Summer School Speakers 2022

Annette Majnemer
Scientific Director

Rachael Bedford
Associate Professor
University of Bath, UK

Mayada Elsabbagh
Associate Professor, McGill University
TACC Director

Julie Scorah
Assistant Professor (Professional) in the Department of Neurology & Neurosurgery, McGill University

Associate Director of the Azrieli Centre for Autism Research (ACAR) Clinic

Dr. Majnemer is a Professor and Vice Dean Education, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University. She is the Scientific Director of CHILD-BRIGHT, a CIHR SPOR Network focused on children with brain-based developmental disabilities and their families.

I am interested in characterising trajectories of typical and atypical development.

Dr. Mayada Elsabbagh is Associate Professor in Neurology and Neurosurgery at The Neuro of McGill University. Her research focuses on understanding the root causes of autism and tracing its developmental pathways.

Dr Scorah is a licensed neuropsychologist specializing in neurodevelopmental conditions, including Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). She received her Master’s degree and PhD in Psychology at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. She has 16+ years of experience working in clinics specializing in the assessment and diagnosis of neurodevelopmental conditions in various tertiary centres including the McMaster Children’s Hospital, the Alberta Children’s Hospital, the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital). She also has experience leading multi-disciplinary teams in home, school, and centre-based intervention for autism.

Evdokia Anagnostou
Child Neurologist
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Toronto
Assistant Director, Holland Bloorview Research Institute

Boris Bernhardt
Assistant Professor, McGill University
Head of the Multimodal Imaging and Connectome Analysis Lab

Yvonne Hung
Director, McGill Writing Centre, McGill University

Mariève Isabel
Lecturer and Academic Writing Coach, McGill Writing Centre, McGill University

Dr. Anagnostou is a Child Neurologist and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto and Assistant Director at the Holland Bloorview Research Institute. She studies how genes affect brain structure / function, behaviour, cognition and health in children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr. Bernhardt is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University and Head of the Multimodal Imaging and Connectome Analysis Lab. He is a cognitive scientist with expertise in neuroimaging, network neuroscience, and statistical learning. His group develops integrative analytics to study large-scale brain organization, connectivity, and neurodevelopment.

Dr. Yvonne Hung is the Director of the McGill Writing Centre, the University central resource in written communication. She oversees its suite of courses, the Graphos program, a Tutorial Service offering individual writing consults, and more. She is also a proud member of the QART Advisory group.

Mariève Isabel is a lecturer and academic writing coach at the McGill Writing Centre. She is in charge of the coaching programs for graduate students.

Tara Flanagan

Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology,

McGill University

Sarah Lippé
Neuropsychologist and Full Professor, Psychology Department
University of Montreal

Carl Ernst
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
Researcher, Douglas Research Centre

Michelle Phoenix

Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Science

McMaster University

Dr. Flanagan’s research and theoretical interests lie in the areas of social cognition, social inclusion, and social policy for persons with developmental disabilities. She is particularly interested in the transition from school to the community for young adults with disabilities, self-determination, and in the notions of adulthood and quality of life for individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Dr. Flanagan is also the Chair of McGill’s Joint Board-Senate Committee on Equity Subcommittee on Persons with Disabilities.

Dr. Lippé is neuropsychologist and full professor at the Psychology Department at University of Montreal, where she studies risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders and the diversity of trajectories of outcomes. She has developed brain activity biomarkers sensitive to brain maturation and cognitive development. She currently uses advanced imaging signal processing and modern statistics to delineate etiologic mechanisms leading to abnormal neurodevelopment.

Dr. Ernst received his doctorate at McGill and completed his fellowship at Harvard Medical School. He joined the McGill Group for Suicide Studies at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in 2011 and specializes in genomics, stem cell biology, advanced DNA sequencing, and epigenetics. He is also an enthusiastic associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and is the head of the Psychiatric Genetics Group (

Dr. Phoenix has ten years of clinical experience working as a speech-language pathologist with young children and families at KidsAbility. She is an adjunct scientist at Bloorview Research Institute. Her research focuses on improving accessibility and engagement in children’s rehabilitation services, family-centered care and ethics, parents’ mental health, and public engagement in research. Dr. Phoenix works closely with a variety of community-partners to integrate student education, clinical practices, and research.

Baudoin Forgeot d’Arc
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
Researcher, Douglas Research Centre

Laurent Mottron
Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Addictology, University of Montreal
M&R Gosselin Research Chair

Jill Farber

Executive Director

Autism Speaks Canada


Heather Brown

Associate Professor, Educational Psychology Department

University of Alberta

Dr. Forgeot d’Arc is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Université de Montréal. He is the academic head of the Department of Psychiatry at CHU Sainte-Justine and medical co-manager of the Centre intégré du réseau en neuro-développement de l’enfant (CIRENE) since 2019. Dr. Forgeot d’Arc’s experimental work contributes to defining neurodevelopmental variations in social functioning, using behavioral studies, computational models and neuroimaging.

Laurent Mottron is a clinical researcher specializing in the cognitive aspects of autism. Former national researcher of the FQRS, full professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Addictology, holder of the M&R Gosselin research chair at the University of Montreal, and fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, he now directs the cognition axis of the Network to Transform Care into Autism.

Jill Farber has remained steadfast in her resolve to support research efforts and advocate for accessibility to necessary supports and services for autistic people and their families. Participating collaboratively with stakeholders and community partners has resulted in spreading an educational message about neurodiversity, acceptance, and inclusion across the country.

Dr. Brown was originally trained as an elementary school teacher, but she is now an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Educational Psychology, where she helps current and future educators understand how to best support neurodivergent students in the regular classroom. She is also an autistic professional who studies autism. Along with many neurodivergent and neurotypical graduate and undergraduate students and volunteers, her lab aims to uncover strategies to support the academic achievement and overall well-being of autistic children, youth and adults. By doing so, her research is poised to empower autistic individuals to be more self-confident in their neurodiversity and to develop a better understanding of the factors that most support their well-being at home, work and school.

Jacques Michaud

Scientific Director, Centre de recherche du CHU Sainte-Justine

Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Neurosciences, Université de Montréal

Guy Rouleau
Director, The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital)

Edward Ruthazer
Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital
Associate Director, McGill Integrated Program in Neuroscience Graduate Program

Carol Schuurmans
Dixon Family Chair in Ophthalmology Research, Sunnybrook Research Institute
Professor, Departments of Biochemistry, and Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto

Dr. Michaud completed his training in pediatrics and medical genetics at Université de Montréal and the University of Toronto. He subsequently pursued his research training in genetics, first at the Collège de France in Paris, then at the Carnegie Institution of Washington/Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He began his career as an independent researcher and clinician at CHU Sainte-Justine in 1999. His clinical and research activities focus on the genetic basis of neuro-developmental disorders. More specifically, his laboratory uses genomic approaches to identify genes involved in intellectual disability and epilepsy. His team has discovered some 15 genes associated with these disorders and demonstrated that spontaneous mutations – those not inherited from parents – are a major cause of intellectual disability.

Dr. Rouleau is a neurologist-geneticist and scientist. He is the Director of The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital), Chair of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery of McGill University, Director of the Department of Neuroscience of McGill University Health Centre, and co-founder of the Tanenbaum Open Science Institute.

Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital. He is an associated member of the Azrieli Centre for Autism Research and is the Associate Director of the McGill Integrated Program in Neuroscience Grad Program. His research focuses on use of live imaging and electrophysiology in intact animal models to study the activity-dependent refinement of neuronal circuitry during development.

I am a Senior Scientist and hold the Dixon Family Chair in Ophthalmology Research at the Sunnybrook Research Institute, and I am also a Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry, and Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. I started my academic career at the University of Calgary, progressing from Assistant to Full Professor before moving my lab to Toronto in 2016. Before that, I completed my BSc and MSc in Microbiology at the University of Alberta, a PhD in Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto, and PDF studies in Developmental Neuroscience at the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire in Strasbourg, France.

Isabelle Soulières
Full Professor, Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)


Diane Dechief

Science Communication Specialist, Office of Science Education

McGill University

Eric Fombonne

Research Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Developmental Pediatrics, School of Medicine

Oregon Health & Science University

Ina Winkelmann
Coordinator, Youth Mental Health Continuum, West Island Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre

Isabelle Soulières is a neuropsychologist and full professor at the Psychology Department, UQAM. Her research interests focus on learning, reasoning and intelligence in autistic children, with the objective to develop teaching methods that leverage on autistic strengths and particularities. She is also interested in the characteristic cognitive profiles along the autism spectrum, as well as cognitive assessment with this population.

Dr. Dechief joined the Office of Science Education in the summer of 2021 after designing and teaching writing courses at the McGill Writing Centre for the past six years. Since 2017, she has focused on teaching and research in science communication. Diane’s doctorate is in information studies from the University of Toronto and her master’s is in communication studies from Concordia University.

Dr. Fombonne has been seeing autistic individuals and working with their families since 1986. Prior to joining OHSU in 2012, he held academic appointments at INSERM (Paris, France), King’s College London (Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK), McGill University (Montreal, Canada) where he developed clinical and research programs. In addition to conducting his own research on the epidemiology of psychiatric disorders in children with special reference to autism, he spends time disseminating scientifically valid information to different professional and non-professional audiences. He was actively involved in the scientific and legal controversy linking autism to childhood vaccines and is still engaged in various academic activities in order to debung that myth. He has created and taught in several training programs on autism research in various countries and has devoted significant time to international efforts to develop advocacy for autism and boost local research and clinical capacity in under-resourced/developing countries.

Ina Winkelmann has twenty-two years of experience in the delivery and management of mental health care in both institutional and community settings. After spending 10 years as a front-line clinical social worker, in both in- and out-patient settings, she had the opportunity to jump into management and has been a manager for over 12 years. Since the Quebec health care reform 6 years ago, she has been managing the large youth mental health continuum of the West Island Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre. Ina brings with her a great deal of passion, enthusiasm, expertise, advocacy and innovation in youth mental health service delivery as well as relevant management expertise.

Keiko Shikako-Thomas
Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Program, McGill University
Associate Member, Institute of Health and Social Policy
Associate Member, Department of Pediatrics, McGill University Health Centre – Research Institute

Mira Puri
Manager, Science Initiatives, Azrieli Foundation

Stefano Stifani

James McGill Professor in the Departments of Neurology & Neurosurgery and Anatomy & Cell Biology, McGill University

Associate Director (Research), Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital

Aparna Nadig

Associate Professor in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, McGill University

Dr Keiko Shikako-Thomas is an Assistant Professor in the Occupational Therapy program at McGill, an Associate Member of Institute of Health and Social Policy, and an Associate Member in the Department of Pediatrics – Division of General Pediatrics at the MUHC-RI. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Childhood Disability: Participation and Knowledge Translation. Her research focuses on the promotion of healthy living and the human rights of children with disabilities AND knowledge translation science and practice. Her research program adopts a participatory approach to engage different stakeholders, including policymakers, children and their families in finding solutions to change the environment, informing policymaking and promoting the participation of children with disabilities in different life roles and activities.

Based in Toronto, Canada, Dr Puri is the Manager of Science Initiatives at the Azrieli Foundation. Her responsibility is to develop and steward the Foundation’s funding initiatives in basic and clinical research in neuroscience and neurodevelopmental disorders. She is also a QART Advisory member.

Prof. Stefano Stifani is a Distinguished James McGill Professor in the Departments of Neurology & Neurosurgery and Anatomy & Cell Biology at McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He serves as Associate Director (Research) of the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital at McGill University, and as Associate Director (Fundamental Research) of McGill’s Azrieli Centre for Autism Research. He is also the Secretary-General of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience (ISDN), and the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, the official ISDN journal.

Dr. Nadig’s research focuses on social cognition and language development in the neurotypical population and people on the autism spectrum, from early development through adulthood. In her applied research, she promotes the social inclusion of autistic individuals by designing innovative support and intervention services, working in partnership with people on the autism spectrum, practitioners, and community organizations. She is co-chair of the Community Engagement Committee of the Transforming Autism Care Consortium (TACC), and a member of l’Équipe de Recherche pour l’Inclusion Sociale en Autisme (ÉRISA).

Daphna Mokady
VP, Discovery Biology, Endogena Therapeutics
Noémie Cusson
Doctoral student, Psychology
Université du Québec à Montréal
Emma Bruce
PhD Student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program, McMaster University
Eric Racine
Director, Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit, Full Research Professor, IRCM, Université de Montréal & McGill University
Daphna Mokady is VP Discovery Biology and Site head Toronto at Endogena Therapeutics, a biotech startup developing first-in-class endogenous regenerative medicines, where she leads multinational R&D collaborations, heads the company’s research site in Toronto, and leads the company’s primary program for retinal regeneration. She is also a passionate advocate of promoting women and youth in STEM. In 2019, she founded WSTEM TO, a Toronto-based initiative aimed at creating a strong and supportive community of women leaders in STEM.

Doctoral student in psychology at the Université du Québec à Montréal and QART Fellow. Her studies focus on the influence of alexithymia on empathy and on theory of mind in autism.

Emma Bruce is a Registered Occupational Therapist with much experience in community mental health and health administration. Her current thesis work examines the experiences of international students during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also a research coordinator at the McMaster University’s Co-Design with Vulnerable Populations Hub.

Dr. Racine is a leading international researcher in bioethics with recognized contributions to the development of neuroethics and pragmatic ethics. He is the author of Pragmatic Neuroethics: Improving Treatment and Understanding of the Mind-Brain, published by MIT Press. Inspired by philosophical pragmatism, his research aims to bring to the forefront the lived experience of ethically problematic situations by patients and stakeholders and then to resolve them collaboratively through deliberative and evidence-informed processes

Polina Grushevska
Intern, Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit, IRCM & Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv
Jonathan Lai
Executive DirectorAutism Alliance of Canada
Fabiano Santos
Senior Program Specialist at Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Marian Zlomislic
Director of Operations, Azrieli Accelerator
University of Calgary

Polina Grushevska is a 4th year bachelor student in the department of philosophy of Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv, Ukraine, specializing in Ehics and Practical Philosophy. As a Mitacs Globalink Research intern 2022 Polina is participating in Pragmatic Health Ethics Unit research work under Dr. Racine’s supervision, in a variety of projects aimed at implementing pragmatic, deliberative approach to ethical problem solving and enactment to real life practices.

Dr. Lai is the Executive Director at Autism Alliance of Canada and also holds an Adjunct Faculty position in Health Services Research at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. At Autism Alliance of Canada, Jonathan’s work involves responding to emerging national policy gaps in the autism and disability sector. He is responsible for leading the Alliance as a evidence-informed, community-driven constructive policy idea generator to guide the development of the National Autism Strategy.

Fabiano Santos is a medical research professional with over 10 years of combined multidisciplinary experience in the fields health and life sciences. He is currently managing research initiatives at Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), where he works collaboratively with local and global partners designing programs aimed at fostering scientific innovation and collaboration between researchers in developed and developing countries. He earned his PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Université de Montréal. Before joining IDRC, he was a research fellow at the Department of Oncology of McGill University. He has also served as a Lecturer and Epidemiologist to the Government of Gabon’s Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene and as adjunct professor of Pharmacology and Global Health at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Temiscamingue.

Ms Zlomislic received her MBA from the University of Calgary in 2015.  She is the Director of Operations for the Azrieli Accelerator at the University of Calgary, a new institutional initiative from the office of the VPR that aims to transform neurodevelopment research across the lifespan.

Past Speakers


Ridha Joober
Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Chris Corkery
Technology Transfer Manager, Innovation and Partnerships
McGill University

Dimitri Patrinos
Academic Associate, Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University

Eve-Marie Quintin
Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology
McGill University

Professor, department of psychiatry. Clinician scientist, interested in psychiatric developmental disorders and youth mental health. I have conducted research in various domains, including genetics of psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, ADHD, Autism) and early psychosis.

Dr. Chris Corkery is a Technology Transfer Manager for Innovation and Partnerships at McGill University where he translates McGill inventions for application in society. After completing postdoc fellowships at Western and McGill, he was the Chief Project Engineer of a start-up that made a medical device for use on the International Space Station. He also teaches graduate courses focused on research project management and technical writing.

Dimitri is a lawyer and an Academic Associate at the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University. He is a graduate of the civil law (LL.B.) and common law (J.D.) programs at Université de Montréal, Faculty of Law. He also holds a B.Sc. in Biology from Concordia University. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 2020.

Eve-Marie Quintin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology in the Faculty of Education at McGill University. She is a clinical child neuropsychologist by training, but her clinical practice is now mainly focused in school psychology. She holds a Psy.D. and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Université du Québec à Montréal (2011) and has completed two postdoctoral fellowships, one at the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (2011-13) and one at the Center for Advanced Brain Imaging in the School of Psychology at the Georgia Institute for Technology (2013-14). She has extensive research and clinical experience with children, adolescents, and young adults with autism spectrum disorder, fragile X syndrome, and intellectual disability.

Mandy Steiman
Clinical Psychologist, Azrieli Centre for Autism Research

Saleem Razack
Professor, Pediatrics and Health Sciences Education, McGill University
Director, Pediatric Critical Care Unit, Montreal Children’s Hospital

Peter Szatmari
Chief of the Child and Youth Mental Health Collaborative, CAMH
Psychiatrist in Chief, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
Director, Division of Child and Youth Mental Health, University of Toronto

Alena Valderrama
Public Health Physician and Researcher, CHU Ste-Justine Hospital
Assistant Professor, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Université de Montréal

Mandy Steiman, PhD is a clinical psychologist. She works at the Azrieli Centre for Autism Research (ACAR) through The Neuro, and at ACAR’s satellite site at the Montreal Chidren’s Hospital.

Saleem Razack is a professor of pediatrics and health sciences education at McGill University, as well as the Director of the Pediatric Critical Care Unit and practicing intensivist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. His research focus has been on issues of equity, diversity and inclusion in health professions education. He is the inaugural director of McGill’s Office of Social Accountability and Community Engagement, which focuses on equity, diversity and inclusion within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Dr. Peter Szatmari is Chief of the Child and Youth Mental Health Collaborative between CAMH, The Hospital for Sick Children (Psychiatrist in Chief) and the University of Toronto (Director of the Division of Child and Youth Mental Health). He holds the Patsy and Jamie Anderson Chair in Child and Youth Mental Health. He has made significant contributions to the Autism Spectrum Disorder field in many areas including diagnosis, measurement, genetics and longitudinal development, leading to significant changes in the understanding and classification of ASD in the DSM. Dr. Szatmari’s investigative interests fall within psychiatric and genetic epidemiology, specifically: 1) longitudinal studies of children with autism spectrum disorders and the factors associated with good outcome; and 2) the genetic etiology of autism including studying families with rare copy number variants and studies of infant siblings.

Dr. Valderrama is a public health physician and researcher at CHU Ste-Justine hospital and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the School of Public Health of the Université de Montréal. Dr. Valderrama’s practice and research focus on the social determinants of mental health and quality of life for autistic people and their families, mainly social support, health literacy and the fight against the stigma of autism. Her work consists of proposing preventive public policies and programs to improve the social inclusion of autistic people.

Kevin Da Silva
Director, Medical Science & Health, Fidelity Foundation


Nathalie Gendron
Director, Research Services, INRS

Bio: Coming soon

Dr. Gendron is Director, Research Services at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), a Quebec university dedicated exclusively to graduate level research and training.