Dr. Bhat is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is currently a staff psychiatrist based at two Depression Centres: The Centre for Depression and Suicide Studies at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Poul Hansen Depression Centre at Toronto Western Hospital. At St. Michael’s Hospital, he is the Director of the Interventional Psychiatry Program which offers novel psychopharmacological (e.g. IV ketamine/other anesthetic agents), neurostimulation (e.g. rTMS, ECT, emerging neurostimulation modalities) and digital therapeutic (mobile-based monitoring and interventions) interventions for Mood and other Disorders. At Toronto Western Hospital, he has a focus on invasive neurostimulation (Deep Brain Stimulation and Invasive Brain Mapping) and is also involved in a study comparing ECT to IV Ketamine for Treatment-resistant Depression. He is an affiliate faculty member within the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at Toronto Metropolitan University. He collaborates closely with engineering, anaesthesia, imaging, informatics, neurology, and neurosurgery to offer emerging and procedural interventions for psychiatric disorders. His research program aims to understand treatment and response with these emerging interventions. Dr. Bhat deeply believes that interdisciplinary approaches are needed to get deeper insights into the human mind; his research projects are often at the intersection of biomedical engineering/medicine and social sciences/humanities.
Fatemeh holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and a master’s degree in Cognitive Psychology. With about ten years of experience in Clinical Neuropsychology, her main research focus is EEG biomarkers and bio-subtypes of mental disorders. She is trained in processing EEG data and the clinical interpretation of EEG and ERP at the Swiss Brain and Trauma Foundation. She also cooperates with this Fundation as an EEG/ ERP analyst and tutor. Fatemeh is a post-Doctoral fellow within the Interventional Psychiatry Program at St. Michael’s Hospital, under the supervision of Dr. Bhat.
Besides EEG biomarkers of psychiatric disorders, she is interested in Neuromodulation techniques.
Alice completed her doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Ryerson University, Toronto, ON in 2021. She is the recipient of the Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal and Ryerson Gold Medal for the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science. After working in the industry for more than a decade, Alice decided to go back to academia. She received a bachelor degree in electrical engineering and a master degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB in 1994 and 1999, respectively. She completed an Executive Certificate in Accounting for Business Manager from Hong Kong University in 2012, and an (honoris causa) Doctor of Laws degree from Brock University, St. Catharines, ON in 2020. Alice specializes in signal processing and applications of machine learning. Alice is serving as the Secretary for the IEEE Signal Processing Toronto Chapter and an affiliated member of the IEEE Machine Learning for Signal Processing. Alice has also served as the Director of Machine Learning at Aggregate Intellect in 2022.
Shakila is a medical doctor graduated from Tehran University of Medical Sciences. She had previously worked as a researcher in different research centres and has extensive experience conducting clinical trials and working with patients with psychiatric disorders. She is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto within the Interventional Psychiatry Program at St. Michael’s Hospital, under the supervision of Dr. Bhat. Her primary research areas of interest include psychedelic-assisted therapy, mood disorders, cognition, and treatment-resistant depression.
Walter is the research coordinator for several projects including the Mobile/Digital Interventions pillar within the Interventional Psychiatry Program, managing the initial setup and ongoing operation of several concurrent studies. He holds an HBSc from the University of Toronto and a Certified Clinical Research Professional designation from the Society of Clinical Research Associates. Having previously run a host of studies investigating the role of neurostimulation, psychoactive medications, or anaesthetic agents on mood disorders, Walter has developed a keen interest in leveraging the efficiency of mobile platforms to identify key indicators of distress and to promote mental wellness.
Vanessa Tassone is a Research Assistant within the Interventional Psychiatry Program. Vanessa has a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from York University. Her research interests include mood and eating disorders, as well as the neuroscience of depression. Vanessa plans to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology.
Valentina Zuluaga is a Research Assistant within the Interventional Psychiatry Program. Valentina has an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Trent University.
Her research interests involve psychoactive medications for the treatment of mood disorders and understanding the functional, behavioural, molecular, and cellular aspects of the nervous system. In the future, Valentina hopes to pursue a career in Psychiatry. Outside of work, she enjoys knitting, volunteering, and spending time with her loved ones, two cats, and one dog.
Sarah Dunnett is a Research Assistant within the Interventional Psychiatry Program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Toronto Metropolitan Univeristy. Sarah’s research interests include the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, as well as their interactions with sex hormones and developmental processes.
Josheil Boparai is a Research Assistant within the Interventional Psychiatry Program. She received her Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour from McMaster University in 2022. Her main research interests include the utility of digital therapeutics in supporting mental health and well-being as well as emerging treatments such as physical activity interventions for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. In the future, Josheil plans to pursue a career in psychiatry.
Alex Ouellette Zuk is a Research Assistant with the Interventional Psychiatry Program at Unity Health. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and a Master of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Alberta. Alex’s research interests include the evaluation and development of mental health assessments and treatments. She is additionally interested in enhancing our understanding of and combating internalized, public, and institutional stigma surrounding mental illness.
Michelle is a Data Quality Analyst in the Interventional Psychiatry Program at St. Michael’s Hospital. She is currently completing her MSc in Biostatistics at the University of Toronto and obtained her BSc in Biology & Mathematics from McMaster University. For her MSc practicum, she investigated the connection between depression treatment outcomes and sleep using datasets from the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND). She is interested in applying both statistical and machine-learning methods in a clinical setting.
Binh Nguyen received his B.Eng degree in Biomedical Engineering at Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Canada in 2019. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Binh’s research focus is on affective computing. He works on data analytics, signal processing and machine learning to analyze passive and active data in a mental health setting. Binh’s research is being overseen by Dr. Sri Krishnan and Dr. Venkat Bhat.
Ilya is a doctoral student in the neurostimulation theme within the Interventional Psychiatry Program who manages several studies investigating novel non-invasive brain stimulation approaches for treatment-resistant depression. He holds an HBSc from the University of Toronto and a MSc from McGill University, with a specialty in Neuroscience-Psychiatry. By acting as a liaison between clinicians, scientists, trainees, and collaborators, Ilya strives to streamline the research process and facilitate the translation of discoveries to clinical practice. His research interest focus on unraveling brain network connectivity biomarkers of antidepressant response to interventional treatments in the domains of novel psychopharmacology and brain stimulation.
Hyejung Jung is a Ph.D. student in the Division of Biostatistics at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Hyejung’s research interest is in the design of clinical trials and its statistical methods especially in adaptive designs which allow modifications to various aspects of the clinical trials. Her role in the Interventional Psychiatry program is to provide statistical support.
Martin Ivanov is a MASc student enrolled in Electrical & Computer Engineering at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is expecting to graduate in 2024. He is specializing in Biosignal Analysis with a focus on affective computing. Currently, he is operating as a research assistant at the Signal Analysis Research group at TMU, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Perry Menzies is a Clinician Teacher at St. Michael’s Hospital and a Lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He completed his Psychiatry Residency training at the University of Toronto and completed Medical School at McMaster University. Prior to medicine Dr. Menzies trained in Organic Chemistry, obtaining an Honours Bachelor degree and then a Masters degree. Dr. Menzies’ role in the Interventional Psychiatry program is to provide clinical care for patients and facilitate the education of training physicians in this rapidly evolving field.
Fathima is a physician assistant working within the Interventional Psychiatry Program and Ambulatory Mental Health Program at St. Michael’s Hospital. She is a graduate from University of Toronto’s Physician Assistant Program, and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto with a specialist in Mental Health Studies. Fathima works in collaboration with her supervising physicians to provide existing and novel treatment options and is an advocate for patients and their families. She strives to increase access to mental health care for individuals with acute and persistent mental health illness.
Gurpreet is an rTMS Technician working within the Interventional Psychiatry Department at St. Michael’s Hospital. She has an Honors Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Minor in Psychological intercultural relations from the University of Guelph. She is also currently at Yorkville University completing her Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology and specializing in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy with a focus on Crisis and Trauma Counselling. She has previous experience working with individuals experiencing mood disorders including major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder. Her goal is to further support and promote the facilitation of interventional practices in order to increase psychological awareness and help individuals with the treatment of their mental, behavioural, and emotional health.
Stephanie is an rTMS Technician working within the Interventional Psychiatry Department at St. Michael’s Hospital. She has an Honors Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Minor in Organizational Psychology from the University of Guelph. She also possesses a Post-Graduate Certificate in Addictions and Mental Health Interventions from Humber College. She has previously worked with various populations experiencing mental health disorders including Geriatrics, Adolescences and Children. She strives to implement mental health practices and be a part of innovative research and practices in the interventional field.
Yue Li is a practicum student. She received an Honours Bachelor of Science in Mathematics & Statistics at McMaster University and is currently a Master of Science student enrolled in Biostatistics at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Her goal for the future is to be a data analyst. Outside of school, she enjoys snowboarding and painting.
Yuqing Liu is a first-year Ph.D. student in Biostatistics at the University of Toronto and obtained her master’s degree in Biostatistics at Duke University. She has strong enthusiasm for using statistical methods to solve medical problems, with varied professional experience and a willingness to face challenges. For the practicum, she focused on investigating the temporal trends for the key factors of depression.
Shangyi Gao is a biostatistics practicum student in the Interventional Psychiatry Program. She is currently completing her MSc in Biostatistics at the University of Toronto and obtained her BSc in Neuroscience from McGill University. For her practicum project, she is investigating the associations between the level of heavy metals and depression using the NHANES database. She is interested in statistical learning methods application.
Anne-Marie Di Passa
Luke Vanden Broek
Maggie Kamila Kiraga
Yuelee (Ben) Khoo