Principal Investigator

Xiaoqian Chai, Ph.D.  

Assistant Professor

Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery

McGill University

Email: xiaoqian.chai [at]

Graduate Students

Romke Hannema  

Email: romke.hannema [at]

Though I have lived in multiple countries throughout my life, I am originally Dutch. I did my Undergraduate’s Degree in the Netherlands with a double major in Biomedical Sciences and Behavioural & Cognitive Neurosciences. I remember the first time I had a class on the Brain, in my first year of Undergrad, and we talked about how the hippocampus encodes memory, and I thought to myself: “Wow, that is so cool!”. Ever since then, I was hooked. Four years later, here I am at McGill, and I haven’t looked back. 

Pascale Patenaude 

Email: pascale.patenaude [at]

I’m originally from Ottawa. I did my undergraduate degree at Queen’s University in Life Sciences with a specialization in neuroscience and microbiology. I’m very excited to be living in Montreal and to be researching the functional development of the neural circuits underlying memory processes. When I’m not in the lab, I enjoy playing sports and reading thriller/mystery novels.

Research Assistants

Elsie Yan

Email: pascale.patenaude [at]

Elsie recently graduated from McGill’s Honours Psychology program where she developed an interest in cognitive developmental neuroscience. She is excited to join the Chai Lab and learn about functional connectivity in the developing brain. Her interests lie in clinical neuropsychology, especially the neurodevelopemental conditions such as ADHD and ASD. 

Undergraduate Students

Alejandra Martinez

Email: Alejandra.martinez [at]


Ross Lawrence

Jessica Cheng

Melissa Eustache