Aaron Phillips, MSc, PhD, CSEP-CEP
My research combines integrated physiology and neuroscience in order to understand autonomic function. Currently, the laboratory has two primary foci: the first is to understand the mechanisms underlying neurovascular regulation in the human brain; the second is to develop a neurostimulation therapy for improving health in those with autonomic dysfunction.
I am currently collaborating with labs in Switzerland and Croatia as well as with clinicians in Minnesota to deeply understand the capacity of electrical stimulation of the spinal cord to control autonomic function. These studies are using murine models, as well as non-human primates and humans. Please review the Research tab for much more detail and a list of recent publications.
Jordan Squair, PhD, MD Student
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
I am a translational neurophysiologist with specific interest in understanding sympathetic-cardiovascular control. I have gained experience and training using both preclinical and clinical models of research to translate my findings directly into the human reality. I also deploy a number of computational approaches to better understand data and harness large data-sets.
Rejitha Suraj, PhD (Pharmacy) RPh
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
I received my PhD in Pharmacy from LaTrobe Univesirty, Australia in 2016. My PhD focused on targeting DNA damage and repair pathway in colon cancer cells. In particular, my work involved target-based drug design and elucidating the molecular pathways by which novel DNA-PK inhibitors imparts chemo sensitization. I joined Dr. Aaron Phillips' Lab as a postdoctoral research fellow in March 2018. My current work focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying neurovascular regulation in the human brain and to develop a neurostimulation therapy for restoring cardiovascular health in those with spinal cord injury.
Bita Vaseghi, PhD (Neuroscience), MSc, BSc (PT)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
I am a postdoctoral neuroscientist with physical therapy training background. I obtained my PhD in Monash University- Australia. I am experienced in investigating neuroplasticity induced by non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, including transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as well as looking at pain-induced neuroplasticity. I also have extensive experience with clinical trials in patients suffering from pain and other neurological disorders. I am passionate about implementing new treatment strategies to induce neuroplasticity and stabilize autonomic and cardiovascular function for people with spinal cord injury. My current research involves transcutaneous electrical stimulation of spinal cord to evaluate autonomic responses in people with spinal cord injury.
MD-NS Program, MSc Candidate
I have recently completed my Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Health Sciences and a minor in Chemistry at Mount Royal University. During the last year of my undergraduate degree, my research involvement consisted of 1) a cerebrovascular physiology research focusing on neurovascular coupling response and 2) studying the biophysical mechanisms of the cardiovascular system. Beginning this fall of 2018, I will be starting my Master's in the Neuroscience program at the Phillips Lab. My project will involve elucidating the mechanisms underlying the neurovascular coupling response in humans using pharmacological interventions.
MD-NS Program, MSc Candidate
I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Waterloo, and am excited to be joining the Phillips Lab as a graduate student in the Neuroscience program in Fall 2018. During my undergraduate career, through various avenues of volunteering, I developed a passion for working with vulnerable populations and exploring physiology with a more clinical focus; specifically, neuro/cardiovascular function. My research will focus on understanding the role of nitric oxide synthase to further delineate the neurovascular coupling mechanism in humans.
MD-CV Program, MSc Candidate
In the spring of 2018, I completed my BScH with a major in Life Sciences at Queen’s University. With this degree and my past cardiac MRI research experience at the Stephenson Cardiac Imaging Centre, I have developed a passion for the field of cardiology and am driven to pursue a career in Medicine with active involvement in research. I am thrilled to start my Master’s in the Cardiovascular and Respiratory program at the Phillips Lab. My project will be a human-based 4D Flow and Strain investigation of cardiac function in patients with cervical spinal cord injuries. I hope to gain a further understanding of translational research practices working alongside the other talented professionals in the Phillips Lab.
Undergraduate Student BHSc (Honours student)
I’m in my 4th year of my Biomedical Sciences degree, and I’m excited to be a member of the Phillips lab as I complete my Honours Thesis. With my previous research experience on exercise physiology and mental states, I have developed an interest in using interdisciplinary approaches to assess performance and health outcomes. This same approach is used in the Phillips lab, amalgamating cardiovascular explorations in the context of neuroscience, and is why I was drawn to become a member of this research team. I look forward to completing my thesis on the longterm cardiovascular consequences of orthostatic hypotension in spinal cord injured individuals during this year, and hope to develop new knowledge and expand my skillset as a student researcher.
I am currently a first-year Biomedical Sciences student at the University of Calgary. Through my volunteering experience with spinal cord injury patients and my studies for the National Brain Bee, I have developed an interest for neuroscience, and applying my knowledge to help others. Currently, I will be helping Dr. Vaseghi with her project that aims to examine the effects of transcutaneous electrical stimulation on orthostatic hypotension in patients with spinal cord injuries.”
I am currently in my 3rd of Health Sciences at the University of Calgary, majoring in Biomedical Science. I am passionate about clinical research in the fields of cardiovascular and neurophysiology. This is the main reason that I wanted to get into the Phillips Lab. I have gained exceptional knowledge in these two areas by taking many introductory and higher-level courses. Besides, taking other courses specific to my program has made me acquainted with various research methods and the environment. In this lab, I will be helping with a research project examining the effects of transcutaneous electrical stimulation of spinal cord on autonomic responses and cardiovascular system in patients with spinal cord injury. At the same time, I am involved in writing two review papers as well as a journal club.
In September of 2018, I began the first year of my undergraduate degree majoring in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Calgary. I developed a passion for health sciences through various volunteering experiences I took on during high school. Most notably, my experiences volunteering with elderly populations has led to my interest in neuroscience. I am extremely excited to not only learn and participate in research at Philips lab, but to potentially make a positive impact in the lives of individuals impacted by spinal cord injury.
In June of 2018 I will have completed my first year in the Queen’s School of Medicine. My passions for people and medicine paired with my interest in research has me truly excited to be engaged in the translational research conducted by the Phillips lab. My studies in human anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and medicine will serve me well as I work on two projects during the summer of 2018. The first project will examine the neurovascular coupling responses of spinal cord injured patients compared to uninjured participants. The second project will use an animal model to investigate the effects of orthostatic hypotension on individuals with spinal cord injury.
In September of 2018, I will be entering my final year of undergraduate studies at Queen’s University, obtaining a degree in Life Sciences with a specialization in biomedicine. In my introductory and upper-year level coursework I have developed a passion for the medical world and am extremely excited to pursue research within the Philips Lab. Within the past three years, I have acquired an extensive background in mammalian physiology, human anatomy and pharmacology, all of which will complement my summer project involving the neurovascular coupling response in both healthy participants and those with spinal cord injuries.
I have recently completed my second year of an undergraduate degree majoring in Pure Mathematics at the University of Calgary. Through this, I have become interested in the application and interdisciplinary aspect of my field, and I hope to learn more through being involved with research. Currently, I am developing cutting-edge software aimed at understanding neurovascular coupling. I enjoy using math as a tool to solve complex biological questions, and I look forward to continuing this work in the future.
For the past three years I have pursued a multidisciplinary undergraduate experience from Quest University which has supplied a broad knowledge base in the liberal arts and sciences, but also a focused study of physiology. My research interests lie in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular physiology, and I am excited to learn more about the neurovascular coupling response in patients with spinal cord injury. My honours thesis will be focused on these subjects.