Research Team

Betsy Schaefer

Senior Manager/Clincal Research Operations
Biography: Betsy ensures all research projects conducted by the team complies with current regulations and has mandatory Ethics Board approval and study recruitment timelines are met.

Michael Mackinley

Research Coordinator/PhD Student

Biography: Michael coordinates the recruitment for our TOPSY study. He is also pursuing the neurobiological determinants of poor functional outcomes in psychosis.

Roberto Limongi

Senior Research Fellow

Biography: Roberto is an experimental psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist. Currently he works on mathematical models (dynamic causal models) of ultra-high field (7T) fMRI within the context of predictive coding and active inference. He pursues the description of the relationship between the effective connectivity of small (two or three nodes) neural networks and clinical symptoms of psychosis

  • Investigating Aberrant Sensory Precision Using Functional Connectivity and Hierarchical Generative Models in High and Ultra-high-field fMRI

Angélica M. Silva

Doctor in Linguistics

Biography: Angélica is a postdoctoral scientist working on linguistic and educational challenges in schizophrenia. Experienced in oral and written assessments, psycholinguistic analysis, and experimental designs applied to neuropsychiatric and healthy populations. Currently, she focuses on language disturbances in schizophrenia analysing syntax, semantic, and pragmatic speech data  using computational linguistics, dynamic causal, and mixed-effects models.

Peter Jeon

PhD Student

Biography: Peter is currently a graduate student in the Medical Biophysics department working with 7-Tesla functional magnetic resonance spectroscopy (fMRS). He is investigating the behaviours of glutamate changes in response to a functional task for individuals entering first-episode psychosis and healthy volunteers. By tracking glutamate dynamics in these individuals over various follow-up time points, the goal is to see if glutamate can be an effective early marker for distinguishing treatment-resistant schizophrenia.

Niron Sukumar

Medical Student

Biography: Niron is a fourth year medical student at Western University, hoping to specialize in psychiatry. His research is mainly focused on studying the regional differences in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral glucose metabolic rate (CMRglu) in the brains of patients with schizophrenia as compared to healthy controls. Currently, he is conducting a meta-analytic investigation of studies that have used Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL) or Fluorodeoxyglucose-18 Positron Emission Tomography (FDG-PET) to study these differences individually.

Kishore Basu

Undergraduate Student
Biography: Kishore is a third year undergraduate student running an effect-size meta-analysis of white matter damage related to cannabis use and its relevance to the anatomy of psychosis.

Jami Kronick

Medical Student
Biography: Jami is a first year medical student participating in the Summer Research Training Program at Western University. She is focusing on the role of brain stimulation in the treatment of clozapine-resistant schizophrenia. The goal of this research is to identify biological parameters that may predict patient response to repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS).

Taj Brar

Medical Student

Biography: Taj is a second year medical student at the Schulich School of Medicine, Windsor Campus. He holds a BSc in Biology & Chemistry from Wilfrid Laurier University, a BA in History from Ryerson University, and a MA in History from the University of Toronto. Taj's research seeks to better understand the neurological mechanisms of Formal Thought Disorder, by connecting linguistic analysis of disordered speech in schizophrenic patients to altered neuronal connectivity using resting state fMRI images.

María Francisca Alonso

Postdoctoral Fellow
Biography: Speech and Language pathologist and PhD of Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain). Researcher of the neurobiological and cognitive mechanisms underlying language. Her main interest is neurolinguistic as biomarker of psychosis. Faculty and researcher of the Centro de Investigación del desarrollo en cognición y lenguaje (CIDCL) of Universidad de Valparaíso (Chile).


Mingli Li, Faculty - Sichuan University, Chengdu-China
Pan Yunzhi, PhD candidate - South China University, Guangdong Province-China
Rubai Zhou, MD candidate - Shanghai Jia Tong University, Shanghai-China
Tushar Das, Senior Researcher - Fanshawe College, Ontario-Canada
Kara Dempster, Faculty - Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia-Canada
Avyarthana Dey, PhD student - University of Calgary, Alberta-Canada
Annabel Umeh, Medical Student - University College Cork, Cork-Ireland