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Marie Brossard-Racine PhD
Canada Research Chair in Brain and Child Development

Principal Investigator / Lab Director

Marie Brossard-Racine is a neuroscientist at the Research Institute of McGill University Health Centre. She founded the ABCD Research Lab in 2015 as she took on her position as an Associate Professor at McGill University’s School of Physical and Occupational Therapy. She is also an Associate Member of the Department of Pediatrics and Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery.


Dr. Brossard-Racine worked for many years as a pediatric Occupational Therapist here in Quebec. In parallel to her clinical practice, she completed her PhD in rehabilitation sciences at McGill University. She then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in diagnostic imaging and radiology at the Children’s National Health System in Washington DC, where she trained with advanced quantitative magnetic resonance imaging techniques applied to the fetal and newborn brains. Using her interdisciplinary expertise, she is now building new knowledge to better understand the underlying mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders and delineating critical time periods of brain plasticity in children with brain-based disorders. 

Watch Marie Brossard-Racine talk about her research:

Postdoctoral researchers
Sarah Palmis, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sarah joined the ABCD research laboratory as a Postdoctoral Fellow in February 2021. She completed a PhD in Neurosciences at Université de Aix-Marseille. During her PhD she developed an expertise in functional MRI technique as a proxy to study neural and motor development. During her postdoctoral training, Sarah is interested in using a variety of quantitative structural MRI techniques to characterize brain growth in a variety of clinical populations. In her free time, she enjoys doing sport in particular basketball, reading, listening to music, and cooking.

Graduate students
Eliane Dionne OT, MSc

PhD student

Eliane is a doctoral student at the ABCD Research Lab. She completed an undergraduate degree in Human Kinetics, followed by a professional Master's in Occupational Therapy, both at the University of Ottawa. She currently works part-time as a pediatric Occupational Therapist with children who have motor and learning difficulties. Her research interests focus on children with developmental coordination disorders and learning disabilities. In her free time, Eliane enjoys playing piano and swimming.

Kaitlyn Easson, BSc

PhD student

Kaitlyn joined the ABCD Research Lab in September 2017 as a Master's student in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University, and fast-tracking to the PhD program in September 2019. She is interested in using neuroimaging techniques to study typical and atypical human neurodevelopment. For her current research project, she is using quantitative magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate white matter microstructure and its relationship with neurocognitive outcomes in adolescents and young adults born preterm or with congenital heart disease. She holds an Honour’s Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences with a specialization in Neuroscience from Queen’s University. Outside of the lab, her interests include music, reading, baking, and yoga.

Fatima Abboud, BSc
MSc student

Fatima joined the ABCD Research Lab as a Master’s student in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University in September 2021. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Guelph where she majored in Neuroscience and minored in Statistics. In her current project, she is employing magnetic resonance imaging and machine learning techniques to identify structural neurobiomarkers of executive dysfunction in adolescents and young adults with congenital heart disease. Outside of the lab, Fatima enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with her cat.

Camille Héguy, BSc
MSc student

Camille joined the ABCD Research Lab as a Master’s student in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University in August 2022. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from McGill University, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Interdisciplinary Life Sciences. For her MSc project, she uses magnetic resonance imaging to observe the development of the basal ganglia in preterm infants duringthe first year of life. Outside of the lab, Camille enjoys staying active and spending time with her friends, her family, and her cat.

Nan-Hao Chen, MSc

PhD student

Nan-Hao joined the ABCD Research Lab in August 2023 as a PhD student in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees through the dual Bachelor-Master program at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. He is interested in developing novel neuroimaging techniques for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and applying them to monitor microstructural alterations in the human brain. In his current research, he employs MRI to investigate myelinic and neuronal changes within the brains of patients with neonatal encephalopathy. Outside of the lab, Nan-Hao enjoys playing badminton, listening to music, and spending time with his friends.

Undergraduate students
Bristena Tache
BSc student

Bristena joined the ABCD Research Lab as an undergraduate student in Cognitive Science at McGill University in September 2022. She is pursuing the Neuroscience stream for her Major, and minoring in Social Studies of Medicine. For her current research project, she is assisting Dr. Sarah Palmis by processing quantitative neuroimaging of the cerebellum and the hippocampus of preterm infants and infants with congenital heart disease. Outside of her studies, Bristena enjoys spending time with friends, going on walks with her family, and travelling.

Aliona Fezoua, BSc, MSc
Clinical Research Coordinator

Aliona joined the ABCD Research Lab as a clinical research coordinator in November 2022. She obtained her Bachelors's degree, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology, followed by a Master's in Neuroscience, both at McGill University. She supports the lab with various study initiation tasks. During her post-graduate studies, she studied early brain and retinal development in neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy using MRI. In her free time, Aliona enjoys spending time with family and friends, painting, and hiking. 

  • Assil Abda - M2 Student (2016)

  • Wren Boehlen - U3 Neurosciences (2018-2019)

  • Marie-Eve Bolduc - PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences (2016-2022)

  • Athena Buckthought - Research Associate (2018-2019)

  • François Courtin - MSc in Bioinformatics (2019)

  • Marianne Doucet - Research coordinator (2019-2022)

  • Kimberly Fontes - MSc in Neuroscience (2016-2019); Research Assistant (2019)

  • Sylviya Ganeshamoorthy - U3 Neurosciences (2016-2017)

  • Elly Htite - MSc in Neuroscience (2019-2022) 

  • Alyson Jiang - U3 Pharmacology and Therapeutics (2018-2019)

  • Lotfi Kesraoui - Research Assistant (2016-2017)

  • Olivia Leones - U3 Cognitive Sciences (2016)

  • Veronique Mallet - U3 Cognitive Sciences (2021-2022) 

  • Amanda Pedriks - Research coordinator (2017-2021)

  • Sossy Sahakian - Research Assistant (2016)

  • Monica Salas - U3 Biomedical Engineering (2019)

  • Emma Somer - U3 Neuroscience (2018-2019)

  • Dylan Vatcher - M2 Student (2016)

Want to join our team? 

Check out available opportunities.


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