HRI welcomes new Post-Doctoral Fellow

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We are pleased to welcome Saurabh Bhaskar Shaw, PhD, to our team of HRI Trainees. Dr. Shaw joins us through Mitacs Elevate, a unique post-doctoral fellowship that incorporates a professional development curriculum during its two-year term. He will complete his fellowship at Western University under the supervision of HRI Collaborating Clinical Scientist Dr. Ruth Lanius, with HRI as a partner organization.

Dr. Shaw holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering and a PhD in Neuroscience from McMaster University. His research focuses on neurotechnologies that can help us better understand the dynamics of brain networks, with an aim to improve the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Dr. Shaw held the NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship from 2018 to 2020 for his doctoral work exploring brain networks and PTSD. He was instrumental in creating a tool to identify patterns of brain activity that can serve as biomarkers to enhance treatment planning and track treatment response in people with PTSD.

As a Mitacs Elevate Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dr. Shaw will continue to advance our understanding of trauma.

In recent years, under the leadership of Dr. Margaret McKinnon, Homewood Research Chair in Mental Health and Trauma, HRI has studied a novel therapy to treat the cognitive symptoms of PTSD. Goal Management Training (GMT) is a cognitive tool that helps to restore thinking skills, memory, and concentration among people with PTSD. Despite its demonstrated value in reducing trauma symptoms, the neural underpinnings of GMT’s success are not well-understood. Dr. Shaw aims to shed light on how GMT affects the brain and why it works. 

Using the 7-Tesla MRI – a powerful new MRI machine that produces images in unprecedented detail – Dr. Shaw will examine functional changes in brain networks, as well as structural changes in brain connections associated with GMT treatment. This study will be the first of its kind to identify and characterize the neural changes that explain GMT’s success. The results will ultimately benefit those living with PTSD, as well as the clinicians who treat them.

We are pleased to partner with Western University to support Dr. Shaw’s post-doctoral fellowship, and we are grateful to Mitacs for their continued support of early career researchers working to address complex challenges in mental health care.