Former and Other Trainees

Krysta Andrews

Krysta Andrews received her undergraduate degree at Queen’s University in Biology and a Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Toronto.

She completed her doctoral degree under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Gonzalez in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at McMaster University.

Krysta’s research interests broadly focus on examining the effects of early adversity on child cognitive, physiological, and behavioural outcomes as well as the efficacy of evidence-based preventative interventions in supporting, educating, and strengthening families.

Krysta is currently completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University.

Ashwini Tiwari

Dr. Tiwari’s research program is focused on reducing health disparities among high-risk and victimized populations in a family violence context.

Her work focuses on biobehavioral trajectories and responses to trauma-based prevention and intervention efforts while considering the impact of non-modifiable contextual stressors and intra-individual variation.

She has a special interest in stress physiological and genetic profiles among victimized youth populations who receive trauma-based care. Her recent research has focused on understanding the implementation, barriers and effective components of trauma-based treatments for youth victims of sexual abuse in community settings.

Research Interests: family violence, child maltreatment, evidence-based parenting interventions, mental health, biobehavioral stress, trauma-based interventions.

Gillian England-Mason

Gillian England-Mason is a Postdoctoral Fellow specializing in Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the Owerko Centre, University of Calgary.

Gillian received her PhD in Neuroscience from McMaster University, under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Gonzalez. She is currently working with the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) Study Team under the mentorship of Dr. Deborah Dewey. Her program of research is supported through a Postgraduate Fellowship in Health Innovation provided by Alberta Innovates.

Gillian’s research broadly examines how early environmental factors influence emotional and cognitive development during childhood. She is particularly interested in biological and relational predictors of neurodevelopmental and mental health outcomes. This multidisciplinary research aims to better understand the mechanisms of developmental change and inform preventative interventions for families.

Heather Prime

Dr. Heather Prime joined the Department of Psychology at York University in 2020, following a CIHR-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University (with Drs. Andrea Gonzalez and Terry Bennett).

Her research program uses a family-based approach to understanding and supporting socio-emotional and cognitive development in young children, with a focus on family interactions and relationships.

She is interested in risk and resiliency processes that occur involving social disadvantage, caregiver and family wellbeing, and children’s adjustment. Current activities include: (1) The development and evaluation of family-based early intervention programs; (2) Knowledge synthesis activities used to examine pre-existing literature on early family-based interventions; (3) The development of behavioural observation tools for assessing family interaction patterns; and (4) Secondary analysis of pre-existing datasets in order to better understand early childhood development.

Dr. Prime is registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario and she is a practicing clinical psychologist in the Greater Toronto Area, with expertise in working with the family unit to support children’s mental health and well-being. As a clinical psychologist, she is committed to using her clinical training to guide her research, and she emphasizes clinical utility in her research endeavours.

Madeleine Harris

Madeleine Harris received her undergraduate degree at McMaster University in the Health Sciences program where she completed her undergraduate thesis with Dr. Gonzalez and worked as a research assistant with the lab.

She went on to receive her Master’s degree in the Neuroscience Graduate Program under the supervision of Dr. Gonzalez.

Madeleine’s research interests include the influences of child adversity and other contextual factors on caregiving practices and child health and development, as well as preventative interventions. Madeleine now studies medicine at the University of Toronto.

Jennifer Khoury

Dr. Jennifer Khoury recently became an Assistant Professor and Tier II Canada Research Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies in Neuroscience, in the Department of Psychology at Mount Saint Vincent University.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Khoury completed a postdoctoral fellowship, funded by CIHR and Michael DeGroote fellowships, at the Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University (with Drs. Andrea Gonzalez and Terry Bennett). She also previously completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School (2017-2019).

Dr. Khoury’s research program adopts an interdisciplinary and multi-method approach to understand how early life stress impacts the brain and behaviour of parents and children, at different stages of development. Much of this research includes longitudinal studies which examine neurobiological stress and emotion regulation, in parents and children, beginning in infancy and spanning to later childhood.

Dr. Khoury’s current research projects include a longitudinal study assessing the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and stress in pregnancy, a series of meta-analyses to examine outcomes of childhood maltreatment, as well as a collaborative research project examining the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the intergenerational transmission of childhood maltreatment.

David Kanters

David Kanters is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact.

He has a wealth of experience working with population-based studies in his research on determinants of health and healthy aging, with a particular focus on health measurement.

Rafaela Costa Martins

Rafaela Costa Martins has BS in Physical Education (2014) at Universidade Federal de Pelotas (Brazil) and MSc in Epidemiology (2017) at Universidade Federal de Pelotas (Brazil).

Nowadays she is a PhD student in Epidemiology at the same University, with an exchange period in McMaster University (Canadá). She studied the Epidemiology of Physical Activity from 2014 to 2017 in both urban and rural populations.

Her thesis is about the Epidemiology of Violence, focusing on chronic stress measured by hair cortisol. She has experience in epidemiology, hair cortisol, statistics, physical activity and public health.

Also, she is a member of the DOVE: Human Development and Violence Research Centre, member of Study and Research Group in Accelerometry (GEPEA) and a member of the Global Observatory for Physical Activity (GoPA!).