Current Lab Members

Ninoschka D'Souza
PhD Year 1

I graduated with a MSc in Kinesiology and Health Science under Dr. Anthony Scimè, where I studied molecular mechanisms involved in neurodegeneration and aging. In the period following this, as a Research Associate to Dr. Riddell, I worked on pre-clinical drug development research for hypoglycemia prevention in type 1 diabetes, culminating in Phase 1 clinical trial studies currently underway. For my PhD, my research will focus on further pre-clinical investigations of the same drug, a somatostatin type 2 receptor antagonist (SSTR2a), for hypoglycemia prevention in type 2 diabetes. In addition, I will investigate the efficacy of sodium glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors in hypoglycemia prevention in a pediatric population with type 1 diabetes. Outside of the lab, I enjoy travelling, cooking, reading, and trying new foods.

Emily Hoffman
PhD Year 1

I received a BSc in Biology from the University of Guelph and a BA in Kinesiology and Health Science from York University. Joining the Riddell Lab as an undergraduate student, I collaborated with a biotechnology company to develop a protocol for the extraction and quantification of pancreatic hormones. I continued in the lab as a research assistant and now graduate student, investigating somatostatin as a hormonal mediator of counterregulatory dysfunction in type 2 diabetes. To help alleviate the disease burden, I am evaluating the therapeutic potential of somatostatin receptor type-2 antagonists (SSTR2a) for the prevention of hypoglycemia in diabetic individuals. In my free time, I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee and watching Jeopardy.

Maya El-Zahed
MSc Year 1

I obtained a BSc in Kinesiology from McMaster University, where my interest in studying the health and function of skeletal muscle in diseased states was piqued. Joining the Riddell Lab as a graduate student has given me the opportunity to investigate how muscle physiology differs in the skeletal muscle of individuals with type 1 diabetes. My research currently aims to improve our understanding of how certain metabolic molecular factors function in animal models of type 1 diabetes. During my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, reading, and hanging out with loved ones.

Mariya Popkov
Undergraduate Honours Thesis

I am currently completing a BSc Honours in Kinesiology and Health Science at York University. For my honours thesis, I am examining hypoglycemia prevention in animal models of type 2 diabetes, beginning with characterizing the effect of ZT-01, an SSTR2a antagonist, on hormone responses in the presence and absence of insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Outside of school, I appreciate spending time with family and friends outdoors, reading, and painting. I also enjoy living an active lifestyle, involving hiking, biking, and lane swimming.

Sara Atherley
Independent Study

I am currently completing a BSc Honours in Biology at York University. For my independent study, I am investigating hypoglycemia prevention in type 2 diabetes, specifically through dose de-escalation studies of novel therapeutic targets to find the minimum effective dose in healthy and diabetic rodent models. In my spare time, I enjoy figure skating, jogging, soccer, and travelling.

Sabrina Champsi
Independent Study

I am currently completing a BSc Honours in Biology in the Biomedical Science stream at York University. For my independent study, I am exploring the possible effects of the somatostatin receptor antagonist, ZT-01, on liver glycogen metabolism in type 2 diabetes. Specifically, I am investigating the activity of gluconeogenic enzymes, G6Pase and PEPCK, along with glycogen content in the liver of rodents with type 2 diabetes treated with and without a somatostatin inhibitor. In my free time, I enjoy walking my dog, jogging, and spending time with family and friends.

Christopher Yeung
Independent Study

I am currently in the process of completing a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and Health Science and Music at York University. As a sports fanatic, I am particularly interested in factors that impact blood glucose levels during exercise. My research includes conducting statistical analyses on datasets regarding interstitial blood glucose levels in individuals with and without type 1 diabetes. Outside of academia, I have a deep passion for the arts, especially playing piano.