ABOUT

Our Purpose

Our lab explores a multitude of topics including mood and personality disorders and substance use. Participants recruited through our studies come from community settings, inpatient and outpatient hospital clinics, and specialized treatment centres. 


These studies aim to collect information about treatment success, the long-term trajectories of specific mental disorders, and patient-important outcomes for treatment. Through the collection of this information and the analysis of biological samples from these populations, we aim to develop and refine recommendations for treatment in order to support a patient-centred approach.  


Our current and upcoming studies reflect a transdiagnostic perspective for investigating the trajectory of psychiatric conditions.

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OUR TEAM

DR. LEEN NAJI

MD, MSc Student, Health Research Methodologies Program, McMaster University

Dr. Leen Naji is an assistant clinical professor in Family Medicine at McMaster University. She is currently completing her masters in the Health Research Methodologies program, focusing on addiction and substance use in patients with psychiatric disorders. 

BALPREET PANESAR

PhD Student, Neuroscience Graduate Program, McMaster University

Balpreet is interested in determination of suicidal ideation and behaviours, as well as the development of interventions designed to reduce this behaviour in at-risk individuals. She also works on projects involving patient-important outcomes in opioid substitution treatment, and has expertise in qualitative analysis.

MYANCA RODRIGUES

MSc, PhD Student, Health Research Methodologies (Biostatistics) Program, McMaster University

Myanca's thesis work involves the comparison of patient- and administrative-level outcomes for treatment of depression. Myanca is also interested in the use of knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation to improve mental health. 

Dr. Zainab Samaan

MBCHB, DMMD, MSC, MRCPSYCH, PHD

Dr. Samaan is the principal investigator of the MEND Research Collaborative. After earning her medical degree, she completed her psychiatry and research training in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Dr. Samaan holds a Masters of Science from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and a PhD in Psychiatric Genetics from the Institute of Psychiatry and Kings College London, UK. She currently works as a staff psychiatrist at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, and an associate professor at McMaster University. 

Dr. Samaan's research interests lie in mood, personality and substance use disorders, as well as risk factors and intervention for suicidal behaviour and ideation. Her work focuses on identifying genetic and social determinants of course of disease and treatment response, as well as the identification of patient-important outcomes. Dr. Samaan is also interested in the development of precision-based medicine approaches to clinical management of psychiatric disorders and illness.

JACKIE HUDSON

Research Assistant, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences

Jackie coordinates several of the projects in progress in the MEND Research Collaborative, and specifically the Pharmacogenetics of Opioid Substitution Treatment Response (POST) Study.

DR. TEA ROSIC

MD, PhD Student in Health Research Methodologies Program

Dr. Rosic is a resident in Psychiatry at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. She is currently completing a Masters in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University, with much of her focus being cannabis use and opioid substitution treatment within the opioid use disorder population.

ALESSIA D'ELIA

PhD Student, Neuroscience Graduate Program, McMaster University

Alessia's thesis work involves randomized trials to assess the effectiveness of treatment for various mood disorders, specifically depression and bipolar disorder. Alessia often collaborates with her peers in order to refine skills and knowledge of substance use disorders.

ALANNAH HILLMER

PhD Student, Neuroscience Graduate Program, McMaster University

Alannah's research focuses on conducting a genome-wide association study investigating cannabis use within the opioid use disorder population. Alannah often collaborates with her peers in order to refine skills and knowledge of psychiatric disorders.

PREVIOUS STUDENTS

DR. NITIKA SANGER

PhD

DR. STEFAN PERERA

MD, MSc

DR. MONICA BAWOR

MD, PhD

DR. BRITTANY DENNIS

MD, PhD

CAROUL CHAWAR

MSc

DR. REBECCA EISEN

MD, MSc

MEHA BHATT

MSc

LAURA ZIELINSKI

MSc