Meet the ASR Team

Sidney H. Kennedy,
MD, FRCPC
Chair
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.
ResearchGatePublications on PubMed
Sakina Rizvi,
PhD, MACP, RP
Scientist
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 research 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 Arthur Sommer Rotenberg (ASR) Suicide and Depression Studies Program at St. Michael’s Hospital and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. She is also a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Her research within the ASR program aims to characterize the neurobiology of suicide risk and treatment resistant depression, primarily through the use of fMRI and PET neuroimaging, and to develop and test novel psychotherapeutic strategies. Within her biomarker research, she is evaluating brain reward mechanisms as predictors of treatment outcome and as a path for intervention. In addition to her research, Dr. Rizvi is actively involved in outreach and advocacy projects with an emphasis on providing mental health education to the community through the creative arts.
Publications on PubMed
Katherine Dunlop, PhD
Scientist

Dr. Dunlop received her PhD in Medical Science in 2018 at the University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Science, as a CIHR Vanier Scholar. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience as a CIHR Banting Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine in 2021. Dr. Dunlop uses cognitive science, human structural and functional neuroimaging, and non-invasive brain stimulation (e.g., transcranial magnetic stimulation) to understand the biological causes of inter-individual variability in behaviour and symptomatology, treatment response, and predictors of symptom improvement.

Aleksandra Lalovic, MSc, MEd, RP
Research Psychotherapist
Aleksandra Lalovic is a Research Psychotherapist in the ASR Program. She is involved in several studies investigating innovative psychotherapeutic approaches to help people who experience suicidal ideation and behaviour. She is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). Aleksandra completed her clinical training at University of Toronto’s OISE Counselling Psychology program. She also holds a research doctorate in Neuroscience from McGill University, where she studied the neurobiology and genetics of depression and suicide risk.
Publications on PubMed
Amanda Ceniti, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Amanda Ceniti received her PhD from the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Sidney Kennedy, where she studied the association between concussion, depression, and suicide risk using neuroimaging, reward, and clinical measures. Her qualitative postdoctoral research with the ASR Program focuses on building community capacity among the family/friends of those at risk of suicide. She is also involved in coordinating public outreach and advocacy initiatives with the team, including the Storybook Project.
ResearchGatePublications on PubMed
Molly Hyde, MSc
Graduate Student
Molly completed her HBSc and MSc at the University of Ottawa with a research focus in EEG methodology and brain stimulation treatment in depression. She is currently a PhD student with the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto and her project uses neuroimaging to uncover biomarkers associated with anhedonia and suicide risk. Molly is dedicated to improving mental health outcomes for patients and hopes to continue pursuing neuropsychiatry research in the future.
ResearchGate
Hailey Wright, B.Arts Sc. (Honours)
Research Coordinator
Hailey received her Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science with a minor in Mental Health & Addictions at McMaster University. Prior to joining the ASR, Hailey was coordinating neuroimaging research at CAMH with a focus on treatment resistant late-life depression. In the ASR, Hailey is coordinating the suicide and depression neuroimaging study stream, and is also involved with our community outreach efforts.
Katie Vandeloo, MSc, BSc
Research Coordinator

Katie received her MSc in Neuroscience from the University of Ottawa, where she studied neurobiological correlates of suicide in treatment-resistant depression. Prior to joining the ASR, Katie completed a specialized internship at the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory of Harvard Medical School, to acquire novel expertise in neuroimaging data analysis. At the Centre for Depression and Suicide Studies, Katie coordinates clinical trials examining new treatments for depression.

Shijing (Cynthia) Wang, MSc
Research Coordinator
Cynthia received her HBSc from University of Toronto with a specialization in Psychology and a major in Neuroscience, and recently completed her MSc with the ASR Program in the Institute of Medical Science at University of Toronto (Supervisor: Dr. Sakina Rizvi). She is involved in several studies that run in the program, focusing on the study that explores the brain function and neural network that underlie the risk of suicide. Working actively in a volunteer suicide prevention role outside ASR, Cynthia has a passion for advocating mental health and hopes to pursue further degree in psychiatry in the future.
Michael Morton, HBSc
Research Assistant
Michael completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience, and he is currently pursuing a degree in counselling psychology and psychotherapy. He is involved in several ongoing studies at ASR, including biomarkers of suicide risk and the association between concussion and depression. He is also working on 2 novel studies investigating different psychotherapy interventions for mitigating suicide risk in the general public and preventing healthcare professional burnout in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Outside of ASR, Michael has a passion for mental health advocacy and outreach, and he wishes to pursue a future career in psychology, balancing private practice and community outreach and advocacy initiatives.
Kristen Tse
Research Assistant

Kristen is currently pursuing her Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, specializing in Mental Health Studies. Since 2019, she has been involved in several ongoing research studies in the ASR Program. Kristen is passionate about mental health advocacy outside of ASR, and hopes to pursue further studies and a career in clinical psychology focusing on trauma therapy

Jennifer Ma, BiSci
Graduate Student

Jennifer completed her Honours Bachelor of Integrated Science at McMaster University with a specialization in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour.  She is currently a MSc student with the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto and her project uses neuroimaging to examine potential biomarkers associated with suicide risk and pain perception. Jennifer is passionate about science communication, mental health advocacy and hopes to help bridge the gap between research and patient outcomes in the clinic in the future.

Yasmine Gray, MA
Research Coordinator

Yasmine Gray is a Research Coordinator in the ASR Program. She is involved in the Family/Friends of Individuals at Risk of Suicide Training (FIRST) study. Yasmine has a Master's degree in Critical Disability Studies, with expertise in Mad Studies, Critical Suicidology and Black Disability Studies. 

ASR Alumni

Nicole Edgar, HBSc
Research Coordinator
Julie Stinson, MA
Research Coordinator
Joanna Yu, PhD
Research Manager
Yingchen Fan, MSc
Research Assistant
Zarin Zahra, HBSc
Research Assistant
Mehek Chaudhry, MSc
Research Coordinator
Shane McInerney,
MD, MRCPsych
Clinician-Scientist
Alana Harrington, MSc, CCRP, PMP
Research Manager
Janice Pong, MSc
Communications Lead
Anum Shivji Arwani, MSc
Outreach Coordinator
Yvonne Bergmans, PhD, MSW, RSW
Suicide Interventionist
Troy Chow, MSc
Graduate Student
Tian Renton, PhD
Graduate Student
Sophie Vaccarino, MSc
Graduate Student
Jane Foster, PhD
Scientist
Susan Rotzinger, PhD
Program Manager