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Moayedi Lab

Principal Investigator

Massieh Moayedi, B.Sc., Ph.D.

Associate Professor and UTCSP Pain Scientist
Canada Research Chair in Pain Neuroimaging (Tier 2)
Co-Director, Centre for Multimodal Sensorimotor and Pain Research
Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto

Twitter: @massihmoayedi

Massieh Moayedi completed his PhD at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Karen Davis. He then did his postdoctoral fellowship at University College London, UK. He is currently a Tenured Associate Professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry, and holds a University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain Scientist title. He holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Pain Neuroimaging. He is co-Director of the Centre for Multimodal Sensorimotor and Pain Research, supported by the Canada Fund for Innovation (CFI).


He is a basic scientist with training in pain neuroimaging, Dr. Moayedi has 15 years of research at the interface of clinical and basic sciences. Dr. Moayedi’s approach is to study basic scientific questions in both healthy participants and in clinical populations. This allows patients’ experience to shape the focus of the research, allowing Dr. Moayedi to develop clinically meaningful research questions in order to improve the quality of life of patients. He has expertise in quantitative sensory testing, multimodal brain imaging, including structural and functional MRI, and working with vulnerable populations. He holds grants from CIHR, NSERC, NFRF, Ontario ERA, CFI and NIH. He is also on the Editorial Boards of PAIN and PAIN Reports and an Associate Editor at Frontier in Pain Research Methods. He founded the international Human Pain Seminar Series, and is a founding chair of the IASP Neuroimaging of Pain SIG.

Graduate Students

Georgia Hadjis, BSc

Georgia Hadjis is the final year of her PhD at the Faculty of Dentistry under the supervision of Dr. Massieh Moayedi. Her thesis focuses on the mechanism underlying the interference of pain on cognition using quantitative sensory testing, cognitive tasks, and electrodermal activity. Georgia completed her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Physiology at the University of Toronto. Georgia is the Director of Marketing & Communications at UofT’s Graduate Management Consulting Association, the trainee editor of the monthly UofT Centre for the Study of Pain newsletter, and a Junior Fellow at Massey College.


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.

Batu Kaya

Batu Kaya graduated from McGill University's interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts and Science Cognitive Science (Honours) program in 2019. Batu started their MSc. training in September 2022 in pain neuroscience. Their project focuses on the interplay between gender identity, body image changes and post-surgical pain. Some of the methods they use in their research includes multimodal MRI, quantitative sensory testing, and qualitative interviews. They have an additional interest in affective pain pathways and brainstem-subcortical white matter circuitry. In their spare time, Batu is busy rock climbing, reading, volunteering, and studying in the Massey College library. To follow Batu's research, check out their Twitter page at @b2_kaya 


Matthew Mockford

Matthew obtained his Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour from McMaster in 2015. He works as an MSc student under the supervision of Dr. Moayedi studying signatures for pain recovery in pediatric musculoskeletal pain, as well the effect of the endocannabinoid system on pain sensitivity. When he's not in the lab, he's practicing his German, lounging at the beach, or DJing clubs and parties around Toronto.

Matthew Cormie

Matthew obtained his Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, with minors in Psychology and Physiology, from the University of Toronto in 2023. Matthew is in the first year of his MSc, under the supervision of Dr. Moayedi, studying the cortical processing of pain. Matthew previously worked in the Moayedi Lab during his undergraduate degree as a research assistant. During his time he studied the connectivity of the insula and cingulate, two key regions of the salience network and cortical pain processing. Matthew has an interest in Neuroimaging, especially fMRI and DTI imaging. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys cycling and volunteering.

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Omar Khalil

Omar earned his Honours BSc in Neuroscience and Human Physiology from the University of Toronto in 2022. In September 2023, Omar started his MSc studies in pain and cognition while specializing in Neuroscience under the supervision of Dr. Massieh Moayedi. His research focuses on investigating how the effects of acute pain on reward-based learning vary when pain is applied at different timepoints using Bayesian computational modeling. Concurrently, Omar is a research analyst at the McAndrews Neuropsychology Lab, located at Toronto Western Hospital. There, he utilizes behavioral data and various MRI modalities to study the development of the language network and the cognitive abilities of healthy controls and medial temporal lobe epilepsy patients.

Undergraduate Trainees

Spencer Abssy

Spencer is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto studying neuroscience, immunology, and physiology. He is a research assistant in the faculty of Dentistry under Dr. Massieh Moayedi, and his current studies involve neuroimaging and neuromodulation of pain. Additionally, he has interests in the chronification of pain, clinical pain management, and digital health technologies. When not working, you can find Spencer enjoying a book, going on bike rides around the city, or playing Magic the Gathering!

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Research Staff

Nilina Mohabir BSc, MSc - Research Assistant

Christine Sexton HBA, MSc - Clinical Research Coordinator

Laura Ritacca - Clinical Research Coordinator

Nathaniel De Vera BSc, - Research Assistant

Previous Undergraduate Trainees

Samrawit Lemma

Samrawit is a MasterCard foundation scholar at the University of Toronto (2017-2021) majoring in neuroscience and physiology. Her research interest encompasses translational medicine, organ transplantation, universal health care and sustainable development in rural communities. She currently works as a student researcher in the REACH alliance program where she investigates the mechanisms of a community-based health insurance scheme based in Thailand. She joined the Moayedi lab in 2020 and is currently working on a project that investigates the effect of childhood trauma on the development of chronic pain in adolescents and young adults.  


Gianluca Guglietti

My name is Gianluca Guglietti and I'm a neuroscience undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. I am completing my fourth year thesis project in the Moayedi lab where I am conducting a biomarker study into pediatric musculoskeletal pain. when I'm not in the lab or hauled up in the library studying for my midterms I can be found crate digging for records or addictively playing pokemon go.

Wai-Jane Virginia Lee

I am currently a 3rd year dental student at Western University. I have always been excited about research, participating in various summer research programs and completing my MSc in neuroscience in 2017 (see here). Even now, I still seek to contribute to research whenever I can - and that is how I ended up spending the last two summers at the Moayedi Lab, studying chronic pain and pain perception. 


Romina Sotoodeh

I recently obtained my bachelor’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Toronto (Class of 2019). I first developed a passion for pain research at Dr. Moayedi’s lab at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry where I investigated a value-based model of pain-cognition. Currently, I am a first-year thesis master’s student in Dr. Marc O. Martel’s lab, at McGill University Faculty of Dentistry, where I study predictors of pain and problematic opioid use after oral and maxillofacial surgery. I aspire to become a dentist one day, but for now I’m very happy to have joined McGill’s world-renowned pain unit. You can find me on Google Scholar under my name.

Nancy Mugisha

Former Research Assistant

Twitter: @MugishaNancy

Nancy completed a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, Physiology and Spanish at the University of Toronto in 2020. She was an undergraduate thesis student, then research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Massieh Moayedi working on a fMRI paediatric study. Currently, she is a first year Master’s student at McGill University in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience where she will be studying motor connectivity and clinical outcome measures in children with spinal muscular atrophy.

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Joanna Man

DDS Candidate 2020

Alisina Fatemi

Alisina Fatemi completed his undergraduate degree majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Toronto. He worked as a research assistant on the galvanic skin response and endocannabinoids projects under the supervision of Dr. Moayedi. Among his areas of interest, he is keen on exploring how pain is experienced in the brain and the implications of pain research in treatments. Alisina was awarded the University of Toronto Scholar Award in 2019-2020 and is also a recipient of the Howard Ferguson Scholarship.


Previous Post Doctoral and Graduate Students


Lizbeth Ayoub

Twitter: @liz_ayoub

Lizbeth Ayoub completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology (Honours) at the University of Ottawa. She recently completed her PhD at the Faculty of Dentistry under the co-supervision of Dr. Massieh Moayedi and Dr. Mary Pat McAndrews. Her thesis focused on the role of the medial temporal lobe in pain processing. Her research investigates the structure and function of the medial temporal lobe in healthy individuals and patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, by using neuropsychological and sensory tests, and neuroimaging tools (fMRI and sMRI). She is a Junior Fellow at Massey College

Evgeny Osokin

Evgeny Osokin is currently pursuing a MSc at the Faculty of Dentistry under the supervision of Dr. Massieh Moayedi focused on repetitive magnetic stimulation on pain modulation. He joined the Moayedi lab in 2020 and worked on a thesis project investigating the development of trigeminal nerve in healthy children. His interests include the understanding of chronic pain mechanisms using neurophysiological techniques such as EEG, QST and diffusion tensor model. Outside the lab, he is practicing foreign languages and works on his piano skills.

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