Meet the Team

Dr. Marc Poulin, Principal Investigator

Professor, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Cumming School of Medicine

Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology

The Brenda Strafford Foundation Chair in Alzheimer Research

Member, Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Associate Member, Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta

Marc Poulin

Marc Poulin is Professor of Physiology in the Cumming School of Medicine (Departments of Physiology & Pharmacology, and Clinical Neurosciences) and the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. He is a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, and the O’Brien Institute of Public Health at the University of Calgary. He also holds the Brenda Strafford Foundation Chair in Alzheimer Research.

Dr. Poulin obtained a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education (Honors) from Laurentian University (1986), an MA and PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of Western Ontario (1988, 1993) and a DPhil in Respiratory and Cerebrovascular Human Physiology from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom (1999).

Dr. Poulin's two primary research areas include i) healthy brain aging and dementia (focusing on the role of exercise in vascular health and cognitive function), and ii) the effects of intermittent hypoxia in health, in workers at high altitude, and in the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnea.

At the University of Calgary, Dr. Poulin leads a graduate training specialization program in Mountain Medicine and High Altitude Physiology. Since 2010, he has been interacting with Canadian mining companies to better understand the challenges imposed on miners working at high altitude in South America. He currently serves on the scientific advisory board of the International Hypoxia Symposia Conference series, and served as Editor for the journal Experimental Physiology (2013-2017). He holds grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Dr. Poulin is PI for the NSERC CREATE interdisciplinary program on new neuro-technologies (2019-2025).


Post-Doctoral Associates & Fellows

Veronica Guadagni

Dr. Veronica Guadagni, PhD

Originally from Italy, I obtained a Master in Neuroscience from the University of L’Aquila. I moved to Canada in 2011 to start a PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences in the Department of Psychology, which I completed in 2017. In June 2017, I joined the Laboratory of Human Cerebrovascular Physiology as a Postdoctoral Fellow.

Since then I have been working on the BIM I study findings; specifically, the effects of a six-month aerobic exercise intervention on sleep, brain health, and cognition. I have also worked on the study's main results: the effects of aerobic exercise on cerebrovascular regulation and executive function, memory, and attention. I am currently involved in the data collection and analyses from BIM II. I am supported by an Alzheimer Society Research program (ASRP) Postdoctoral Fellowship and by the O’Brien Institute Centre of Aging.

I am a mother of a smart and active 6-year-old, Mia, and I love to spend my free time in the mountains snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, and climbing with my family.

Nick Bray

Dr. Nick Bray, PhD, CSEP-CEP

Originally from Newfoundland, I obtained my PhD from Western University; my dissertation centred on describing functional brain connectivity's role in the relationship of multimodal interventions to improve cognitive and physical function in vulnerable (frailty & mild cognitive impairment) older adults. I joined the Lab of Human Cerebrovascular Physiology as a Postdoctoral Associate in June of 2022.

Previously, I have led or assisted in randomized controlled trials to improve various health-related outcomes, in addition to longitudinal, cross-sectional, and review studies that provided a better understanding of pathophysiology. As part of the Lab of Human Cerebrovascular Physiology, I am exploring the relationship between physical frailty and cerebrovascular outcomes. More specifically, how physical frailty may moderate the relationship between cerebral blood flow and functional brain connectivity. I am currently supported by the University of Calgary’s Eyes High Postdoctoral Funding Program.

You can find me camping with my wife, son, and dog in my free time.


Administrative & Research Staff

Kennedy Paterson

Kennedy Paterson, BA (Research Psychometrist)

Since graduating from the University of British Columbia in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology with a minor in Sociology, I have been passionate about practicing psychometry in numerous different settings including brain injury, clinical assessment, and disability.

As the Research Psychometrist for the Brain In Motion study, I administer and score the Cognitive Function Assessment and Clinical Dementia Rating assessment – The brain stuff!

While also pursuing my master’s degree in Counselling, I love to hike with my dog, spend time with friends and family, and go to the lake to surf in my free time.

Chelsea Ziegler

Chelsea Ziegler, MPH (Study Coordinator)

Originally from Saskatchewan, I completed both my undergraduate degrees (microbiology/immunology and biochemistry) and Masters (public health) at the University of Saskatchewan. Within public health, I am interested in looking at the cause and distribution of conditions (chronic and infectious).

In the lab, I coordinate the Brain in Motion I & II Studies including scheduling, tracking, and organizing the study, which involves a lot of phone calls and emails. I am often the first point of contact for our wonderful participants. 

Outside the lab, I love spending time crafting (currently cross-stitching) while watching documentaries, trying new foods/restaurants, and spending time with my fiancé, friends and adorable pup.

Courtney Ellis

Courtney Ellis, MSc (Kin), CSEP-CEP (Research Specialist / Exercise Physiologist)

I am a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and High Performance Specialist through the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology. I also received a Master of Science degree studying Kinesiology, specializing in neuroscience, from the University of Waterloo. My research interests in this field include the beneficial effects of physical activity and exercise on brain function, cognitive performance, and physical health, particularly in the older adult population. I am also passionate about community outreach, health promotion events and programming and translating exercise research to real-world settings.   

In the lab I support the ongoing research initiatives of the Principal Investigators in the Clinical and Translational Exercise Physiology (CTEP) Laboratory. Specifically, I support the coordination and administration of research programs and projects related to exercise and metabolic testing, exercise training, cardiovascular testing as well as data processing, interpretation, and documentation. 

In my spare time, I enjoy running outside, exercising at the gym, singing, and watching sitcoms and documentaries. 

Brad Hanson

Brad Hanson BA (Kin) HFFC-CEP (Lab Manager)

So far, my journey has extended across 3 provinces. Beginning in Ontario, attending, and working at Western University for many years with the School of Kinesiology until I was presented with an opportunity to go west. This led my wife and I to pack-up all our belongings, sell the house and head to Alberta. My first post was with Dr. Marc Poulin and the University of Calgary. My time in Marc’s lab was exciting and full of new learning experiences. But my calling to go west was not complete. We decided to continue our trek west and explore British Columbia, where I was offered an opportunity to do field work on Wildland Firefighters and Ultra Marathoners with the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. After a few years in Vancouver, we started our trek back east with a stop in Kelowna and UBCO, where I worked as a Lab Coordinator in Human Kinetics. Then our final stop back at U of C and Marc Poulin’s lab.

I have found my journey so far, not only eventful, but a truly captivating experience. I also believe that family and friends are very important to one’s quality of life, and this model must be preserved at all costs. In the past few years my family has grown almost 2-fold and their reflection on life has guided me on many more adventures around the world; my voyage is just beginning.

Dalia Ghoneim

Dalia Ghoneim, MPH, CSEP-CEP (Health Behaviour Support)

I conduct the Health Behaviour phone calls with the Brain in Motion II Study to assist participants in reaching their exercise goals. I am a Clinical Exercise Physiologist with a Master’s in Public Health. I have always been passionate about promoting healthy lifestyles and assisting people in making sustainable changes to reach their exercise and health related goals.

In my free time, I enjoy staying active through yoga, exercising at the gym, getting outdoors and hiking in the mountains, and I also love to read.

Eryka Haley

Eryka Haley, RN (Research Associate)

I am a professional nurse involved with the BIM since 2011. I have extensive professional experience as an educator, manager, and clinician in several areas such as emergency, cardiac surgery, gerontology and neurology. I am a graduate of the Royal Victoria Hospital School of Nursing and of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.

At the lab, I assist with BIM II recruitment, screening, and testing, and in communications with participants and their physician's offices. I greatly enjoy meeting the participants and working with the young researchers in the lab.

In my free time, I can be found, gardening, reading, swimming, and now, playing with my twin grandchildren. 

Haley Young

Haley Young, BSc (Brain in Motion II Exercise Trainer)

I am the current Stretch & Tone Exercise Trainer for the Brain in Motion II Study.  I graduated in 2019 from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise & Health Physiology.  I have been involved with the Brain in Motion Studies since 2019 when I was an undergraduate practicum student and summer student researcher in the Clinical and Translational Exercise Physiology (CTEP) Laboratory.

Outside of work, I enjoy reading, playing sports with my friends, and being active with my dog.  This fall, I am excited to be joining the University of Calgary’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2026!

Natalie Yeung

Natalie Yeung, MSc, BSc (Brain in Motion II Exercise Trainer)

I am the Aerobic Exercise Trainer for Brain in Motion II. As a trainer, I engage directly with participants and lead them through the aerobic exercise intervention while collecting data for the study. I recently received a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology, specializing in sensorimotor neuroscience at the University of Calgary. 

In my free time, I enjoy walking my two Beagles, painting, and volunteering for The Hatch and Good Neighbour Community Market. 


Graduate Students

Matiram Pun

Dr. Matiram Pun, MBBS, MSc, PhD (c)

I am from Nepal and am a PhD student in the lab. My interest in Mountain Medicine and High Altitude Illness Pathophysiology brought me to the University of Calgary's graduate program in that field. Being born and raised in the mid-hills of Nepal and trekking extensively in the Nepal Himalayas, I became enthused during my medical school days with high altitude hypoxia and its consequences on the human body.

Currently, my focus is on Sleep-Disordered Breathing, especially Obstructive Sleep Apnea; i.e. intermittent hypoxia in the controlled laboratory environment. Next, I am studying the effects of acute, subacute and chronic exposure to very high altitude; i.e. high altitude sojourners, low-landers working at high altitude for a longer period of time, and high altitude residents. 

Fundings and Awards

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral Research Award (2022)
  • Alberta Innovates Graduate Student Scholarships for Data-Enabled Innovation (2020)
  • Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship (2020/2021)
  • NSERC BRAIN CREATE Graduate Scholarship (2020)
  • University of Calgary Dean's International Doctoral Recruitment Scholarship (2019/2020)
Connor Snow

Connor Snow, BSc

Currently, I am a masters student in the lab focusing on neuroscience. I have recently graduated from the University of Calgary with a BSc in Exercise and Health Physiology. My interests in health and physical fitness led me to develop a greater understanding of physiology and the role that physical activity has in the prevention of morbidity and mortality. I also have a personal passion to further investigate Alzheimer's disease and Dementia.

My research pertains to how physiological biomarkers and healthy lifestyles can be used to predict or indicate risk for future cognitive decline and how exercise may modify these risk factors to attenuate or mitigate risk for later cognitive dysfunction in the context of the Brain in Motion study.

In my leisure time, I enjoy physical activities and exploring the outdoors. I also volunteer at the Rockyview Hospital in the Emergency Department and coach for the Calgary Sledge Hockey Association. 

Alison Donald

Alison Donald, HBSc, PhD (c)

I am currently pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience. I’ve completed a HBSc at the University of Toronto, St. George, majoring in Neuroscience and Cell & Molecular biology.

My research interest is the reactivity of the cerebrovasculature with aging, and its relationship to aerobic fitness capacity in the Brain in Motion study. I am also interested in how arterial stiffening can be improved or delayed with exercise. 

In my spare time I am learning Vietnamese and Mandarin. I also enjoy gardening in the summer and helping at my family's flower shop. 


Prebaccalaureate Research Trainees

David Adriano

David Adriano

I am currently undergoing my Bachelor's of Science in Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. Within the lab, I help out with data collections regarding BIM I and II participants and PPCS participants, as well as help manage data entry! Outside of the lab and school, I love to weightlift and spend my time in the mountains, as well as paint and play my instruments from time to time.

Kaia Ybema

Kaia Ybema

I am a summer co-op student from the University of Victoria, and am pursuing my Bachelors of Science in Biology, with a concentration in Neurobiology. Within the Brain in Motion study, I am focusing primarily on the fields of proteomics and metabolomics, as well as helping with participants and tasks around the lab. 

Outside of the Poulin lab, I enjoy spending time outside with friends, family, and my dog. I have a passion for travelling outside of Canada, but locally as well

Harshita Gauba

Harshita Gauba

I am in my fifth year of Bachelor of Kinesiology at University of Calgary. As a novel researcher, I am interested in developing my skills in sleep physiology, and its influences on various bodily systems. Currently, I am investigating relationships between the odd ratio product of sleep depth, conventional sleep architecture, and cerebrovascular parameters.

Outside the lab, I enjoy engaging in visual arts and graphic designing. I keep myself involved in the community by volunteering at various platforms such as the local physiotherapy clinic and Peter Lougheed Hospital. As President of the Mental Health Awareness Club, I volunteered with the UCalgary community throughout the pandemic by organising de-stressing activities for students. My passion to create a meaningful change in any discipline/community I am involved in, motivated me to strive toward making a contribution to the field of my studies.


Past Lab Members

Dr. Philip N. Ainslie, PhD

Dr. Genevieve Arsenault-Lapierre, PhD

Dr. Alaster Hodges, PhD

Dr. Kojiro Ide, PhD

Dr. Linda Johannson, MD, MSc

Dr. Jon Kolb, PhD

Dr. Vincent Pialoux, PhD

Dr. Jimmy Vantanajal, MD, MSc

Laurie Argourd, MSc

Justine Arnaud, BSc

Jon Ashmead, MSc

Ameen Basha, BHSc

Dr. Andrew Beaudin, PhD

Jamie Beecroft, MSc

Maria Bernard, BSc

Kaitlyn Bettauer

Linda Brigan

Allison Brown, MSc

Dr. Julien Brugniaux, PhD

Hannah Byles, BHSc

Dr. Grazyna Burek, MD

Michaela Chadder, MKin

Dr. Cameron Clark, PhD

Dr. Margie Davenport, PhD

Dr. Chantel Debert, MD, MSc

Dr. Melanie Denheyer, PhD

Dr. Lauren Drogos, PhD

Madison Duffin, BSc

Cailean Duggan, MSc

Catherine Duncan, BHSc

Lindsay Eller, BSc

Carina Fan, BSc 

Daniela Fluck, BSc

Dr. Scott Forbes, PhD

Dr. Glen Foster, PhD

Anna Garber, MSc

Sofia Grant

Keenan Gough, MKin

Samantha Hall, BHSc (Hons)

Ciara Hanly

Bradley Hansen

Ashley Harris, BSc

Dr. Sara Hartmann, PhD

Gabrielle Heine, MKin

Brooke Hogarth, BSc

Prayash Katlariwala

Michael Kimm, BSc

Dr. Daniela Krawczyk, PhD

Dr. Renata L. Krüger, PhD

Alyken Kurji, BSc

Sonja Lake

Oluwaseyi Lawal, MSc

Cindy Lee

Andrew Loe

Marlen Luthi, MSc

David MacKay, BSc

Scott MacKay, BKin

Nancy Martin, BSc

Carly McMorris, BSc

Lana Melashenko, MSc

Katrina Moreland

Andrew Panteluk

Dr. Andrée-Anne Parent, PhD

Tona Pitt, BSc

Colton Quinn, MKin

Laura Richardson, BA

Jason Robertson, BSc

Chantal Rytz, MSc

Kayla Sage

Sarah Sharkey

Dasha Sosna, BKin

Dr. Matthew Spencer, PhD

Natalie St-Denis

Brian Steele, BA (Hon)

Dr. Craig Steinback, PhD

Jenny Strong, BSc

Nicole Struthers, MKin

Emma Tholl

Heather Toews, BA

Dr. Amanda Tyndall, PhD

Janine Willis

Lexi Wirachowsky, BSc

Leanna Wyer, MSc

Claudia Velasquez

Adam Villard

Dr. Xavier Waltz, PhD

Chris Willie, BHSc

Christina Yang, BSc

Haley Young

Current & Past Collaborators

University of Calgary

Dr. Todd J. Anderson

Dr. Fiona Clement

Dr. Michael Eliasziw

Dr. Richard Frayne

Dr. Christine M. Friedenreich

Dr. Patrick Hanly

Dr. Heather Hanson

Dr. Russell T. Hepple

Dr. Michael D. Hill

Dr. David Hogan

Dr. Jayna Holroyd-Leduc

Dr. Richard Leigh

Dr. Stewart Longman

Dr. Meghan McDonough

Dr. Jillian Parboosingh

Dr. G Bruce Pike

Dr. Raylene Reimer

Dr. Tolulope Sajobi

Dr. Robert Sheldon

Dr. Eric Smith

Dr. Richard Wilson

Dr. David Zygun

 

Dalhousie University

Dr. Gail Eskes

Dr. Budda Basnyat

Dr. Luc Teppema, University of Leiden

University of Birmingham

Dr. George M. Balanos

 

University of Oxford

Dr. Marzieh Fatemian

Dr. Jaideep Pandit

Dr. Stephen J. Payne

Dr. Peter A. Robbins

 

University of Cardiff, Wales

Dr. Richard Wise

Dr. Fabiola Leon-Velarde