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.
RESEARCH UNIT DIRECTOREric Racine, PhDDr. 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.
ASSOCIATE RESEARCHEREmily 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 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 (SSHRC), 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.
STUDENTS, INTERNS, AND POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSTrainees 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, PhDPostdoctoral researchVeljko 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 M.Sc. (Honours) in Economics/Business ethics (May 2008) and University of Belgrade, where he earned a PhD in Political Theory (March 2011).
Nicole Palmour, PhD Postdoctoral researcherNicole Palmour is a psychology graduate from St. Edward's University, holds a Master’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in forensic psychology and a doctorate from McGill University, Department of Human Genetics with a specialization in biomedical ethics. In September 2010, Nicole was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, States of Mind: Emerging Issues in Neuroethics. Her research interests include neuroethics, neuroimaging ethics, neurogenetics, disorders of consciousness, ethical issues in direct to consumer marketing of neurological enhancers, behavioural genetics and social and legal implications in the forensic uses of DNA.
Cynthia ForliniPhD studentCynthia Forlini is a graduate of Université de Montréal in biochemisty (B.Sc) and bioethics (M.A). Her Masters research, completed at the Neuroethics research unit, examined the media, ethics, and public health discourses around the use of neuropharmacology for cognitive enhancement. Cynthia’s current research as a PhD student at the Neuroethics research unit (and McGill University) aims to examine the perspectives of different stakeholders and public understanding with regard to cognitive enhancement. This research project is supported by a doctoral award from the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ). Cynthia’s work at the unit has been published in Neuroethics, BMC Medical Ethics and the Journal of Medical Ethics and has been presented at local, national and international conferences. In the spring of 2008 Cynthia completed an international research mission supported by a scholarship awarded to her from the Institut International de Recherche en Éthique Biomédicale (IIREB). The research mission took place at the Instituto do Medicina Social of the Universidade do Rio de Janeiro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she helped develop a project on the public understanding of cognitive enhancement. Cynthia also has an interest in research ethics and has been a member of the Research Ethics Board of the Montreal General Hospital since February 2008.
Isabelle ChouinardPhD StudentIsabelle 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 StudentLila 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 StudentJessica 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 St-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 eventually 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 interests were 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 Currently she is 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. RESEARCH ASSISTANTSAllison YanAllison graduated with B.Sc in Psychology and Computer Science from McGill University. While completing her studies, she was exposed to ethical issues in new medical technologies, such as neuropharmaceuticals. At the research unit, she is involved with the NeuroDevNet, coordinating a workshop on the ethics in transition of healthcare for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders in February 2013. She will also focus on topics in pediatric MRI. She plans to pursue further studies in public health policy, especially regarding mental health, child and maternal health.