youtube linkedin
Exit off canvas

Where are they now?

See what some of our IMS graduates are doing today.

Aristotle Voineskos MD, PhD, FRCP(C)

voineskos-150

The main focus of Dr. Voineskos’ work while a student at IMS was combining brain imaging and genetics to better understand disease pathways in neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. Now, on the faculty, he is continuing that work in his lab at CAMH, known as the ‘Kimel Family Translational Imaging-Genetics Lab’. He describes his work as translational “because we are looking at how molecular genetic risk factors might influence brain structures and connections in order to identify individuals at-risk for severe brain disorders.” Part of this work also includes using gene expression databases, and working with collaborators to image animal models of disease in parallel with the work in humans. Dr. Voineskos explains “the impact of our work lies in its possibility to clarify pathophysiology of disease, identify brain based biomarkers and novel treatment targets in the brain. My work at IMS exposed me to outstanding mentorship and future collaborations with molecular scientists, imaging scientists, and clinician-scientists.

David Kideckel, PhD

David Kideckel
David Kideckel, who gained his doctorate in medical science with a focus in neuroimaging at IMS, is Territory Manager at Janssen Inc., part of the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson. A former president of the IMS Student Association (IMSSA), Dr. Kideckel credits his time at IMS as a key part of the development of his entrepreneurial spirit for exploring the business applications of science. During his graduate studies, he won the opportunity to participate in an international Novartis biocamp, a week long event bringing together venture capitalists, pharmaceutical executives and scientists to take a complex scientific molecule and translate it into a full business plan. His team won the event, the first of many experiences where he has been called on to use his scientific skill set to translate complex scientific ideas into business opportunities. Today, Dr. Kideckel is working part-time on an MBA at the Rotman school, with the aim of “expanding Canada’s footprint in the innovation economy.”

 

Jonathan Downar, MD, PhD, FRCP(C)

Jonathan Downar
When Jonathan Downar left the IMS for medical school in 2002, PhD in hand, studying the mechanisms of consciousness in the human brain was a new field. Today, Dr. Downar, a clinician scientist atthe Toronto Western Hospital, works on translating neuroimaging into new treatments for neurologicaland psychiatric diseases by combining it with an emerging brain-stimulation treatment called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, or rTMS. Last year, Dr. Downar’s lab began a study of using rTMS for depression, targeting new regions of the brain. Initial results have exceeded expectations, with response rates over 50% in patients resistant to medication. And, the most important discoveries turned out to be serendipitous. Some of Dr. Downar’s depression patients also happened to have severe bulimia nervosa, and these patients spontaneously reported that their binge eating, along with other impulse control issues, was resolving after just a few days of treatment. In Dr. Downar’s words, “we may have stumbled upon a treatment that is really about enhancing impulse control — an effect that also happens to treat depression in a fair number of cases. As we follow up these findings, we’re hoping that they will hold up in a larger trial. If they do, then we may have managed to translate findings from basic neuroscience into treatments for two different and difficult illnesses.“