Announcements / 11.1.22
LatinX@Broad Speaker Series

Watch Ana Paula-Silva, PhD, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Sibille Lab presenting on Analysis of Mitochondrial DNA Variants and Their Association With Brain Structural Measures in Bipolar Disorder.

LatinX@Broad 2022 Speaker Series

All talks are open to the public. Recorded talks will be available for viewing here and on our Youtube playlist.


View past talks on YouTube.


Upcoming Talks

Thomas Fernandez
Yale University
Genetic studies of Obsessive-Compulsive and related disorders.
Thomas Fernandez is a child psychiatrist and psychiatric geneticist who has an active clinical practice and research laboratory. A faculty member at Yale Child Study Center and the Department of Psychiatry, his research efforts include the following investigations into developmental neuropsychiatric disorders: Discovering genetic mutations in Tourette syndrome, motor stereotypies, obsessive-compulsive disorder, ADHD, and anxiety disorders using next generation DNA sequencing (whole genome and exome), and using these discoveries to identify treatment targets. Discovering epigenetic marker variation in these disorders. Clinical trials of new behavioral and medication treatments.


Past talks

November 8th, 2022
Ana Paula-Silva, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow - Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Sibille Lab
Analysis of Mitochondrial DNA Variants and Their Association With Brain Structural Measures in Bipolar Disorder.
Dr. Ana Mendes-Silva is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Molecular Brain Science at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto. Her research interests focus on addressing the gaps in our current understanding of how mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to psychiatric disorders by surveying mitochondrial DNA variants with the ultimate goal of improving mitochondria-targeted therapies. Currently, Dr. Mendes-Silva is investigating whether mitochondrial DNA variants are associated with structural brain changes in psychosis spectrum disorders. For her work, Ana has received the 2022-2023 Womenmind Fellowship Award, 2021-2022 Discovery Fund Fellowship Award, 2022 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) Travel Award, among others.
September 20, 2022
Janitza Montalvo-Ortiz
Yale University
Decoding the Epigenomic Landscape of Trauma across the Lifespan
Janitza Montalvo-Ortiz's research interests include the study of the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms associated with psychiatric disorders. She investigates how trauma-related events increase the vulnerability of developing mental disorders later in life.
August 9, 2022
Érica Vieira
University of Toronto
Liquid Brain Biopsy: Brain-Derived Extracellular Vesicles in Neuropsychiatric disorders
Dr. Érica Vieira has conducted basic and translational research in neuroimmunology over the past ten years. She has focused her research on evaluating peripheral biomarkers in psychiatry and neurological disorders to identify the link between the periphery and central nervous system. The main focus of her research as an Independent Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is to investigate the role of peripheral biomarkers in several mental illnesses, including neurodegenerative, cognitive dysfunction, and mood disorders. Her long-term career goal is to establish a sustainable, diverse, and independent laboratory in Canada. After completing her M.Sc. and her Ph.D. at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Biochemistry and Immunology, She had the opportunity to investigate the role of immunological changes in different neuropsychiatric disorders across the lifespan, including major depression, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and epilepsy.

In 2019, she moved to Canada to join the Neurobiology of Aging and Depression Laboratory. She established many collaborations studying peripheral biomarkers and extracellular vesicles in patients with mood disorders (late-life depression, bipolar disorder), addiction, psychosis, and neurodegenerative disorders. In less than two years, Dr. Vieira became Principal Investigator of a sub-project in addiction and cognitive dysfunction and was awarded a very competitive fellowship from Labatt Network Family Foundation for Depression Biology. Based on her prior experience in peripheral biomarkers in neuroinflammation and developing studies with human studies 
July 12, 2022
Krystal Tsosie
Vanderbilt University
Indigenous Biomarkers, Bioethics, and Biobanks
Krystal Tsosie research focuses on pre-eclampsia (PE) which is defined by the onset of high blood pressure and excess excretion of protein in urine during mid-to late stages of pregnancy. The incidence of PE has been increasing in the United States, especially among pregnant women from disadvantaged socioeconomic populations, highlighting a need in health disparities research. Her aim is to utilize available genotype and clinical data to create and test a validated multiple logistic regression risk model for PE to examine the genetic and non-genetic determinants that contribute to PE disease risk. She is aware that there is a dearth of genetics studies with AI research participants, partially due to historical and cultural incongruities in establishing informed consent. She has a distinct opportunity to examine the ethical complexities of informed consent in an American Indian population. She presents a genetic, epidemiologic, and bioethical multifaceted approach towards investigating the impact of PE in American Indian women.
June 14, 2022
C. Eduardo Guerra Amorim
California State University Northridge
Paleogenomic Insights into Human History and Adaptation
C. Eduardo Guerra Amorim is a population geneticist interested in human evolution, anthropology, medical genetics, and in leveraging large datasets to contribute to the understanding of the biology of our species and of its closest relatives. Amorim’s research explores the interplay between demography, mutation, natural selection, and culture in determining the patterns of genetic diversity of human populations and how it impacts human health and evolution. Amorim works with African-Brazilian communities, indigenous populations, and, lately, has been working with large, public genomic databases from humans and other species.
May 17, 2022
Dr. Alejandra Rodriguez Ramirez
Department of Pharmacogenetics
Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz National Institute of Psychiatry
Imaging Genetics of Mood Disorders
Mood disorders are conditions associated with alterations in brain structure and function, several studies had related some of these variations with clinical characteristics and treatment effects in patients with bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. One of the main factors implicated in the regulation of brain anatomy and function are genetics, which had been also associated with mood disorders and their features. The use of combined technologies of genetics and brain imaging have opened new opportunities to explore the neurobiological mechanism behind the clinical presentation, treatment, and prognosis of mood disorders. In this lecture we will share the experience of a Mexican lab in a newly developed field of research.
April 12, 2022
Vanessa Goncalves
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Evidence of mitochondrial genetic association in the risk for schizophrenia
Vanessa Gonçalves has a multidisciplinary background in genetics, molecular biology, statistics, and epidemiology. Her research interests lie in advancing research on the role of mitochondrial gene variants in the risk for, and phenomenology of, neuropsychiatric disorders. Her research portfolio also includes pharmacogenetic studies focusing on the mitochondrial system. Her findings are very translatable into important medical improvements, such as new biomarkers, reduced side effects/medication failure, enhanced diagnostics, and better therapies for psychiatric patients.
March 15, 2022
Paola Giusti-Rodriguez
University of Florida
The LatinX Genomics Consortium: Advancing Psychiatric Genomics in Latinx Populations
Paola Giusti-Rodriguez grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she earned a BS in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. She completed her PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology at Harvard University, where her doctorate research focused on studying the molecular basis of neurodegeneration. She employed the multi-parental Collaborative Cross mouse population to better understand antipsychotic side effects. Her work lies at the intersection between neuroscience and functional genomics, and she aims to integrate the tools and techniques of these fields to shed light on the genetics of neuropsychiatric disorders.