Meet the ASR Team


Sidney H. Kennedy,
Sidney H. Kennedy is the Arthur Sommer Rotenberg Chair in Suicide and Depression Studies at St. Michael’s Hospital, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and a Scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Toronto Western Research Institute. Dr. Kennedy’s work involves new drug evaluation, neuroimaging and neurostimulation therapies in depression, and the development and renewal of treatment guidelines for both Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. In defining a direction for ASR, Dr. Kennedy identified biological markers and risk assessment as the primary research focus, in addition to continuing and developing clinical interventions to aid persons with suicidal ideation and behaviour.
Yvonne Bergmans,
Suicide Interventionist
Yvonne is the Suicide Intervention Consultant at the Suicide Studies Research Unit of the ASR Chair in Suicide Studies. Based out of St. Michael's Hospital, she is involved in both clinical and research endeavours. She has established a 20 week group intervention for people who have experienced two or more suicide attempts. 
Shane McInerney,
MD, MRCPsych
Clinician Scientist
Dr Shane McInerney is a Staff Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the ASR Suicide and Depression Studies program at St Michael's Hospital. His current area of research is in relation to the neurobiological underpinnings of suicide and how increased knowledge in this area may be able to guide treatment options. He is particularly interested in the field of mood disorders and he offers a range of treatments including pharmacotherapy and a psychosocial intervention for individuals with suicidal risk.
Sakina Rizvi,
Scientist; Co-Lead, ODN
Dr. Sakina Rizvi received her PhD in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Collaborative Program in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto. She has over 10 years of experience in psychiatry across the areas of neuroimaging, neuropsychology, psychotherapy, pharmacology, and scale development; with a focus in Major Depressive Disorder. Currently, Dr. Rizvi is a Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at St. Michael's Hospital and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. Her role in the ASR Chair is to develop the suicide biomarker and treatment resistant depression research program. In addition, as Co-Lead for the Ontario Depression Network, her goal is to promote mental illness advocacy, education and resource building across Ontario.
Susan Rotzinger, PhD
Program Manager
Susan Rotzinger is the Program Manager for the ASR Chair and for the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network for Depression, one of the Integrated Discovery Programs of the Ontario Brain Institute. Susan holds a PhD in Neuroscience-Psychiatry from the University of Alberta, and has many years of experience managing clinical and preclinical research programs. Susan’s goal is to maximize the benefit of the research collaborations and partnerships of our growing networks, to facilitate biomarker discovery and improve treatment and prevention strategies.
Jane Foster, PhD
Dr. Foster is a Scientist within the ASR program. Her research, based at McMaster University, aims to understand how the body’s immune system and gut microbiota affects brain development and function. Dr. Foster hopes that her research accomplishments lead to a better understanding of how these relationships contribute to psychiatric disorders such as neurodevelopmental disorders, anxiety and depression. In collaboration with her clinical colleagues, she is interested in translating these findings to the depressed patient population (MDD) and suicide risk.
Nicole Edgar, HBSc
Research Assistant
Nicole Edgar received her HBSc at Carleton University specializing in Physiology and Biomechanics and minoring in Neuroscience and Mental Health. Nicole is the research assistant with the Suicide and Depression Studies research unit of the ASR Chair in Suicide Studies. She is involved in several studies including biomarkers for suicide risk, suicide presentation and intervention in the emergency department and the involvement of reward circuitry in suicide and depression. In addition to her research responsibilities, Nicole also provides administrative support to the ASR team.
Amanda Ceniti, HBSc
Graduate Student
Amanda Ceniti received her HBSc at the University of Toronto, specializing in Neuroscience and minoring in Music History & Culture. She is currently working towards a Master's degree with the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. Combining her background in concussion research with her interest in mental health, her work focuses on the association between traumatic brain injury and subsequent depression and suicidality. Amanda's primary role is research-oriented, but she is also responsible for ASR Chair website development and ongoing maintenance.