Serena Orr

Clinical Assistant Professor

Clinical Neurosciences


Full Member

Hotchkiss Brain Institute

M.D. (Doctor of Medicine)

M.Sc. (Master of Science)


Contact information

Preferred method of communication

Administrative Assistant:
Janie-Rae Hourie    
Ph: (403) 955-7816


Research and teaching

Research areas

  • Mental Health
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Spinal Cord / Nerve Injury & Pain
  • Pediatric migraine
  • Acute migraine

Research activities

My main research interest is in furthering our understanding of pediatric migraine. Specifically, I am interested in improving our knowledge of how to optimize acute migraine treatment, both at home and in the emergency department. I have published two guidelines, a book and some original research that has advanced our understanding of how to treat migraine in the emergency department and that has helped the scientific community to understand predictors of treatment response in this setting. Going forward, I plan on pursuing an intervention study that aims to determine if we can optimize treatment response to first-line emergency department interventions for migraine by adding a non-pharmacologic intervention to the typical regimen of intravenous medications used for acute migraine.

I am also interested in discovering environmental risk factors in early childhood that may contribute to migraine incidence. I have recently completed work showing that pediatric migraine is comorbid with anxiety disorders and mood disorders, and that these internalizing disorders are risk factors for incident migraine in adolescence. Moving forward, I would like to further explore these associations, as well as a wider set of possible early childhood environmental risk factors for incident migraine in later childhood or adolescence. A greater understanding of the relationship between internalizing disorders, other early childhood risk factors and migraine will likely help the scientific community to better understand migraine etiology and biology.




  • National Pediatric Resident and Fellow Research Competition, resident category 2016
  • Best Fellow Research Presentation, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Day 2016
  • American Headache Society Frontiers in Headache Research Scholarship 2015