Moayedi Lab

Principal Investigator

Massieh Moayedi, B.Sc., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and UTCSP Pain Scientist

Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto

Dr. Massieh Moayedi’s research focus in on understanding how pain is processed in healthy individuals and how this is altered by chronic pain. Specifically, he uses non-invasive brain imaging techniques, neurostimulatory techniques, computational methods and novel behavioural paradigms to investigate the structure and function, including indices of network connectivity, of the brain of healthy subjects and patients with chronic pain. 

Graduate Students


Lizbeth Ayoub

Twitter: @liz_ayoub

Lizbeth Ayoub completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology (Honours) at the University of Ottawa. She is currently pursuing a PhD at the Faculty of Dentistry under the co-supervision of Dr. Massieh Moayedi and Dr. Mary Pat McAndrews. Her thesis focuses 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

Georgia Hadjis

Twitter: @georgiahadjis

Georgia Hadjis completed her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Physiology at the University of Toronto. She is currently pursuing a Master’s at the Faculty of Dentistry with a Collaboration in Neuroscience under the supervision of Dr. Massieh Moayedi. Her thesis focuses on a novel model to explain the interference of pain on cognition using neuroimaging (fMRI), quantitative sensory testing, and cognitive tasks. Georgia is a recipient of the 2019-2020 Canada Graduate Master’s Scholarship in Health Sciences (CIHR) and is a Resident Junior Fellow at Massey College.


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.  

Matthew Cormie

Matthew Cormie is an 2nd year undergraduate student studying neuroscience and psychology at the University of Toronto. He is focusing on pain specificity in the Moayedi lab. Matthew wants to dive deeper into neuroscience research and wants to understand more about the effects of pain on people’s quality of life. Outside of the lab and classroom, Matthew is a volunteer firefighter and really enjoys cycling.


Alisina Fatemi

Alisina Fatemi is an undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Toronto. He is currently working as a research assistant on the Sensitivity Project 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.

Evgeny Osokin

Evgeny is a 4th-year undergraduate student, specializing in neuroscience. He has joined Moayedi lab in 2020 and is currently working on a thesis project investigating the development of trigeminal nerve in healthy children. His interests include the understanding of orofacial pain mechanisms using tractography and diffusion tensor model. Outside the lab, he is practicing foreign languages and works on his piano skills.


Research Staff


Batu Kaya

Batu Kaya graduated from McGill University's interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts and Science Cognitive Science (Honours) program in 2019. As a research assistant under Dr. Moayedi’s supervision, they are studying affective pain pathways in the human brain and trigeminal nerve morphology using diffusion tensor imaging, probabilistic tractography, and other multimodal approaches. They are also coordinating a clinical study on memory in Parkinson’s disease at Toronto Western with the aim of improving clinical neuropsychological assessment. Their research interests include affective pathways, emotions, imagery, and they love to read books—a lot. 

Matthew Mockford

Matthew obtained his Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour from McMaster in 2015. He works as a research assistant 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.


Previous Trainees


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.

Joanna Man (picture).jpg

Joanna Man

DDS Candidate 2020