BrainWaves: The Neuroscience Graduate Program Newsletter

Meet Your New SOMA President-Elects: Sawayra Owais and Kevin Champagne-Jorgensen

The results of the recent SOMA election are in! Meet your new SOMA President Elects, Sawayra Owais and 

Kevin Champagne-Jorgensen.


Hello fellow Neurosciencers! We're Sawayra and Kevin, and we're very excited to be your new SOMA President Elects. We will be working alongside Saurabh and Kathryn until the end of August, then taking over as SOMA Co-Presidents in September 2020. We’d like to introduce ourselves:


Sawayra Owais

The newer students may be wondering who I am, as I have never shown up to journal clubs or colloquia (shh...don't tell Sandra). That’s because I have been completing the first year of my medical studies here at McMaster, but I am very excited to return to my PhD with Dr. Van Lieshout in September 2020! My research focuses on mechanisms underlying the transmission of psychopathology from mom to offspring in populations facing a disadvantage, including Indigenous mothers and their families. I have been at McMaster for four years now, starting with my Master's in the Neuroscience Graduate Program and now my MD/PhD. Outside of school, I enjoy listening to funny gaming commentary, learning how to play squash (always looking for a buddy to play with!), and crafting birthday cards.


Kevin Champagne-Jorgensen

For the past four-ish years, I've worked with Dr. John Bienenstock over at St. Joe's Charlton campus (it does exist!), where I've been studying the role of extracellular vesicles in communication between gut microbes and their host. I'm originally from Winnipeg and completed my HBSc in Biopsychology at the University of Winnipeg prior to migrating over here. When not in the lab I love rock climbing, hanging out with my kittens, and complaining about Hamilton's weather. I also play a very mediocre game of squash – Sawayra, hit me up!


During our time with SOMA, we're hoping to continue the same sort of great events that the original K&S have brought us so far. As teased in our formal election campaign, we have a few other ideas that we’re stoked to try out! We’ll also be reaching out to you folks to gauge your preferences on current and future activities, and to see whether you think our ideas are worth pursuing. We’re excited to bring you some wholesome fun though SOMA and we hope to see y’all soon!


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Sawayra Owais
Kevin Champagne-Jorgensen