The BrainFit lab team

Dr. Michelle Keightley, Assistant Professor and Clinical Neuropsychologist

Dr. Keightley received her B.Sc. (Hons.) in Psychology from Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology, with the Collaborative Program in Neuroscience, from the University of Toronto. Dr. Keightley is a registered Clinical Neuropsychologist in the province of Ontario.

In addition to her role as an educator and researcher at the University of Toronto, Dr. Keightley also provides clinical services to children and youth with sports-related mild traumatic brain injury and developmental disorders including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Learning Disability (LD) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Her research program is focused on the identification, management and treatment of acquired brain injury (ABI) in pediatric populations. More specifically this research includes sports-related concussion/mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) as well as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Nick Reed, Ph.D. Student and Occupational Therapist

Nick received his B.Kinesiolgy (Hons.) from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and his MScOT from the University of Toronto. Nick is a registered Occupational Therapist within the province of Ontario and is a doctoral student within the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science at the University of Toronto. 

Nick’s clinical and research interests involve cognitive function and performance in youth athletes following concussion and the safe return to meaningful activities both inside and outside of the sport context. 

In addition to his studies, Nick has lived a life immersed in competitive sport, and more specifically, competitive contact sport.  Playing competitive lacrosse from the age of five to the present time, Nick has participated at all levels of the sport including the minor system, the Jr. ‘A’ level, the varsity inter-university level both at McMaster University and at the University of Toronto, and was drafted into the professional National Lacrosse League.  Furthermore, Nick has been involved in coaching minor lacrosse for the past nine years. 

Steph Green, Ph.D. Student and Occupational Therapist

Steph completed her HBSc. with a double major in Neuroscience and Biological Sciences in 2004, her MSc. of Occupational Therapy in 2007 and is now working on her Ph.D in the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science with the collaborative program in Neuroscience, all at the University of Toronto.  She is also a registered Occupational Therapist in province of Ontario.  

Steph’s main role in the BrainFit research program is in the functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) study.  Her clinical and research goals include improving acute treatment and rehabilitation of mild traumatic brain injury to improve the quality of life for persons after injury.

Jen-Kai Chen, Post-doctoral Fellow, Ph.D.

Jen-Kai obtained his bachelor degree in Psychology and doctorate degree in Neurological Sciences from McGill University. He is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto.

His research focuses on the underlying pathology of persisting post-concussive symptoms (PCS) following mild traumatic brain injury(mTBI), with particular interest in sport-related concussion in children and adults. He uses functional and structural neuroimaging techniques (e.g. fMRI, DTI) as well as advance imaging analysis methods such as voxel-based morphometry, cortical thickness analysis and diffusion tensor tractography to investigate the relationship between persistent PCS and functional/anatomical alteration in the brain, and to gain a better understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying cerebral functioning after a mTBI.

Sabrina Agnihotri, M.Sc., Ph.D. Student

Sabrina received her HBSc. with a major in Psychology and minor in Biology in 2007 at York University and completed her MSc. of Rehabilitation Science and Collaborative Program in Neuroscience for 2009 at the University of Toronto. Sabrina is currently completing her Ph.D in the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science and the Collaborative Program in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto. 

Danielle Dobney, M.Sc. Candidate and Athletic Therapist, CAT(C)

Danielle completed her HBA in Kinesiology and Health Sciences at York University and became certified as an Athletic Therapist in 2006.  She is now working on her MSc. in the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science at the University of Toronto.  Danielle currently works at Ryerson University as the Assistant Athletic Therapist in the department of Athletics & Recreation.

Her current research includes sport-related concussion and physical fitness testing. 

Dr. Katia Sinopoli, Post-doctoral Fellow, Ph.D.

Dr. Sinopoli received a BSc. (Hons., Psychology) at the University of Toronto Mississauga, a MSc. (Neuroscience) at the University of British Columbia, and a PhD (Psychology, and the Collaborative Program in Neuroscience) at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation research was conducted at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where she explored the behavioural correlates of attention deficits in children and adolescents with traumatic brain injuries.

Currently, Dr. Sinopoli’s research focuses on the imaging of dual-task performance in youth with sports concussions. This research, which is conducted in collaboration with the Hospital for Sick Children, aims to identify brain-behaviour relationships that may be used to improve return to play guidelines. In addition to her current research interests, she is pursuing clinical registration with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.

Sam Liu – BrainFit Lab Coordinator, B.PHE., M.Sc.

Sam completed his undergraduate in Kinesology from University of Toronto, in 2008. Recently, he completed his Masters degree at University of Toronto, specializing in Exercise and Cardiovascular Sciences. Sam’s research interests focus on developing tools to prevent exercise related injuries and chronic cardiovascular diseases. As the BrainFit Lab Co-ordinator, Sam is the main contact for the lab and will assist with scheduling and testing.

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