My passion for scientific research began as an undergraduate project student in the laboratory of Dr. C. David Rollo, an evolutionary biologist at McMaster University who studies evolutionary theory based on integrated life history trade-offs. I remained in his lab for an additional two years and after completing my M.Sc. degree, I was privileged to continue my graduate education under the supervision of Dr. Henry Szechtman in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience where my studies focused on opioid-dopamine interactions in obsessive-compulsive disorder. This was my first exposure to an animal model of neuropsychiatric disease and it was during this period that my love for neuroscience research became established. After obtaining my PhD degree in behavioural neuroscience I continued my postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Dr. Susan George at the University of Toronto, a molecular pharmacologist whose research focuses on the dopamine D1-D2 receptor complex and its role in addiction and schizophrenia.
During my postdoctoral studies I spent a month in Tuscany, Italy at the Neuroscience School for Advanced Studies where I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Anthony Grace, Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to arriving at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph I spent time in Dr. Grace’s laboratory where I learned how to record and analyze neuronal oscillations in awake, freely moving animals. These oscillations, which represent the summed electrical activity from numerous neurons, have emerged as being critical to the neuropathology of a number of CNS diseases.