Lab Managers

Linda Ellis & Wayne Yu

Linda and Wayne have both been in the lab for over 20 years each (!) and share lab administration and day-to-day running of the lab. Wayne has developed several protocols and assays for measuring hormones and cytokines, and is kept busy running his assays for both the lab and other research labs across North America, while Linda develops protocols to measure messenger RNA and proteins in tissue. They both enjoy the variety of challenges that is part of a busy lab, and the fun that is being part of the Weinberg Lab family.







Research Associates

Charlis Raineki, PhD

Charlis Raineki
Dr. Charlis Raineki has more than 15 years of experience using animal models of early-life experiences, beginning with his graduate studies in Brazil (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul) and continuing as a postdoctoral fellow in the United States (University of Oklahoma and Nathan S. Kline Institute/New York University). Dr. Raineki’s work focuses on understanding how early-life experiences can positively or negatively influence development and produce long-term changes in neural, hormonal and behavioral systems. For the last 8 years, he has specifically focused on the relationship between adverse early-life experiences and increased predispositions for developing psychopathologies such as depression and anxiety.

Charlis joined Dr. Weinberg’s laboratory in 2011 with the goal of characterizing how stressful experiences during infancy and adolescence can enhance the vulnerability to later mental illness within an animal model of prenatal alcohol exposure. (Click here to see Charlis's publications on Google Scholar).





Post Docs

Tamara Bodnar, PhD


I’m currently a postdoc in the Weinberg lab. My research examines the role of the immune system in shaping early brain development, as well as the effects of adverse early-life environments on immune function in later life. Specifically, I am examining whether changes in the early environment, such as prenatal exposure to ethanol, results in a pro-inflammatory bias that alters normal development and leaves the organism vulnerable to immune disorders in adulthood.

Prior to joining the lab I completed a B.Sc. in Cell Biology and Genetics and a B.A. in French from the University of British Columbia.






Graduate Students

Parker Holman, MS, MSEd

Parker Holman
I’m currently a PhD candidate in the lab. My research focuses on investigating social behavior and its underlying neurobiology during the key developmental period of adolescence. Specifically, I’m interested in understanding the role of oxytocin and vasopressin - two proteins produced in the hypothalamus - in mediating social behavior development, especially in the context of prenatal alcohol exposure.

I previously completed a MS in Zoology - Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Oklahoma and a MSEd in Secondary Science Education from Lehman College at the City University of New York. Prior to starting in the lab, I taught high school science in NYC for several years, and I’m still very interested in science education.







Research Assistants

Amanda Chao, BSc

I started in the Weinberg lab as a Directed Studies student in the summer of 2016.  My project involved investigating the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure and early-life adversity on the adolescent development of social behaviour in rats. I continued working in the lab as a Work Learn student until I graduated with my BSc in Integrated Sciences (Pathophysiology and Behavioural Neuroscience), in May 2018. Now, I work as a Research Assistant helping out with our Adult Health Study. In this study we are investigating the role of the immune system on adult health and daily life activities of individuals with FASD.

Outside of work, I love discovering new music, going to concerts, (film) photography, hiking, and watching tv/movies!






Nirmal, BSc

I started at the lab as a volunteer in September 2017 and transitioned into WorkLearn in May 2018. I've been helping with measuring stress hormones (cortisol and DHEA) in hair obtained from individuals exposed to stressors pre/post natally. This will help us to understand what is happening at the biological level so that we may explore possible interventions. I've also been analyzing microglia in the dorsal hippocampus of male rats to understand how PAE combined with early-life adversity impacts immune function in adulthood. Soon, I will be helping out with a new study involving adults with FASD to better understand the effects of PAE on brain development.

I love discovering new trails to hike, meditative yoga, running outdoors, and everything music-related, from singing to playing classical percussion instruments!



Srishti, BSc

I am a 4th year student pursuing a dual degree with a Bachelor of Science in Behavioural Neuroscience and a Master of Management at University of British Columbia. I began volunteering at the lab in my second year and went on to complete two research projects of my own. My first project looked at the effects of the drug minocycline on spatial performance, following prenatal alcohol exposure. The second project I analyzed microglia in the hippocampus following both prenatal alcohol exposure and early life adversity. I am currently a Work Learn Student at the lab, helping out with various projects and further building my skills and experience in FASD research.

Outside of academics and research I am passionate about dance and spend my time either thinking about or practicing various dance styles!