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Faranak Vahid-Ansari

FaranakTell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Tehran, the capital city of Iran. I am a PhD candidate in cellular molecular medicine (CMM) in the neuroscience program at the University of Ottawa. I am so grateful to work under excellent supervision of Dr. Paul Albert.

What compelled you to pursue stroke research?

Dr. Albert’s lab is interested in the identification of molecular biology changes in depression/anxiety. This phenotype is highly revealed after stroke and well known as Post Stroke Depression, which leads to poorer outcomes in some stroke patients. I have always had an interest in identifying more ways to prevent or quickly treat PSD in order to achieve better outcomes post stroke.

What is the focus of your research?

The focus of my doctoral research is to better optimize the effects of currently relevant clinical interventions for PSD, which are exercise and antidepressants — particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). I work to gain insight into specific brain targets for chronic individual treatment and chronic combined therapy.

How do you and others benefit from being part of the CPSR’s National Trainee Association?

NTA offers us a great opportunity to meet other trainees in the field and know their research. That opens the door to collaborating and sharing research experiences. Through the SPIN workshops and the mentorship program, trainees have had wonderful learning opportunities, discussions and debates about our work.

What other interests do you have?

I am the mother of 2 wonderful sons, Amin (17 yrs) and Kian (14 yrs old). My favourite personal interest is having quality time with my sons.