Meet the Research Team
Get to know the dedicated team behind the innovative research at Remedy Institute. We come from all walks of life and are united in our passion to make a difference in mental health. Our team is made up of highly trained experts in a variety of fields. Read on to learn more about who we are and what we do.
Alysha is an epidemiologist and researcher specializing in mental health and social policy. Her work focuses on how social tools - from interpersonal relationships to community-based services and supports - can be directed towards better mental health outcomes. She has collaborated on research investigating how trauma-informed care is implemented in community health organizations, the effectiveness of housing interventions for individuals experiencing intimate partner violence, and the impact of social support on access to and use of mental health services. Alysha values accessibility, equity, inclusivity, and kindness, and strives to incorporate these qualities in her work supporting Remedy’s study of MDMA-assisted CPT for PTSD.
CPT+MDMA Study Physician and Qualified Investigator
Dr. Alison Bruni is a Toronto native. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at McGill University. Her medical training was done at McMaster University and her Family Medicine Residency program at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bruni provides holistic care to people of all ages, with a focus on preventive medicine and healthy living, and works as a full-time family doctor in Toronto.
Dr. Bruni is excited to be involved with Remedy's research projects, specifically those involving novel treatments for mental health conditions. She holds the role of Qualified Investigator for the 'CPT for PTSD + MDMA' study. Along with Dr. Nick Wang, she will be completing the medical screening for participants in this study. Dr. Bruni is looking forward to working with the wonderful team at Remedy on their exciting and groundbreaking research initiatives.
Regulatory Research Coordinator
Stephanie is a researcher and applied scientist with a passion for conducting research in mental health and making science inclusive and accessible to a large number of people. She strongly believes in utilizing the power of inquiry, curiosity, and diverse perspectives to enrich the meaning and applicability of research findings.
Stephanie is currently in the final stages of her PhD in Applied Psychology &; Human Development at the University of Toronto. Her PhD research focuses on children’s emotion understanding, expression, and regulation. In addition to her personal research program, Stephanie has sought opportunities to strengthen her research skills by collaborating with different researchers on a broad range of topics. She has worked on research projects that examined kindness and prosocial behaviours in children, cultural biases in EQAO assessments, and maltreatment in Canadian Olympic Athletes. She has also worked in research design and evaluation on provincial projects for the Ontario Community Outreach Program for Eating Disorders (OCOPED) and School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO).
Stephanie is very excited to bring her applied work as a researcher into the study of mental health treatment at Remedy. She was drawn to Remedy because of the cutting-edge research being done, and the value-driven clinicians she has the pleasure of working alongside. Together with Dr. Anne Wagner and the Remedy team, she hopes to continue to ask the questions and seek the answers that will bring you effective, compassionate and inclusive mental health treatment in the future.
Alexis joined Remedy Institute to learn about and support new and diverse PTSD interventions, and to work with an inclusive, intelligent, and compassionate team that prioritizes helping the greater community while giving her a safe environment to learn, grow, and ask questions. Alexis is a University of Toronto graduate with a double major in psychology and biology. Broadly speaking, her major areas of interest are interpersonal relationships, discrimination and prejudice, and PTSD and comorbid disorders.
In addition to working at Remedy, Alexis also lends her skills to the IMPACT lab at Toronto Metropolitan University where she has been working on studies that focus on PTSD interventions and relationships satisfaction. However, when she isn't eagerly encapsulated in research, you can find her relaxing with her dog Kingston or at the latest Marvel movie. She is delighted to be a part of the Remedy team and can't wait to contribute to all the amazing and innovative research done here.
Victoria is passionate about supporting, and creating accessible and inclusive evidence-based treatment. As a research assistant, she aims to help innovate new ways of treatment that can reach diverse populations.
In addition to Remedy, she currently works with Toronto Metropolitan University’s IMPACT lab, York University’s TULIP lab, and Stanford university’s FAST lab to help investigate trauma-related disorders, and evidence-based treatment targeting PTSD and BPD.
Her research interests include (1) trauma-related disorders (2) the dyadic relationship between interpersonal relationships and symptom severity, and (3) how to improve and adapt trauma-related evidence-based treatment to become more inclusive and accessible.
As a recent psychology graduate she plans on pursuing graduate studies in clinical psychology specializing in trauma and trauma related disorders.
Shadeene has first-hand experience with the limitations of the traditional therapeutic options currently available in mental health care. She was drawn to Remedy by her interest in finding novel tools and techniques that can address these unmet needs. Shadeene is committed to eliminating social and cultural stigmas surrounding mental health in marginalized communities by fostering diversity in conversations about mental health. She is conscious of the lack of POC in psychedelic research and is passionate about bringing diversity into this space. Shadeene has a BA in Communications from Carleton University. She brings with her the insight and understanding of emotional awareness gained from her years of experience in client services.
Desiree is passionate about mental health research and practice and hopes to increase accessibility to mental health care by creating online interventions and online therapy programs for individuals in need. As a recent graduate from York University with a B.Sc. Honours degree in Biomedical Science Stream and Psychology, Desiree hopes to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Neuropsychology and contribute on a larger scale to making mental health services effective and accessible for all.
She completed her Independent Research Project under the supervision of Dr. Fitzpatrick, in which she compared sleep measures between Borderline Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder comorbid Posttraumatic Stress Disorder patients. She continues to work with Dr. Fitzpatrick's Treating & Understanding Life Threatening Behaviour & Posttraumatic Stress Lab, assisting with an online intervention project for couples wherein one partner has PTSD symptoms in collaboration with Dr. Candice Monson at Toronto Metropolitan University.
She has prior experience in the fields of neuroscience, studying Autism Spectrum Disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disorders. Desiree is specifically interested in researching mood disorders as well as sleep and cognitive dysfunction within various populations.
Desiree is excited to join the Remedy team and looks forward to contributing to the field of trauma research.
Assessment Pool Coordinator
Meredith has always felt compelled by people’s stories. As a therapist, she is deeply invested in understanding clients’ realities and learning about how they navigate their world.
Meredith provides support for individuals struggling with a range of issues, including posttraumatic stress disorder, emotion regulation difficulties, insomnia, mood disorders, and anxiety. Meredith particularly enjoys working with couples, as well as individuals facing life transitions.
Meredith completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University, and her pre-doctoral residency at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Meredith also holds a Master of Arts degree in Trauma Studies from New York University. Meredith is committed to increasing access to evidence-based interventions, and has experience designing and implementing treatments intended to be delivered online. Her research focuses on increasing understanding of the processes through which interventions work, and testing the limits of psychotherapies.
Residency – St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
Ph.D. – Clinical Psychology, Toronto Metropolitan University
Research Collaborator & CPT + MDMA Study Clinician
Jeanine believes at the core of any therapeutic intervention is an empathic and non-judgmental relationship between the therapist and the individuals seeking help. To foster this, her emphasis is on being present, listening intently and getting curious, while individuals explore and share their thoughts and emotions. Cultivating a space of warm, genuine collaboration where each person is the expert of themselves, and feels comfortable exploring their inner experiences, is the foundation of Jeanine’s approach to clinical interventions. Jeanine’s primary theoretical orientation is influenced by the cognitive-behavioural model. She is also experienced in helping individuals develop skills using mindfulness-based approaches, and to improve distress tolerance and emotion regulation skills. Jeanine works with individuals and couples to assist with problems affecting mental health, including depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, life stressors or major changes, relationship problems, and personal growth and development. Her clinical practice is inclusive of individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, sexual and gender identities, and disabilities.
Jeanine completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University, and completed her Predoctoral Clinical Residency at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences. She will be one of the lead therapists on the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) sponsored trial led by Remedy examining treatment that will combine the use of MDMA and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Jeanine’s expertise from both a clinical and research perspective is on the use of CPT for PTSD, and on helping clinicians learn to deliver this trauma-focused intervention to improve both access and quality of care for those who have been impacted by a range of traumatic experiences, including interpersonal violence, sexual assault, childhood assault, military-related trauma and motor vehicle accidents, among others. Jeanine is passionate about the work she does and truly enjoys connecting with clients to travel on their personal journey toward healing, growth and recovery.
Residency – Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.
Ph.D. – Clinical Psychology, Toronto Metropolitan University
Melanie is driven by her passion for mental health research, science-based practices, and trauma-informed care. As a researcher, she hopes to give back to the community by supporting innovative interventions for the treatment of various mental health disorders.
Melanie is currently completing her PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education at the University of Toronto, OISE. Her research focuses on how individuals cope with traumatic events and how to improve long-term outcomes and well-being in trauma survivors. More specifically, she examines the relationship between self-compassion, coping, and meaning, and their contributions to positive psychological change following trauma, otherwise known as posttraumatic growth. Beyond that, she also has experience on research projects looking at personal growth following difficult life events, character strengths, and mindfulness-based interventions for stress, depression, and anxiety.
Melanie is enthusiastic about being involved in the research happening at Remedy, such as the MAPS funded trial of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD + MDMA. She looks forward to investigating, supporting, and advocating for trauma-informed mental health treatment. Overall, Melanie is passionate about research that is impactful, inclusive, and supports growth, recovery, and healing.
CPT+MDMA Study Clinician
Iris Sijercic is passionate about the research being conducted at Remedy as it is focused on innovating psychotherapies to increase their effectiveness. Her research examines predictors of psychotherapy outcome to enhance client care. Iris is a Ph.D. Candidate in Clinical Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University. She is completing her predoctoral residency at CBT Associates, where she provides cognitive behavioural therapy and other evidence-based interventions to individuals and couples. Iris also works as one of the therapists in an ongoing clinical trial at Remedy that is investigating the effect of MDMA-facilitated Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD.
Research Collaborator & CPT + MDMA Study Clinician
Jenna is a research collaborator at Remedy and a therapist on the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)-funded trial of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD + MDMA. She is a registered clinical and counseling psychologist in Ontario with expertise in assessment and treatment of borderline personality and trauma-related disorders.
Jenna is also a Junior Investigator in the Gunderson Personality Disorders Institute at McLean Hospital and an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Her program of research uses brain imaging and neurocognitive tools to identify biomarkers of personality psychopathology and treatment response to novel biological and psychotherapy interventions for individuals who are at high risk for suicide, with a focus on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). She has published peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and has presented her research at national and international conferences.
Data Oversight Coordinator
Hera’s clinical and research practice is guided by values of inclusivity, collaboration, and curiosity. She uses a cognitive-behavioural approach to help clients navigate concerns related to substance use and addiction, smoking cessation, trauma, depression, anxiety, life stressors, and self-discovery. Hera places an emphasis on building genuine therapeutic relationships as she supports clients to set meaningful goals, enhance self-understanding, develop skills, and move towards desired change. She welcomes the opportunity to work alongside folks from all backgrounds, identities and abilities, and she strives to tailor her practice to match the unique experiences and needs of each client.
Hera also holds a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Toronto Metropolitan University. She is interested in research that examines how individual differences impact responsiveness to mental health and addiction treatments. Hera’s current research examines how alcohol and substance use impact the effectiveness of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. She hopes that this research can help guide the development of personalized mental health and addiction treatments that are effective for diverse groups of people.
Hera previously held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), where she conducted research examining how genetic differences impact responsiveness to a novel smoking cessation intervention. During her Residency at CAMH, she worked with clients with substance use concerns, with an emphasis on alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis.
Fellowships– Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Toronto Metropolitan University & Discovery Fund, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Residency– Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Ph.D– Clinical Psychology, Dalhousie University
CPT+MDMA Study Clinician
Richard is enthusiastic about enhancing evidence-based interventions for mental health, which makes him especially excited to be working at Remedy as a research collaborator and trial therapist (Cognitive Processing Therapy + MDMA for PTSD). Richard Zeifman is a Ph.D. Candidate in Clinical Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University a research associate at Imperial College London, and a psychology resident at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
Richard's research focuses on optimizing psychotherapeutic interventions by (a) examining the mechanisms through which psychotherapeutic interventions lead to change and (b) integrating psychotherapies with novel pharmacological interventions (e.g., psilocybin, MDMA). His clinical work focuses on providing patient-centered cognitive behavioural and emotion-focused therapies for individuals with complex clinical presentations (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], borderline personality disorder).