Dr. Alex Quinn - PrincipAL Investigator

Alex is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics and the School of Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University. He received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University and did his postdoctoral training at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. His research program builds on experience in basic, translational, and clinical research, with a focus on the intrinsic regulation of cardiac function and the effects of mechano-electric interactions on heart rhythm, to better understand and treat cardiovascular disease. When not considering matters of the heart, he enjoys time with his family, or staring off into space considering nothing at all.


Dr. matthew stoyek - Postdoctoral Fellow

Matt received his PhD in Medical Neuroscience from Dalhousie University. His research uses a multi-modal approach (immunohistochemistry, electrophysiology, fluorescence functional imaging, and pharmacology) integrating structure and function to define autonomic nervous system control of the heart in physiology and pathophysiology. As a Postdoc he has vague memories of times when he was not considering matters of the heart at all hours, and fondly recalls hobbies.


Eilidh macdonald - phd student

Eilidh recieved her BSc in Biology from Dalhousie University. Her PhD research in the Quinn Lab is focused on understanding mechanisms governing the effects of stretch on sinoatrial node function, using zebrafish, rabbits, and mice. When she's not in the lab, she loves practising yoga, playing bagpipes, and eating curry with her family.


jonathan Baillie - phd student

Jon recieved his BSc Honours in Kinesiology from Dalhousie University and his MSc in Exercise Physiology at the University of New Brunswick, where he worked with a clinical cardiovascular disease population. He is currently pursuing his PhD in the Quinn Lab, using the zebrafish as an experimental model to investigate autoregulation of the sinoatrial node. An avid exercise enthusiast, Jon enjoys being outside and is happiest when he’s in the water.


breanne cameron - MSC student

Breanne received her BSc in Biology from Dalhousie University and is currently an MSc student in the Quinn Lab. Her research is focused on investigating the mechanisms of mechanically-induced arrhythmias during ischemia using isolated rabbit ventricular myocytes. In her free time, Breanne enjoys hiking, boxing, and volunteering at animal shelters. Breanne has a designated “lab blanket” that she frequently wears and insists that any thermostat setting below 25 degrees is inhumane



Sara is a Research Technician in the Quinn Lab. She receieved a BSc in Biology from Acadia University and an MSc in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the University of Ottawa. Her varied past research experience includes otter and Atlantic salmon conservation, cystic fibrosis, and hereditary ovarian cancer, before having the opportunity to become fascinated by the study of the heart. Sara applies her molecular biology and whole-animal skills in the Quinn Lab by contributing to the creation, maintenance, and study of transgenic zebrafish, as well as experiments involving isolated rabbit hearts. Other than research, Sara enjoys cycling, hiking, and live music.


behzad taeb - RESEARCH tECHNICIAN (FORMER MSC student)

Behzad is a Research Assistant in the Quinn Lab. He received his BSc in Microbiology and Immunology from Dalhousie University and his MSc in Physiology and Biophysics in the Quinn Lab. His MSc research focused on investigating the sustainability of mechanical pacing of the heart. He continues to work on this project, along with assisting in other isolated rabbit heart experiments in the lab. Outside of the lab, he is a car enthusiast, soccer goalkeeper, and enjoys a glass of milk every morning.


bailey selig - undergraduate student

Bailey is a fourth year student in the Medical Sciences program at Dalhousie University. Her project is focused on defining sub-cellular mechanisms of pacemaker function in zebrafish. She is currently Vice-President of Amnesty International Dalhousie, helping organise events to campaign for human rights, an executive member of the Let’s Play society, organising intramural sports for children with congenital heart diseases, and volunteers at the Veteran’s Wing of the QEII Health Sciences Centre as part of their recreation team. On the off chance she isn’t studying, she enjoys writing music, practicing yoga, and grabbing one of numerous craft beers available around Halifax. She hopes to be Dr. Selig one day, but whether she pursues medical school or a PhD is not yet decided.


melissa mantifel - undergraduate student

Melissa Mantifel is a fourth year BSc Medical Sciences student at Dalhousie University completing her Honours project in the Quinn Lab. Melissa’s project aims to determine the pacemaking mechanisms in zebrafish hearts using pharmacological agents. Outside of the lab, Melissa enjoys exploring Nova Scotia and petting dogs while running through parks. After graduation, Melissa aims to pursue a career in a healthcare field. 

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Jessica RAMIA - undergraduate student

Jessica is a third year BSc Medical Sciences student at Dalhousie University. Her current project aims to measure the in vivo incidence of stress-induced arrhythmias with popdc mutation in zebrafish. She is a dancer and she volunteers at the IWK Health Centre and the Discovery Centre. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys spending time with her friends and large family. In the future, Jessica would like to pursue a career in a healthcare field.


SIERRA SPARKS - undergraduate student

Sierra is a second year Electrical Engineering student at Dalhousie University. She is currently the President of Dalhousie’s Diploma of Engineering Society and enjoys being involved in the engineering community. Throughout her studies, she has kept her eye on biomedical engineering and its applications as a specialization in electrical engineering, and she hopes to pursue a career in the field of biomedical engineering in developing technologies for improving chronic heart conditions. In addition to her studies, she likes staying busy with competitive rugby and softball, and playing piano and trombone in a student jazz band.


Graduate Students
- Tarek Lawen
- Peter Baumeister

Technical Staff
- Rick Livingston

Undergraduate Students
- Sawini Fernando
- Spencer MacDonald