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Team Members

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Dr. Slava Epelman, MD, PhD

Dr. Slava Epelman is a Clinician-Scientist in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at the University Toronto, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, a Senior Scientist and Cardiovascular Research Group lead at the Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, and the Loretta Rogers Chair in Immunobioengineering for the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, University of Toronto. Dr. Epelman obtained his MD / PhD (in Immunology) from the University of Calgary and then did his medical residency and clinical fellowships at the Cleveland Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine and Washington University. He is a staff cardiologist in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at the Toronto General Hospital. His scientific interests are focused on the role of macrophages in cardiac tissue injury and regeneration.  



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Sarah Wilson

Research Business Administrator


Crystal Kantores

Lab Manager

Mastering the art of Herding Cats

Undergraduate: University of Toronto

Fun fact: I get road rage walking behind people

Current members

Dr. Abdul Momen, MD, PhD

Scientific Associate/Animal Surgeon

Dr. Shabana Vohra, PhD

Scientific Associate



PhD: University of Essex

Postdoctoral Fellows

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Postdoctoral Fellow

Multifactorial development of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy

PhD: University of Manitoba

Fun fact: I once led a 6 week long canoe trip in Northern Manitoba

Dr. Danielle Lee, PhD

Graduate Students


Homaira Hamidzada

PhD Candidate

Investigating macrophages in human cardiac function and in viral myocarditis

Undergraduate: University of Toronto

Fun fact: I have no fun facts; I eat, sleep and breathe single cell


Anthony Wong

PhD Candidate

Studying the developmental and epigenetic heterogeneity of tissue resident macrophages

Undergraduate: University of Toronto

Fun fact: I'm a singer


Julia Lin

PhD Candidate

Role of T cells in viral myocarditis

Undergraduate: University of Toronto

Fun fact: I once lost every game on my elementary school soccer team


Justin Callahan

 PhD Candidate

Early immune responses during viral myocarditis

Undergraduate: University of Toronto

Fun fact: I once took a 15 hour road trip in one day by myself!

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Alex Lac

 PhD Candidate

Studying tissue macrophage biology across organs

Undergraduate: University of Western Ontario

Fun fact: I was on BBC News for riding my bike during the hottest heatwave in Canada.

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Chris Wong

MSc. Student

Undergraduate: University of Western Ontario



Rysa Zaman (PhD 2024 - Immunology)


Dler Mahmood (Postdoctoral Fellow 2024)


Sara Nejat (Scientific Associate 2022)

Sarah Dick (Postdoctoral Fellow 2022)

Subsequent position: Assistant Professor at Queen's University 

Laura Aronoff (PhD. 2022 - LMP)

Subsequent position: MD student at the University of Toronto


Simon Pascual Gil (Postdoctoral Fellow 2022)


Fanny Beguier (Postdoctoral Fellow 2020)

Subsequent position: Academic researcher at Vision Institute


Candice Tang (MSc. 2018 - Applied Immunology)

Subsequent position: Medical Writer at Six Degrees Medical Consulting

Yiming Wang, MD, PhD (Postdoctoral Fellow 2018)

Subsequent position: Geneticist Residency at SickKids

Siyavash (Sina) Hosseinzadeh (MSc. 2017 - LMP)

Subsequent position: MD student at the University of British Columbia

Jillian Macklin (MSc. 2017 - LMP)

Subsequent position: MD/PhD student at the University of Toronto

Iulia Barbu (MSc. 2017 - Applied Immunology)

Subsequent position: Business Analyst at Avanade

Xavier Clement-Casares, PhD (Research Technician)

Subsequent position: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Alberta

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