Dr. Benjamin T. Dunkley

Scientist, Diagnostic Imaging / Neurosciences & Mental Health, Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

Assistant Professor, Medical Imaging, University of Toronto

Dr. Dunkley is a Scientist in Diagnostic Imaging and the Neurosciences & Mental Health Program at SickKids and an Assistant Professor in Medical Imaging at the University of Toronto. He studied for his PhD at Cardiff University, UK, and he completed his post-doctoral training at SickKids. His current research program focuses on the disruption to neural function and circuits in health and disease in children and adults.

Kyra Sophocleous

Administrative Assistant

Kyra is an administrative assistant with over five years of experience. She graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University with a degree in biology and a minor in psychology. She joined the SickKids team in 2023 and provides senior administrative support to multiple teams, including the Dunkley Lab team. Her interests include policy development, health care quality and safety. Kyra plans to continue her education by pursuing a Master’s degree in the near future to further explore her interests in health administration. 

A picture of Matthew Ventresca

Matthew Ventresca, MSc, MBA, CHE

Clinical Research Project Manager

Matthew Ventresca is a Clinical Research Project Coordinator for the Dunkley Lab at SickKids. His work utilizes functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG) to examine the neurological effects of mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among children and military veterans. Matthew has completed an MSc in Epidemiology at Brock University and has an MBA specialising in Health Services Management from McMaster University. His additional research interests include clinical trial data sharing, clinical practice guideline development, Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) and health economics.
A picture of Rouzbeh Zamyadi

Rouzbeh Zamyadi

Research Analyst

Rouzbeh received his BEng and MASc from Ryerson University in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is currently a Research Analyst at the Dunkley Lab working mainly on processing and analysis of a number of neuroimaging signals including Magnetoencephalography (MEG) data, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and Electroencephalography (EEG).

Dr. Kevin Solar

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Kevin Grant Solar obtained his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Alberta where he used high resolution diffusion imaging to study the hippocampus. As a Research Fellow in the Dunkley Lab in the Neurosciences and Mental Health Program at SickKids, he is leveraging his magnetic resonance imaging expertise to study brain structure and function and mental health status in Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Veterans with a history of operational stress exposure and traumatic brain injury, and more broadly, examine brain injury across the lifespan using optically pumped magnetometer magnetoencephalography.

Dr. Majid Saberi

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Majid Saberi is a computational neuroscientist specializing in neuroimage analysis. He has a physics background and extensive expertise in statistical and machine-learning methodologies. In addition to the conceptual understanding, Majid is highly motivated to apply his well-established techniques to explore the mechanisms of brain disorders, particularly at the network level. During his Ph.D. at Iran’s Shahid Beheshti University, Majid’s research was focused on studying the balance of brain networks, employing a novel graph theory approach to investigate the stability and flexibility of the brain system. After completing his Ph.D., he ventured into pain research, where he worked on the signature for pain recovery at the University of Toronto. Currently, Majid’s research at the Dunkley lab is centered on developing biomarkers for chronic pain and addressing mental health challenges associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Jacob Cohen

Graduate Student

Jacob Cohen is currently enrolled in the doctoral Pharmacology program at the University of Toronto. Jacob is advancing expertise in pharmacology under the co-supervision of Dr. Ben Dunkley (Sick Kids) and Dr. Ahmed Hassan (CAMH). His research is centered on exploring innovative clinical treatments and imaging modalities for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Prior to beginning his academic career and earning his MSc. in pharmacology, Jacob served as a combat medic in the IDF and was honorably discharged.

Mryam Ali

Graduate Student

Mryam‘s research delves into the diverse neurobiological aspects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), suggesting that neural activity in brain networks linked to memory and emotional processing could serve as distinguishing markers for differentiating PTSD subtypes. Through the application of magnetoencephalography (MEG) to identify potential biomarkers. Her work aims to facilitate the development of improved treatments and to broaden the understanding of PTSD from a mere fear-processing disorder to a comprehensive psychological injury. Mryam completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, double majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology, and is a member of the inaugural cohort of trainees in the Psychology direct entry Ph.D. program. Initially, her research focused on behavioural neuroscience and animal research models before transitioning into cognitive neuroscience. Her research journey has encompassed anxiety disorders, learning and memory and currently centers on the neurophysiology of psychiatric illnesses. With her prior expertise in the neurobiology of learning and memory, Mryam brings a unique perspective to the investigation of psychiatric disorders such as PTSD.

Jasmin Chahal

Graduate Student

Jasmin is a University of Toronto MEd Developmental Psychology and Education graduate student. She is currently conducting a research study with mental health startup Savyn Tech Inc., under the supervision of principal investigator Dr. Dunkley. This study aims to evaluate digitized Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) related therapy, and its effect on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Jasmin will also be continuing her education to pursue a MPsy this upcoming September 2022, to further explore her interests in mental health and therapeutic methods.

Elly Daskalakis

Graduate Student

Elly Daskalakis is currently pursuing her graduate studies at the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. Under the supervision of principal investigator Dr. Ben Dunkley, she is conducting research on the effects of mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI), including concussions, on brain activity and behaviour. Prior to joining our lab, Elly completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology and Psychology at Western University. Her additional research interests encompass the study of neuromodulatory techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, in the context of mTBI, as well as the enhancement of diagnostic methods and treatment approaches for mTBI.

Angel Hsieh

Undergraduate Student

Angel is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto specializing in Health & Disease in addition to minoring in Psychology. She is currently working on her senior thesis project in the Dunkley lab at SickKids. Her research interests include finding distinctive biomarkers for comorbid neuropsychiatric disorders. She hopes that her work will contribute to improving precision in clinical diagnosis and treatment delivery for children and youth affected by mental health issues. She is hoping to enter into graduate studies after her undergrad.

Dunkley Lab Alumni

Post-doctoral Fellows and Associates

Dr. Jing Zhang, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada

Dr. Kristina Safar, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada

Dr. Yuwen Hung, MIT, Cambridge, USA (visiting)

Dr. Patrick McCunn, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada

Doctoral Students

Avideh Gharehgazlou, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada (outside project)

Jennifer Chan, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada (outside project)

Master’s Students

Laura Koster, VU Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands (visiting)

Mohammed Alnawmasi, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada

Undergraduate Students

Layan Elfaki, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Jessica Yu, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Luowei Yan, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Helen Deng, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Rima El-Sayed, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Summer Students

Maryam Mahjoob, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Cameo Perrin-Wemigwans, University of Toronto, Canada

Natalie Robitaille, McMaster University, Canada


Sergiu Mocanu, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada

Zahra Emami, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada

Grace Sim, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada