Meet Our Team
The Cardiovascular Imaging Network at Queen’s, including members of the Echo Lab at the Kingston General Hospital, is made up of a diversely skilled team of faculty, fellows, students, research staff, administrative staff, and technical staff. (Left to right: Paul Ewart, Hanane Benbarkat, Kiera Liblik, Laura Mantella, Olivia Yau, Kayla Colledanchise, Devon Cole, Christie Boswell-Patterson, Marie-France Hétu, Julia Herr, Amer Johri.)
Dr. Amer M. Johri, MD MSc FRCPC FASE (Director of CINQ)
Dr. Amer Johri is a member of the echocardiography group at Queen’s University and the Director of CINQ. He arrived after completing a research/clinical fellowship in imaging at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA under the supervision of Drs. M.H. Picard, J. Hung, and J. Passeri. His clinical interests are in 3D echocardiography, quality control in the echo lab, and interventional echocardiography. He also has extensive experience in echo-guided CRT optimization and TEE guided percutaneous aortic valve replacement.
Marie-France Hétu, PhD (Research Associate, CINQ Centre Manager)
Dr. Marie-France Hétu is responsible for developing, administering, and managing all research projects at CINQ. She is the project leader, research coordinator, and image analyst for the ECoM trial. She acts as the point of contact for students, Health Canada, REB, and Industry. Having worked for PARTEQ Innovations and Green Centre Canada as a Research Analyst, she has experience in commercialization. She has expertise in 3D carotid plaque quantification, protocol development, data management and statistical analysis. She holds an MSc and a PhD from Queen’s University in Molecular Biology.
(613) 549-6666 ext. 8174
Julia Herr, MSc (Research Coordinator)
Julia Herr is a Research Coordinator for the ECoM clinical trial and the TAVI-Factor study. Her areas of expertise include plaque quantification and greyscale image analysis of carotid ultrasound images. She is also the web designer and administrator for the CINQ Lab website, editor for POCUS Journal, and the CINQ Lab’s medical illustrator.
(613) 549-6666 ext. 8175
Nicholas Grubic (Research Assistant)
Nicholas Grubic is a Research Assistant at CINQ. Nicholas’ undergraduate thesis focused on analyzing pulmonary hemodynamics in competitive athletes using stress echocardiography. He is now actively involved in projects surrounding cardiovascular pre-participation screening of athletes led by both Queen’s University and the CINQ lab.
Dr. Salwa Nihal (Research Assistant)
Dr. Salwa Nihal graduated and practiced as a medical doctor overseas but have adopted Kingston as her home. Due to her experience in medical teaching and research, she has now taken steps to build a career in medical education and research. She did her Master’s degree in Human Physiology (2012) and after completion of her second Master’s degree in Anatomical Sciences from Queen’s University (2017), joined CINQ as a Research Assistant. Dr. Nihal’s research interests lie in the development of online modules for Cardiac and Lung Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) for Medical Schools. She is the author of first two chapters of E-learning POCUS modules for novel users currently housed on the ASE (American Society of Echocardiography) official website. She has successfully conducted a study for testing the POCUS modules with the medical students at Queen’s and have recently received the SEAMO grant in order to continue this project. She is also the creator of CINQ Lab you tube channel as well as the producer for all the videos available till date.
Laura Mantella, MSc (MD/PhD Student)
Laura Mantella is an MD/PhD student at Queen’s University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Genetics from McMaster University in 2014. She also holds a Master of Science in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Toronto, where she studied the role of long non-coding RNA in aortic aneurysm formation. Laura’s research in the CINQ Lab involves the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound to link carotid plaque neovascularization with severity of coronary atherosclerosis and cardiac outcome.
Christie Boswell-Patterson, BSc (MSc Student)
Christie is a MSc student in the Experimental Medicine program through the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences. She received her BScH in Life Sciences from Queen’s, with a specialization in Cardiorespiratory Sciences. Christie’s research at CINQ began as a fourth-year research project, which she has continued in her master’s, working to model the pathological neovascularization found in vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques for ultrasound imaging and testing contrast agents.
Orli Chapman (MSc Student)
Orli is a MSc student in the Anatomical Sciences program through the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences. Orli's research project aims at determining if information given by an ultrasound image corresponds to actual tissue types in an atherosclerotic plaque specimen (composition).
Reem Alzafiri (MSc Student)
Undergraduate Thesis Students
Abigail Kearney (499 Student - DBMS)
Hannah Holmes (499 Student - DBMS)
Michaela Spence (499 Student - DBMS)
Jordan Harry (499 Student - DBMS)
Echocardiography Fellows and Internal Medicine Residents
Michael Cenkowski, MD (Clinical Echo Fellow)
Luke Wu, MD (Internal Medicine Resident)
Development of Lung POCUS modules for teaching in medical school.
Daniel Yoo, MD (Internal Medicine Resident)
Cardiovascular disease in HIV population.