Investigating the
biophysical basis of computation
& the computational basis of pain

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People in the Lab

Principal Investigator


Steven A. Prescott

Phone: 416-813-7654 x309094
Fax: 416-813-7717
E-mail: steve.prescott(at)

Google Scholar profile

Research and Postdoctoral Associates


Stéphanie Ratté, Senior Research Associate

Stéphanie investigates the impact of intrinsic cell properties on information processing by single neurons. She also studies the network architecture of the superficial dorsal horn and its role in processing somatosensory input. Her expertise includes optical methods and in vitro electrophysiology, especially dynamic clamp.

E-mail: stephanie.ratte(at)


Yu-Feng Xie, Research Associate

Yu-Feng is a seasoned electrophysiologist. He applies his experience and knowledge to help with a variety of our lab projects. 

E-mail: yufeng.xie(at)


Milad Lankarany, Postdoctoral Researcher

Milad investigates encoding and decoding of information by single neurons and populations of neurons. Based on his background in engineering, Milad is the local Matlab expert. He uses various signal processing techniques and computer simulations to rigorously analyze and model how cell properties affect population coding in the brain. He is particularly interested in the biophysical basis for multiplexing.

E-mail: milad.lankarany(at)


Steve Lesperance, Postdoctoral Researcher

Steve investigates the basic mechanisms underlying the effects of high-frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) on neurons.

E-mail: steve.lesperance(at)


Boriss Sagalajev, Postdoctoral Researcher

Boriss investigates the effects of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) on the activity of spinal dorsal horn circuits. He uses both in vivo recording and imaging techniques.

E-mail: boriss.sagalajev(at)




Petri Takkala, PhD Student

Petri investigates the encoding of somatosensory information by different primary sensory neurons. He uses multiphoton calcium imaging in cultured DRG neurons and intact (ex vivo) DRG to study how primary sensory neurons, individually and as a population, encode somatosensory stimuli. He also uses these optical methods to study primary afferent depolarization (PAD)-induced spiking.

E-mail: petri.takkala(at)

 Dhekra sized  

Dhekra Al-Basha, PhD Student

Dhekra studies axonal excitability using optogenetics, specifically by photoactivating channelrhodopsin-expressing neurons. She combines cutting-edge optogenetics methods with multielectrode in vivo recordings to study how the cutaneous endings of primary sensory neurons generate action potentials, and how this affects coding. She also uses cultured DRG neurons to measure ChR2 expression levels, activation properties, and modulation.



Amin Kamaleddin, PhD Student

Amin is using electrophysiological recordings in spinal cord slices to decipher how different cell types interact to control circuit function. In particular, he is studying how different cell types are affected by disinhibition and how those effects manifest in terms of circuit-level function.

E-mail: amin.kamaleddin(at)


Jane Yang, MSc Student

Jane is using electrophysiology and modeling to investigate how homeostatic plasticity affects neuronal excitability.

E-mail: janes.yang(at)


Arjun Balachandar, Medical Student

Arjun is modeling the diversity of spiking patterns in different types of spinal dorsal horn neurons. Based on those models, he is developing algorithms to help explain spike pattern heterogeneity on the basis of distributions of ion channel densities.

E-mail: arjun.balachandar(at)


Rose de Kort, Visiting Graduate Student

Rose is visiting our lab from Maastricht University, for a 6-month research internship. She is developing the use of viral vectors to express ChR2 in rodent primary afferents.

E-mail: r.dekort(at)


Technical Support

Russell main cropped

Russell Smith, Research Technologist

Russell manages our transgenic mice colony and provides and maintains cell cultures in the lab. His molecular expertise and technical skills support just about everyone's project in one way or another.

E-mail: russell.smith(at)




Past members

blank2Dongyan Lin
Summer intern (2017) -
Blank4Emerson Grabke
Undergrad (2016-17) -
ShimaJessica Zung
Undergrad (2015-16) -
Now PhD student
at Princeton
Picture HusainHusain Shakil
MSc Student (2015-16) -
Now medical student
at McMaster
kwanKwan Lee
Res Associate (2012-16) -
Now Scientist
at Nevro
ShimaShima Shakory
Summer Intern (2013-15) -
Now medical student
at UofT
DanielSigalDaniel Sigal
Summer Intern (2014)
blank3Bohan Xing
Summer Intern (2015)
Yi2Yi Zhu
Postdoc (2012-14) -
Now Faculty at
Soochow University
AyahAyah Khubieh
Visiting MSc  (2012-13) -
Now a PhD student

Christina Lubinsky

Summer Intern (2014)


Chris Elder
Summer intern (2014) -
Now Mobile App
Developer at 3BC Inc.
Young-Ah Rho
Postdoc (2011-12) -
Now Postdoc at
Mindbrickand KAIST

Nadine S.-Weidenmaier

Lab Manager (2012-14)


Sheliza Halani

Summer Intern (2013)


Adam Patterson

Summer Intern (2013)

Sergei Karnup
Res Associate (2011-12) -
Now Res Associate
at U of Pittsburgh

BlankphotoLiz Brough

Lab Manager (2009-11)

blank5Gabriel Ocker
Rotating Student (2010) -
Now a Scientist at
the Allen Institute

Kerry Lazarus

Undergrad  (2009-10)