Dr. Rima Azar is the founder/director of the Psychobiology of Stress & Health Lab (PSHL). She is an Associate Professor at Mount Allison University. She joined the Psychology Department in 2008 and earned tenure in 2011. Dr. Azar held a CIHR New Investigator Salary Award in Developmental Psychoneuroimmunology from 2011-2016. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Université de Moncton and an Honorary Research Associate at UNB. Since Sept 2013, she has served as a CIHR Advisory Board/Council Member for the Institute of Human Development, Child, and Youth Health (IHDCYH).
She is grateful for the New Brunswick Children’s Foundation (NBCF)’ $750K grant to jointly implement/co-lead NaviCare / SoinsNavi (formerly known as the NB Navigation Centre for Children with Complex Health Conditions) with her Co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Shelley Doucet. What a beautiful collaboration (good marriage!) between our respective institutions, UNB Saint John & Mount A. Dr. Azar’s research focuses on the: (1) Inflammatory and endocrine mechanisms linking prenatal stress and depression to birth weight & (2) Maternal and paternal coping strategies when facing child chronic illnesses. Dr. Azar’s projects are funded by several federal as well as provincial agencies, including CIHR, RSC, NBHRF, & NBCF, a charity organization. She is also thrilled to be involved in provincial and Pan-Canadian research networks aimed to better serve children/youth such as the $25 million-funded CHILD BRIGHT.
Over her career, she has worked with newborns, children, teens, and their families- both as a stress researcher and as a developmental clinician. She is a proud aunt and, in a recent second life, she and her husband have been involved in the foster care system in NB, as foster parents.
Nina Hindrichs is from Lynden, Ontario. In 2015 she graduated from MTA with a B.A. Honours after having worked with Dr. Azar on research concerning "smoking in youth with and without past depression". After graduation, Nina became a member of the PSHL team building the NB Virtual Health Centre for Children. She is the project coordinator for the CIHR Quick Strike grant.
Julie holds a M.Sc. from Mount Allison University (supervised by Dr. Vett Lloyd) and a B.Sc. Honours with Specialization in Biology from the University of Ottawa ('08). She is a research professional intrigued by a multidisciplinary approach to knowledge, which explains her interest in studying psychoneuroimmunology. She joined the Psychobiology of Stress & Health Lab (PSHL) in August 2011.
In May 2015, Julie left the Lab to join the Master of Science program at Mount Allison University. She will be assessing the risk of Lyme disease in New Brunswick under the supervision of Dr. Vett Lloyd. Congratulations, Julie!
Julie worked as the research coordinator of an ongoing PSHL multi-site clinical study entitled “Feelings matter when expecting a baby: the psychoneuroimmunology of pregnancy”. Other tasks within the lab included editorial activities as well as helping with the coordination of other research projects. She recently submitted a manuscript to be reviewed for publication, with Dr. Rima Azar as a co-author.
Additionally, she has participated in the organization of lab activities such as:
A CIHR Café Scientifique entitled “My body is simmering: Minimizing the inflammatory effect of stress & depression”. This community-based event was widely attended (Fall 2012).
Mount Allison University's research open house where the PSHL was chosen, along with two other labs, to give a media tour in order to celebrate the contributions of funding agencies to the university, as well as highlight the novel research at MTA's labs (Fall 2011).
Angela Thibodeau is the former coordinator for the proposed NaviCare/SoinsNavi centre, a resource for NB families and their children with complex health needs. She first started working with the PSHL as a research assistant in October 2015, offering organizational support for the needs assessment phase of the NB Virtual Health Centre for Children. Angela is also conducting family interviews for a study called Children with complex health conditions:
Let’s learn who they are and their needs to better serve them!
In 2002, Angela graduated from the BFA program at MTA. She has a background as an office administrator for a family doctor. In her free time, Angela is an artist. Please visit AngelaThibodeau.ca to view her artwork.