Sandra E. Black, MD, FRCP(C)
Primary Investigator

Dr. Black has had continual peer-reviewed funding since 1986. Her research has focused on the cognitive sequelae of stroke and stroke recovery, the differential diagnosis of dementia, and the use of neuroimaging techniques to elucidate brain-behaviour relationships in stroke and dementia.

With funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Heart & Stroke Foundation, she is currently conducting prospective studies on the utility of quantitative structural and functional imaging in diagnosis and monitoring of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, vascular and other dementias, and on the interactions of Alzheimer's and cerebrovascular disease.

Dr. Black also conducts collaborative research on sensorimotor recovery after stroke using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and on praxis, neglect and attentional processes in stroke and dementia. She was the co-principal investigator of a clinical trial on the efficacy of amphetamine with physiotherapy to facilitate motor recovery after stroke. She has over 300 publications and has been actively engaged in treatment trials for stroke, Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.

Dr. Black currently serves on the executive committees of the Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research (ISTAART) and the International Society for Vascular Behavioural and Cognitive Disorders (VAS-COG). She is also the co-chair of the Alzheimer's Imaging Consortium (International Congress of AD) from 2009-2011. She is on the steering committee for the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Consortium and serves on the data publication committee. She serves on the Ontario Stroke Network (the governing body of the Ontario Stroke System) and was a member of the steering committee for the Canadian Stroke Strategy from 2005-2009. She was head of the division of neurology, department of medicine at Sunnybrook from 1995-2006. She has received outstanding mentorship awards from the Institute of Medical Sciences (2001) and the department of medicine (2009), University of Toronto.

BrainLab's multidisciplinary team includes expertise from a broad range of backgrounds including neurology, psychology, radiology, computer science, and many more.

Imaging Team

Dr. Fuqiang Gao, MD
Research Radiologist

Joel Ramirez, PhD
Research Associate

Christopher Scott
Imaging Lab Manager

Nima Nourhaghighi
Software Engineer

Dr. Kie Honjo, MD
Research Associate

Sabrina Adamo
Assistant Brainlab Projects Coordinator

Edward Ntiri
Research Software Developer

Miracle Ozzoude
Imaging Analyst

Rita Meena, MSc
Imaging Analyst

Pugaliya Puvee
Junior Imaging Analyst

Hassan Akhavein, PhD
Image Processing Software Developer

Kirstin Walker, MEng
Junior Imaging Analyst

Maged Goubran, PhD
Research Associate

Administrative Team

Jen Bray
Research Coordinator

Karen Fan
Research Program Coordinator

Anna Lvova
Administrative Research Coordinator

Maryam Niapour, PhD
Research Unit Portfolio Manager

Natalia Guira
Clinical Coordinator

Petra Geller
Administrative Research Assistant

Valerie Closson
Research Program Coordinator (Acting)

Clinical Team

Dr. Benjamin Lam, MD
Post-Doc Fellow

Areti Apatsidou
Research Coordinator

Breni Varatharajah
Research Coordinator/Psychometrist

Dr. Fadi Frankul, MD
Research Coordinator

Dr. Hossam El Shahawy, MD
Research Coordinator

Vanessa Yhap
Database Coordinator

Ferhana Dhira
Research Coordinator

Shakira Mohammed
Research Coordinator

Elahe Marandi, MD
Clinical Research Coordinator

Vito Losito
Program Manager

Gillian Gabriel
Research Coordinator

Arman Abedin
Research Coordinator

Ajey Nachnani, MD
QA Manager/Clinical Trial Monitor

Samantha Paul-Stotz
Clinical Research Coordinator

Maryna Butenko
Research Coordinator

Toronto Dementia Research Alliance

Dr. Ljubica Zotovic, MD
Project Manager

Kim Roos-Assar
Administrative Assistant

Luca Pisterzi
Program Manager

Frank Tran
Research Coordinator


Dr. Sean Nestor, MD, PhD
Resident Physician in Psychiatry
Clinician Scientist Program

Dr. Ryan Muir, MD
Resident Physician in Neurology

Courtney Berezuk
Graduate Student

Dr. Philippe Desmarais, MD

Dr. Catherine Miville, MD

Saira Mirza, PhD
Post Doctoral Fellow

Shraddha Sapkota, PhD
Post Doctoral Fellow

Graduate Student

David Colelli
Graduate Student

Dr. Katherine Zukotynski, BASc, MD, FRCP(C)
PhD Student

Lab Alumni

Anoop Ganda: Research Coordinator
Elizabeth Hollingdrake: Research Coordinator
Robin Harry: Research Coordinator
Alicia McNeely: Research Coordinator/Imaging Analyst
Samantha Barbosa: Research Assistant
Emnet Gammada: Research Coordinator
Joanne Lawrence: Nurse Coordinator
Isabel Lam: Research Coordinator
Amanda Silva: Administrative Research Coordinator
Jiali Zhao, PhD: Image Processing Optimization
Sarah Stewart: Research Coordinator
Jodi Edwards, PhD: Post-Doc Fellow
Austyn Roseborough: Junior Imaging Analyst
Samantha Palmer: Research Coordinator
Dr. Alexandra Kim, MD: Research Associate
Marnie Younker: Clinical Coordinator
Gregory Szilagyi: Masters Student
Melissa Holmes: BrainLab Imaging Projects Coordinator
Senny Chan: Research Coordinator/Psychometrist
Heba Ragheb: Research Coordinator
Nazanin Barkhordari: Project Manager
Fiona Muckle: Research Coordinator
Sabrina Pacheco: Operations/Database Manager
Brandy L. Callahan: Post Doctoral Fellow
Lauren Bechard: Masters Student
Manu Sharma: Research Coordinator/Imaging Analyst
Dr. Angela Tomas, MD: Fellow
Dr. Carmen Ojeda-Lopez, MD: Fellow