Message from the Director 2021

Dear Hotchkiss Brain Institute Trainees, Faculty and Staff,

Welcome back to the HBI and the 2021/22 academic year! It seems surreal to think how much has happened in the past year. We hope you are safe, healthy and happy, and excited for everything this upcoming year holds.

As we enter into the fall, the University of Calgary has new measures in place to ensure a safe return to campus. If you have any questions about the Return to Campus guidelines, please review them here.

We have added a few new members to our staff roster over the past year. Please join me in welcoming the newest additions to the HBI team:

Shea Coburn – Senior Communications Advisor

Tram Nguyen – Coordinator, Operations

Craig Day – Senior Manager, Business Operations

Dr. Shalina Ousman – Director, International Strategy

Dr. Jaideep Bains – Director, Research &

Deputy Director, Brain and Mental Health Research Strategy


The HBI would also like to thank our outgoing staff members for their contributions:

We also thank Dr. Deborah Kurrasch for her work as Director of International. Dr. Kurrasch will continue to be a member of the HBI. Carlos Arenas has taken a lead finance role with Mount Royal University, Brandi Chuchman has accepted an exciting position with the Calgary Zoo, Holly Kerr has joined the team at the Snyder Institute for Chronic Disease, and Janice Lee has transitioned to a role with the CIHR-INMHA. We wish them all the very best in their new positions and future endeavours!

Another thank-you goes out to our summer students, Brooke Belanger and Jasmeen Saini-Rai for their excellent work this past summer. They contributed to our increased social media presence, event coordination, and the design of HBI’s first billboard ads around the city!

We have achieved amazing things this year, a few examples include the launch of the Parker Pyschedelic Research Chair, supporting research into commercialization with companies like Lumiio, and discovering new links between stress and neurodevelopment. These are just a few highlights. You can find even more accomplishments on our news page here, or in our Brainworks Archive.

HBI and Mathison Centre researchers and trainees have not only persevered through this past year, but have gone above and beyond in their accomplishments, awards, grants, research, and initiatives. Congratulations to all of you on your many achievements.

We want to share some upcoming events with you, and while COVID-19 still lingers, we advise you to follow all COVID guidelines when deciding whether to attend. We realize there a chance these events may move online as well, and we hope to see you – if not in-person – then online for these great initiatives. Mark your calendars for these:

An exciting development on the communications front: The Hotchkiss Brain Institute is now on Instagram! You can follow us using the handle @hotchkiss.brain . We post research highlights, news stories, Did You Knows, and profiles on our members! If you have something you would like to highlight on Instagram or other social media platforms, please reach out to Shea Coburn (

I want to personally thank each of you for your cooperation and continued dedication to advancing research and education at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Mathison Centre. You are our priority, and we are here to support you and continue helping you advance your work and celebrate your successes. Feel free to contact any one of us to discuss your work, your challenges, and your achievements.  

Dr. David Park, Director

Dr. Richard Frayne, Deputy Director

Dr. Sarah McFarlane, Education Director

Dr. Lawrence Korngut, Director, Innovation

Dr. Jaideep Bains, Director, Research (Deputy Director, BMH Strategy)

Dr. Shalina Ousman, Director, International Strategy


Warm regards,


David Park, PhD, FRSC
Director, Hotchkiss Brain Institute
Lead, Brain and Mental Health research strategy 
Professor, Depts. of Clinical Neurosciences
and Cell Biology & Anatomy
University of Calgary
(Mobile) 403-680-9632
(Office) 403-220-3994