Current Lab Members

Priyanka Khemraj BSc Year 2

I completed my undergrad degree at York University in Kinesiology and Health Science (B.Sc.), where I developed an interest in muscle physiology! After volunteering in Dr. Hood’s lab, I later joined the lab for my M.Sc. in Kinesiology. My research focuses on investigating the relationship between mitochondria and inflammation, specifically looking into the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome complex and its downstream consequences on skeletal muscle health and functioning. I look forward to new opportunities and experiences that can help foster both personal and professional development and refine my skills within the research field. In my personal time, I enjoy dancing, reading, and painting.
Sabrina Champsi BSc Year 2

During my undergraduate studies I completed my research practicum project and independent study exploring the effects of a somatostatin receptor type 2 (SSTR2) antagonist on hypoglycemia prevention in diabetic rat models. I later completed my honours thesis researching the role of adiponectin as an autophagy inducer and its role in evading hypoxia induced cell death in vitro. In an effort to learn more about how pharmaceutical agents augment cellular signaling pathways, I joined Dr. Hood’s lab to complete my MSc thesis. My thesis focuses on better characterizing the mechanism of action for the nutraceutical sulforaphane and elucidating its implications on mitochondrial dynamics, biogenesis, and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). I am excited for this opportunity to pursue research in the field of muscle physiology and broaden my skillset as a researcher during my MSc.
Victoria Sanfrancessco MSc Year 2

I first started in Dr. Hood’s lab volunteering weekly during my undergraduate experience at York, where I completed my BSc in Kinesiology and Health Science. In my fourth year, I took several of Dr. Hood’s advanced physiology courses and developed an interest in the mechanisms underlying mitochondrial and skeletal muscle health following exercise. I have recently started my MSc where I will be focusing on the role of the transcription factor ATF4 in mediating the mitochondrial unfolded protein response following acute and chronic exercise, and its implications in contributing to mitochondrial health and dynamics. I am grateful for this opportunity to develop my academic career under the supervision of Dr. Hood. Outside of the lab I enjoy working out, watching anime, and spending time with friends and family.
Neushaw Moradi PhD Year 2

I started at the Hood Lab as an undergraduate Independent Study student, and I am grateful to continue as an M.Sc. student. My thesis focuses on the restoration of mitochondrial health in skeletal muscle by characterizing three different agents as we identify their time- and dose-dependent intracellular signaling behaviours, in vitro. Alongside my research, I have been granted the privilege to collaborate with my colleagues as an author in two newly published scientific reviews on mitochondrial bioenergetics, preservation, and turnover (IJMS and AJP Cell). Finally, I have gained authorship in an original study (J. Physiol), owing to my early opportunity to partake in research during my undergrad, with Dr. Triolo and Dr. Hood. I am humbled by these experiences as they allow me to enhance my versatility in this career and refine my trajectory towards a well-rounded scientist. Outside of the lab, I enjoy working out and spending time with friends, family, and my weird cat named Fish.
Debasmita Bhattacharya, Post Doctorate

I came to Canada in 2012 with my husband and daughter. I had a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) degree in Biotechnology from India and always aspired to have a Doctoral degree. Thankfully I got admission in York University to do Masters in Heath Science. That was the beginning of my journey towards fulfilling my dream. Thereafter, I graduated from York University with MSc and PhD degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. My PhD research dissected how a protein called p107 control muscle stem cell fate decisions through its metabolic role. During my doctoral studies, I had 5 publications among which one got published in Nature Communications. From the time I started my graduate studies, I had always admired Dr. Hood’s research and wished to be a part of his team. I was fortunate enough to get an offer to pursue my Post-Doctoral research in Dr. Hood’s esteemed lab. Currently I am doing two different and quite interesting projects. One is to understand the implications of lysosomal malfunction and finding strategies to mitigate it in order to improve health. My second project focusses on how muscle mitochondrial transplantation can rescue cellular homeostasis. Besides lab work, I love dancing and have done many stage performances. Last but not the least, I love spending quality time with my family.