Principal Investigator


Dr. Shannon Bainbridge

Shannon Bainbridge is an associate professor in the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, with cross appointment to the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and affiliate investigator status at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI). She obtained her Ph.D. from Queen's University (Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology) with a dissertation that focused on the effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy. Professor Bainbridge went on to complete two post-doctoral fellowships, the first at Magee-Womens Research Institute (Pittsburgh, PA) and the second at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto, ON). In both fellowships her research examined how different biological and genetic influences affect early placental development in the context of both healthy and pathological pregnancies. In 2011, Dr. Bainbridge established the Placenta Lab at the University of Ottawa. Her research program focuses on understanding the contributing role of the placenta to two common and debilitating conditions of pregnancy: preeclampsia and intrauterine fetal growth restriction (IUGR). 



Dr. Samantha Benton

Samantha is a Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Bainbridge. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in the Reproductive and Developmental Sciences program (2014). Her research interests include understanding the molecular mechanisms of placental dysfunction in preeclampsia and IUGR. She was awarded the Molly Towell Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2015. 


PhD Students

Pascale Robineau-Charette

Pascale is a PhD candidate in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the faculty of Medicine of the University of Ottawa. She has a strong interest in reproductive immunology, embryology and placental dysfunction. She’s currently investigating factors that modulate immune cell populations at the maternal-fetal interface, and how these changes might lead to placental dysfunction that can alter pregnancy outcome. Outside of the lab, she is a competitive ultimate player and a coffee and craft beer lover.

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Fahmida Jahan

Fahmida completed her Masters from Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, University of Manitoba. She received an honorary Major Student Award (Manitoba Medical Service Foundation Award) and Heart and Stroke Foundation Master Award from the University for excellence in research. She also pursued her research career as a scientific staff in the prestigious Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich). Her current research interest is investigating NAD+ metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction in the disease state of Preeclampsia. Outside research she likes listening to music and traveling.


Graduate Students


Anika Mukherjee

Anika is currently in her 2nd year in the Masters of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program at the University of Ottawa. She holds a BSc. in Biomedical Sciences from uOttawa where she did her honours project with the Bainbridge lab as well. Her current thesis project is to investigate whether computer vision can be used to automate routine image analysis of placentas. She is interested in reproductive medicine and everything about it that can be automated. Outside of research, Anika is passionate about machine learning and enjoys spending downtime making art and travelling.   


Philip Marshall

Philip is a Master’s student who recently graduated with a bachelor of science in chemistry from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. For his senior year research project he focused on the synthesis of complex phthalide-containing products via aromatic Diels-Alder reactions. During the summer he spent his time working at the Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Center Institute of Research and Development writing a papers for publication on the data analysis of cognitive stability for participants in the CanDrive Cohort study and systematic reviews of conditional licensing and madatory reporting. He also facilitated research projects for the Rehabilitation Center, including preparing patients for admission from the acute care unit to the rehabilitation in-patient setting. At the Bainbridge Lab, Philip focuses on the study of preeclampsia and cellular metabolism.



Jeremiah Gaudet

Jeremiah has been Dr. Bainbridge's technician since 2012. He holds an Honours B.Sc with specialization in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa. His role is to ensure the smooth day to day operation of the lab and to help students succeed with their work. Jeremiah's expertise include: cell/tissue culture, biological assays, sample processing, Western-Blots, qPCR, immunohistochemistry and statistical analysis. Aside from the lab, Jeremiah is passionate about sports such as hockey, floorball, baseball and ultimate frisbee. 


Undergraduate Students

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Benjamin McLeod

Benjamin is an undergraduate student slated to graduate in December of 2018. He is currently finishing an Honours Bachelor degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Benjamin's honours project concentrated on assisting in the development of an immunohistochemical panel capable of differentiating the subgroups of Preeclampsia. He hopes to pursue a Masters Degree focused on Lyme Disease treatment. Outside the lab, Benjamin enjoys swimming, studying the Bible, and participating in church-related outreach and activities. 


Michal Leckie

Michal is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto studying Physiology and Philosophy. She began working at the Placenta Lab in the summer of 2017. She is working on various research projects in the lab, including studying the effects on angiogenesis of SIRT1 knock down in the invading cells of the placenta, and helping to validate a pathology rubric for placenta evaluations. When she is not studying physiology, she does mountain bike racing, is involved in environmental activism at U of T (advocating for fossil fuel divestment, in particular), and cooks a lot of tofu chocolate pie. 

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Sonia Dancey

Sonia is a third-year undergraduate student in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Sonia started volunteering with the Placenta Lab in the summer of 2018 and is looking forward to continuing to work on various projects in the lab and participating in outreach activities. Outside of the lab, Sonia enjoys working at the Health Sciences Mentoring Centre, dancing and searching for the best shawarma in the city.