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Conference Program

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Sonia Lupien profile photo
Dr. Sonia Lupien

Scheduled May 6, 2021

Sonia Lupien is director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress (, external link), its mission is to transfer scientifically validated knowledge on stress to the general public. She holds a Canada’s Research Chair on Human Stress and is full professor at the Department of Psychiatry of the Faculty of Medicine of University of Montreal.

A scientific researcher for the last 25 years, Dr. Lupien studies the effects of stress on the human brain, from infancy to old age. Her studies have shown that children are as vulnerable as adults to stress and that children as young as age 6 can produce high levels of stress hormones. Greatly involved in the transfer of scientific knowledge, Dr. Lupien is now developing and validating stress interventions for vulnerable populations.

Dr. Matthew Hill Profile photo
Dr. Matthew Hill

Scheduled May 7, 2021

Matthew Hill is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Cell Biology and Anatomy and Psychiatry at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary. He is the Executive Director for the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids and the Past President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society. 

Dr. Hill’s research has demonstrated that the brain produces “endocannabinoids” (the brain's own version of molecules like THC from cannabis) in response to stress to help us recover appropriately, and has found that chronic stress compromises how the “endocannabinoid” system functions, identifying this system as target for both the pathophysiology and treatment of stress-related mood and anxiety disorders. He has published over 120 scientific papers in the field, has sat as guest editor for several scientific journals and regularly consults for both industry and governmental agencies. Dr. Hill has been the recipient of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience Young Investigator of the year (2016) and has been elected as a Member in the Royal Society of Canada College of Young Scholars. Dr. Hill has regular engagement with the media and has been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American, Vice News, CBC News and Radio.

Featured Symposium Presentation

Kim Wheatly
Dr. Kim Wheatley

Scheduled May 6, 2021

“Blood Memory” is the notion that we carry ancient memories in the genetic code of our DNA, which can be awakened. We are excited to welcome Kim Wheatly to the inaugural CSRS, who will present on the traditional Indigenous teaching of blood memory.

Kim Wheatley is Turtle Clan and an Anishinaabe (Ojibway) band member of Shawanaga First Nation. Her spirit name is “Shkoden Neegaan Waawaaskonen” which translates to "Head/Leader of the Fireflower”. She is the Mother of 3 daughters and also a proud grandmother of 2 granddaughters & 1 grandson.  Kim is a multi award-winning cultural consultant who utilizes Traditional stories, songs and teachings to generate meaningful relationships based on understanding & respect. Her most recent accomplishments include The Great Lakes Water Walk (2017), Masters Indigenous Games (2018) & Curator Fort York Indigenous Arts Festival (2019).

Public Presentation and Workshops

Dr. Nasreen Khatri
Dr. Nasreen Khatri

Scheduled May 8, 2021

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Nasreen to the inaugural CSRS. Please join us for her special presentation: Mental Health in 2021: The Echo Pandemic

Dr. Nasreen Khatri is an award-winning registered clinical psychologist, gerontologist, neuroscientist and educator at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto. She is also a Scientific Officer of the Centre for Brain Health and Aging Innovation (CABHI) at Baycrest. Dr. Khatri studies how depression impacts the aging brain, the neural link between depression in mid-life and the subsequent onset of dementia and innovates non-drug treatments for depression and anxiety in older adults. 

Dr. Khatri has completed over 350 presentations, including the Bell Let's Talk Day, and has been cited in numerous media outlets, including CTV News, The Wall Street Journal (US), The Daily Mail (UK), and Zoomer Magazine. For a review of her most recent study in older adult caregivers “Group Mental Health Program Boosts Older Adult Caregivers’ Mental Health”, visit this article, external link

Dr. Jeremy Finklestein
Dr. Jeremy Finkelstein

Scheduled May 8, 2021

We are thrilled to have Jeremy Finkelstein join the inaugural CSRS, to demystify mindfulness and the practice of mindfulness meditation in this 90-minute workshop.    

Mindfulness has become a buzz word over the last few years but what exactly is it? In this 90-minute workshop, Jeremy will offer you insight into what mindfulness is and what it is not. Most importantly, you will be learning through engaging in the mindfulness practices to experientially learn how it can be helpful in reducing stress and help cope with anxiety, depression and chronic pain. With this experience and new found knowledge, you will leave with tools that may be beneficial for dealing with the difficulty in your own life.

Jeremy Finkelstein is a Registered Psychotherapist and the founder of Mindful Living, a psychotherapeutic mindfulness-based meditation group for beginners and MBCT/MBSR graduates and a mindfulness-based facilitator for Mindfulness Everyday and The Centre for Mindfulness Studies. He has done facilitator training through the University of Massachusetts medical school and The Centre for Mindfulness Studies. At The Centre, Jeremy facilitates MBSR and leads silent retreats and introductory workshops. With Mindfulness Everyday, Jeremy facilitates The Mindful Edge: Stress Reduction and Life Strategies for Teens.

Diana Brecher
Dr. Diana Brecher

Scheduled May 8, 2021

We are honoured to have our very own Dr. Diana Brecher run this 90-min workshop for trainees on establishing a flourishing relationship with your supervisor – a workshop that mentees and mentors will not want to miss!

Dr. Diana Brecher is a clinical psychologist who has been working at the counselling centre at Ryerson University since 1991 (Clinical Director from 1994 – 2011). She is also adjunct faculty in the Ryerson Psychology Department, teaching graduate-level courses in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and clinical supervision. Dr. Brecher’s long-term goal is to infuse Ryerson’s programming, services and curriculum with principles of resilience and flourishing and to help facilitate a cultural change within the university. Check out her website.