Our Team

 

COLLABORATORS AND STUDENTS

Jennifer F. Chan, PhD

Jennifer F. Chan, Ph.D. (she/her) is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the HART Lab. Her dissertational research focus involved measures psychophysiological stress dysregulation (e.g., cortisol and cardiovascular), biofeedback and mental health (e.g., PTSD, depression, anxiety) in public safety personnel (PSP). Her current research focuses on developing heart rate fragmentation algorithms to identify burnout and adverse mental health from chronic stress, and the online application of an autonomic modulation training intervention to improve functional wellness capacity and resilience among PSP.

Jen is also involved in education and science communication throughout the greater Toronto area. She is a course instructor at UofT, and co-founder of UofT SPRINT (Summer Psychology Research Initiative – a program dedicated to providing underrepresented high school students free and accessible hands-on experience in Psychology research). She has also collaborated with and is an invited speaker for groups including the Royal Canadian Institute for Science, the Story Collider, and the Canadian Multicultural Inventors Museum.

Check out Jennifer’s publication in Psychoneuroendocrinology that received editor’s choice: Chan, J. F., Di Nota, P. M., Planche, K., Borthakur, D., Andersen, J. P. (2022). Associations between police lethal force errors, measures of diurnal and reactive cortisol, and mental health. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 142, 105789. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2022.105789.

Sarah Scott, HBSc

Sarah C. Scott (she/her) is a PhD student in the Health, Adaptation, Research on Trauma (HART) Laboratory. Her interdisciplinary research interests include stress physiology and psychology, trauma (specifically psychosocial), intersectional identity and resilience interventions. She has performed research in a variety of fields, including behavioural neuroscience, anatomical biology, decision neuroscience, clinical neuropsychology and currently stress psychology. Her current research involves investigating the roles of sex and gender in a novel heart rate variability biofeedback (HRVBF) intervention to improve post-traumatic stress injury symptoms in first responders. Sarah also developed a therapeutic horticulture program at the University of Toronto Mississauga to improve mental and physical wellness of undergraduate students, and is a master instructor for the international Performance, Resilience and Efficiency Program (iPREP), in which she has travelled internationally to train frontline officers on physiological techniques to improve autonomic system activation in high stress situations. Sarah is an awardee of the Canadian Graduate Scholarship – Masters Grant

Check out Sarah’s publication in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology: Berezuk, C., Scott, S. C., Black, S. E., & Zakzanis, K. K. (2021). Cognitive Reserve, cognition, and real-world functioning in MCI: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 43(10), 991–1005. https://doi.org/10.1080/13803395.2022.2047160

Lorna Ferguson, PhD(c)

Vanier Scholar Lorna Ferguson is a PhD(c) at Western University and is the Founder of the Missing Persons Research Hub. She is an award-winning criminologist who has dedicated over ten years to studying crime and criminal justice and working in this field. Specifically, her research interests pertain to policing and developing evidence-based approaches to policing and crime prevention, including studying crime concentration, police data, cybercrime, police-community interactions, police search and rescue, police incident command, and police reform. Her specialization is police responses to missing persons cases. She has educated, trained, and partnered with over forty police services and several individual police officers to enhance police practices and policies and officer knowledge on missing persons, as well as the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains and various community and volunteer organizations.

Lorna’s research has been published in top peer-reviewed journals in her field and has been the subject of many local, national, and international presentations. Her recent research has appeared in Criminology & Criminal Justice, Crime and Delinquency, Policing & Society, Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, Policing: An International Journal, and Deviant Behavior. She has also written three books, e.g., The Wicked Problems of Police Reform in Canada with Routledge, and Police Search and Rescue Response to Lost and Missing Persons, with Springer. Connect with Lorna on LinkedIn to learn more about her work: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lornajferguson/

 

 

 


UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

LORIDEE DE VILLA

Loridee De Villa is a fourth-year BSc candidate pursuing a major in Health Sciences and a double minor in Psychology and History of Religions at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Her research interests involve investigating the intersection between physical and mental health, as well as visual neuroscience. She has previously worked on the Thought Suppression Immunity Project (TSI) with by Jennifer Chan as a part of her research opportunity project (ROP). She is currently working on the Autonomic Modulation Training Project (AMT) with Sarah Scott.

 

 

PATRICK FAHIM

Patrick is a fifth-year undergraduate majoring in Biology for health science and psychology. He is a volunteer research assistant in the HART lab working on the Thought Suppression Immunity (TSI) project, Autonomic Modulation Training project and others. Patrick is also a volunteer with the Gerlai and RAD lab. His research interests include biological markers of stress as it relates to mental health, mindfulness/meditation, and neurobiological factors of various psychopathologies. Patrick is an awardee of the Experiential Learning Grant and the University of Toronto Excellence Award.

 

 

AMANDA JANI

Amanda Jani is a fifth-year undergraduate student majoring in Biology for Health Sciences and Psychology. She is a volunteer research assistant in the HART lab, currently responsible for assisting with the Autonomic Modulation Training (AMT) project. Her research interests include investigating the neural basis of psychological conditions, the involvement of biomarkers in mental health, learning & memory, and personality psychology.

 

 

 

RYAN JOHN

Ryan John is in his final year of undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga, pursuing an honors of science degree in psychology. Within the HART lab, he assists with running the Therapeutic Horticulture Program, the first of its kind at a Canadian university. In addition, he contributes to the Critical Incident Command (CIC) project. His research interests include stress physiology, the effects of minority stress on health outcomes, and horticultural therapy.

 

 

 

TEIA TREMBLETT

Teia Tremblett is a fourth-year undergraduate student specializing in Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Her research interests involve the study of abnormal psychology, specifically topics surrounding mental illness and breaking down the stigma, as well as applying a gender and sexuality lens to mental health discourse. Teia’s work in the HART Lab pertains to qualitative analysis of a research project regarding the role of sex and gender in policing, where she is being supervised by Sarah Scott as part of her Independent Research Project (IRP).


FORMER TRAINEES

Paula M. Di Nota, PhD

Dr. Di Nota was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Health Adaptation Research on Trauma (HART) Lab at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She investigated the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying training and complex motor learning in police populations, as well as the influence of occupational stress on the mental health and well-being of police and other first responders. Her dissertation research examined learning-induced changes to brain activity using behavioral, fMRI, and EEG measures.

Check out Paula’s first author publication in Frontiers Psychology: Di Nota, P.M. and Huhta, J.-M. (2019), Complex motor learning and police training: applied, cognitive, and clinical perspectives, Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 10 No. 1797, pp. 1-20. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01797

 

Monica Ghabrial, PhD

Monica Ghabrial, Ph.D. (she/her) is a Health Psychologist, currently working as a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Ghabrial is a former student of Dr. Andersen and they continue to collaborate on a number of important projects. During her time in the HART Lab, Dr. Ghabrial’s dissertation research primarily examined stress, health, and resilience among Queer and Trans People of Color, with additional projects on biculturalism, visibility, and wellbeing among plurisexual/bisexual People of Color and community and resource development for women with HIV. Through an intersectional, strengths-based framework, she developed and validated the first measure of positive attitude toward identity for Queer People of Color, the Queer People of Colour Identity Affirmation Scale, and used that scale to investigate the link between identity affirmation and cardiovascular adaptivity to stress. Dr. Ghabrial’s dissertation was selected as a top 5 finalist for the 2022 CAGS/Proquest Distinguished Dissertation Award.

In her current position, Dr. Ghabrial is working on two studies of trans health across Canada. She also runs a website dedicated to reporting research on Queer and Trans health, www.queercarekit.com. You can learn more about her work and find information for consulting and public speaking services on Dr. Ghabrial’s personal website: www.monicaghabrial.com

Check out Monica’s publication in the leading journal in the field of Counseling Psychology: Ghabrial, M.A., & Andersen, J.P. (2020). Development and initial validation of the Queer People of Color Positive Identity Measure. Journal of Counseling Psychology

 

Konstantinos Papazoglou

Konstantinos Papazoglou, MA, is a psychology PhD (2018) and Vanier CIHR scholar at the University of Toronto supervised by Professor Judith P. Andersen. After obtaining his master’s degree in mental health counseling at New York University (NYU) as Onassis foundation scholar in 2010, he worked as a clinician with military personnel (2006-2008) and police cadets in Athens, Greece (2010-2012) and inmates in correctional facilities of the State of New York (2009-2010). He served as a uniformed police officer in Athens, Greece for almost 14 years (1998-2012) eventually obtaining the rank of police captain.

His work focuses on the conceptualization of complex police trauma, first respondents’ resilience, police health promotion, and community-based trauma prevention through culturally relevant interventions. He has presented his work throughout North America and Europe (e.g., American Psychological Association, Canadian Psychological Association, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, etc.).

 

Christopher Zou

Christopher Zou, MA, is a psychology PhD (2017) at the University of Toronto.   He completed his undergraduate and Master’s degree at the University of Toronto, and is in his senior year of the doctorate program. He is currently working on multiple research projects with Dr. Judith P. Andersen at the HART lab, which includes (but not is limited) to the following:

Bullying and Health. Chris’ first line of work with Professor Andersen involves exploring the effect of experiencing adverse childhood events (e.g., parental divorce, bullying) on long-term health and well-being. He is especially interested in examining how minority membership (particularly sexual minority membership) can influence the impact of bullying on health.

Coming Out Project. Chris’ second line of work examines the underlying assumptions surrounding the “coming out” experience of sexual minorities. He is interested in examining the different definitions of “coming out” across researchers and the general public, and understanding the impact of coming out on health and well-being of individuals who belong to sexual minority groups. He hopes that by identifying some of these assumptions about “coming out”, we can better assist individuals who are going through this difficult process.

 


 

FORMER LABORATORY MEMBERS

Adaolisa Azike, HBSc

Ada is a graduate from the University of Toronto Mississauga. She completed her degree in biology for health science and psychology. She worked with the HART Lab as a volunteer under the supervision of Jennifer Chan. Her research interest includes looking at people’s activity levels, emotion regulation capabilities, and dieting habit to understanding the overall long-term health effects. She is interested in learning more about the healthcare field.

AMANDA DAWSON

Amanda Dawson is a Psychology BSc graduate from the University of Toronto Mississauga. Her research interests involve investigating alternative forms of therapy to mitigate aggression in at-risk persons and violent offenders through the manipulation of oxytocin levels. She wishes to address her research on an intersectional scale towards diverse populations, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ persons within the prison industrial complex (PIC). Her goal is to promote rehabilitative over punitive treatment, mitigating the stigmatized association of criminality and mental health.

 

 

 

THAIS HOLANDA

Thais Holanda completed her undergraduate studies pursuing an honors of science degree in political science and psychology. Within the lab, she was responsible for assisting in the Autonomic Modulation Training (AMT) study. Her research interests include biopsychology with a focus in the mind/body connection and the neuropsychology of social relations.

 

 

 

Dina Hejazi, HBSc

Dina Hejazi is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto Scarborough with a BSc specializing in psychology. Within the lab, her primary responsibilities involve assisting with the Autonomic Modulation Training (AMT) study as well as other tasks. Her research interests involve forensic psychology with a focus on prison reform and finding new ways to provide mental health resources to those in prisons.

 

 

SCOTT HRENO

Scott Hreno completed his undergraduate studies in psychology, biology, and French. He was an ROP student under the HART lab and a volunteer under the Perlman lab. Scott is interested in studying the relationship between stress and childhood development, particularly stressors as an influencer on developmental stages. He hopes to study mental health in children, and how this relates to education and recreation programs.