I am an Assistant Professor and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Neurogenomics in the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba. I am also a Principal Investigator in the Neuroscience Research Program at the Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine, Health Sciences Centre. Finally, I am affiliated with the Department of Biochemistry & Medical Genetics.
My lab focuses on using genomics to study DNA repair in the brain, as well as employing precision medicine approaches in neurological disorders. Please contact me if you are interested in joining the group or collaborating.
I completed my PhD at Stellenbosch University, where I performed pharmacogenomic studies in African populations.
I then received additional training in computational biology at the South African National Bioinformatics Institute, before moving to Canada as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia (UBC). During this fellowship, I became a member of the Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety, University of British Columbia (UBC) and was primarily supervised by Drs. Michael Hayden, Colin Ross and Bruce Carleton.
At UBC, my research projects included investigating serious adverse drug reactions from medications used to treat neurological conditions. This work has led to the identification of highly predictive biomarkers for various adverse drug reactions, including drug-induced neurotoxicities and liver injury. My precision medicine research has also uncovered the essential role of somatic instability and DNA repair in modifying Huntington disease onset and has identified clinically-relevant genetic variants for this trait.
My work has recently been supported by both the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship and the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Cross-Disciplinary Training Program.
I am broadly interested in elucidating genetic factors that contribute towards fundamental human biology, disease and drug response through the application of bioinformatic analyses to large-scale genomic data. This research aims to identify genetic variants, genes and pathways that modify risk for serious adverse drug reactions, disease and other human phenotypes. Biological insights obtained from these analyses can lead to a better understanding of human biology, the identification of novel therapeutic targets as well as improved risk prediction models.
More information about the studies that my lab is currently undertaking or research that I have recently been involved in can be found below.
PhD in Genetics, 2012
BSc Honours in Genetics, 2006
I am currently a Co-Investigator and Research Leader for a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network Grant. During my postdoctoral research, I was supported by numerous funding organizations, including the CIHR Fellowship as well as the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Cross-Disciplinary Training Program. A detailed list can be found here.