Announcing the 2020/2021 IMH Marshall Scholars and Fellows



Dear Faculty, Staff, Students and Residents,

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the selection process for the IMH Marshall Scholars and Fellows Program for 2020/2021 has recently been completed. The program attracted fifty-eight (58) applications in total, and the reviewers were very impressed with the quality and caliber of the project proposals. With only five (5) Fellow awards and fifteen (15) Scholar awards that could be offered this year, the selection process was not an easy one given the highly competitive pool of applicants.

Now that the selection process is complete, I am delighted to announce the 2020/2021 cohort of the IMH Marshall Scholars and Fellows Program.  Please join me in warmly congratulating the following awardees, listed in alphabetical order:


IMH Marshall Fellowship Awardees & Research Titles

Dr. Ruiyang Ge, Association between brain function and autonomic nervous system in response to therapeutic brain stimulation on treatment-resistant depression: a concurrent TMS-fMRI-ECG study

Dr. Heather Palis, Reincarceration and overdose among people with psychiatric disorders: Longitudinal trends across health care reform and contamination of the illicit drug supply in British Columbia

Dr. Nicole Sanford, Brain health: A novel target for mental health

Dr. Gayatri Saraf, Multimodal imaging to assess neurite density and neuroinflammation in Bipolar Disorder

Dr. Melissa Woodward, The Age of Fentanyl – Overdose, Hypoxia, and Microvascular Damage


IMH Marshall Scholarship Awardees & Research Titles

Ms. Ashley Battaglini, Intra- and Interpersonal Emotion Regulation in Major Depressive Disorder

Ms. Ariana Cahn, Quantification of volumetric brain changes in bipolar disorder patients following first episode mania: A prospective study

Ms. Mallory Flynn, Estimating the True Incidence of Accidental Illicit Drug Overdose

Mr. Tony Fong, High throughput platform to assess and manipulate cortical circuits in mouse models of depression

Ms. Allison Giesbrecht, Understanding the Healthcare Access Experiences of Mental Health and Substance Use High Users of Healthcare

Mr. Tristan Hynes, Toward a precision treatment for addiction: focus on dopamine circuits and sex

Ms. Bonnie Lee, The impact of motherhood and APOEε4 genotype on the aging brain

Ms. Daphne Ling, Impact of Skills-Training on Executive Functions and the Prefrontal-Parietal and Prefrontal-Striatal Network in Children with ADHD: An fMRI Study

Ms. Melanie Lysenko-Martin, Neural and Behavioral Substrates of THC-Induced Impairments in Decision Making

Mr. Alexander Morin, Integrating transcription factor binding and perturbation data to understand gene regulation in the brain

Ms. Rae Morris, Mental health service provision with adults with autism spectrum disorder: An interpretive description study

Ms. Maya Nesbit, Preclinical study of d-govadine and its effects on prefrontal cortical mechanisms of cognition

Ms. Shawna Narayan, Exploring cultural responsiveness in e-mental health resources for depression and anxiety (CREDA)

Mr. Boaz Saffer, Identifying the Neurocognitive Mechanisms for Suicidal Behaviours in Emerging Adults

Mr. Jean Westenberg, Rapid micro-induction of buprenorphine/naloxone for treatment of Opioid Use Disorder


In the weeks and months to come, we look forward to sharing further news and updates on each of the awardees and their respective research projects.

On behalf of the Institute of Mental Health and the UBC Department of Psychiatry, I wish each of our 2020/2021 IMH Marshall Scholars and Fellows much success as they gain valuable experience that will both accelerate their learning and serve as an important foundation for their future pursuits in translational mental health research.



Dr. Lakshmi N. Yatham, MBBS, FRCPC, MRCPsych (UK), MBA (Exec)
Professor and Head, UBC Department of Psychiatry
Director, Institute of Mental Health, UBC
Regional Head and Program Medical Director, VCH/PHC
Editor in Chief, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry
President, World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry