School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Joe Nashed

Neuroscience, Ph.D

Joe Nashed

Joe Nashed at the Society of Neuroscience in Washington DC

Joe Nashed (Neuroscience) chose a unique career path

By Amelia Hamfelt

December 2014


A participant in the KINARM exoskeleton at the Hotel Dieu Lab​ (photo courtesy of Garrett Elliot)

If someone were to ask you: what is the greatest machine ever created? What would be your response? I bet Joe Nashed’s answer will surprise you.

“The human body is the single greatest machine,” says Joe. “The brain is incredibly complex. The way we are able to continuously integrate information, while making decisions and performing actions simultaneously, is a feat not yet fully understood.”

Joe recently completed his PhD under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Scott at the Centre for Neuroscience Studies. His doctorate work focused on investigating the neural pathways between sensory input and smart motor reactions. More specifically, utilizing top of the line technology, such as the human KINARM exoskeleton lab, Joe studied upper limb sensorimotor function to understand how the brain guides complex movements.  The success of his PhD has lead to his current fellowship in the field of translational stroke research.

Yet, despite the seamless appearance of his transition to post-doctoral life, Joe did not have a career mapped out in his mind when he first became a student at Queen’s. As an undergraduate, he studied electrical and computer engineering; then as a master’s student, he worked in the rehabilitation sciences. At every step in his academic career, Joe chose a unique path, motivated by his singular desire to uncover the unknown.

“Nothing is more rewarding than discovering something new and having others recognize the novelty of your discovery,” says Joe. “ I would not trade my academic path for anything.”

Joe feels so passionately about the opportunities postgraduate work offers, he uniformly advocates its pursuit.

“If you have the opportunity to pursue graduate work, you should,” says Joe. “Your time as a graduate student will teach you how to fail; how to work independently; and how to take criticism. These are all skills that are invaluable to any career.”

If anyone were to live by his own advice, Joe would be the person.  He seized every educational opportunity in his nearly ten-year career at Queen’s. In consequence he now enters the working world with a wealth of knowledge, a unique vision and a passion to push the boundaries of what can be known.