Hi I’m Justin, a research coordinator at the Subject Matter Lab. I joined the team in 2021, so I have only been a part of this team during the current pandemic.
What’s your role in the Subject Matter Lab?
I will run a clinical trial that will look at how an online meditation program, called Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY), can improve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Canadian veterans. This is important to study with the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the importance of online care, and it will also be the first study looking at the online version of SKY in Canada.
While we wait for approval to get started on the trial, I am supporting several other projects in the lab, including the chronic pain and depression study, and a review of the French model of buprenorphine prescribing.
What did you do before joining Subject Matter?
I completed all of my post-secondary education at the University of Toronto, St. George Campus. I first completed my HBSc with a double major in immunology and pharmacology, and then completed a MSc in applied clinical pharmacology.
During my masters I developed an interest in mental health, particularly in PTSD research. I worked on a project at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the University Health Network (UHN) that looked at medical cannabis use for PTSD. It is fascinating to explore the therapeutic potential of alternative treatments for illnesses with limited effective treatments. After graduating with my MSc, I went back to CAMH to work as a research analyst in youth mental health research before making my way to the Subject Matter Lab.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I like to spend time cooking and trying new foods, watching musicals and other theatrical productions, cheering for the Toronto Raptors, and watching comedy. My future goals involve advancing the medical field through research and innovation.
A few more questions, just for fun:
- Would you describe yourself as a morning person or evening person? Why?
I would say that I am both. I am ready and energised in the mornings and find a burst of energy in the evenings. The afternoons are when I occasionally rely on a boost from a cup of coffee.
- What is the last book you read?
Yearbook by Seth Rogen. It was essentially selected highlights from the life of Canadian comedian Seth Rogen. It was surprisingly well written and provided a candid account of weird Hollywood interactions. I would recommend it to any fan of comedy that has ever watched a Seth Rogen movie.
- Do you collect anything?
I am definitely more of a minimalist, but I take a picture of many of the foods that I eat. I have plenty of pictures of meals that I have eaten from my personal home cooking to my travels to other countries.