Meet Our Team

 

Mark Wade, Ph.D., C. Psych

 

Lab Director

Bio:

Dr. Wade is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto. Dr. Wade completed his clinical residency at the University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle Children's Hospital) and a Banting Fellowship at Harvard Medical School (Boston Children's Hospital) before assuming his current role at U of T. Dr. Wade is Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on several projects focused on the effects of early-life adversity on mental health, cognition, and neurobiological development. He studies the complex biopsychosocial mechanisms by which early-life adversity increases the risk of mental health difficulties in children and youth, and the factors that foster recovery and facilitate resilience to adversity. The overarching goal of Dr. Wade's program of research is to improve evidence-based practice and to inform public policy centred on supporting vulnerable children and their families.

 
 

Dylan Johnson, M.Sc.

PhD Program in School and Clinical Child Psychology  

Education: 

MSc, Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa 

Honours BA, Psychology, Carleton University

Awards & Accomplishments: 

Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Awards (CGS D), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2021-2024) 

Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Award, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2020-2021) 

Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Certificate of Academic Excellence (2022)

Bio: 

Dylan’s current research interests include exploration into the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, as well as exploring the unique developmental trajectories for children exposed to early-life stress and adversity to develop a framework of resiliency that considers the role that structural factors play in downloading systemic failures onto children and families, and how political change might buffer against the deleterious effects of early-life adversity.

Dylan’s career goals are to combine both his research and clinical interests, working with disadvantaged children and youth, and conducting academic research that can identify macro factors associated with adversity. Dylan hopes to adopt a critical lens in evaluating the interplay between capitalism, oppression, and contemporary mental healthcare.   

 
 

Liam Wright, H.B.Sc.

 
 

M.A. Program in School and Clinical Child Psychology  

Education: 

Honours B.Sc., Specialist in Psychology, University of Toronto 

Awards & Accomplishments: 

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2021-2022 & 2022-2023)

Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Award, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2020-2021) 

Bio: 

Liam is interested in the negative developmental consequences associated with exposure to early life adversity (ELA) across different domains of development. His goal as an aspiring clinical scientist is to conduct research on the downstream consequences of ELA, specifically at the interface of cognition and psychopathology, and to explore protective factors that may buffer against these negative outcomes.

 
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Kate Finegold, M.Ed.

 
 

M.A. Program in School and Clinical Child Psychology

Education: 

Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology, Harvard University

B.A., California State University 

 

Bio: 

Kate's research aims include examining the impact of early life adversity on neurocognition and mental health. Kate is particularly interested in exploring resilience factors, both biological and environmental, that may protect against negative life outcomes. Before beginning graduate school at OISE, Kate served as a clinical research coordinator in Dr. Kerry Ressler's laboratory at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where she ran studies examining the phenomenology, neurobiology, physiology, and genetics of individuals recovering from trauma. Kate's research questions are informed by her experience as a special education teacher through Teach for America in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Julia Martini, M.Ed.

M.A. Program in School and Clinical Child Psychology

 

Education:

M.Ed., Language, Culture & Teaching, York University

Honours B.A., Specialist in Psychology, York University

B.Ed., Primary/Junior Education, York University

 

Awards & Accomplishments: 

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2021-2022 & 2022-2023)

Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Award, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2020-2021)

 

Bio:

Julia’s broad research interests include examining risk and resilience in children and families. Currently, she is developing a dimensional model of positive parenting and investigating its links with upstream (i.e. ecological risk factors) and downstream (i.e. early child developmental outcomes) correlates of parenting—with aims of informing research, policy, and practice. As an aspiring Clinician Scientist, Julia seeks to utilize both her clinical and research training to support child and family well-being and establish a research program that investigates the mechanisms that contribute to positive adaptation in the context of adversity.

 
 
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Min (Lydia) Li, M.Ed.

 

Education: 

M.Ed. in Developmental Psychology and Education, University of Toronto

 

Awards & Accomplishments: 

Connaught International Scholarship (2022-2026)

Sinclair Consulting Services (SCS) Global Education Scholarship (2020-2021)

 

Bio: 

Lydia’s research interests lie in identifying neural developmental mechanisms linking early life adversity (ELA) to cognitive and social-emotional atypical development as well as the risks of mental health disorders. She aims to develop a research career that focuses on creating a nurturing environment for children and adolescents from different backgrounds. She also hopes to translate her research into evidence-based intervention to buffer children from cascading effects of ELA.

 
 

Alexandrea Boafo, M.Ed.

 
 

M.Ed. Program in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE)

 

Education:  

Honours B.Sc, Psychology Specialist, University of Toronto 

 

Bio:  

Alex is interested in researching how an individual’s early life experiences—especially those shaped by one’s racial, ethnic and/or cultural identity—can influence their mental health in adulthood. As an aspiring clinical scientist, Alex is particularly interested in exploring how the experiences of multiracial individuals uniquely impact mental health as a means to better inform clinical practice when serving this population.  

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Alyna Dharamsi, B.A.

 
 

M.Ed. Program in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE)

 

Education:

B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, Mount Royal University, Calgary

 

Bio:

Alyna’s general research interests include children’s unique early developmental trajectories and how that impacts their daily interactions, learning, and outcomes in adolescence and adulthood. Her career aspirations include local and international development of children’s education and mental health through combining her knowledge of research and practice from her educational background. She also hopes to be able to travel to different countries and interact with children in the field for her career once it is safe to do so.

Qiaochu (Charlotte) Hu, M.Ed.

 
 

Education: 

Med, Developmental Psychology and Education
MSc, Clinical Psychology, Leiden university 
Honours B.A. in Psychology and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University

 

Awards & Accomplishments: 

Leiden University Excellence Scholarships (LexS; 2021-2022)

 

Bio: 

Charlotte’s research is associated with brain development and neural processing involved in social-emotional development across childhood. Her general research interests include how early life experience impacts children and adolescents' brain structures, their abilities to anticipate, produce and evaluate complicated decisions in daily life as well as the risk of developing mental health disorders. Her goal is to conduct research on psychoneurological factors such as stress and early-life adversity (ELA) and to explore the protective factors to buffer the negative effect.

 
 
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Belinda Cheng

 
 

Honours B.Sc in Psychology & Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, University of Toronto

Awards & Accomplishments: 

University of Toronto Excellence Award (UTEA; 2021)

Bio:

Belinda's broad research interests include examining the impacts of early life adversity (ELA) on attachment and emotional development in child and adolescent populations. As an undergraduate student she aims to enhance her research skills in order to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology. Belinda's career goals are to apply her research interests to inform intervention programs that support children and youth experiencing ELA. She hopes to work with young people in different countries to investigate how current mental health research can be adapted to unique cultural identities.