Core Staff

Joe Gati

Joe Gati

Acting Director

Biography: Joe was one of the original members of high field MRI team in 1996 which eventually became the Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping (CFMM) in 2005. By 2008 the CFMM housed Canada’s only collection of high and ultra-high field MRI systems including 3T and 7T human and a 9.4T horizontal large bore animal system. Currently, Joe is the Acting Director for the CFMM which includes overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Core facilities. In the capacity of MRI Physicist and Research Scientist. Joe maintains his own research interests in the area of novel fMRI contrast and high resolution functional MRI for which he holds grant funding as a co-applicant. Since 1996, he has been involved in dozens of different research projects including many international collaborations resulting in over 90 peer reviewed publications in such journals as Science, Neuron and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Martyn Klassen

Martyn Klassen

Research Scientist

Biography: Dr. L. Martyn Klassen holds degrees in Chemical Physics (Honors B.Sc.) from Simon Fraser University and Medical Physics (Ph.D.) from the University of Western Ontario. Current research focuses on pulse sequence design and image reconstruction with a focus on B1 mapping, shimming and accelerated imaging for frequency mapping and functional imaging. In addition, he administrates the computation infrastructure necessary to support the MRI systems and supervises the software development efforts within the Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping.
Kyle Gilbert

Kyle Gilbert

Research Scientist

Biography: Dr. Kyle Gilbert holds degrees in Biophysics (Honours B.Sc.) from the University of British Columbia and Physics (Ph.D.) from the University of Western Ontario. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Ravi Menon, Kyle joined the CFMM as a Research Scientist in 2009. His current area of research focuses on the development of hardware for high-field MRI scanners. This includes the design and fabrication of transmit and receive radiofrequency arrays and their integration into the scanner architecture.
Trevor Szekeres

Trevor Szekeres

Sr. MRI Research Technologist

Biography: Trevor is a nationally certified MRI Technologist with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) and provincially licensed by the College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario (CMRTO). He is operating the 7T MRI scanner for the CFMM.
(519) 663-5777 x24477
tszekeres@robarts.ca

Alex Li

Alex Li

MRI Physicist

Biography: As an MR Research Technologist, Dr. Li’s responsibilities are to ensure consistent and stable operation of the 9.4T MRI system, organize projects, and do experiments. In addition, to provide data analysis and on-site help for any users. Dr. Alex Li’s research aims to develop efficient software and novel imaging protocols to acquire high resolution MR images using small animals including mice, rats, birds etc. to monitor the disease progress such as tumour, stroke, alzheimer, etc. Alex Li holds degrees in physics from P.R. China and a Master’s degree in computer science from the University of Western Ontario. He completed his PhD in medical biophysics at the University of Western Ontario under the supervision of Dr. Robert Bartha, with research involving MR Imaging of PARACEST contrast agents in biological systems.
(519) 663-5777 x24319
ali@robarts.ca

Miranda Bellyou

Miranda Bellyou

Animal Care Specialist

Biography: My fundamental love for all animals brought me to the field of research where I felt I could ensure the animals I worked with received the humane care they deserved. I have worked at Robarts since 2000. I began in the Barrier Facility, breeding and maintaining mouse colonies, and moved to the Imaging Department in April of 2005. Currently I function as the Veterinary Technician for the 9.4T MRI Facility. In this position, I consult with staff, students and PI’s wishing to use the facility for animal related studies, and I assist with their animal imaging needs where necessary.
(519) 661-2111 x24319
mbellyou@robarts.ca

Oksana Opalevych

Oksana Opalevych

MRI Technologist

Biography: Oksana is a nationally certified MRI Technologist with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) and provincially licensed by the College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario (CMRTO). She joined the CFMM in 2011 as an MRI Research Technologist, and currently operates the 3T Siemens Prisma scanner.
(519) 931-5777 x25204
oopalevych@robarts.ca

Igor Solovey

Igor Solovey

Software Engineer

Biography: I am a software engineer at CFMM. One of my main responsibilities is the creation of software tools for reconstruction and post-processing of MR images. I collaborate with scientists and graduate students in creating software that facilitates and automates their research. I also assist in the maintenance and development of the computing infrastructure at CFMM. I graduated with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
Alan Kuurstra

Alan Kuurstra

Research Engineer

Biography: Alan Kuurstra received his Bachelors and Masters degree of Applied Science from the University of Waterloo. Currently a research engineer at the Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping , he is involved in the use of high and ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain anatomy and function in healthy human participants, various clinical populations, and animals. His key responsibilities include the data analysis of MRI experiments for multiple collaborative projects with basic biologists, neuroscientists, graduate students and clinicians.
Sue Bedford

Sue Bedford

Research Coordinator

Biography: Sue supports the CFMM Acting Director (J. Gati) along with five Core investigators and their students. She is responsible for the Clinical Trials that are run through the CFMM and assists in the booking and coordination of other studies on both the 3T and 7T magnets. She is the first point of contact for the PI’s and their Grad Students and the administration contact and support for the department.
RRI 000
(519) 661-2111 x25244
sbedfor3@uwo.ca

Peter Zeman

Peter Zeman

Research Technician

Biography: Peter designs and fabricates transmit and receive radio frequency coils alongside Dr. Gilbert at the Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping. In addition, Peter finds way to improve the high-field MRI scanners such as the 3T, 7T and 9.4T MRI scanners. He also conducts research to find new and interesting approaches for MRI coil designs. In his spare time, Peter enjoys various sports including Ultimate Frisbee, squash, soccer, Ping-Pong, badminton, and volleyball. He also enjoys traveling and has visited ten countries around the world and counting.
Scott  Charlton

Scott Charlton

MRI Technologist

Biography: Scott is a nationally certified MRI and X-ray Technologist with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) and provincially licensed by the College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario (CMRTO). He joined the CFMM in 2017 as an MRI Research Technologist, and currently operates the 3T Siemens Prisma scanner.
(519) 661-2111 x24433
scharl8@uwo.ca

Alex Mashkovtsev

Alex Mashkovtsev

Research Engineer

Biography: Alexander Mashkovtsev joined the CFMM as a Research Engineer in 2018. Alex has his Bachelor Electrical Engineering from the University of Ottawa. He is currently working on the development of hardware for high-field MRI scanners such as 3T, 7T and 9.4T. This combines the design and fabrication of receive and transmit RF arrays.
Heather Biernaski

Heather Biernaski

MRI Technologist (Part Time)

Biography: Heather is a nationally certified MRI Technologist with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) and provincially licensed by the College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario (CMRTO). She joined the CFMM in 2013 as a casual MRI Technologist, and currently operates the 3T Siemens Prisma scanner.
Laura McPhail

Laura McPhail

MRI Technologist (Casual)

Biography: Laura is a nationally certified MRI and X-ray Technologist with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) and provincially licensed by the College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario (CMRTO). She joined the CFMM in 2018 as an MRI Research Technologist, and currently operates the 3T Siemens Prisma scanner.