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Dr Paul Forysthe

Lab Director

Dr. Forsythe obtained his PhD in Immunopharmacology at Queen’s University Belfast, UK. He then went on to pursue Post-Doctoral studies at the University of Alberta and McMaster University before becoming a faculty member in the Department of Medicine, McMaster University and Principal Investigator at the McMaster Brain-Body Institute, and Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health.

He joined the faculty of the University of Alberta as the AstraZeneca Canada Inc., Chair in Asthma and Obstructive Lung Disease in July 2021.

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Marie Armbruster

PhD Scholar (2022)

Originating from France, Marie obtained her bachelor in Cellular Biology and Physiology at the University of Strasbourg. She has a dual degree; in cognitive neurosciences and neuroimmunology.

Marie's research revolves around the microbiota-gut-brain axis. She has previously studied the effects of maternal overexposure to bacterial peptidoglycans on the offspring’s brain development and behaviour at the Karolinska Institutet. 

At the Forsythe Lab she is investigating the effects of specific probiotic strains in a post-partum depression mice model. She is also working on understanding the role of neuropeptides in allergy in human cell culture models.


Neha Barve

Summer student (2023)

Neha is a fourth-year undergraduate pharmacology student at the University of Alberta. She is passionate about exploring the connections between different physiological systems and how these connections could potentially contribute to the development of effective treatments for diseases.


At the Forsythe lab, Neha is working on a summer research project that focuses on lung-brain signaling associated with allergic airway disease.


Outside of the lab, she enjoys reading, biking, traveling with her family, and experimenting with video and photo editing.

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Dr Ritu Mann-nuttel

Postdoctoral Researcher (2022)

Ritu completed her undergrad in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Ludwig-Maximilians University and an M.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University to work on the immune-modulatory role of honey during wound healing. Ritu later joined University of Oxford to investigate novel MRSA vaccine antigens.

She continued with a PhD in cellular immunology at the Heinrich-Heine University where she worked on the global transcription factor reservoir in TLR9 activated plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), the role of the AP-1 factor BATF for development and function of pDCs.


Her research in Dr. Forsythe’s lab focuses on the importance of pulmonary neuroendocrine cells (PNECs) for lung health and communication along the lung-brain axis. In addition, she is establishing Nanopore sequencing pipelines for in-house bulk RNA and lung microbiome sequencing.

Besides her interest in lab work, she likes to participate in science outreach events and to explore the beautiful nature in Canada!


Shivani Mandal

Masters student (2022)

Shivani completed her bachelors in Biotechnology from SRMIST. She previously studied two compounds: Rose Bengal (RB) and Thymoquinone, their effect on Tau & Aβ42 expression in Alzheimer’s, oxidative stress and behavioral phenotypes in transgenic fly models.


For her thesis, she studied the role of Bacillus subtilis CU1 probiotic on oxidative stress, memory, mechanosensation, locomotor activity and alteration in dopamine and GABA levels behavior in Parkinson’s induced transgenic C. elegans. 

Shivani is currently working on understanding neuroinflammation in asthma at the Forsythe Lab.


Besides research, she loves arts and crafts, classical singing and hiking!

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