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Home > Neuroethics > Team
Home > Neuroethics > Team
Research unit director

The Neuroethics research unit is committed to training a new generation of students and researchers in neuroethics through the conduct of collaborative interdisciplinary research within Montréal’s unique neuroscience and bioethics environment.

Eric Racine, PhD
Dr. Eric Racine is Director of the Neuroethics research unit and Associate IRCM Research Professor. He is also a member of the Departments of Medicine and Social and Preventive Medicine (Bioethics Programs; Université de Montréal), an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery (McGill University), and an Affiliate Member of the Biomedical Ethics Unit (McGill University). Read Dr. Eric Racine's complete biography

Emily Bell, PhD
Emily Bell completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Neuroethics Research Unit in Spring 2010. Dr Bell has since been an Associate Researcher at the Unit. Her MSc and PhD research in Psychiatry at the University of Alberta in Edmonton focused on investigating brain activity in mood disorders and anxiety disorders using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Her postdoctoral work examined ethical and social challenges in deep brain stimulation (DBS) based on a Canadian multi-site investigation of neurosurgical units. She is a co-investigator on a CIHR funded project (PI: Eric Racine) which examines caregiver and patients perspectives in the use of DBS for Parkinson’s disease and is a member of the Neuroethics Core of NeuroDevNet, a National Centre of Excellence of Canada. She has published or has in progress several qualitative papers, and has spoken at national and international bioethics meetings on her empirical work. She brings to the Unit a strong background in neuroscience and neuroimaging-imaging and plays an active role in the leadership and coordination in collaboration with Dr. Racine of several projects in the Unit. In the past, Dr. Bell has been awarded support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (STIR), the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Quebec (FRSQ), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). In 2012, she will spend a month as a visiting researcher at the Brocher Foundation, Switzerland.

Jeannine Amyot
Jeannine Amyot has over 30 years of combined experience in professional writing, communications, bioethics, research, and administration. She provides overall assistance and support for the research activities of the Neuroethics research unit.

Trainees of the Neuroethics research unit pursue their projects full time in a collegial and focused research environment under the supervision of the unit’s leadership.

Veljko Dubljevic, PhD
Postdoctoral research
Veljko Dubljevic is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Unit. Dr. Dubljevic’s primary research interests include the ethics of neuroscience and technology and neuroscience of ethics. His other interests include bioethics, political theory, moral theory, business ethics, and philosophy of law. He has over 20 publications in moral, legal and political  philosophy and in Neuroethics. He is also engaged in the activities of the International Neuroethics Society.
Veljko Dubljevic completed the qualification requirements for a Ph.D. in Philosophy/Neuroethics at Universities of Tübingen and Stuttgart in Germany. While studying in Tübingen he received a German Research Foundation Scholarship, and was a member of the research Training Group "Bioethics" at the International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities. He originally attended the University of Novi Sad, where he earned a Diploma (Honours) in Philosophy (April 2001), Educons University where he earned a MSc (Honours) in Economics/Business ethics (May 2008) and University of Belgrade, where he earned a PhD in Political Theory (March 2011).

Isabelle Chouinard
PhD Student
Isabelle Chouinard is a Trudeau Scholar and PhD candidate in the Applied Human Sciences program (Bioethics option) at the Université de Montréal. Her academic background includes studies in anthropology, social work, and telehealth. Prior to returning to Montréal in 2010, Isabelle was an active member of the ethics community in Calgary, Alberta where she was a member of a hospital clinical ethics committee, member of the Conjoint Research Ethics Board of the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services, as well as long-time volunteer and student within the Clinical Ethics Services at Alberta Health Services. Isabelle’s current research aims to understand the impact of neuroprognostication and prognostic variability, within the context of evidence-based medicine, on end-of-life decision-making in pediatric intensive care settings.

Lila Karpowicz
Master’s Student
Lila Karpowicz is currently a master’s student in bioethics at the Université de Montréal. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from Concordia University, where she was also a member of the Science College, a small department which offers a minor in Multidisciplinary Studies in Science. While at Concordia, she has been involved in a few research projects in biophysics, neuroscience, and neuropsychology. Her current academic interests revolve around neuroscience and neurology in the medical field, including the ethics of neurosurgical innovation and neurostimulation. 

Jessica Kovitz-Lentz, MD CM FRCP(C)
Master's Student
Jessica Kovitz-Lensch completed an Honours in English Literature and a Major in Western Society and Culture from Concordia’s Liberal Arts College before entering medical school at Université de Sherbrooke. She subsequently completed a neurology residency at Université de Montréal in 2012 and works as a general neurologist in a community hospital in Saint-Hyacinthe while completing her master’s degree from McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine with a Specialization in Bioethics. Interested in clinical bioethics as a resident, she became an active member of the clinical ethics committee of the CHUM. Current areas of research interest include creating a neuroethics curriculum for neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry residents staff, genetic discrimination against patients with neurological diseases, and various issues surrounding brain death.

Lisa Anne Rasmussen, M.D.
Master's Student  
Lisa Anne studied Human Physiology at the University of Saskatchewan and afterwards attended Medical School.  Her keen interest in Pediatric Neurology developed in high-school and she followed this dream in 2006 when she started her residency in Pediatric Neurology at the BC Children’s Hospital through the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  During her residency, Lisa Anne’s main interest was Neuro-Oncology and later on, Palliative Care.  She was blessed in 2011 when she was brought on as a locum at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Lisa Anne is currently working as a General Pediatric Neurologist at the MCH, with focused clinics for neonatal neurology, headache and Neurofibromatosis. Lisa Anne has also joined the Pediatric Palliative Care team at the MCH.  In September 2012, Lisa Anne started a Master’s of Biomedical Ethics through McGill.  She aims to combine this training with a fellowship in Palliative Care in the near future.  Her research interests are starting to develop and she hopes to focus on quality of life in neurodegenerative diseases, perceptions and practices in transition to Palliative Care, and ethical frameworks as applied to prognostication and medical decision making.

Natalie Zizzo
Master's Student
Natalie completed her BSc in Anatomy & Cell Biology with a minor in Neuroscience at McGill University, in 2012. Following the completion of her undergraduate degree, she worked as a summer research intern for the unit where she participated in research related to screening for prenatal alcohol exposure and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. She pursued a short-term work contract in France and, upon completion, returned to the unit and McGill University in 2013 to pursue an MSc in Biomedical Ethics (via the Division of Experimental Medicine). Her research project involves preferences for decision making and patient-centered care in Parkinson’s patients, and she is particularly interested in neuroethics in the clinical context.

John Aspler 
Master's Student
John Aspler graduated from McGill University with a BSc in Neuroscience and a minor in Music. Although originally interested in music cognition, his exposure to a constant stream of problematic neuroscience-related news publications both cultivated and cemented in him an interest in improving the public’s understanding of science. At present, John pursues a Master's degree at McGill University and at the Neuroethics Research Unit, where he is working on several neuroethics projects involving media content analysis. He plans to become a science writer.


Victoria Saigle
Research Assistant
Victoria Saigle graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Cognitive Science and a minor in French. At the IRCM, she is involved in several projects concerning cognitive neuroscience and the portrayal of the neuroscience of ethics in the media. She is interested in neuroethics and its application in research contexts, particularly in the areas of informed consent, addiction and mental health. Victoria intends to pursue further education in public health policy.


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