Trainees of the month!

The student of the month is a recognition for the students of the network who stood out, through an extraordinary achievement (publication, conference, prize, distinction), a remarkable investment or other actions deemed worthy of the title. Surprise your colleague by submitting his/her application for the QNJPI student of the month!

*Please note that if the person is not selected, his/her candidacy is automatically renewed the following month

Here are the students who have stood out in the last few months:

March 2020

Marina C. Evangelista (UdeM)

Marina is Ph.D. student in veterinary clinical sciences at the University of Montréal under the supervision of Dr. Paulo Steagall. She is a veterinarian graduated from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2011. Her project aims to develop and validate a facial expression-based scale for acute pain assessment in cats (Feline Grimace Scale). Marina has been awarded several prizes and scholarships, including a fellowship from the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management and a Merit Scholarship for Foreign Students (PBEEE). One of her recent articles which featured The Feline Grimace Scale has recently been published in Scientific Reports (a Nature research journal), has been viewed over 67 000 times and has reached the journal’s top 100. The QNJPI congratulates her on this accomplishment and wishes her all the best in her Ph.D. journey!



February 2020

Isabelle Quintal (UdeS)

Isabelle, a clinician whose recognized expertise in the field of sensory rehabilitation for the treatment of neuropathic pain, is under the direction of Pre Mélanie Morin, Pr Daniel Bourbonnais and Pr Joseph-Omer Dyer (co-directors). Her doctoral research topic focuses on the effectiveness of sensory rehabilitation to reduce pain during sexual intercourse in women with induced vestibulodynia. Her project, as a co-applicant, was awarded the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Women’s Health Mentorship Grant.



December 2018

Martine Bordeleau (ULaval)

Martine studied Biology at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and then got her master’s degree in Experimental Medicine at Université Laval. She is completing her PhD in Neurosciences under the direction of Dr. Michel Pruhomme and the co-direction of Dr. Sylvine Cottin at the CHU de Québec – Université Laval. Her goal is to evaluate the effects of spinal cord stimulation on sensory perceptions using quantitative sensory testing (QST). Last summer, she founded the Standardized Sensory Testing Experts Group which aim to improve communication between international experts of sensory evaluation. She is supervised in this project by Dr. Jan Vollert (Imperial College London), Dr. Miroslav Backonja (University of Wisconsin) and Dr. Catherine Ferland (Mcgill University). Dr. Ferland and Dr. James Thomas will co-supervise her postdoc projects at Virginia Commonwealth University to develop a novel virtual reality instrument for the treatment of neuropathic pain.

Despite her workload, Martine has been involved in the QNJPI since 2016. Vice-President and representative of Université Laval and Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC) on the Board of Directors, Martine has greatly contributed to revitalizing the network. She distinguished herself by organizing the successful PAINtalks. She is leaving the Board of Directors but will remain an active member of the QNJPI. A great example of leadership!


November 2018

Tokiko Hamasaki (UdeM)

Tokiko is a clinician-occupational therapist working in the Hand Center of the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) and is a PhD student supervised by researcher, Manon Choinière, PhD (Research Center of the CHUM (CRCHUM)). Her research program consists of examining the effectiveness of interventions for trapezo-metacarpal osteoarthritis (osteoarthritis at the base of the thumb) to provide patients with the best care within a reasonable time. Her research in public health conducted in the Carrefour de l’innovation of the CRCHUM aims to highlight effective real-life therapeutic modalities through systematic reviews and population studies.  Tokiko conducts her research with the aim of improving her clinical practices and therefore the quality of life of her patients. She plans to remain a clinician at the Hand Center of the CHUM while continuing to do research to answer the clinical questions of her practice.


October 2018

Jérôme Côté (UdeS)

Jérôme is a postdoctoral fellow in neurophysiopharmacology in chronic pain. Supervised by researcher Philippe Sarret, he is responsible for biomedical imaging studies in his laboratory. He designs and carries out studies on biodistribution, functional cell activity, evaluation of tumor development and response to pharmacological treatments by PET and MRI imaging. He collaborates on research projects with several graduate students within the research team, both in painful behaviours and neuropharmacology. Jérôme also coordinates scientific activities of the UdeS Centre of Excellence in Neurosciences (CNS), which brings together a large number of CRCHUS researchers.


August/September 2018

Behrang Sharif (UMcGill)

Behrang was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, where he received a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree and worked as a pharmacist before moving to Canada in 2013. During his pharmacy studies Behrang pursued neuropsychopharmacology research particularly on the topics of addiction and depression. Since 2014, under supervision of Dr. Philippe Séguéla, he is pursuing a PhD in Physiology at McGill, researching in the field of somatosensation, specifically focusing on pain, itch and touch. He has been awarded with multiple research excellence and travel awards and scholarships including the Louise and Alan Edwards foundation PhD award for studies on pain and the Quebec health research fund (FRSQ) fellowship. Behrang has always been an active member of student organizations. Previously he was involved in the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) as the official delegate (country representative) and in Montreal he has been an active member of McGill physiology department’s graduate association (GAP), McGill postgraduate students’ society (PGSS) and Quebec network of junior pain researchers (QNJPI). Behrang’s current research uses opto- and chemo-genetics tools to dissect somatosensory coding properties at the cellular, systems, and behavioral levels. Animal models and neuronal cells derived from human subjects are utilized as his model systems and he takes advantage of techniques such as microscopy, electrophysiology, and functional MRI.


July 2018

Feng Wang (ULaval)

Feng is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the CERVO Brain Research Center, University Laval under the supervision of Prof. Yves De Koninck. Feng got his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Tsinghua University, China, in 2005. He joined the Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai to pursue his PhD. In Prof. Xu Zhang’s lab, he and his colleagues found in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuron Na+, K+-ATPase and its binding protein could modulate pain sensation. After completing his PhD training in neurobiology, he continued his pain research as a post-doc. In Yves’ lab, he mainly uses video-rate two-photon microscopy to carry out in vivo calcium imaging of DRG neurons, in order to uncover the sensory encoding of thermal, mechanical and noxious stimuli. After many years of training, he has gained a lot of knowledge and learned various techniques, which will help him to continue studying pain.


June 2018

Christelle Khadra (UdeM)

Christelle is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Nursing of the University of Montreal under the supervision of Dr. Sylvie Le May. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Nursing in Lebanon in 2010 then moved to Montreal to pursue her graduate studies. Her interest in clinical pain research started during her master’s studies at the University of Montreal, completed in 2012, when she focused on pain scales and developed the Adolescent Cancer Suffering Scale. Since starting her PhD in 2014, her research focus is on pain management, particularly non-pharmacological interventions. She is investigating the effect of virtual reality on procedural pain management in children with burn injuries. Christelle is an active member of the pain research community. She served as the communications representative of the QNJPI for a year and as the vice-president of the research conference on the student association of the CHU Ste-Justine Research Center for three consecutive years. She is also a trainee in the Pain in Child Health (PICH) group, a CIHR strategic training initiative. Finally, Christelle is always looking for opportunities to advance her knowledge in the pain field as she participated in the 2015 Pediatric Pain Master Class, the 2016 North American Pain School, as well as in a three-month research training in Neuroethics in pain at Georgetown University.


May 2018

Sara Touj (UQTR)

Sara is a PhD student in the laboratory of neuroanatomy at the University of Québec à Trois-Rivières under the mentoring of Prof. Gilles Bronchti and Prof. Mathieu Piché. Sara graduated as a biology engineer in 2013 from the National Institute of Science and Technology in Tunisia. After that, she completed a masters in neurosicence at EPHE, Sorbonne in France. She enrolled in the Biomedical Sciences PhD program in UQTR in 2015. She is working on an animal model of congenital blindness. Using several MRI, immunohistochemistry and histological techniques she is investigating the underlying mechanisms of pain hypersensitivity in early blindness. Sara is a very active and passionate member of the pain research community and wants to pursue her research career in the pain field. She will finish her PhD soon and she is looking to integrate into a laboratory of clinical research in pain for her postdoc.


April 2018

Élora Midavaine (UdeS)

Élora is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Pharmacology of the Université de Sherbrooke under Prof. Philippe Sarret’s mentoring. Élora graduated with a degree in Biochemistry in 2012 in Sherbrooke, joined Prof. Sarret’s lab as a Master’s student and then transferred to the PhD program in 2015. Using a breast cancer bone metastasis pain model in rats, she is investigating the pharmacological, genetic and allosteric modulation of the CCR2 chemokine receptor, in order to uncover its analgesic efficacy and anti-cancer activity. She is an extremely active and passionate member of the pain research community, as is attested by her 2-year presidency within the QNJPI and her recent participation in the 2017 North American Pain School (NAPS). As a result of her lab experience and her presence on many committees, she has developed a profound interest in the pain research field and is actively looking for a post-doctoral fellowship to undertake after the completion of her PhD.


March 2018

Maria Zamfir  (UMcGill)

Maria is a PhD student at McGill University working at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI). Maria completed her bachelor degree in Neuroscience at McGill University. In 2013, she was accepted in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience (IPN) rotation program at McGill. Through this program she did three internships in various research fields before starting her PhD project in pain research. Under the supervision of Prof. Philippe Séguéla, she is currently studying the role of mu opioid receptors in the mouse anterior cingulate cortex. In the future, she hopes to pursue her passion for design and neuroscience and will be looking for a post-doctoral position.


February 2018   

Clémentine Brun (ULaval)

Clémentine is a Ph.D. student at Université Laval in rehabilitation and affiliated with the Center of Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration (CIRRIS) in Quebec City, under the supervision of Professors Catherine Mercier (U. Laval) and Candy McCabe (Bath, United Kingdom). Before her Ph.D. studies, Clémentine graduated in Psychology in France (Master’s degree).

Currently, she is studying the alterations of body representation and movement in the presence of acute and chronic pain (fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome) thanks to a robotic exoskeleton coupled with 2D virtual reality. In 2017, she completed a 6-week internship in Candy McCabe‘s lab at the Royal National Hospital of Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) in Bath. The RNHRD is a European center of expertise in the treatment of chronic pain. After her Ph.D., Clémentine is going to pursue her postdoctoral studies in Quebec, in Dr Roy’s lab in Montreal, and will continue to study in the pain field.