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Cioffi Lab

Principle Investigator

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Iacopo Cioffi, DDS, Phd, Dip.Ortho., FRCD(C)

Associate Professor, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto – University of Toronto Centre for The Study of Pain

Dr. Iacopo Cioffi is a full-time tenured Associate Professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Dentistry. He is a clinician-scientist with expertise in temporomandibular disorders (TMD), functional anatomy of the masticatory system, and orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. He was trained in dentistry, orthodontics, and TMD at the University of Naples Federico II, Italy, and completed a PhD program in oral sciences and a clinical specialty program in orthodontics at the same institution. During his training, he also worked at the Clinic of Masticatory Disorders, Centre for Dental Medicine, at the University of Zurich (Switzerland), and the Department of Functional Anatomy at ACTA (Amsterdam, the Netherlands). He also completed the dental specialty training and assessment training program (DSATP, orthodontics) at the University of Toronto. Dr. Cioffi is a board-certified orthodontist and a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada.


Dr. Cioffi' s research focuses on masticatory muscle function and dysfunction, understanding mechanisms of TMD, and developing neural and muscular biomarkers of this condition. Dr. Cioffi's work is unique in TMD research as it employs a multimodal approach, including imaging, behavioral measurements, and electrophysiological recordings, to investigate pathophysiological mechanisms of muscular TMD, and is particularly suitable to study the biopsychosocial determinants of TMD comprehensively.


Since 2015, Dr. Cioffi's research has been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Ontario, the American Academy of Orofacial Pain, the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation, the European Orthodontic Society, Align Technology, and UofT Dentistry.


Dr. Cioffi is actively involved in orthodontic and pain education. He teaches oral physiology, orofacial pain, TMD, and orthodontics. He is the course director of the graduate program “The diagnosis and management of TMD” (DEN1017) at UofT Dentistry and chairs the evaluation Committee of the University of Toronto Centre for The Study of Pain Interfaculty Pain Curriculum. This extensive interprofessional curriculum involves more than a thousand UofT students each year across seven different health disciplines. He also coordinates the scientific methodology and Journal review courses in the graduate orthodontic program at UofT. In 2019, Dr. Cioffi was awarded the Manly G. Bardner Memorial Award for exceptional dedication to orthodontic education.


Dr. Cioffi has authored > 60 manuscripts in the fields of TMD pathophysiology, pain, and orthodontics. He is an active Reviewer of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, The Angle Orthodontist, the European Journal of Orthodontics, the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, the Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache, and many other dental, orthodontic, and pain journals. He is An Associated Editor of Orthodontics and Craniofacial Research and an editorial board member of the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation and the Journal of Aligner Orthodontics.


Dr. Cioffi also is actively involved in national and international scientific pain and orthodontic research groups ( International Association for Dental Research Neuroscience and INfORM -International Network for Orofacial Pain and Related Disorders Methodology- groups, and the Network for Canadian Oral Health Research orofacial pain working group). He also is an active member of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists (Eastern Chapter). Dr, Cioffi has been a speaker at many international meetings organized by the International Association for the Study of Pain, the American Academy of Orofacial Pain, the International Association for Dental Research, the Canadian Pain Society, and the Angle Society East. Dr. Cioffi's clinical activities are limited to clinical orthodontics and the management of patients with TMD.

Graduate Students


Pedram Mouseli

Pedram Mouseli completed his Master of Science in engineering at the K. N. Toosi University of Technology in Iran. He is currently a PhD student at the Faculty of Dentistry with a specialization in Neuroscience under the supervision of Dr. Iacopo Cioffi and Dr. Massieh Moayedi. His thesis focuses on identifying a novel neuromuscular biomarker signature of chronic temporomandibular disorders (TMD) using functional and structural brain imaging and muscle recordings. He is developing machine learning models that capture biomarker patterns associated with TMD and can be used for a more personalized diagnosis and treatment.


Suha Sagheer, HBSc

Suha completed a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Immunology (Honours) at the University of Toronto. She is currently pursuing an MSc under the co-supervision of Dr. Cioffi and Dr. Moayedi. She is investigating chronic pain in temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and mapping trigeminal brainstem pathways in healthy individuals and patients. She is keen on exploring pain pathways in the brain and hopes to improve people's quality of life. Outside the lab, Suha enjoys painting and volunteering. 

Previous Trainees


David Makar, BMSc, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C)

Graduate Orthodontics

David completed his degree in Medical Sciences with an honours specialization in physiology at the University of Western Ontario. Thereafter he was accepted into the dental program at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry where he graduated with distinction and was awarded the Academy of General Dentistry Senior Student Award in 2017. He then moved on to complete a General Practice Residency at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre through the University of Toronto where he gained invaluable experience in surgery, pathology and treating severely medically compromised patients. He was subsequently accepted into the Graduate Orthodontic Program and obtained hi MSc degree in 2020. David's MSc project focused on developing a rodent model of masticatory muscle ischemia that could be used to study mechanisms of myogenic temporomandibular disorders.

Cong Xie (Vicky), BSc

Vicky completed a degree in Immunology and Physiology at the University of Toronto. She was a Research Assistant under Dr.Cioffi's supervision, continuing her true passion about orofacial pain, especially Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and muscle, CNV, CNS abnormalities. Vicky is also a recipient of The Regents Participation Awards and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Gold Award.


Jocelyne Shim, BMSc, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C) 

Graduate Orthodontics


Jocelyne is a recent graduate and an orthodontist working in the Greater Toronto Area. She spent three years at Dr. Cioffi’s lab working on a Master of Science thesis entitled "Impact of post-orthodontic dental occlusion on masticatory performance and chewing efficiency." During this time, she was also at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto receiving both didactic and clinical training to become an orthodontic specialist. She defended her thesis, passed the specialty board exam, and joined the Royal College of Dentists of Canada as a fellow in 2019. Prior to her Master’s studies, she completed her undergraduate dental training at the University of Alberta and worked as a dentist in Edmonton, Alberta.

Tina Imbriglio, BMSc, DMD, MSc, FRCD(C) 

Tina graduated from the University of Montreal with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences. She also obtained her Doctorate of Dental Medicine from McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry. She then went on to complete a certificate in the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency Program at the University of Connecticut after completing her general dentistry board certification in Canada and the United States. She has participated in various research studies in the past involving Tourette syndrome, the anterior cruciate ligament as well as neuroblastoma prion to join the Centre for Multimodal Sensorimotor and Pain Research. Tina has recently completed her MSc. She studied how music can impact jaw motor function in patients with temporomandibular disorders.

Graduate Orthodontics


Tim Lou, BMSc, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C) 

Graduate Orthodontics

Tim earned his dental degree from University of Manitoba in 2015 followed by a hospital-based residency at the University of British Columbia, in conjunction with Vancouver General Hospital. He then returned to school to pursue his passion for Orthodontics at the University of Toronto. There, he concurrently completed a Master’s research project on the impact of clear aligner therapy on sensorimotor function under the supervision of Dr. Cioffi at the Centre for Multimodal Sensorimotor and Pain Research. He is currently working in private practice as an Orthodontist in Scarborough.


Gaurav Krishnamoorthy, BSc, DMD, MSc, FRCD (C)

Graduate Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

After completing his Bachelor of Science and Dentistry degrees at McGill University in Montreal, he moved to Farmington, Connecticut for an Advanced Education in General Dentistry at the University of Connecticut. Gaurav started working with the lab during his post-graduate training in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology at the University of Toronto.  He investigated structural abnormalities in the temporalis tendon and muscle in patients diagnosed with chronic temporomandibular disorder myalgia. Currently Gaurav works at the dental oncology department at Princess Margaret Hospital, in private practice in Ontario, and teaching part-time at Western University. 


Jeffrey Chow, BMSc, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C) 

Graduate Orthodontics

Jeff obtained his Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Ontario. Following graduation, he completed a General Practice Residency at the University of Western Ontario in association with London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care Centre. Afterwards, Jeff completed three years of private practice in general dentistry, before returning to school to pursue specialized training in orthodontics and obtained his Master of Science in Orthodontics at the University of Toronto. In his MSc project Jeff studied the effect of trait anxiety on sensory and motor processes in the stomatognathic system. He is currently working in private practice as an Orthodontist in Windsor.


Jeremy Ho, BSc

Jeremy  completed his BSc at Western University. He has been part of the Cioffi and Moayedi's labs in 2018 where he was a CIHR summer student and worked on a project to validate an ecologic model of tonic pain using orthodontic separators and fMRI. In 2019, Jeremy worked with Dr. Cioffi to complete a second project aimed at testing the effect of orthodontic treatment on masticatory function. Jeremy aspires to become an Orthodontist in the future and is grateful for the experiences he has had in the Cioffi lab. Jeremy is an orthodontic resident at UBC in Vancouver. 


Valerie Spano, BSc, DDS


Valerie Spano recently graduated in dentistry at the University of Toronto. Valerie came to dental school from the University of Western Ontario, with an honours degree in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences.  She worked with Dr. Cioffi and colleagues during the summer between her second and third year of dental school on a project that involved exploring the relationship between anxiety, oral behaviours and somatosensory function in healthy individuals. 

Madonna Rofaeel, BSc, DDS

Madonna graduated from York University with an Honours B.Sc. and graduated in dentistry at the University of Toronto. Her project looked at the effects of anxiety on masticatory muscle activity in healthy individuals. She is currently an orthodontic resident at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry.


Tony PY He, BSc, DDS

Tony graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Toronto, and is a recipient of the Governor General of Canada's Silver Medal. He is a member of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO). Tony worked in Dr. Cioffi and Moayedi’s labs in 2017 to study the structural abnormalities of patients with muscular  temporomandibular disorders. In 2018, he was invited to present his findings at the 96th International Association for Dental Research (IADR) General Session in London, England (Neuroscience award competition).  He currently practices comprehensive dentistry in the Greater Toronto Area.

Nikki Shah, BSc

Nikki is s currently a MD student at McMaster University. She previously graduated from the University of Toronto with High Distinction, completing her Honours Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Psychology. Continuing her interest in pain research, under the supervision of Dr. Cioffi she has investigated the oxygenation of the masseter muscle in individuals at risk for muscular temporomandibular disorders.


Mona Sobhani, BSc, MSc,DDS

Mona Sobhani is a dental student at the University of Pennsylvania. After completing a CIHR funded Master in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and a BSc in Medical Sciences, she joined Dr. Cioffi’s lab to investigate the effects of guided music listening on masticatory function.

Rachelle Isidro, BSc

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