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Cioffi Lab

Principle Investigator

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

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

Dr. Iacopo Cioffi is a clinician scientist. His research focuses on orofacial pain related to Temporomandibular disorders (TMD), the pathophysiology of the masticatory muscles, and the relation between occlusion, orthodontic treatment and TMD.  

Dr. Cioffi is the program director of the graduate course “The diagnosis and management of Temporomandibular Disorders” at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry. He is a communication officer of the International Association for Dental Research Neuroscience and the International Network for Orofacial Pain and Related Disorders Methodology (INfORM) networks. 

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.

Undergraduate Trainees


Suha Sagheer, BSc

Suha is an undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience and Immunology at the University of Toronto. She is currently a Research Assistant in Dr. Cioffi's lab where she is investigating chronic pain in temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and mapping trigeminal brainstem pathways. She is keen on exploring pain pathways in the brain in hopes of improving people's quality of life. Outside the lab, Suha enjoys painting and volunteering. 

Previous Trainees


David Makar, BMSc, DDS, MSc candidate 

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 at the University of Toronto where he is now in his second year of orthodontic specialty training. During his master he will develop an animal model to study the contribution of muscle hypoxia and bruxism to muscular TMD.

Cong Xie (Vicky), BSc

Vicky is a passionate undergraduate student majoring in Immunology and Physiology at the University of Toronto. She is currently 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) 


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.


Tim Lou, BMSc, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C) 


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)

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) 

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 is a third year dental student at the University of Toronto and completed his BSc at Western University. He has been part of the Cioffi and Moayedi's labs since 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


Valerie Spano, BSc


Valerie Spano is a current dental student at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry. Valerie came to dental school from the University of Western Ontario, with an honours degree in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences.  She started working 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. Currently Valerie is working on completing her fourth and final year of dental school and hopes to continue her education with a residency program following graduation.

Madonna Rofaeel, BSc

Madonna graduated from York University with an Honours B.Sc. and currently a DDS student at the University of Toronto. Her project looked at the effects of anxiety on masticatory muscle activity in healthy individuals.


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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