis in Dr. Tobias Krettenauerís developmental lab. Our lab investigates the behavioural and neurological effects of drugs of abuse and specifically examines the role of the endocannabinoid system in addiction. My research focuses on early life experiences and how they affect the propensity for addictive behaviours later in life.