Nyissa Walsh is Bachelor of Science (Honours) student at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN). Nyissa’s major is Psychology and when she graduates in 2018 she plans to continue her studies to obtain her Masters and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology specializing in children. Nyissa is currently conducting research for her honours thesis with Dr. Sheila Garland at MUN on the relationship between chronotype and mental health in university students. She is currently the volunteer coordinator at Jack.Org MUN, she volunteers for The Sleep Health and Wellness Lab and she also volunteers in a neuroscience lab with Dr. Christina Thorpe.

Nyissa started out with the Neuropsychiatric Patients Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (NPA) as a volunteer and then she started working hands on as a neuropsychiatric semiologic monitor with an autistic patient through the Mobile Neuropsychiatric Day Hospital affiliated with the NPA. Nyissa is one of our newest researchers and has been on the research team since April 2017. Nyissa loves learning practical applications of the material she has learned in school from Dr. Mirolo and is eager to make a difference in the care of patients with various brain related conditions in Newfoundland.

Nyissa’s research interests involve studying the evolution of symptoms in persons with various brain related conditions. Nyissa specifically enjoys studying conditions that are hard to define and treat such as Alzheimer’s and Autism. Her interests also involve poor sleeping patterns and how that affects cognition. She hopes to continue her research in the future by combining her knowledge of Autism and sleep syndromes.

What attracted her to CNS was the level of enthusiasm and dedication the team shows towards improving the lifestyle of the patients in the clinic. The fact that she gets to work with the only neuropsychiatrist specialist in Newfoundland is a great pleasure and she looks forward to future educational endeavours with the team.  

When she is not studying, volunteering or working for a family business, she spends her free time outdoors, travelling, modelling, swimming or playing soccer. Nyissa loves spending time with friends and family and her favourite activity is reading as many novels as she can.

A native of Twillingate, Newfoundland (“Iceberg Capital of the World”) growing up in Toronto, Ontario, Miss Heather Watkins has been working as Neuropsychiatric Epidemiologist and Research Coordinator at CNS, since January 2010. Heather has completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biochemistry-Nutrition and Minor in French from Memorial University of Newfoundland and went on to pursue a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Epidemiology from Memorial shortly thereafter. Heather is currently completing a Masters degree in Epidemiology from the University of London via the school of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and hopes to graduate in the year 2020.  
Heather has a passion and thirst for knowledge, particularly as they relate to brain injuries of diverse causes. Since working for CNS, her research interests and experience has been heavily relating to Autism and Brain Injury, but also other aspects of Neuropsychiatry itself. She particularly enjoys the sense of empowerment working for CNS, where team members are encouraged to pursue their own interests and provided with the tools needed to fulfill their professional dreams and aspirations.  
Heather has been a long time volunteer with the Neuropsychiatric Patients’ Association (NL Chapter) since 2010 and has helped out in many areas of the organization, including Advocacy, Administration, Fundraising, Board, Research, Human Resources and anywhere else she may be needed.
When not doing research or volunteering, you can probably find her enjoying the great outdoors, hiking, gardening, or a good campfire in the backyard. Passionate about the environment, animals, languages and cultures, Heather hopes one day to be proficient in the main romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian). Also on Heather’s “bucket list” is travelling to all 7 continents! Heather has taken piano lessons in the past and also dreams of one day completing all 10 levels of the Royal Conservatory of Music in piano.



Heather Watkins

Emma Neary is a first year QuARMS (Queen’s Accelerated Route to Medical School) student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Emma joined the Centre for Neuropsychiatric Sciences in the fall of 2016 as a student interested in Neuropsychiatry and medicine and continues to explore these fields as a researcher with CNS.

Despite joining the research team as a high school student, Emma is no stranger to academia. Emma’s diverse interests lead her to study Philosophy and Astrophysics at Harvard University over the summer of 2015. In the 2016/2017 academic year, Emma was a part-time student at Memorial University of Newfoundland studying pure mathematics. Emma enjoys connecting her diverse academic interests with Neuropsychiatric concepts.

Emma’s interest in Neuropsychiatry stems from the diversity of Neuropsychiatric cases the team explores and the impact of these illnesses on the lives of individuals in our community. She is grateful for the unique clinical research experience which CNS provides and is eager to further her learning in Neuropsychiatry throughout her university career.

Outside of research and academics, Emma volunteers at St. Clare’s Hospital and the St. John Ambulance as a Medical First Responder. She is involved in multiple clubs and student groups such as the Rotary Interact, Social Justice, Newspaper, World Health Organization and Mathematics Clubs. Emma also enjoys public speaking (in English and French), hiking, playing piano, reading and playing with her pet tortoise named “Darwin”.

Katarina Hosel is an undergraduate student at Memorial University currently working on her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Behavioural Neuroscience.  As a dancer and martial artist, her fascination with the brain stemmed from her interest in the physiological mechanisms responsible for the execution and coordination of complex movements. She has been fortunate enough to conduct her honours research with Dr. Kevin Power in the kinesiology department’s neurophysiology lab. In addition, Katarina has worked for Dr. Jacqueline Blundell in her neuroscience lab and has gained experience conducting clinical research with the CNS team.
Since joining the CNS research team in January 2016, Katarina has had the opportunity to share her love of dance with the members of the Neuropsychiatric Patients’ Association (NPA) and has worked as a Neuropsychiatric Semiological Monitor for a patient with Autism. She loves the friendly and supportive atmosphere here at CNS and appreciates the effort made to find research topics that appeal to everyone.  
When Katarina is not studying or conducting research, you can find her teaching dance or taking a class herself.  She has trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, hip-hop, tap, Latin jazz, modern, flamenco, and aerial arts. Katarina has also completed several of the Cecchetti Ballet of Canada exams and Imperial Society of Teachers in Dance Tap examinations.  Her passion for being on stage led her to participate and/ or choreograph several productions including Our Divas Do Christmas (2014), Evita (2014) and Jesus Christ Superstar (2015). Besides her dance training, she also holds her 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo. 

Dr. Hugh Mirolo


Sydney London


Our team of researchers have unique backgrounds; this gives our team a variety of perspectives and strengths. Learn more about our researchers below.

Sydney London is one of the newest member of our research team! Sydney graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) in 2016, with a major in biochemistry and a minor in psychology. She recently started a Master’s of Science in biology at MUN, which she hopes to complete by Summer 2018. Sydney is very passionate about genetic research, and is currently working on her thesis with Dr. Helene Volkoff on the relationship between feeding and reproductive hormones in freshwater fish. She is also a teaching assistant in undergraduate genetics, physiology, and microbiology labs at MUN. She is interested in pursuing a career in medicine upon completion of her master’s!

Sydney is the founding president of the MUN Stem Cell Club, and has been a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Newfoundland since 2015. She volunteers at Pleasant View Towers with Eastern Health, and works part time for a title searching company. Sydney joined our team in May 2017. She is very excited to be involved in a different branch of research that will allow her to gain new perspectives on familiar concepts. She really enjoys the innovative nature of CNS, and is particularly interested in how different aspects, like sleep and nutrition, can influence brain injury and vice versa. Being new to the field, she is looking forward to learning more about Neuropsychiatry and brain injury from Dr. Mirolo and the other members of the research team!

Outside of school, work, and volunteering, Sydney loves to travel and experience new things! She is a certified lifeguard, and enjoys swimming, dancing, hiking, and has recently taken up yoga.

Emma Neary

Neuropsychiatrist, Founder of CNS

Research Coordinator, Neuropsychiatric Epidemiologist

Katarina Hosel


Nyissa Walsh