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Meet the team

Hanns Lochmüller

Professor Hanns Lochmüller is a neurologist and clinical academic specializing in genetic neuromuscular disorders and rare disease. He is Senior Scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute and Professor of Neurology in the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology at The Ottawa Hospital.

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Sally Spendiff

Sally Spendiff

Sally is a Research Associate in the Lochmüller lab, where she leads the basic research team. A senior postdoctoral researcher with experience in Canada and the UK, Sally joined Hanns soon after his appointment in Ottawa and is overseeing the lab setup and expansion.

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Emily O’Connor

Emily completed her PhD at Newcastle University in 2019 under the supervision of Professors Hanns Lochmüller and Clarke Slater and joined the Lochmüller lab to continue her work into testing new treatments for CMS.

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Rachel

Rachel Thompson

Rachel completed her PhD at Newcastle University in the UK, where she was involved in the coordination of the RD-Connect data sharing and analysis platform. She is a postdoctoral fellow in the Lochmüller Lab with a research interest in the use of data integration methods for medical genomics and precision medicine in neuromuscular diseases.

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Kiran Polavarapu

Kiran completed his PhD in 2019 at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in India. His PhD work involved developing next generation sequencing (NGS)-based tests for detection of both copy number variations and point mutations in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He recently joined the Lochmüller Lab as a postdoctoral fellow.

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Marc-Olivier Deguise

Marc-Olivier Deguise

Marc-Olivier Deguise is currently a pediatric resident physician at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and has been involved with the SMA community through a research lens for the past eight years. He recently joined Dr. Lochmüller’s Lab to contribute to the clinical research aspect of the research program.

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Anu Mary Varghese

Anu Mary Varghese

Anu is a post-doctoral fellow working on gene therapy for congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) and on biomarkers for myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1).

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Stephen Holland

Stephen has joined the Lochmüller Lab for his PhD, having completed an MSc degree looking at post-translational modifications affecting pannexin 1 protein channels in neuroblastoma.

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Jarred Lau

Jarred Lau

Jarred recently graduated with a BSc (Biology and Biotechnology) and has joined the Lochmüller lab as a Masters student to investigate the genetic causes of congenital myasthenic syndromes.

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Alexander Manta

Following the completion of his Masters degree, Alex started studying Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He has joined the Lochmüller lab to work on a project investigating the therapeutic potential of Smac-mimetic compounds on neuromuscular diseases.

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Catherine Choueiri

Catherine began her Master’s program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine with a specialization in Human and Molecular Genetics. She is working under the supervision of Dr. Lochmüller to create a zebrafish model for riboflavin transporter deficiency to be used in therapeutic screening.

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Erin Beattie

Erin is the Network Manager for NMD4C, the neuromuscular disease network for Canada. She graduated with a BSc in microbiology & immunology and an MSc in pharmacology from Dalhousie University, and a PhD in laboratory medicine & pathobiology from the University of Toronto.

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James Davis

James Davis is the Communications Coordinator for the Neuromuscular Disease Network for Canada (NMD4C) led by Dr. Lochmüller. James holds a Masters Degree in Human Kinetics, and brings experience in network creation from his past work building and facilitating a sport safety network across Canada.

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Kelly Ho

Kelly has joined as a Master’s student in Cellular and Molecular Medicine to study the effects of forskolin and salbutamol in a mouse model for congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS), and looks forward to learning new techniques and gaining research experience as a part of the Lochmüller lab.

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Malaichamy Sivasankar

Dr. Sivasankar is enrolled as a PhD student in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Dr. Lochmüller, where he is elated to research on exploring novel genes and mechanisms implicated in undiagnosed neuromuscular disorders.

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Daniel O’Neil

Daniel holds a BSc in Biochemistry and a MSc in Neuroscience from the University of Ottawa. He joined the Lochmüller Lab as Research Technician in February 2021.

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Ofosu Adjei-Afriyie

Ofosu Adjei-Afriyie is a 4th year undergraduate student in Translational and Molecular Medicine. For his undergraduate honours project, Ofosu has joined the Lochmüller lab to study the therapeutic effects of MuSK agonist antibodies on mutant AGRIN CMS mice models.

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Emilie Hill-Smith

Emilie is a Research Coordinator at the CHEO RI. She currently coordinates various neuromuscular disease trials for Dr. Lochmüller.

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Brenda Barasa

Brenda is responsible for coordinating Dr. Lochmüller’s Neuromuscular clinic at The Ottawa Hospital and occasionally at CHEO. 

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Laura Thompson

In September 2020 Laura joined the CHEO RI as a research coordinator in Neurology. She currently coordinates neuromuscular disease trials with Dr. Hugh McMillan and Dr. Hanns Lochmuller.

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Associated/visiting scientists

Andreas Roos

Andreas Roos is Scientific Officer in the Department of Neuropediatrics of University Hospital Essen in Germany. Thanks to his longstanding collaboration with Hanns and the Lochmüller Lab team, he now holds an adjunct professorship at the University of Ottawa and is a visiting member of the lab.

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Cynthia Gagnon

Cynthia Gagnon is a professor at the School of Rehabilitation at the University of Sherbrooke and a researcher at the Centre de recherche Charles-Le Moyne-Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean sur les innovations en santé. For 2020 she holds a visiting professorship with the University of Ottawa. Her work aims at improving clinical care and speeding up trial readiness in the most prevalent neuromuscular diseases in Canada.

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