About Us and Our People

Our mission at the Centre for Applied Neuroscience is to help you Know Your Brain by inspiring curiosity and making neuroscience applicable to you in all aspects of your life and work.

In pursuit of this mission, we apply, share, translate, and create knowledge through our coaching services, courses, articles & our book, a public library, and a research program.

We have many amazing people working hard to bring all of this to you.


Dr. Mandy Wintink

CEO, Program Director, and Founder of the Centre for Applied Neuroscience.

She earned a PhD in Neuroscience and Psychology from Dalhousie University in 2005 and completed her Post-Doctoral Training in Molecular Neurobiology in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie. Her research primarily focussed on the neuroplasticity associated with emotions (e.g., anxiety, fear, depression) and learning and memory. She focussed all of her research throughout her training on the differences in the brains and behaviour between males and females. She began coaching and working at holistic health centre while doing her post-doctoral training and then moved to Toronto in 2010 where she formally launched the Centre for Applied Neuroscience. She is also currently part-time faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto. Learn more about Mandy here.

Allison McDonald, CAN Coach  Associate Director & Assistant Teacher   

Allison McDonald

Associate Director, Chief Designer, Online Teaching Assistant, Technical Support Superstar, Mentor, and Coach.

Allison completed her CAN Life Coach Training in 2010 in Halifax. She has been working at CAN since 2011, and is an integral part of our executive team. She also mentors current Life Coaching Course students to help them develop their coaching practice. Allison has a sunny disposition, and is a highly compassionate and creative person. She lives in Ontario with her husband, and two super fluffy cats. She is currently completing her studies in Contemporary Web Design at Durham College.

Annie Bowker 

Toronto Teaching Associate, Coach and Mentor.

Annie finished the CAN Life Coaching course in 2012. Annie works one on one with life coaching clients and is also a registered yoga teacher. Annie has worked as a teaching assistant for the CAN Life Coaching Course in Toronto, and is currently on hiatus from that role as she pursues a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Her role at CAN these days is mentoring current students. Annie is incredibly warm and welcoming, and has the magical ability to form strong connections with everyone she meets. You can learn more about Annie here.

Maria Fakhoury

Research Assistant and Coach in Training.

Maria is currently in training to became a CAN Coach. She is also working as a volunteer research assistant helping do program evaluation of the CAN Life Coaching Course. She is also working on addressing the question, What is the impact of learning about neuroscience?

To Meet some CAN Coaches, please visit them online at www.CANCoaches.com.

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Vanessa Vella

Associate Director, Toronto Teaching Associate, Mentorship Manager, Mentor and Coach.

Vanessa finished CAN Life Coach Training in 2014, and is a Mind Body Coach, helping clients achieve greater health and happiness through a strong mind body connection. She is the lead teaching assistant for the Life Coaching Course in Toronto, which includes leading yoga practices, facilitating group discussions, and individual student coaching. She also oversees our mentorship program for recent graduates of the Life Coaching Course. Among other things, Vanessa’s hobbies include collecting job titles at CAN, becoming the world’s okayest runner, and eating lots of dark chocolate. You can learn more about Vanessa here.

Jeana Boutilier 

Atlantic Canada Manager, Online Teaching Associate, Mentor, and Coach.

Jeana graduated from the CAN Life Coaching course in 2016, and there’s been no stopping her since then. She works privately with clients, leads workshops and runs her own blog.  Jeana is an online teaching assistant and student mentor. She lives in Halifax, and represents the East Coast at CAN. Jeana believes believes that living fiercely, authentically, and intentionally is the key to living the good life. You can learn more about Jeana here.

Dawn Stevens  

Online Teaching Associate, Mentor and Coach. Dawn completed CAN Life Coaching course in 2011 in Halifax.

Dawn is a mentor coach to current students, and also facilitates learning modules about accounting and bookkeeping. After taking the course, Dawn became a Teaching Associate in 2016.  Dawn lives in Fredericton New Brunswick, and represents the East Coast at CAN. Dawn loves animals and is very passionate about animal welfare.

Erin Hancock  

Online Teaching Associate, Coach and Mentor.

Erin completed the CAN Life Coaching course in 2012. In addition to her work as a life coach, Erin is a consultant for nonprofit organizations. She recently moved to Vancouver, but can often be found jetsetting around Canada, and the world on various adventures. Erin is passionate about travel, self care, and learning through direct action. You can learn more about Erin here.

Candice Dwyer

Research Coordinator and Coach.

Candice completed her CAN Life Coaching course in 2013 while also completing her degree in psychology and political science graduate from the University of Western Ontario (B.A. Honours). She has been leading the research project that is seeking to scientifically validate the impact of the life coaching course on students’ life satisfaction, qualify of life, mindfulness, strengths, and general wellness. Some of her work was presented at the Canadian Positive Psychology Association meeting in Ottawa in 2014. She recently completed her Master’s from Columbia University in Spirituality and Mind-Body Practice.