Dr. Jennifer J. Heisz
Dr. Jennifer J. Heisz is an expert in brain health and the author of Move the Body, Heal the Mind. She is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Brain Health and Aging at McMaster University where she directs the NeuroFit lab. Dr. Heisz received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience (McMaster) and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Brain Health and Aging at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Hospital (Toronto). Her award winning research examines the effects of physical activity on brain function to promote mental health and cognition in young adults, older adults, and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease
Emma Waddington is a second-year Master’s student in the NeuroFit Lab. Expanding on the research that she completed during her undergraduate thesis, Emma’s research now focuses on how high intensity exercise-induced lactate can improve cognition when it is combined with simultaneous mental training. Outside the lab you can find Emma running the local trails and enjoying the outdoors!
Sameena Karsan is the research coordinator for the NeuroFit Lab and is a recent McMaster graduate with a BSc Honors Kinesiology. Sameena completed a research practicum and thesis in the NeuroFit Lab and explored the relationship between ADHD and depression and how exercise can be used to enhance learning and cognition in this population. Currently she is examining how mindfulness strategies can be used to improve the mental health of university students and how socioeconomic status impacts one’s mindfulness of their mental health. The goal of her research is to evaluate new ways of promoting mindfulness to support student mental health and wellness. Outside of the lab you can find Sameena playing volleyball or staying in and reading a good book.
Rivka Ohayon is a recent McMaster graduate with a BSc Honors Kinesiology degree. She is interested in applying her diverse background in nutrition, aging, and cognition to better understand how these factors are intricately related. As a research assistant at the NeuroFit Lab, she is currently researching the effects of popular intermittent fasting diets on mental, metabolic, and cognitive health in women. She hopes to establish easily implementable nutritional interventions to help reduce the impacts of chronic stress while improving cognitive health long-term. Outside of the lab, Rivka loves spending her time hiking local trails, watching Iron Chef and experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen!
Each year, the NeuroFit Lab trains dozens of top undergraduate students from across the Faculty of Science including Kinesiology, Psychology, and Biology. Bringing together trainees from distinct disciplines into our open workspace in the lab creates an engaging environment for knowledge transfer and innovative thinking. This rich knowledge foundation is complemented with extensive technical training on multiple methodologies—fNIRS, EEG, cognitive and fitness testing, and biological sample processing—and the use of both traditional and novel analytical procedures for data analysis. Trainees from the NeuroFit Lab are equipped with a valuable skill and knowledge set needed to address the challenges of an increasingly sedentary and aging population.
To apply for a position at the NeuroFit lab, send you CV, cover letter, and unofficial transcript to:
Dr. Danielle Brewer-Deluce, Past Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr.David Allison, Past Postdoctoral Fellow
Tara Kuhn, MSc
Emma Nicholson, MSc
Maryam Marashi, MSc
Alexis Bullock, MSc
Allison Mizzi, MSc
Dr. Barbara Fenesi, Past Postdoctoral Fellow of the NeuroFit Lab. Currently, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education at the University of Western. Nominated Tier II Canada Research Chair in the Science of Learning. Laboratory Supervisor of the WEBB lab.
Kristin Lucibello, MSc
Ana Kovacevic, MSc
Emily Paolucci, MSc
Hanna Fang, MSc
Ilana Clark, MSc
Dr. Jennifer J. Heisz | Associate Professor | Department of Kinesiology | Ivor Wynne Centre, Room E206 | McMaster University | 1280 Main Street West | Hamilton, Ontario L8S4L8