About Us


Zindel Segal, PhD

Zindel Segal, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto – Scarborough and a Senior Scientist in the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. His program of research has helped to characterize psychological markers of relapse vulnerability in affective disorder, especially the link between affective and self-devaluation components of dysphoria. This work has in turn provided an empirical rationale for offering training in mindfulness meditation to recurrently depressed patients in recovery and the development of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. His currently funded research studies the effectiveness of delivering MBCT online for reducing residual depressive symptoms (NIMH) and neural markers of mindfulness practice and relapse risk in mood disorders (CIHR). He and his colleagues have developed accessible patient resources including the books -The Mindful Way Through Depression and the Mindful Way Workbook, along with online training tools for therapists interested in learning MBCT https://www.mindfulnoggin.com/

Recent Publications:

Dimidjian, S., & Segal, Z. (2015). Prospects for a clinical science of mindfulness-based intervention. American Psychologist, 593-620

Farb, N., Irving, J., Anderson, A., & Segal, Z. (2015). A two-factor model of relapse/recurrence vulnerability in unipolar depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124(1), 38-53.


leanh-dinh-williamsLê-Anh Dinh-Williams, PhD3

Lê-Anh received her BSc from McGill University, MSc from University of Montreal and is currently a MA/PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Toronto (Scarborough). Her research focuses on reward
processes in the brain and how interventions designed to promote wellbeing alter this circuitry using fMRI. She is interested in understanding how to promote hedonic and eudaimonic affect in individuals vulnerable to chronically low mood.  Her hobbies include travelling, yoga, dancing, Scandinavian movies/books/politics, jewelry making, and mastering the art of soup.

Contact Email: leanh.dinh.williams@mail.utoronto.ca


Philip Desormeau, PhD3

Phil received his BA in Psychology from Concordia University, and is currently completing his PhD studies in Clinical Psychology at the University of Toronto. His research interests include examining the context-mechanism-outcome patterns of mindfulness-based interventions, as well as the influence of regulatory beliefs and motives on emotion regulation capacities. Clinically, he has experience conducting comprehensive psychodiagnostic assessments and delivering cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based interventions (e.g., ERP, ACT) for depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, interpersonal issues, and chronic health conditions. Beyond research and clinical work, his hobbies include meditation, traveling, and fiction writing.

Contact Email: p.desormeau@mail.utoronto.ca


Amanda pic_Fotor

Amanda Ferguson, PhD2

Amanda Ferguson is interested in mindfulness, and the ways in which mindfulness-based therapies can influence emotion regulation and self-control. She’s especially curious about the practice of acceptance – what makes an individual more or less likely to accept a state of negative emotion? Which mechanisms are involved, and how are they activated during mindfulness-based practices? Amanda is excited to study these questions throughout her graduate career.



Contact E-mail: am.ferguson@mail.utoronto.ca

Recent Publications:

Segal, Z. V. and Ferguson, A. M. (in press). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: Points of intersection with Cognitive Therapy. R. Modern Cognitive Therapy. New York: Guilford Press.

Ferguson, A. M., McLean, D., & Risko, E. F. (2015). Answers at your fingertips: Access to the Internet influences willingness to answer questions. Consciousness and Cognition37, 91-102.


img_3013_websiteKathleen Walsh, PhD2

Katie received her BA with honours at York University and is currently an MA/PhD student in the Psychological Clinical Science program at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include the biological basis of depression and anxiety in relation to functional connectivity of brain networks. She is interested in understanding how differences in functional connectivity may be related to these disorders and how interventions, such as mindfulness based cognitive therapy, can produce positive change by targeting these differences in functional connectivity. Her hobbies include online gaming, Netflix, spending time with her dog, any kind of sport, and trying everything crafty.

Contact E-mail: k.walsh@mail.utoronto.ca

Recent Publications:

Walsh, K. M., Saab J. B., & Farb, N. A. S. (2019). Effects of a mindfulness meditation app on subjective well-being: Active randomized controlled trial and experience sampling study. Journal of Medical Internet Research Mental Health, 6(1):e10844. doi:10.2196/10844

Segal, Z. V., & Walsh, K. M. (2015). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for residual depressive symptoms and relapse prophylaxis. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 29(1), 7-12. doi:10.1097/YCO.0000000000000216


Volunteer Research Assistants

Anshika Saxena
Anshika is currently working on her specialist degree in Neuroscience at the
University of Toronto Scarborough. She started working in the Mindful Awareness
Lab as a research assistant from September 2018. Her research interests are
clinically focused and include (but are not limited to): Clinical Neuropsychology,
Behavioural Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology. Her hobbies include
swimming, Netflix, travelling and eating chocolate.




Dhaanyah Thanabalasingam

I am a third year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. Aside from helping out at research labs I currently run my college’s a cappella group. In the future my goals are to continue research and working towards graduate studies.





Ilya Nudnou, BSc.

Ilya received his BSc in Psychology from University of Toronto, Scarborough. He is currently gathering research experience at the University of Toronto and applying to graduate school in research psychology. His research interests include visual perception and imagery, as well as dimensional models of emotion. He has experience programming complex pipelines for data pre-processing & analysis as well as creating and piloting imaging and behavioral experiments. Beyond research, his hobbies include board games, tennis, skating, and a lot of reading.

Contact Email: ilya.nudnou@mail.utoronto.ca


Julien Gonsalves

Julien is pursuing a double major in Mental Health Studies and Health Studies. His research interests cover a wide scope of topics from research on the mental health of low-income communities to the use of mindfulness interventions in food-restrictive eating disorders. His hobbies include playing a variety of sports and portrait photography.




Melanie Christoforou

Melanie is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto currently completing her honours BSc. Finishing a double major in neuroscience and psychology with a minor in biology her research interests include the effects of mindfulness-based therapies on emotion regulation and how emotions such as anxiety, anger, or happiness are altered in individuals with different mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression. She is also interested in studying the neural and cognitive mechanisms involved in brain and spinal cord injuries. Her hobbies include reading, watching hockey, traveling, and music.


Monika Hirsch

Monika is currently completing a BSc in Mental Health Studies. She is interested in mindfulness-based therapies and how their techniques can be applied to sport. Monika also volunteers at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health as a Clinical Volunteer working with youth who have varying degrees of mental illnesses. Beyond academics, Monika has been a member of the University of Toronto Women’s Rugby Team for the past four years and has also worked as the team’s social coordinator.



Rachel Kandiah

Rachel is completing her HBSc in Mental Health Studies and Philosophy at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. Her programs allow her to explore her passion for the mind in all its complexities and how it is understood across different spectrums. Her areas of research interests include examining the relationship between mindfulness and emotion regulation as well as the effectiveness of MBCT towards individuals suffering from PTSD, chronic depression and anxiety. Beyond academics, her hobbies include photography, playing the piano for a jam session, engaging in philosophical conversations and memes.


Stephanie Chan

Stephanie received her BSc with Honours majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology and Public Law at the University of Toronto. She is interested in pursuing graduate studies in psychology. Her research interests include examining the ways in which mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can influence emotion regulation, self-control, anxiety, depression and interpersonal issues. She is especially interested in whether such interventions can produce positive changes to an individual’s thought processes and well-being. Her hobbies include traveling, working out, trying new sports, spending time with her dog, and reading.

Contact E-mail: Stephaniewing.chan@mail.utoronto.ca