Early Career Member Profiles

Alasdair Rathbone

Alasdair Rathbone

Dr. Rathbone has been interested in electrodiagnostics, neuromuscular medicine and pain management since early in his training. In residency, he has developed skills in interventional pain management and electrodiagnostics. His research interests have focused on myofascial pain syndrome and quantitative electromyography.


Alberto Aleman

Dr. Alberto Aleman is a neurologist at the The Ottawa Hospital. Within the NMD4C, Dr. Aleman is a member of the Curriculum Development working group.

Dr Amanda Yaworski

Amanda Yaworski

Dr. Yaworski completed her undergraduate degree at Acadia University in Psychology and Neurosciences. Following this, she completed medical school at McMaster University and residency in Pediatric Neurology at the University of Alberta.


Cam-Tu Émilie Nguyen

Dr. Cam-Tu Émilie Nguyen is a pediatric neurologist specialized in neuromuscular disorders at CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal and is the medical director of the Neuromuscular clinic at Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre of CHU Sainte-Justine

Dr. Djurdja Djordjevic, early-career member of the NMD4C

Djurdja Djordjevic

Dr. Djordjevic is a member of the neuromuscular team at BC Children’s Hospital. Her academic and research interests include exploration of biopsychosocial factors and social determinants of health.

Dr Elise Duchesne

Élise Duchesne

As an independent researcher, Dr. Duchesne’s works focus namely on developing rehabilitation interventions. She carried out original and innovative experimental designs based on her knowledge in muscle physiology and her access to the large cohorts of NMD patients found in the Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean region such as myotonic dystrophy type I (DM1).

Emanuela Pannia, PhD, profile picture

Emanuela Pannia

Dr. Emanuela Pannia is currently a first-year Post-doc in Dr. Jim Dowling’s lab in the Department of Genetics & Genomic Biology at SickKids.

Dr. Farshad Babaeijandaghi profile picture

Farshad Babaeijandaghi

Dr. Babaeijandaghi received his MD from Tehran University of Medical Sciences before achieving his PhD in Experimental Medicine from the University of British Columbia. Currently, he is a scientist at Altos Labs in San Diego, California focusing on muscle aging and rejuvenation.

Gerald Pfeffer profile picture

Gerald Pfeffer

Dr. Pfeffer is a clinician-scientist and associate professor at the University of Calgary. He did Neurology specialty training at UBC and Genetics PhD at Newcastle University. His clinical and research work focuses on adult-onset neurogenetic conditions.


Gordon Jewett

Dr. Gordon Jewett is currently completing a 2-year clinical and research fellowship in neuromuscular neurology at the University of Calgary.

Hisham Aldhukair3x2

Hisham Aldhukair

Dr Hisham Aldhukair is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC), and a Fellow of the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnsotic Medicine (FAANEM). He is currently enrolled in Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnsotic Medicine clinical fellowship in McGill University, Montréal, Canada.

Dr. Ian Smith, of The Ottawa Hospital's NeuroMuscular Centre

Ian Smith

Dr. Ian Smith is a Clinical Research Associate at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in Ottawa, Canada. He is currently leading multiple translational research projects in a wide variety of neuromuscular conditions at The Ottawa Hospital’s NeuroMuscular Centre.

Jean-Philippe Leduc-Gaudet profile picture

Jean-Philippe Leduc-Gaudet

Dr. Leduc-Gaudet is an Assistant Professor in the Medical Biology Department at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR). In his research, Dr. Leduc-Gaudet combines genetic, molecular, cellular and physiological approaches to investigate signalling pathways regulating skeletal muscle mass and function.

Dr. Juan Idiaquez

Juan Francisco Idiaquez Rios

Dr. Idiaquez is a clinical and research neuromuscular fellow in the Neurology Department at the University of Toronto.


Kessen Patten

Dr. Kessen Patten is a professor at the INRS-Institut Armand Frappier in Canada. The Patten lab uses the zebrafish to model developmental genetic disorders and neuromuscular diseases (ALS and SMA) to understand disease mechanisms and for drug discovery.

Kiran polavarapu profile picture blog

Kiran Polavarapu

Dr. Kiran Polavarapu completed his PhD in 2019 at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in India. He is an M.B.B.S (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) graduate who shifted his focus to research in neuromuscular disorders and neurogenetics. His research interest is in primary muscle disorders and neuromuscular genetics. He recently joined the Lochmüller Lab as a postdoctoral fellow and is looking forward to continuing research in neuromuscular genetics and Congenital Myathenic Syndrome.

Postdoctoral research fellow Dr. Léa Lescouzères.

Léa Lescouzères

Dr. Léa Lescouzères is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Patten lab at the INRS-Institut Armand Frappier.


Louise Moyle

Dr. Louise Moyle is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her research investigates mechanisms of muscle stem cell dysfunction in neuromuscular disorders, with the aim of transferring this knowledge towards future cell and gene therapies.

marianne nury

Marianne Nury

Dr. Marianne Nury is one of three recipients of the NMD4C, MDC, and CSCN Clinical Fellowship funding competition, which awarded national clinical fellowships in neuromuscular medicine and electromyography.

Marine Theret 3x2

Marine Theret

In 2016 Dr. Theret started her post-doctoral fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Fabio Rossi at the University of British Columbia. She now works on the cellular interactions between tissue resident mesenchymal stromal cells and the inflammatory milieu, which are primordial for skeletal muscle homeostasis, regeneration, and repair.

Martine tetreault

Martine Tetreault

Dr. Martine Tetreault is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Université de Montreal and a researcher at the CRCHUM. She obtained her PhD with Dr. Bernard Brais studying genetic neurological diseases in the French-Canadian population. Dr. Tetreault performed her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Jacek Majewski at McGill University. During her postdoctoral fellowship has broadened her expertise of genetic studies by developing bio-informatics skills. Dr. Tetreault’s research program investigates the genetic etiology of neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases by combining -omics and functional genomics approaches.  

Dr. Tetreault has been very productive with more than 60 publications and research funding from several sources, including a Canadian Foundation for Innovation grant to establish a translational platform to study rare neuromuscular diseases and FRQS Junior 1 salary award. In 2022, Dr Tetreault received the David Green Award for Rising Researcher/Clinician.

Matt Triolo's profile picture

Matthew Triolo

Dr. Matthew Triolo is a Postdoctoral Fellow working within Dr. Mireille Khacho’s lab in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. As a Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Triolo is investigating mechanisms by which mitochondria regulate muscle stem cell homeostasis and function.

Melissa in the lab(featuredimage)

Melissa Bowerman

Dr. Bowerman is a Lecturer in Bioscience at the School of Medicine at Keele University, a group Member of the Wolfson Centre for Inherited Neuromuscular Disease in Oswestry and a principal investigator in the UK SMA Research Consortium.


Mo Zhao

Dr. Mo Zhao completed her PhD in Molecular Genetics (2013-2017) in Dr. Robert Bryson-Richardson’s lab at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) before joining Dr. James Dowling’s lab as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Genetics & Genomic Biology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.


Mona Hnaini

In August 2020, Dr. Hnaini moved to Canada to sub-specialize in Pediatric Neuromuscular at Children’s Hospital London Health Science Centre under the supervision of Dr. Craig Campbell.

Dr. Natasha Chang

Natasha Chang

Dr. Natasha Chang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at McGill University. She obtained her PhD with Dr. Gordon Shore at McGill University studying BCL-2 family proteins and their role in regulating the cell survival autophagy pathway.

Dr. Nicolas Dumont profile picture.

Nicolas Dumont

Dr. Dumont became an assistant professor at the Université de Montréal in 2016, and he established his lab at the Sainte-Justine hospital research center. His research program is divided in 3 axes: 1) characterizing the intrinsic mechanisms regulating muscle stem cell fate decision during myogenesis, 2) characterizing the impact of rare genetic variants on muscle stem cell function, and 3) investigating novel therapeutic avenues targeting defective muscle stem cells to mitigate muscular dystrophies.


Rachel Thompson

Rachel completed her PhD at Newcastle University in the UK, where she was involved in the coordination of the RD-Connect data sharing and analysis platform. She is a postdoctoral fellow in the Lochmüller Lab with a research interest in the use of data integration methods for medical genomics and precision medicine in neuromuscular diseases.

Rebecca Robertson

Rebecca Robertson

Rebecca Robertson is a NMD4C/MDC postdoctoral research fellowship funding recipient. With the support of the MDC & NMD4C Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Rebecca will do her post-doctoral training in the lab of Dr. Natasha Chang at the Biochemistry department of McGill. There, she will study the role of satellite cell dysfunction in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.