Department of Psychology

Department of


Department of


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Cognition in Psychological Disorders Lab Logo
Christopher R. Bowie, PHD
Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry
Queen's University

Research Team

Lab Director

Christopher Bowie

Christopher Bowie, PhD, C.Psych.

Dr. Bowie is a clinical psychologist and Professor in the departments of psychology and psychiatry at Queen’s University.  He primarily studies neurocognition and functional disability in severe mental disorders like schizophrenia and mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. Neurocognition refers to the functions of the brain that allow us to perceive and process information and guide our actions. When we talk about attention, memory and problem solving, we are referring to neurocognitive functions. Functional disability refers to difficulties performing in areas of life such as academics, working, living independently, and socializing with others.

Graduate Students

Melissa Milanovic

Melissa Milanovic: Fourth Year PhD Student

Melissa graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.Sc. (Hon.) in Psychology and minor in Neuroscience. During her undergraduate studies she conducted a thesis using an animal model to investigate the role of the nicotinic cholinergic system in learning visuospatial associations. Melissa’s Master’s research examined the role of self-efficacy in the deployment of functional skills in everyday life for individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). In her PhD thesis, Melissa is investigating factors involved in the motivation to engage in cognitive remediation for MDD.

Mashal Haque: Fourth Year PhD Student

Mashal completed her B.Sc. (Hon.) in Psychology at Queen’s University. Broadly, she is interested in the determinants of everyday functioning, including cognition and social cognition, in individuals with severe mental illness. For her undergraduate thesis project, Mashal examined the nonverbal cues used to make social judgements using eye-tracking methodology. During her Master's, she studied psychotic-like experiences in the general population. Through her Ph.D. dissertation, Mashal is investigating methods of assessing strategy use in cognitive remediation therapy.

Tanya Tran: Third Year PhD Student

Tanya completed her B.Sc. (Hon.) in Psychology at Queen’s University. Her research interests pertain to the characterization of motivation impairments in psychopathology and their relationships with psychosocial functioning. She seeks to measure motivation with bio-behavioural methods. For her Master's thesis, she drew from translational affective neuroscience and adapted experimental tasks of motivation to expend physical and cognitive effort. These tasks were tested in models of functioning in major depressive disorder. Her dissertation will seek to expand on this work in early psychosis.

Stephanie Woolridge: First Year PhD Student

Stephanie graduated with a B.A. (Hon.) in the department of Psychology at Queen’s University with a minor in sociology. She completed her undergraduate Honours thesis in the CPD lab, focusing on attentional bias in depression. In this study, Stephanie developed a novel training paradigm which utilized eye-tracking technology to reduce the commonly held bias in depression to preferentially focus one’s attention on negative information. As a Master’s student, Stephanie plans to continue to study cognitive biases in depression, with a particular interest in treatment-focused research. In the coming years, she hopes to extend her research to explore neurocognitive and social cognitive enhancement in psychosis.

Chelsea Wood-Ross

Chelsea Wood-Ross: Second Year MSc Student

Chelsea graduated from Queen’s University with a B.Sc (Hon.) in Psychology. Chelsea completed her undergraduate thesis in the CPD lab where she studied avoidance in major depressive disorder. In this study, Chelsea used EEG and developed a game that asked individuals to select their desired difficulty level as a way to examine how individuals with major depressive disorder avoid challenging tasks. Chelsea is interested in using experimental research to study cognitive impairments in major depression and what features of depression may act as barriers to treatment and daily functioning. 

Clinical Research Associate

Tammy Vanrooy

Tammy Vanrooy

After graduating from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario with a B.A. Criminology (Hon.) with a concentration in Law in 2001, Tammy worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist with Addictions and Mental Health Services - KFL&A in Kingston, Ontario from 2001-2016.  She has a wealth of experience in vocational program development, direct client service delivery, and community outreach.  Tammy was responsible for the assessment of client needs and developing individualized plans to assist with their psychosocial and vocational rehabilitation, and community integration.

As a mental health professional, Tammy has worked with a broad range of community partners, mental health service providers, educational institutions, hospitals, employers, and other supports within the community to improve client care.  She continues to foster greater collaboration amongst mental health professionals and community partners to advance community and national mental health initiatives and to promote research that will lead to innovation and the development of leading-edge best practices aimed at improving mental health care.

Peer Support

Christopher F.

Christopher F enjoys to write and loves to speak for Dr. Bowie's classes at Queen's University. At the lab, Christopher is a peer mentor for those afflicted with mental illness. He has also been a co-facilitator for the BOOST (Be Outspoken and Overcome Stigmatizing Thoughts) program for the past several years.


Kenzie Bender

Kenzie Bender graduated from Queen’s University with a B.A. (Hon.) in Psychology and is currently completing a Master's in Counselling Psychology online with Yorkville University. She has worked in the field of clinical psychological research for six years as a lab coordinator, study coordinator, participant recruiter, and lab psychometrist. As a psychometrist at the CPD Lab, Kenzie is responsible for recruiting participants, running cognitive assessments, overseeing data entry, and creating a comfortable and safe environment for participants.

Undergraduate Thesis Students

Natasha Barich

Natasha Barich is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) in Psychology, she has enjoyed the research she has been a part of in the lab as a Research Assistant and is very excited to begin her undergraduate thesis under Dr. Bowie’s supervision. Some of her research interests include the genetic and environmental predispositions influencing the onset of psychosis, cognitive implications of psychosis, as well as looking at the treatment methods for improving cognition in psychosis and depression, and looking at early intervention in severe mental illness. Natasha looks forward to gaining knowledge, experience, and assisting with research efforts within the CPD lab.

Mara Dempsey is in her final year of the Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) in Psychology and English and is also completing The Certificate of Sexual and Gender Diversity at Queen's University. Mara has been a research assistant in several laboratories, including The Adult Development Laboratory at The University of Toronto and The Mood Research Laboratory at Queen's. She is currently a directed laboratory student in The Sexuality and Gender Laboratory and an honours thesis student in The CPD Lab, where she has assisted with research for the past two years. Mara's undergraduate thesis will be examining the effect of monetary reward on theory of mind performance in schizophrenia. She plans to direct her academic career toward becoming a clinical psychologist with a focus on schizophrenia and major depressive disorder research that emphasizes improving functional outcomes.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Claire Michaud is in her third year of a Bachelor of Science (Hon.) in Life Sciences with a minor in Psychology. Claire is excited to begin volunteering with the CPD lab and is keen on learning more about the processes of cognitive remediation and recovery in psychological disorders. Claire looks forward to assisting the research team with its projects and acquiring knowledge and experience while doing so.

Devyn Whitaker is in her third year of a Bachelor of Science (Hon.) in Psychology. This is her first year volunteering for the CPD lab and is very excited to further explore her research interests. Some of her research interests include how neurocognitive functions differ in those with severe mental illness. Devyn is looking forward to gaining valuable research experience as well as assisting others with their research in the CPD lab.

Emma Keshen is in her second year of her Bachelor of Science (Hon.) in Life Sciences. She is a volunteer research assistant at the CPD Lab. Emma is interested in the genetics of psychological disorders and is looking forward to learning about different treatment techniques.

Gabe Elias is in his 3rd year of a Bachelor of Science (Hon.) in Psychology. His research interests are very broad, but they include: the neurocognitive mechanisms of depression; the acute and chronic effects of marijuana, as well as its influence on neurocognition, depression, and schizophrenia; and the cognitive neuroscience of memory.

Kaela Amorim is in her third year of a Bachelor of Science (Hon.) in Psychology and is looking forward to volunteering as a RA in the CPD lab this upcoming year. Her interests include behavioural neuroscience and cognitive psychology, along with developmental psychology. She is looking forward to learning skills that will allow her to effectively complete clinical research in the future, while also making meaningful contributions to the lab.

Laura Peters is in her third year completing a Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) in Psychology. Laura is very excited to begin volunteering in the CPD lab and to be exposed directly to the scientific research process as pertains to clinical psychology. She is interested in identifying the cognitive impairment that accompanies severe mental disorders, understanding the ways by which this cognitive impairment hinders quality of life, and determining how treatment can target and improve cognitive functioning. Laura is looking forward to developing new skills, knowledge, and contributing to innovative research within the CPD Lab.

Lindsay Simourd is a fourth year student working towards her Bachelor of Science (Hon.) in Psychology with a minor in Biology. She has been a research assistant in the CPD lab since her second year at Queen’s and is excited to continue contributing to ongoing research efforts. Lindsay hopes to someday improve the accessibility of treatment for both adults and youth with mental illness. Some of her research interests include the role of coping mechanisms on mental illness prognosis, and how neurocognition influences daily functioning and treatment response in individuals with severe mental illness.

Minha Haque is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Science (Hon.) in Life Sciences. This is her third year in the CPD Lab as a research assistant and has enjoyed every minute of it. She is interested in learning more about cognitive remediation and ways to improve functional abilities in people with different psychological disorders such as Schizophrenia and Major Depressive Disorder.

Reem Toubache is a fifth year student in the Bachelor of Science (Hon.) program majoring in Psychology. She got started in the CPD lab as a SWEP student and is excited to continue her involvement in the lab as a Research Assistant. Some of her research interests include investigating treatments that target anhedonia in depression, improving social cognition in psychosis, increasing motivation to engage in treatment in depression and looking into environmental factors that contribute to treatment-resistant depression.

Savie Edirisinghe is in her second year of a Bachelor of Science (Hon.) in Psychology. She is very enthusiastic about the opportunity to be a research assistant in the CPD Lab. Her interest is in Clinical Psychology, with a special interest in the study and treatment of psychological disorders, and the impacts of stigma. She is very excited to gain experience and knowledge, assist with research, and have the chance to better understand the effects of mental disorders on cognition.

Susan Tang is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Science (Hon.) in Life Sciences with a Psychology minor. She is interested in the world of research in the field of psychology, and very excited to be working with the CPD lab. Susan is striving for a career in healthcare, and is looking forward to contributing to the understanding of psychological disorders as we ultimately work towards effective treatment interventions.

Tarindi Welikala is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Science (Hon.) in Psychology. In entering her third year as a research assistant, she is excited to take on a more active role in the research process. She is interested in research looking at the cognitive processes that are involved in schizophrenia and major depressive disorder, as well as potential treatments that could lead to improvements in cognitive functioning. She hopes that her work in the lab will allow her to apply her theoretical knowledge, as well as further develop her understanding of, and her passion for the clinical psychology field.

CPD Lab Alumni

Graduate Students

Melinda Kinney

Melinda Kinney, MSc, 2019

Melinda completed her B.Sc. (Hon.) at the University of Toronto as a psychology specialist and was drawn to the work of the CPD lab through serving as a clinical interventionist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. There, she facilitated Cognitive Remediation and a novel brain stimulation technique on a study that aims to prevent cognitive decline among individuals with mild cognitive impairment and a history of depression. Previously, Melinda was involved in research at Northwestern University that examined the trajectory of client change in psychotherapy, and post-secondary curriculum design research at the Michener Institute for Education. Melinda hopes to further our understanding of cognitive processes in mood disorders and their impact on other areas of functioning, as well as ways to optimize the use of cognitive remediation with this population.

Mike Best

Mike Best, PhD, 2018

Mike graduated with a B.Sc. (Hon.) in the department of Psychology at Queen’s University and is interested in understanding and improving social functioning for people with psychosis. Mike’s Master’s research examined neurophysiological biases to hearing the speech of someone with schizophrenia, and uncovered an early processing bias that may be related to the social exclusion that many people with schizophrenia face. In addition to his Master’s research, Mike has been involved in research to improve the understanding and measurement of stigmatizing attitudes towards schizophrenia, and he developed a mental health stigma reduction program for student leaders at Queen’s. Currently, Mike is using electroencephalographic (EEG) techniques for two lines of research: 1) to examine neurophysiological changes that occur after people with mental illness engage in a cognitive training program; and 2) to examine the neurophysiological effects that being socially excluded has on people with psychosis.

Michael Grossman

Michael Grossman, PhD, 2018

Michael is a graduate of the Clinical Psychology program. Prior to completing his PhD, Michael pursued a Master’s degree at the University of Toronto in Developmental Psychology and Education. His clinical and research interests are broadly focused on early intervention in severe mental illness. For his PhD thesis, Michael examined factors underlying social cognition in first episode psychosis to identify relevant treatment targets for improving functional outcomes in the early stages of illness. Michael is currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the CBT for Psychosis (CBTp) Service at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, where he is studying mechanisms of change in CBTp to better understand who benefits most from this treatment and why.

Katherine Holshausen

Katherine Holshausen, PhD, 2017

Katherine is recent graduate student from the Clinical Psychology program. For her Master’s thesis, Katherine and Dr. Bowie developed and evaluated a treatment for thought disorder entitled Structured Therapy for the Enhancement of Purposeful Speech (STEPS). For her doctoral thesis, Katherine focused on humour appreciation and its relation to depressive symptomatology among individuals with unipolar depression. She completed her post-doctoral residency at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Katherine is now a clinical psychologist (in supervised practice) at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton working in the Borderline Personality Disorders Clinic where she works as a clinician providing Standard Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, engages in program evaluation, and does research in trauma, emotion dysregulation, and psychosis.

Maya Gupta

Maya Gupta, PhD, 2016

Maya completed her MSc in the CPD lab while studying cognition and functioning in treatment resistant depression. For her PhD, she examined the role of family functioning on recovery in early psychosis. After completing her doctoral residency program at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton, Maya took a position as psychologist with the PEPP Early Psychosis Intervention program in London, ON.

Former Research Assistants

Andrew Whiteman, Gillian MacFarlane, Kyra McGovern, Erica Zilli, Caroline Uchida, Emma Bassett, Shannon Xavier, Stephanie Taillefer, Nathalie Cote, Sarah Bacon, Maeve Wickham, Kaely Boyd, Mike Levi. Bailey Stewart, Morgan Todd, Melissa Rajala, Teal Mackintosh, Lisa Gou, Lauren David, Laura Stefanik, Sam Yoon, Garret Duncan, Theresa Russell, Sarah Crowe, Clare Cullen, Shelley Grady, Hanneke Smallenbroek, Erin Meiklejohn, Sarah Oullette, Kasley Killam, Michelle McCowan, Graham Hutchings, Rebecca Hansford, Cindy Law, Lexy Schimmel, Kirsten Poole, Kaitlin Wood, Emilie Brent, Kate Jackson, Jenny Rigby, Morgan Sherrer, Sandra Krause, Lauren Bawks, Jessica Barr, Jenn Thunem, Dan Gale, Heather Brooks, Sasha Usyatynsky, Vanessa Montemarano, Chelsea Wood-Ross, Rebecca Ferguson, Alex Wolfer, Garret Cree, Alex Martin, Mariana Borsuk-Gudz, Marnie Cornett, Jordana Waserman, Talia Leibovitz, Lauren Harper, Tessa Rootenberg, Ella van Beers, Mandy Hagen, Sidney Lichtenstein, Jessie Eriksen, Lilian Laferriere