RIOT Members

Donna Murrell

Donna Murrell is a PhD candidate in the Department of Medical Biophysics at Western University under the supervision of Dr. Paula Foster. Her project involves the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the response of brain metastases to whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT).

Danny Lee

Danny Lee is currently in the undergraduate science program at Western University.

Megan Sherritt MA

Megan Sherritt is a communications specialist with a passion for science. Megan has a Masters of English from Western University and provides invaluable expertise in helping the team transition information written within academic and scientific traditions to public media standards while still maintaining the accuracy and integrity of the work. Megan currently works for London Life.

Haley McConkey MSc

Haley successfully defended her Masters of Science thesis in January of 2016. Haley continues to work in the in the lab of Dr. Bérubé focusing on glioma formation in the brain, specifically focusing on the astrocytomas subtype. The aim of the project is to provide evidence for genetic alterations required for astrocytoma formation and a possible mechanism for the events required for tumorigenesis.

Adrienne Borrie MSc

Adrienne Borrie is a PhD student working under the supervision of Dr. Richard Kim, in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at Western University. Clinically important therapy for breast cancer includes a group of drugs called the aromatase inhibitors. These drugs are effective for treating breast cancer, but they may have unwanted effects, such as thinning of the bones or osteoporosis. This project will help scientists understand which genes cause unwanted effects with the hope that we can prevent them. Knowing a patient’s genes and how they break down drugs will help us individualize therapy for each person undergoing breast cancer treatment.

Emma Ali

Emma is currently attending the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. Emma also presently works as a research assistant at the London Regional Cancer Program Clinical Research Unit on a small cell lung cancer chart review project, and is one of the executive members of the Oncology Interest Group at the School of Medicine.

Sundus Aziz

Sundus is a nuclear medicine technologist in the Nuclear Medicine department at St. Joseph’s Healthcare London.

Zeynep Kahramanoglu

Zeynep is currently a Master’s student studying at the Western University in the field of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. She obtained an Honours Bachelor of Science, majoring in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph in 2014. Her Master’s thesis focuses on understanding the vascular environment surrounding ovarian cancer striving to further understand what promotes tumor development. Zeynep joins the London RIOT team as an alumni of the Toronto RIOT Team

Jessica Rodgers

Jessica Rodgers received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Engineering at Queen’s University in 2014. She is currently in her second year of her MESc under the supervision of Dr. Aaron Fenster, in the Imaging area of the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program at Western University. Jessica’s research focuses on improving needle positioning during high-dose-rate interstitial gynaecologic brachytherapy by introducing 3D transrectal or transvaginal ultrasound guidance during the procedure.

Past Team Members

Michael Jensen PhD

Michael Jensen received his PhD in Medical Biophysics from Western University in 2015. During his graduate training, he was a Lawson Health Research Institute trainee at the London Regional Cancer Program, London Health Sciences Centre and was supervised by Dr. Eugene Wong. Michael’s research involved the development of an image-guided preclinical irradiator to allow laboratory studies to better replicate the modern radiotherapy clinic. Michael is currently enrolled in the Medical Physics Residency Program at the University of Toronto and is training at the R. S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre, Lakeridge Health Oshawa.

Eddie Dovigi MSc

Eddie worked under the supervision of Dr. Peter Rogan as part of the team who investigated a higher incidence of causative DNA mutations in patients with a strong family history of breast cancer. The research lab collaborated with the Molecular Diagnostics lab at the London Health Sciences Centre to examine breast cancer patient DNA in greater detail. The lab uncovered novel mutations in regions outside of those screened by standard clinical laboratories and later prioritized these mutations for effects on breast cancer using computer tools and previous studies.

Stephanie Dorman PhD

Stephanie Dorman studies in the Department of Biochemistry at Western University under the supervision of Dr. Peter Rogan. Her project involved analyzing genetic data from 719 breast cancer tumours to derive genetic regions that are unaltered or unmutated in at least 90% of all tumours. Stephanie successfully defended her PhD thesis in 2015.

Amelia Nuhn MSc

Amelia Nuhn is currently attending the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Stefanie DeJesus PhD

Stefanie DeJesus is a PhD candidate working under the supervision of Dr. Harry Prapavessis, Director of the Exercise and Health Psychology Laboratory. The focus of their research is to see how effectively exercise helps smokers get off cigarettes and stay off.

Camilla Urbaniak MSc

Camilla Urbaniak is a PhD candidate under the supervision of Dr. Gregor Reid at the Lawson Health Research Institute. Camilla’s research focuses on bacteria in breast tissue and its role in the development of breast cancer.

Timothy Yeung PhD

Timothy Yeung graduated from the Radiation Therapy Program jointly offered by the University of Toronto and The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences. He completed his PhD in the Department of Medical Biophysics at Western University under the supervision of Drs Glenn Bauman, Slav Yartsev, and Ting-Yim Lee. His research investigated the use of dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography (DCE-CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) in monitoring brain cancer therapy. He used these imaging techniques in brain cancer patients to look for blood flow and metabolic patterns that will likely coincide with tumor recurrence. He also used DCE-CT imaging in small animal models to study how tumor perfusion changes after stereotactic radiosurgery and anti-angiogenic therapy. Timothy is currently a Research Physicist at Accuray.

Saman Maleki PhD

Saman completed his MSc (Master in Science) at Isfahan University in Iran. He started his PhD as an International student at Western University in 2008 in the department of Microbiology and Immunology. His work focuses on the interaction between immune cells and cancer cells. He has improved the immune response towards cancer, and neutralized cancer’s immune suppressive mechanisms as part of his PhD project. So far, he has published 4 peer-reviewed papers including one 1-author paper in the American Journal of Transplantation. He has chaired the annual student-run conference (IIRF) in the department of Microbiology and Immunology and served on multiple committees such as the research committee and appointment committee of the department as the student representative. Saman plans to explore new aspects of cancer research after his PhD as a post-doctoral fellow, and hopes to open his own lab to work on new treatment approaches for cancer in future.

Courtney Coschi PhD

Courtney Coschi received her Bachelor of Medical Science (BMSc) at Western University in 2007. She began her PhD in the Department of Biochemistry at Western University in 2007 doing cancer research at the London Regional Cancer Program in London, Ontario, under the supervision of Dr. Fred Dick. Her work focused on the retinoblastoma protein (pRB), a cellular protein that is the master regular of the cell division cycle. In most cancers, this protein cannot fulfill this role and as a result, cells continue to divide. Courtney successfully defended her PhD thesis in the Spring of 2013 and went on to attend Medical School at McMaster University. Courtney is receiving her MD in May of 2016, and will be beginning her residency training in Internal Medicine at McMaster University this July.

Rohann Correa PhD

Rohann joined the team while he was a PhD/MD candidate under the supervision of Dr. Gabriel DiMattia and Dr. Trevor Shepherd. His research “Modulation of AKT activity is associated with reversible dormancy in ascites-derived epithelial ovarian cancer spheroids” was conducted in the translational ovarian cancer labs at the London Regional Cancer Program. Rohann successfully defended his PhD thesis in the spring of 2012 and now attends medical school at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University.

Lindsay Fitzgeorge PhD

Dr. Lindsay Fitzgeorge is a full-time professor in the Fitness and Health program at Fanshawe College. She graduated with Honors in Kinesiology and Psychology from The University of Western Ontario in 2004. In 2009, she completed her PhD, in Kinesiology, again from Western University. Dr. Fitzgeorge has also undergone extensive Tobacco Treatment Specialist training. Prior to teaching at Fanshawe College she was a Professor in the School of Kinesiology and in the School of Health Sciences, both at Western University. She has also been a part of many research projects meant to encourage positive health behaviour changes and chronic disease prevention. Currently, she is part of a research team working on a large cancer prevention project funded by the Canadian Cancer Society. Generally, she works towards the promotion of physical activity and positive health conduct within diverse populations. With this, she has had the opportunity to design exercise programs for a variety of different types of participants.