We are excited to share with you the results of our 2022 Trainee Research Spotlight Award. This year, we received over 30 diverse applications from excellent research trainees across Canada. Following review by our adjudication committee the following trainees were selected to provide platform presentations at the 8th Annual Cannabinoids in Clinical Practice Conference:
- Marc D. Ferger, 4th year medical student, University of Cologne, Supervisor: Dr. Julian Koenig
Marc Daniel Ferger is a 4th year medical student from Cologne, Germany. He started his studies in medicine at Ulm University in 2017 and was appointed as a Fellow of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes). Supported by a “Mobility Fellowship for excellent undergraduate students in research” by the Ingeborg- und Dr. H. Jürgen Tiemann-Stiftung, he joined the lab of Dr. Koenig at University of Heidelberg to investigate the role of the endocannabinoid system in the neurobiology of children and adolescents with repetitive non-suicidal self-injurious behaviour (NSSI) and childhood trauma. As the lab moved to Cologne when Dr. Koenig was appointed as professor for biological child and adolescent psychiatry, Marc continued to investigate the endocannabinoid system in child and adolescent psychiatry in Cologne, with the goal to gain a better understanding of the neurobiology of NSSI and childhood trauma, to identify possible biomarkers and pave the way for novel therapeutic targets, urgently needed in the young patient group. Marc has recently become a certified investigator for clinical trials and trails under medical device regulation in Germany and is the president of YouCAP³, the youth organization of the German society for child and adolescent psychiatry (DGKJP).
- Marimée Godbout-Parent, PhD Student, University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Supervisors Drs. Anaïs Lacasse and Nancy Julien
Ms. Godbout-Parent obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry in 2020 at the University of Ottawa (Ontario, Canada), including a minor in Psychology. Since 2020, she conducted a master’s degree in Health Sciences Research at the University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue under the supervision of Dr. Anaïs Lacasse and Dr. Nancy Julien. Her project focuses on the associations between sex, gender roles, and the use of physical and psychological treatments among people living with chronic pain. She also conducted various extracurricular projects about the treatment of chronic pain, e.g., cannabis use, impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, side effects of pain medications. Passionate about her research topic, Ms. Godbout-Parent will start a PhD during the summer trimester of 2022 in which she will attempt to verify whether the use of physical and psychological pain treatments translates into more favourable trajectories of medication and health care use.
- Hayley Thorpe, PhD Candidate, University of Guelph, Supervisor Dr. Jibran Khokhar
Hayley is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate with Dr. Jibran Khokhar in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph. Her work focuses on the genetic association of CADM2 with lifetime cannabis use by reverse translating this association into a transgenic animal model for causal investigation. By using a Cadm2 knockout mouse model, Hayley aims to uncover the role of Cadm2 in behavioural, cognitive, and neurobiological factors that affect voluntary cannabis use and response to THC. Understanding the genes important to substance use is critical to identifying biological pathways relevant to substance use, and these genes could be therapeutic targets for treating problematic substance use.