Principal Investigator


Dr. Sylvia Villeneuve
Dr. Villeneuve is an Assistant Professor at McGill University in the department of Psychiatry, and a member of the Integrated Program in Neuroscience. She is also an Associate Member of the Neurology and Neurosurgery department, within the Faculty of Medicine. She holds the Canada Research Chair for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s disease. She is a member of the PREVENT-AD program and an Associate Member of the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute of McGill University. Read More

Dr. Villeneuve did a first postdoctoral fellowship under the supervision of Professor William Jagust at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California Berkeley. A central focus of her research was to examine the interplay between beta-amyloid deposition, vascular diseases, and cognition in the preclinical phase of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Villeneuve did a second postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University under the supervision of Professor Todd Parrish and in collaboration with the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center. This second training involved the proposing of a multimodal MR-based imaging battery to determine the predictive value of neurovascular insults, such as deterioration of the blood-brain barrier or reduced cerebral vascular reactivity, to detect early changes associated with amyloid pathology. Dr. Villeneuve received her PhD  at the Université de Montréal under the supervision of Professor Sylvie Belleville and has been a member of the Ordre des Psychologues du Québec since 2009.

Dr. Villeneuve’s work is currently supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Contact: villeneuve.sylvia(/at/)
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Postdoctoral Researchers

Julie Gonneaud
After getting her neuropsychologist certification at the University of Savoie (France), Julie completed a PhD at the University of Caen-Normandy, under the supervision of Dr Beatrice Desgranges, where she studied the cognitive and cerebral substrates of prospective memory using fMRI and virtual reality. Then, she did a postdoc under the supervision of Dr Gaël Chételat (University of Caen-Normandy), where she became interested in multimodal neuroimaging of Alzheimer Disease, focusing more particularly on biomarker changes associated with genetic risk factors. Her postdoctoral project in the Villeneuve Lab focuses on the detection of early biomarkers changes in asymptomatic individuals with a familial risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. When not in the lab, she likes cooking, going to cinema, concerts and discovering new places.
Contact: julie.gonneaud(/at/)
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Theresa Köbe
Theresa received her PhD in cognitive neuroscience at the Charité – University Medicine Berlin, Germany. She focused on the identification of modifiable lifestyle risk factors and their impact on cognitive performance of healthy older adults, patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. She performed multimodal MRI analyses at 3T and 7T and assessed CSF- and blood-based molecular biomarkers, to study potential underlying mechanisms. She is now postdoctoral fellow in the Villeneuve lab investigating the impact of vascular burden on preclinical Alzheimer’s disease pathology. While not working, she is a passionate hobby-seamstress and lindy-hop dancer, enjoys concerts, cooking, hiking and hanging out with friends.
Contact: theresa.koebe(/at/)
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Doctoral Students

AlexaAlexa Pichet Binette
Alexa is a PhD candidate in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University since September 2015. She did her master in medical neurosciences at the Charité, Berlin. Employing multimodal neuroimaging, her project aims to examine links between Alzheimer’s disease risk and protective factors, brain integrity and cognition.  When not in the lab, she likes cooking, discovering new places in the city, and trying to keep learning German!

Contact: apichetbinette(/at/)
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Pierre-François Meyer
Pierre has been a Ph.D. student in McGill’s Integrated Program in Neuroscience since September 2015 under the supervision of Dr. John Breitner, co-supervised by Dr. Villeneuve. After getting his BSc in Biology from UJF Grenoble in France, he received an MSc degree focused on Clinical Neuroscience from University College London. His project aims to understand the role of inflammatory mechanisms in the pathogenesis of AD. By combining CSF and multimodal brain imaging measures, he wishes to investigate whether different inflammatory profiles may lead to subsequent differences in cognitive decline and symptom onset. In his spare time, he likes to travel, explore new places but also play and watch as much soccer as possible.

Contact: pierre-francois.meyer(/at/)

Morteza Pishnamazi
Morteza is a 2017-18 Rotation program Ph.D. student in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University. He received his M.D. from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2015. Alongside his medical training, Morteza was involved in projects using fMRI and psychophysics experiments to study multisensory integration, emotion-cognition interaction, and binocular rivalry. Currently, he is interested in studying the role of malfunctioning cognitive mechanisms in shaping the symptomatology of neurological disorders. At Villeneuve Lab, he will study the association between baseline Aβ and tau deposition loads and temporal changes in gray matter volume in pre-symptomatic senile individuals at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In his free-time, Morteza enjoys reading, cooking, and urban photography.
Contactmorteza.pishnamazi (/at/)
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Frédéric St-Onge
Frédéric completed a BA in Psychology and a MSc in Neurosciences at Université Laval, in Québec City, Canada. During his master’s program, he studied brain imaging biomarkers (MRI and FDG-PET) in asymptomatic carriers of genetic mutations causing frontotemporal dementia. Now in the Villeneuve Lab for his PhD, Frédéric will aim to predict, as early as possible, cognitively healthy individuals who will develop cognitive impairment over time, using a combination of clinical and neuroimaging variables. When he’s not working, he likes to geek out over TV series, movies and video games. He also likes to read, cook and travel.



Master’s Students 

Melissa McSweeney
Melissa received her B.A. in Cognitive Science from Northwestern University in 2015. Following graduation, she worked as a research assistant in Dr. Joel Voss’s laboratory at Northwestern for one year. Here, she worked on a research project investigating transcranial magnetic stimulation and human memory. She also volunteered in Northwestern’s Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center and explored neuropsychological predictive measures of dementia. Additionally, she worked as a live-in caregiver for an older adult with Alzheimer’s disease prior to her matriculation to McGill. For her master’s thesis, she will be researching the roles of sleep and cognitive fluctuations in Alzheimer’s disease. In her free time, Melissa enjoys designing sets for theatre, swimming, and hiking.

 Visiting Scholars

jacob1Jacob Vogel
Jake is a Ph.D. candidate in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University. He did 3 years in Berkeley managing Dr. Jagust’s lab and investigating subtle links between cognition and brain pathology in normally aging individuals. Jake is excited by many different flavors of neuroimaging. When not nerding out, you can find him playing music, climbing, and enjoying the finer things in life Montreal has to offer.




Etienne Vachon-Presseau etienne
Etienne completed his PhD under the supervision of Pierre Rainville at the University of Montreal where he studied the impact of stress on acute and chronic pain. These studies showed that hippocampal volume may predispose individuals to develop a maladaptive stress response when facing persistent pain and the neural mechanism mediating stress induced analgesia.


Contact: etienne.vachon.presseau(/at/)
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Alex Baria
Alex got his doctorate in neuroscience from Northwestern University where he studied brain imaging and chronic pain, and did postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health in brain imaging and perception.  He is now enjoys work as a consultant analyst with the Villeneuve lab.

Project Management

Jennifer Tremblay-Mercier
Jennifer did her studies at Sherbrooke University in Pharmacology (baccalaureate) and  Physiology (Master). She is the research coordinator of the PREVENT-AD program since 2013 and also involved in open science initiatives at McGill University. Besides McGill and Douglas, Jennifer is keeping up the beat playing with her little Gustave and spending time outside working around the house!


Contact: Jennifer.Tremblay-Mercier(/at/)


Louise Hudon
Retired from the University of Sherbrooke, Louise works as a research assistant, performing neuropsychological tests.


Contact: louise.hudon.comtl(/at/)


Hazal Ozlen
Hazal recently received her undergraduate (B.A., Psychology) degree from McGill University. She will be working on neuropsychological evaluations with the participants and also the administrative tasks in the lab. In her free time outside of the lab, Hazal likes to do yoga, painting, and spending as much time as she can outside enjoying the good weather.


Contact: ozlenhazal(/at/)


Kaitlin Nuechterlein
Kaitlin has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science from McGill University (Major Physiology, Minor Psychology). She is involved in a research project concerning the early identification and detection of Alzheimer’s Disease. Her contributions include data collection (MEG, PET, MRI), analysis, and administrative tasks. Outside of the lab, Kaitlin loves to dance, practice yoga, and go exploring around Montreal.


Contact: kaitlin.nuechterlein(/at/)


Jordana Remz
Jordana works as a research assistant handling data management and data processing automation. When not learning something new at the lab, she’s learning something new outside the lab.


Contact: jordana.remz.comtl(/at/)


Callaghan Garland
Callaghan is an undergraduate student at McGill. He is at the lab to gain valuable experience in a research environment and is working on a project examining the effect of perceived age on Alzheimer’s progression. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music and biking.


Contact: callaghan.garland(/at/)



Alana Dunlop
Alana is an undergraduate student at McGill University, majoring in cognitive science and minoring in English literature. In the lab, she is investigating the effect of cardiovascular risk factors on cognition as well as assisting with data collection (MRI) and data entry. In her spare time, she writes poetry and short stories, plays the ukulele, goes to concerts and art shows, and explores Montreal.