Clinical Neuroscience of Schizophrenia Laboratory

Lab Members

Laboratory Director

Vina Goghari

Vina M. Goghari, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry
Chair, Graduate Department of Clinical Psychological Science



Lab Manager & Research Assistant

Orchestra conductor waving baton

Deanna Toews
MA; BEd; BSc (Honours), Mental Health Studies

I am a graduate of University of Toronto Scarborough's co-op BSc program in Mental Health Studies and previously worked as a freelance technical writer/editor. My research interests are broad and include psychosocial and educational interventions designed to bring about more equitable health, occupational, and social outcomes among individuals facing various challenges across the lifespan. I was previously a research assistant in a team investigating the psychosocial barriers that prevent individuals with chronic kidney disease from seeking optimal health treatments; together we launched a province-wide kidney transplant education program for patients and their families. I have recently been admitted as a Master of Social Work candidate at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto.

Graduate Students

MRI scan of brain

Robert Aidelbaum
MA Candidate, Counselling and Clinical Psychology

My research interests involve analyzing the manifestation of cognition and its possible utility as a biomarker and treatment target in various mental health disorders, particularly the psychotic spectrum disorders. My previous research has involved using EEG to analyze the efficacy of pharmacological interventions in normalizing cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and the development of transnational models for testing future treatments. Currently, my research aims to elucidate the manifestation of impulsivity and social cognition in bipolar disorder to clarify how the facets of this domain (e.g., behavioural, trait, cognitive, affective, complex, simple) affect performance, along with their possible association with symptom presence/severity and measures of functional outcome. To accomplish this, performance on a broad range of impulsivity and social cognition measures will be compared between a sample of bipolar patients and community controls. This research will not only clarify the profile of bipolar disorder but also offers the possibility of identifying psychological and/or pharmacological targets for novel treatments.

Ivy Cho

Ivy Cho
PhD Candidate, Clinical Psychology

My Master's was focused on understanding working memory in bipolar disorder through both a behavioural laboratory task and structural neuroimaging using MRI. Through this work, we hope to continue to expanding our knowledge regarding brain and behaviour associations in bipolar disorder. Prior to starting graduate school at the University of Toronto, I completed my BSc (Honours) in Neuroscience at the University of Calgary.

Sonja Chu

Sonja Chu
PhD Candidate, Clinical Psychology

I am an PhD-level graduate student in the clinical program and am co-supervised by Dr. Andy Lee and Dr. Vina Goghari. My research uses functional neuroimaging to examine the role of the medial temporal lobe in arbitrating approach-avoidance conflict. I apply this work in both healthy and clinical populations, with a focus on generalized anxiety, depression, and OCD. Before joining the lab, I completed my Honours BA in Psychology from McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Signy Sheldon.

Dan Krzyzanowski

Daniel Krzyzanowski
MA Candidate, Clinical Psychology

My research focuses on happiness and life satisfaction in people with schizophrenia. My thesis investigates whether values (i.e., the things we prioritize in life) shift as a function of chronic symptomatology and decreasing quality of life. Past research has shown—somewhat counterintuitively—that people with schizophrenia are comparatively happy­­. We are testing the hypothesis that shifting one's focus away from values that have become difficult to satisfy, and towards values associated with more attainable goals, could partially explain this finding. We will be testing these questions via clinical ratings and interviews, self-report measures, and cognitive testing of middle-aged people with schizophrenia and healthy controls from the general population. Support for our hypotheses could have important implications for a more fulsome understanding of negative symptoms of schizophrenia—i.e., that some of the variance accounted for by negative symptoms such as amotivation might better be accounted for by alternative motivations in schizophrenia. This could aid in developing more targeted psychosocial interventions for schizophrenia.

Undergraduate Thesis Students

Morgaine Westin
HBSc Candidate, Mental Health Studies


Former Lab Members

Mortarboard with books and diploma

Post-Doctoral Fellows
Shakeel Kalathil, PhD

Graduate Students
Aiden Arnold, PhD
Cameron Clark, PhD
Linette Lawlor-Savage, PhD
Michael Spilka, PhD
Briana Cassetta, MSc
Maryam Sharif-Razi, MSc

Undergraduate Thesis Students

Yanni Dai
Maleeha Khan
Sharon Yoon

Lauren Chan
Carina Chiu
Ruth Diaz
Niloufar Farid
Danielle Lefebvre
Erin Lowden
Olivia Matthews
Janet Pittman
Marci Smitt
Harleen Virk

Annie Neeson
Heather Watson

Lab Managers
Danielle Lefebvre
Amy Webber

Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistants
Aiko Dolatre
May Luu
Andrea Moir
Jennifer Prentice
Amy Webber

Research Volunteers
Carina Chiu
Lindsay Day
Ruth Diaz
Linette Lawlor-Savage