People

Matt is a kinesiologist and a physical therapist. His MSc focused on the impact of muscle fatigue and sensory supplementation on proprioception and postural control. During his PhD, he investigated the central mechanisms underlying age-related decline in proprioception on the Techniques for Biomedical Engineering and Complexity Management – Informatics, Mathematics and Applications Grenoble (TIMC – IMAG) team that is embedded in the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Universite Grenoble – Alpes. As a postdoc at KU Leuven (Belgium) and UBC, he explores the brain predictors of postural instability/falls, action selection, and bimanual coordination.

Email: Matthieu.Boisgontier@ubc.ca
Website: http://matthieuboisgontier.com/
Twitter: @MattBoisgontier

 

Cristina Rubino completed her BSc in Biology at York University and her MSc in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia. Her graduate work with Dr. Jason Barton investigated the role of eye-movement training in patient populations with homonymous hemianopia. In the Brain Behaviour Lab at UBC, Cristina is interested in using neurophysiology and structural and functional neuroimaging to investigate the mechanisms associated with learning-dependent changes in stroke patients. Cristina plans to investigate the role of eye-movements during upper-extremity motor learning in healthy and stroke populations. Ultimately, her goal is to contribute to neurorehabilitation research and devise tools to improve the quality of life for those living with mobility and motor control limitations from stroke. Outside the lab, Cristina likes to explore new places through road biking, hiking, snowboarding, and playing Ultimate Frisbee.

 

Ronan Denyer is a PhD student in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. Ronan completed his Bachelor’s degree at Trinity College Dublin, receiving First Class Honors in Psychology. While studying at TCD Ronan worked with Dr. Richard Carson investigating the neurophysiological basis of cross education of motor function using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Ronan also spent some time with Dr. Kathleen Friel at the Burke Rehabilitation Institute in New York, investigating the efficacy of bimanual therapy in kids with cerebral palsy. Dr. Lara Boyd’s work investigating the neurobiology of motor learning using both neurophysiological and imaging techniques, and in particular her focus on translating findings into applications to improve the quality of life of individuals with stroke, is what attracted Ronan to Canada, UBC and the Brain Behaviour Lab.

Bev Larssen is currently a student in the MPT/PhD program at the University of British Columbia. Bev completed her BHK and MSc under the supervision of Dr. Nicola Hodges in the School of Kinesiology, also at UBC. During her undergraduate and MSc programs, Bev studied the role of feedback and observational practice in adaptation learning. After completing her physical therapy training, with the supervision of Dr. Lara Boyd, she plans to study the use of robotic devices in upper-limb training interventions, and how they can be used as a tool to facilitate motor performance and learning.

 

Bea is a MSc Candidate in the Rehabilitation Sciences program under the supervision of Dr. Lara Boyd in the Brain Behaviour Lab. Bea completed her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. Her current research examines the influence of aerobic exercise on neurophysiology and motor learning in healthy older adults. This work is geared towards informing future research evaluating exercise prescription in persons with chronic stroke. Outside of the lab, Bea enjoys being active outdoors, playing sports, and travelling.

Julia Schmidt is interested in understanding how changes in the brain impact a person’s function and everyday life. Specifically, she has two key interests: 1) how mild traumatic brain injury (i.e., concussion) affects brain connectivity and cognitive ability; and 2) how cognitive impairment after stroke affects motor learning and skill acquisition. Julia received her BSc in Occupational Therapy from The University of Alberta. She has over ten years of clinical experience in neurological rehabilitation, during which she identified critical gaps in the evidence, which together inform her research questions. Julia completed her PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia with studies including a randomised controlled trial and systematic review with meta-analysis. When Julia is not researching, she is running or biking or playing outside, preferably with her husband and two boys.

 

Upon graduation Catherine took a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science at University of Kansas Medical Center

After completion of her degree, Jill took up a Post-doctoral fellowship at BC Children’s then returned to UBC as Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Jacob Jackson completed his BSc in Physics at the University of British Columbia. His undergraduate research utilized cutting-edge neuroimaging techniques to investigate the ability of the brain to experience structural changes in response to learning novel motor movements. Expanding upon his undergraduate work, Jacob is currently using a semi-immersive virtual reality environment as a means of neurorehabilitation for individuals with stroke. Jacob is most interested in understanding the mechanisms of neuroplasticity and employing neuroimaging to quantify structural and functional changes.

 

Noah Ledwell completed his Bachelor of Kinesiology with honours at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Noah began his research career studying exercises for optimal core activation in an athlete population. Noah is currently pursuing a MSc in Rehabilitation Science in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. Noah plans to investigate the cross-facilitation effects of strength training in individuals with chronic stroke, and how this affects cortical excitability and motor learning. Noah is also exploring how pairing rehabilitation robotics with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation will affect motor function, tactile sensation, and motor system excitability in persons with chronic stroke. In his free time, Noah enjoys snowboarding, sports, and British Columbia’s beautiful nature.