People

 

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR 

 

Dr. Virji-Babul is a physical therapist and a neuroscientist. Her lab (Perception-Action Lab) uses a combination of behavioural and brain imaging tools (i.e. EEG, MEG and DTI) to probe the brain and investigate the patterns of brain activation as they relate to perceptual-motor and social-emotional development in children, youth and adults.

Dr. Virji-Babul is also investigating the impact of concussion on the structure and function of the brain in youth ice hockey players using cutting edge brain imaging tools.  The goal of this work is to develop imaging “signatures” of concussion and to study the long term impact of concussion in adolescents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CURRENT STUDENTS 

 

Naama Rotem-Kohavi is a PhD candidate in the Graduate program in Neuroscience in the University of British Columbia. She is co-supervised by Dr. Naznin Virji-Babul, and Dr. Tim Oberlander.  Using EEG, and resting-state fMRI methods combined with graph theory analysis, Naama is studying associations between exposure to maternal depression and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy, on the infant’s resting-state networks. In addition she is interested in how emotional and facial perception develops in typically developing infants, as well in the context of prenatal depression and SSRI exposure.

 

 

 

Amna Hyder received her undergraduate degree from McMaster University in Integrated Science with a concentration in Physics and Astronomy. Her undergraduate thesis explored the application of spectral graph theory in analysis of carcinogens and protein protein interactions.
Amna has recently started her Master’s degree in the Neuroscience program at UBC under the supervision of Dr. Virji-Babul. She will be studying how the mirror neuron system is involved in interactions between individuals using a method known as hyperscanning, with EEG.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick O’ Flaherty graduated with a BSc (Hons) of Physiotherapy from the University of Bradford. He has worked clinically and with Gaelic football and professional Rugby Teams in the UK, Ireland and Canada since graduating. 
He is currently undertaking his Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Sciences under the supervision of Dr Virji-Babul. Patrick will be studying the brain-behaviour responses pre and post exertion testing in a concussed population. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leyla Brucar completed her undergraduate degree in Cognitive Systems, Cognition and the Brain from the University of British Columbia. She is interested in exploring the differences in functional connectivity of the brain between clinical and non-clinical populations. Under the supervision of Dr. Virji-Babul, Leyla is currently working on studies investigating transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) and concussion, mild traumatic brain injury and EEG, and brain activation and connectivity in eating disorders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Kenny received her undergraduate degree in Human Physiology and Psychology (Hons) from the University of Oregon.  She recently completed her Master’s degree at the University of Victoria in Interdisciplinary Studies, combining the disciplines of Medical Science, Neuroscience and Psychology together.  Her Master’s thesis sought to investigate the sub-concussive effects of soccer heading in practice on brain structure and function.

Rebecca has recently started her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Virji-Babul. Her research objectives are yet to be determined, though she will investigate the rehabilitation process post-concussion in athletes.

 

 

 

 

Maya Willms is a fourth year Honours Biology undergraduate student in the Faculty of Science at UBC.  She is working on the working on the transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) and concussion project for her thesis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collaborators

 

Ella Weik is a PhD student in the Graduate program in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia. She is co-supervised by Dr. Christine Tipper and Dr. Tim Oberlander.  For her PhD projects she is collaborating with Dr. Naznin Virji-Babul and Amna Hyder to investigate the brain mechanisms related to social interactions. For this study, she simultaneously measures the electrical activity in two individuals (hyperscanning EEG) while they are engaging in a social task.

 

 

 

 

 

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