Three new scientists welcomed to HRI team

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The demand for rigorous mental health and addiction research is growing. To drive our mission forward, we are pleased to welcome three renowned scientists to our team.

Dr. Onawa LaBelle, PhD

Dr. Onawa LaBelle has joined our team as HRI Collaborating Scientist. She is a President’s Indigenous People’s Scholar and Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Windsor. She earned a PhD and MS from the University of Michigan and gained advanced research training at Harvard Medical School, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is also a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Dr. Labelle draws heavily upon positive psychology in her study of close relationships, well-being, and recovery from alcohol and substance use disorder. Her recent work includes the examination of online recovery meetings, women’s relationship experiences in early recovery, and a Buddhist-based approach to recovery from addiction.

Dr. LaBelle currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Recovery Science. She regularly lectures on topics related to recovery, adult attachment processes, intimate relationships, communication skills, and the health and wellness benefits of gratitude.

Dr. Andrew Nicholson, PhD

Dr. Andrew Nicholson is a former HRI post-doctoral fellow who is now Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, and Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Vienna. With funding support from the FDC Foundation, he has now joined our team as HRI Scientist.

A promising young trauma researcher, Dr. Nicholson is best known for using brain-imaging technology to study post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related mental illnesses, making “invisible illnesses” visible. Using advanced tools like functional MRIs and machine learning algorithms, he examines indicators of trauma in the brain, common characteristics between mental illnesses, and the ways in which the brain responds to different stimuli and treatment approaches. During his post-doctoral fellowship at HRI, Dr. Nicholson received national media attention for his study using machine learning algorithms to diagnose and classify PTSD.

Currently, Dr. Nicholson is leading clinical trials exploring the use of neurofeedback in treating PTSD.

Dr. Andriy V. Samokhvalov, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Dr. Samokhvalov is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Psychiatry and at McMaster University in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences.

He is a staff psychiatrist at Homewood Health Centre and a psychiatrist and clinician scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

Dr. Samokhvalov joins HRI as a Collaborating Clinical Scientist. His research focuses on the epidemiology of substance-related problems, as well as integrated treatment models, particularly in the field of concurrent disorders. He also has a strong interest in healthy living and promotes mental and physical well-being through nutrition, exercise, and stress management.