CANSSI Ontario STAGE Welcomes PhD Trainee Tara Henechowicz

Tara Henechowicz, CANSSI Ontario STAGE PhD Trainee, Fall 2002 Cohort.

CANSSI Ontario STAGE is pleased to announce Tara Henechowicz as one of four new trainees.

Tara is a PhD Candidate in Music and Health Science Research Collaboratory (MaHRC) and trainee in the Collaborative Program in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto. Tara is also a visiting graduate student in Human Genetics at the Vanderbilt Music Cognition Laboratory.

Tara is passionate about the field of music cognition and neuroscience and she has published research on the topics of music cognition and neuroscience and on the topics of Neurologic Music Therapy, performance kinematics, and neurorehabilitation. Prior to her doctoral studies, Tara received her M.A. in Music and Health Science with a certificate in Neuroscience and Bachelor of Music with Honours, Specialization in Music Theory, Music History major, and Psychology minor from the University of Toronto.

Her STAGE project, titled: ”Investigating the genetic and transcriptomic pleiotropy between motor traits, neuromotor endophenotypes, and music training”, is based on Tara’s dissertation, which she is completing under the supervision of Drs. Michael Thaut and Daphne Tan at MaHRC, and with additional mentorship from Dr. Reyna Gordon at the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute. At STAGE, Tara will receive statistical genetics mentorship from Drs. Daniel Felsky (Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) and Jun Young Park (Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Toronto) to support her dissertation work.

The goal of her project is to investigate pleiotropy between motor traits, neuromotor endophenotypes, and music training with the aims of (1) establishing genotyped cohorts with music training phenotypes, (2) examine genetic pleiotropy between music training and motor traits using polygenic scores (PGS), and (3) apply transcriptome-wide methods to examine transcriptomic pleiotropy between music training and motor traits across ancestries.


CANSSI Ontario STAGE (Strategic Training for Advanced Genetic Epidemiology) is a formal and comprehensive training program in Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics, the first of its kind in Canada and one of few in the world.

The program offers training and career development opportunities designed to cross-train individuals at the interface of genetics and population health sciences in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics—two disciplines currently facing a massive shortage of qualified individuals in Canada and elsewhere.

The overall goal is to improve prevention and management of complex diseases by increasing capacity in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics research.

CANSSI Ontario is the Ontario Regional Centre of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (CANSSI). Its goal is to strengthen and enhance research and training in data science by developing programs that promote interdisciplinary research and enable multidisciplinary collaborations.

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