Overall Research Goals

To further understand the determinants of outcome from concussion and more serious brain injuries

To advance brain imaging in psychiatric and neurological disorders

To better understand the factors leading to social decline and homelessness in Vancouver’s downtown eastside population

Primary Research Techniques

Advanced neuroimaging, primarily cutting edge MRI techniques

Neurocognitive and psychiatric assessments, both manual and computerized


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is associated with baseline child sport concussion assessment tool third edition scores in child hockey players
Brain Injury
Laurel J. Collings and Nathan E. Cook and Shaun Porter and Cody Kusch and Jonathan Sun and Naznin Virji-Babul and Grant L. Iverson and William J. Panenka
DOI: 10.1080/02699052.2017.1377351

Cogniphobia in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Journal of Neurotrauma
DOI: 10.1089/neu.2016.4719

Traumatic Brain Injury in a Community-Based Cohort of Homeless and Vulnerably Housed Individuals
Journal of Neurotrauma
Toby Schmitt and Allen E. Thornton and Iris Rawtaer and Alasdair M. Barr and Kristina M. Gicas and Donna J. Lang and A. Talia Vertinsky and Alexander Rauscher and Ric M. Procyshyn and Tari Buchanan and Alex Cheng and Sarah MacKay and Olga Leonova and Verena Langheimer and Thalia S. Field and Manraj K. Heran and Fidel Vila-Rodriguez and Tiffany A. O'Connor and G. William MacEwan and William G. Honer and William J. Panenka
DOI: 10.1089/neu.2017.5076

Perceived Injustice and its Correlates after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Journal of Neurotrauma
Grant L Iverson and Douglas P Terry and Justin E. Karr and William Panenka and Noah D Silverberg
DOI: 10.1089/neu.2017.5402

The effects of enhanced attention and working memory on smooth pursuit eye movement
Experimental Brain Research
Jacob L. Stubbs and Sherryse L. Corrow and Benjamin Kiang and William J. Panenka and Jason J. S. Barton
DOI: 10.1007/s00221-017-5146-6

Work Productivity Loss After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2017.07.006

Systematic Review of Genetic Risk Factors for Sustaining a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Journal of Neurotrauma
DOI: 10.1089/neu.2016.4833

Characterization of white matter integrity deficits in cocaine-dependent individuals with substance-induced psychosis compared with non-psychotic cocaine users
Addiction Biology
DOI: 10.1111/adb.12363

Autoreactivity to sulfatide by human invariant NKT cells
Journal of Immunology
DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1601976

Genetics and Other Risk Factors for Past Concussions in Active-Duty Soldiers
Journal of Neurotrauma
DOI: 10.1089/neu.2016.4480

The Hotel Study - Clinical and Health Service Effectiveness in a Cohort of Homeless or Marginally Housed Persons
Canadian Journal of Psychiatry
DOI: 10.1177/0706743717693781

Structural brain markers are differentially associated with neurocognitive profiles in socially marginalized people with multimorbid illness
DOI: 10.1037/neu0000304

A comparison of psychotic symptoms in subjects with methamphetamine versus cocaine dependence
DOI: 10.1007/s00213-017-4551-7

Changes in brain-behavior relationships following a 3-month pilot cognitive intervention program for adults with traumatic brain injury
DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00373

Alcohol consumption does not impede recovery from mild to moderate traumatic brain injury
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
DOI: 10.1017/S1355617716000692

The positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS): A three-factor model of psychopathology in marginally housed persons with substance dependence and psychiatric illness
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151648

Factors affecting severity of positive and negative symptoms of psychosis in a polysubstance using population with psychostimulant dependence
Psychiatry Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.04.059

Subcortical grey matter alterations in cocaine dependent individuals with substance-induced psychosis compared to non-psychotic cocaine users
Schizophrenia Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2016.08.001

The Child Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (Child SCAT3): normative values and correspondence between child and parent symptom scores in male child athletes
BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine
Shaun Porter and Jenna Smith-Forrester and Najah Alhajri and Cody Kusch and Jonathan Sun and Bill Barrable and William J Panenka and Naznin Virji-Babul
DOI: 10.1136/bmjsem-2015-000029

White matter deficits assessed by diffusion tensor imaging and cognitive dysfunction in psychostimulant users with comorbid human immunodeficiency virus infection Psychiatry
BMC Research Notes
DOI: 10.1186/s13104-015-1501-5

Diffusion tensor imaging findings and postconcussion symptom reporting six weeks following mild traumatic brain injury
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology
DOI: 10.1093/arclin/acu060

Systematic review of multivariable prognostic models for mild traumatic brain injury
Journal of Neurotrauma
DOI: 10.1089/neu.2014.3600

Mortality from treatable illnesses in marginally housed adults: A prospective cohort study
BMJ Open
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008876

Neuropsychological outcome and diffusion tensor imaging in complicated versus uncomplicated mild traumatic brain injury
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122746

Neurocognitive profiles of marginally housed persons with comorbid substance dependence, viral infection, and psychiatric illness
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
DOI: 10.1080/13803395.2014.963519

Prevalence and patterns of antipsychotic use in youth at the time of admission and discharge from an inpatient psychiatric facility
Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
DOI: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e3182a607dd

Personalized risk assessment of drug-related harm is associated with health outcomes
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079754

Towards clinical management of traumatic brain injury: A review of models and mechanisms from a biomechanical perspective
DMM Disease Models and Mechanisms
DOI: 10.1242/dmm.011320

The hotel study: Multimorbidity in a community sample living in marginal housing
American Journal of Psychiatry
DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.12111439

Methamphetamine use: A comprehensive review of molecular, preclinical and clinical findings
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.11.016

Excessive antipsychotic dosing in a canadian outpatient population
Psychiatric Services

A longitudinal study on the effects of typical versus atypical antipsychotic drugs on hippocampal volume in schizophrenia
Schizophrenia Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2007.05.002

The need for speed: An update on methamphetamine addiction
Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience

ATP released from astrocytes during swelling activates chloride channels
Journal of Neurophysiology
DOI: 10.1152/jn.00510.2002

MAP kinases contribute to IL-8 secretion by intestinal epithelial cells via a posttranscriptional mechanism
American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology

P2X7-like receptor activation in astrocytes increases chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression via mitogen-activated protein kinase
Journal of Neuroscience

Mitogen-activated protein and tyrosine kinases in the activation of astrocyte volume-activated chloride current
Journal of Neuroscience


Current Projects
As a clinical researcher my main goals over the next five years are to continue my work with the homelessness in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, and set up a mild traumatic brain injury research program at the University of British Columbia.

Vancouver’s downtown eastside is home to our most vulnerable population, characterized by a mixture of primary psychiatric illness and refractory addictions. As part of a large team led by Dr. Bill Honer (Head of Psychiatry) we recruit individuals housed in single room occupancy hotels who then undergo detailed medical and psychiatric testing, including brain MRI. This is a longitudinal study that follows approximately 500 individuals for up to 5 years. The data generated is important to policy makers and to science. There are a multitude of opportunities to explore psychiatric and neurological illness from many angels within this study.

My lab is concurrently engaged in the study of traumatic brain injury. We are building a strong team that includes multiple researchers from multiple disciplines here at UBC and abroad. Under the umbrella of the BC Neuropsychiatry program we have recently started the “Neuropsychiatry Concussion Clinic” for those individuals with symptoms that do are not resolving following head trauma. This clinic and others serve as recruitment sites for research studies that focus on the development of biomarkers in concussion, which simply put means finding cognitive, imaging, and blood markers that may predict outcome and response to treatment in those with brain injuries.

Research Group Members

Imad Ahmad, Co-op student
Angela Aquino, Research Coordinator
Julia Askew, Research Volunteer
Devine Calanog
Tasha Chan
Alex Cheng
Mikaela Correa, Research Assistant
Yasmin Hamzah, Research Assistant
Kassia Hayek, Research Assistant
Hiresh Hiresh, Co-op Student
Martina Knappett, Research Assistant
Lexynn Kwan, Coop Student - Medicine
Louise Meddings, Research Assistant
Amiti Mehta, Research Assistant
Simarpreet Pattar, Work Learn Student
Victoria Purcell, Research Assistant
Shannon Reid, Coop Student - Medicine
Jacob Scamvougeras, Research Volunteer
Jacob Stubbs, PhD Student, Research trainee
Yomna Takieldeen
Jamie Wong, Research Assistant
Lisa Zhang