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Meet The Team

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Dr. Jeremy Walsh

Lab Director

Dr. Walsh’s research is focused on investigating the mechanisms by which daily behaviours (physical activity, diet, screen time, sleep and cognitive stimulation) impact brain function. The overarching goal of this research is to apply this knowledge to develop interventions that optimize brain health across the lifespan. Dr. Walsh’s research is particularly interested in characterizing how exercise increases the neuroactive hormone brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and investigating the effect of BDNF on brain function. The primary measurement outcomes of this research are: 1) measuring neuroactive hormones in the blood, 2) assessing cognitive function, 3) measuring cerebral blood flow.


Dr. Geoff Coombs

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Geoff is a post-doctoral fellow in the lab. He is co-supervised by Dr. Baraa K. Al-Khazraji and Dr. Jeremy Walsh. Geoff studies the changes to cerebrovascular structure and function that occur with aging, and how these factors contribute to cognitive decline. Additionally, he is interested in how lifestyle factors (e.g., physical activity, fitness) can improve brain health. In his spare time, he likes to bike, ski, play sports, and explore all the trails he can!

Graduate Students

Keegan Nhan

MSc Candidate

Keegan is a McMaster Life Sciences graduate with a major in biology and minor in psychology. Keegan is currently a master’s student in Dr. Walsh’s lab and began his studies in the fall of 2021. Keegan's research is focused on investigating the effects of isometric hand grip exercise on cognitive function and physiological measures. In his free time, Keegan enjoys reading books, watching the latest Marvel superhero shows, and working out.

Aedan Rourke

MSc Candidate

Aedan graduated from the McMaster Biology and PNB (Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour) undergraduate program in 2022. Aedan is currently a master’s student in Dr. Walsh’s lab and began his studies in the fall of 2022. His current project is investigating the effects of different doses of exogenous ketone body supplements on brain blood flow and cognition in young adults. In his free time, Aedan enjoys running, playing hockey, and watching movies.

Claudia Yong

MSc Candidate

Claudia is currently a master's student in Dr. Walsh's lab and began her studies in the fall of 2022. Her research interests involves exploring the use of ketone supplementation to improve cerebral blood flow, cerebrovascular function, and cerebral metabolism in post-menopausal women. Such research will be important in addressing the disproportionate risk for neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease, in this population. During her free time she choreographs dances for the Mac Dance Recreational team!

Undergraduate Students

Thesis Students

Michaela Nikpal

Cara Pekos 

Aidan Underwood 

3RP3 Placement Students

Bardia Abbasi

Lindsey Barwitzki

Shumayal Butt

Rebecca Liski

Vidhi Patel

Lab Alumni

David Walker, Thesis Student (2021-2022)

Paige Cheveldayoff, Research Intern (2022)

Rivka Ohayon, Research Intern (2022)

Sehely Rahman, Thesis Student (2021-2022)

Kaitlyn Lee, NSERC USRA Student (2021)

Hashim Baloch, Research Intern (2020-2021)

Hooriya Masood, Research Intern (2020-2021)

Megan Dean, Research Intern (2020-2021)

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