Our Team

Research Associates

Katherine Halievski, 2021-present, email

Role: Using my research background in neuroimmunology and chronic pain, I support the Ghasemlou laboratory with the preparation of manuscripts, grants, and more.
Hobbies: rock climbing, hanging out with my cat & dog, acting

A picture of Laurel
Laurel Ballantyne, 2023-present, email

Role: Ensuring the lab runs safely and smoothly, as well as examining the role of galectins in peripheral inflammation/pain.
Hobbies: Parenting, volleyball, reading, and catching live music when possible.
Fun fact: I’m in a music video with over 4,000 views on YouTube!

Graduate Students

Courtney Bannerman, 2017-present, email

Project: Neuro-immune interactions in spinal cord injury pain and the circadian rhythm of nociception
Hobbies: fencing, running
Fun fact: I am a girl guide leader for a local Sparks and Brownie unit.

Hailey Gowdy (she/her/elle), 2020-present, email

Project: Epidemiological studies concerning the circadian control of pain in chronic (CircaPain) and acute states.
Hobbies: Swimming, reading, and getting overly invested in Jeopardy!
Fun fact: I once met a goat that was on Game of Thrones. He was delightful.

Amanda Zacharias, 2021-present, email

Project: Multi-omics of neuroimmunolgy and pain
Hobbies: Crafting and learning web-development
Fun fact: I think water bears (tardigrades) are very cool

A headshot of Doriana
Doriana Taccardi, 2022-present, email

Project: Circadian rhythmicity in biopsychosocial outcomes of Chronic Pain, Multiple Sclerosis and Mental Illnesses. Learn about CircaMS: link!
Hobbies: I’ve played roller hockey professionally since I was 9 years old. Yoga and meditation
Fun fact:  Although I’m from Italy, I love Canada, snow and cold weather!

A headshot of Vina
Vina Li, 2022-present, email

Project: Circadian disruption in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE).
Hobbies: Lego building, camping, hiking, cooking for cats.
Fun fact:  I have been 6000 meters above sea level.

Master's Students

Ciara O’Connor, 2022-present, email

Project: Examining the potential role of glial circadian rhythms in chronic pain.
Hobbies: Rowing and curling
Fun fact: I cheer for every Boston team, except the Bruins. Go leafs!

A headshot picture of Ruilin
Ruilin Zhao, 2023-present, email

Project: The role of galectins on neuro-immune interactions in peripheral inflammation and pain.
Hobbies: Table tennis, hiking, and karaoke
Fun fact: I come from the city which is the farthest place from the sea on earth.

Undergraduate Honours Students

Natalie Wilcox, 2022-present, email
Project: Investigating promotors of neuron growth causing allodynia in spared nerve injury model.
Hobbies: Backcountry camping and indoor rock climbing.
Fun fact: I grew up 6,000 feet above sea level.