Goal / Mission Statement

NINET is a lab committed to facilitating the development and growth of the the field of Neurostimulation. Our focus is on alleviating the suffering of those afflicted with severe forms of mental disorders. By uniting the efforts of clinical practice and technical research, NINET provides an opportunity of a safer and more effective treatment for those living with mental disorders.


Fidel Vila-Rodriguez
Director of NINET

Dr. Vila-Rodriguez is a Psychiatrist, a Clinical Assistant Professor, and a Director for the Schizophrenia Program within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia (UBC)

Dr. Vila-Rodriguez obtained his Medical Degree from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, followed by a Fellowship at the Saint John of God Mental Health Services focusing on Psychiatry and Schizophrenia. After his first Fellowship, Dr. Vila-Rodriguez obtained a Masters in Neuroscience from the Universitat de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain. After moving to Canada, Dr. Vila-Rodriguez completed a Fellowship within the British Columbia Mental Health and Addiction Services focusing on Severe Mental Disorders as well as a Fellowship at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada at the University of British Columbia focusing on Psychiatry.

Dr. Vila-Rodriguez has received numerous honours and recognitions for his tremendous hard work and contributions, such as: The George Davidson Scholarship, The Significant Contribution of Research UBC award, and the Association of Chairs of Psychiatry of Canada Annual Research Award. As a researcher, Dr. Vila-Rodriguez has received funding and recognition for this work in a wide range of domains including Depressive Disorders, Schizophrenia, and Mental Disorders.

Dr. Vila-Rodriguez’s research has been supported by CIHR, Brain Canada, American Psychiatric Association Foundation, Providence Health Care Foundation, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and many more. Grant funding has allowed the NINET lab to interrogate critical clinical-research questions that aim at having an immediate and positive translational potential to clinical practice and improving care of people suffering  Severe Mental Disorders.

Annie Kuan
Research Coordinator

Annie has over two decades of experience with the UBC Psychiatry Department as a Research Coordinator / Research Assistant. By working with various Psychiatry researchers, clinicians, patients, and trainees, Annie has gained a wide understanding of multiple Psychiatric areas, including: Depression, Reproductive Mental Health, Schizophrenia, Neuropsychiatry, Bipolar Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Annie joined NINET in the summer of 2014 as the Research Coordinator and looks forward to contributing to the NINET Lab’s progression towards its goals.

Christine Dobek
Research Assistant  

Education History:

M.Sc., Neuroscience, Queen’s University
B.Sc., Psychology, University of Alberta

Christine received a Master’s Degree in Neuroscience investigating Neuropsychology with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) from Queen’s University in 2013. Upon graduating, Christine joined NINET in 2013 as the first hire to be a Research Assistant. Christine currently coordinates the TMS studies, administers Neuropsychological tests, as well as conducts TMS treatments.

Adam Dipinto
Research Assistant

Education History:

B.Sc., General Science, University of Lethbridge

Adam received a General Science Degree from the University of Lethbridge in 2012. After graduating, Adam had the opportunity to work at the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN) in Lethbridge as a Research Assistant for Dr. Cross within the MRI Lab. Looking for a change of scenery, Adam moved out to British Columbia and joined NINET in 2014 as a Research Assistant. Adam currently focuses on the Neuroimaging aspects of the lab while conducting TMS treatments.

Adelena Leon
Research Assistant

Education History:

B.Sc., Integrated Science, University of British Columbia

Adelena received her Integrated Science Degree from the University of British Columbia in 2012. Continuing her directed studies work, she became a project leader at the Visual Cognition Lab at UBC. Combined with her interest in Visual Analytics, her focus was exploratory data analysis and visual representations of information.

Wanting to focus on healthcare research, she joined NINET in 2013. She currently focuses on data base creation, data quality, and analysis within multiple projects. She will soon be conducting tDCS treatments for an upcoming project.

Vanessa Fong
Research Assistant

Education History:

M.Sc., Psychology, University of London
B.Sc. (Honours), Psychology & Biology, University of Toronto

Vanessa received her Masters Degree from the University of London, completing her dissertation on neurocognitive profiles of children with behavioural/conduct disorders.

In the past, she has worked as a Clinical Research Assistant at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and at the Anna Freud Centre in London conducting research on various mental health disorders in young children, parents and families.

Blair Jovellar
Research Assistant  

Education History:

M.Sc., Nursing – Major in Psychiatric Nursing, Cebu Normal University
B.Sc., Nursing, Cebu Normal University

Blair will soon start her project on an ECT model in rodents with Dr. Tim Murphy as Principal Supervisor and Dr. Fidel Vila-Rodriguez as Co-Supervisor. She will conduct various experiments involving voltage-sensitive dye imaging, immunohistochemistry, and other techniques to elucidate the mechanism and effects of ECT from the level of synapses to cortical circuits.

Previously, she has worked in the lab of Dr. Shernaz X. Bamji for a year and a half and has contributed to three projects. Her experiments and analyses involves transmembrane proteins and how they mediate synapse formation, elimination, and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity — cellular correlates of memory and learning.

In the NINET Lab, she has been conducting TMS treatments, among others.

Aman Indar Singh
Research Assistant

Education History:

MB BCh BAO (NUI), LRCSI, LRCPI, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Medical University of Bahrain
B.A., Political Science, University of British Columbia

Aman received a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia in 2006. In 2007, he was accepted into RCSI’s Bahrain campus and pursued an education in medicine. After graduation, he returned to Vancouver and in 2014 joined NINET as a Research Assistant in ECT research. Concurrently, he has been working as a Clinical Trainee in different medical departments at UBC and Vancouver General Hospital and hopes to specialize in Psychiatry.


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