Community Advisory Committee

What is the Community Advisory Community (CAC)?

The CAN-BIND CAC provides advice and suggestions based on lived experience to improve depression research, outreach, and ultimately, clinical care. The committee is comprised of 10-15 members and is open to individuals with lived experience of mood disorders, caregivers, or individuals connected to advocacy groups for mood disorders.

What do CAC members do?

CAC members bring the lived experience perspective to shape research planning, execution, dissemination and evaluation. Their efforts aim to foster a sense of ownership among patients and community members regarding their understanding of depression and its broader impact on mental health. CAC members attend 6 meetings throughout the year, and are invited to attend the CAN-BIND Annual Workshop held in Toronto, Ontario. Members serve three-year terms, with an option to renew membership once for a two-year term. Some examples of activities are listed below:

  • Offer feedback on directions, accomplishments, and goals of the current program, and provide advice on plans for future research
  • Review educational materials produced by the program, including patient information material, talks and videos, and suggest ways to improve materials.
  • Interact with the CAN-BIND scientific team by participating in study discussions, joining teleconferences, and actively participating in educational and scientific events organized by CAN-BIND
  • Suggest ways to optimize knowledge dissemination, advocacy and public engagement

Meet the CAC

Community Advisory Committee


Dr. Sagar Parikh
Lead, Knowledge Translation Platform
Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND)


Mr. Andrew Kcomt
Knowledge Translation and Research Manager
Mood Disorders Association of Ontario (MDAO)

Current CAC Members (alphabetically by first name)

Aishwarya Patwardhan
Alexandra Kelley-Chessman
Christina Plagiannakos
Darien Landreth
David Danyluk
Etinosa Oliogu
Katherine Thompson
Kathryn Schade
Madeline Surman
Maryanne Lewis
Michael Lloyd
Michael Ryczko
Rachel Grace Peiris
Sharda Abdool


Read some of our CAC member spotlights here.