Research Trainees

Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga – PhD Candidate


Hugues is a PhD student in the APEAL Lab. He holds an MD from the University of Kinshasa and an MSc in Epidemiology from the Université Laval. He previously worked in both academic research and public health settings. More recently, he worked as an epidemiologist at Ottawa Public Health and joined APEAL in May 2016. Hugues is currently working with the Department of National Defence on a research project that explores six potential effect modifiers of the relationship between traumatic stress exposure and mental health problems in Canadian Armed Forces personnel. 

Zahra Clayborne – PhD Candidate


Zahra is a PhD candidate in the APEAL Lab. She graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Calgary in 2015. Prior to joining the APEAL Lab in 2016, she worked as a research coordinator in a clinical health psychology lab at the University of Calgary, where she coordinated a pilot trial testing the impact of cognitive behavioural therapy in treating insomnia in pregnant women, conducted psychological assessments, and was involved in perinatal epidemiological research. Zahra’s PhD thesis research involves examining potential biological and psychosocial influences of relationships between prenatal maternal stress and child and adolescent mental health. Outside of the lab, she can be found reading, running, hitting the battle ropes, and generating top-notch academic memes on Twitter (@zclayborne).

Nicole Hammond – PhD Candidate

NHammond_APEAL Website PicNicole is a PhD candidate in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa, and a research trainee in the APEAL laboratory. Nicole has a diverse educational background, having obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law & Psychology (2010) and Masters in Experimental Psychology (2012) at Carleton University, followed by a Masters of Science in Epidemiology & Community Medicine (2018) at the University of Ottawa, before pursuing her PhD. Nicole also has a varied research and professional work history, which she believes equips her with a unique skillset to contribute to advancing the field of Psychiatric Epidemiology. Nicole’s doctoral research focuses on family-level risk and protective factors for suicidal behaviours among Canadian adolescents, and is funded by a Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Canadian Institute of Health Research.

Shannon Thompson – PhD Student

SThompson CIHR Headshot 2019


Shannon is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Ian Colman’s APEAL laboratory. She holds a B.Sc in Behaviour, Cognition and Neuroscience from the University of Windsor, and an M.Sc in Neuroscience from the University of Ottawa. In her master’s work, Shannon investigated hippocampal postnatal neurogenesis and its association with the cognitive impairments affecting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy patients. Under the supervision of Dr. Michael Martin, Manager of the Mental Health Epidemiology branch at Correctional Services Canada (Adjunct Professor, University of Ottawa; APEAL alumni), Shannon’s doctoral research will be to evaluate suicidality in Canadian Federal Penitentiaries



Hannah Landry – MSc Student 



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