CNA Contributor Bios

Dr. Nikita Burke, Eyes High Postdoctoral Fellow, The Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Postdoctoral Researcher examining the neurobiology of pain, with a focus on microglia and opioids.

During her PhD she examined the role of the immune and monoaminergic systems in the link between depression and pain, and the impact of early life stress on pain-related responding in later life.

Learn More about Dr. Burke and her work on chronic pain in this Alberta Innovates Article on Dr. Burke.


Sylvia Donley, Masters of Nursing, President CNA

baby covering her face with her hands

Shy Sylvia – pic coming soon

Sylvia’s bio is pending.

Dr. James Haxton DC, DACNB

Dr. James Haxton DC, DACNB - Functional Neurology

Dr. James Haxton DC, DACNB – Functional Neurology

Dr. James Haxton graduated cum laude from Life Chiropractic College West in the San Francisco Bay area.  Just like specialists in the medical field, there are also specialists in the chiropractic profession. Dr. Haxton is a diplomate of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (DACNB) which means he has a specialty in chiropractic neurology also known as functional neurology. This designation is only held by 27 chiropractors in Canada. Studying under Dr. Frederick Carrick, functional neurology has been the center of Dr. Haxton’s clinic in south Calgary. Treating neurological disorders from neuropathy to Parkinson’s to concussions, the success of functional neurology has superseded traditional neurological methods and produced positive outcomes.

Functional neurologists use the musculoskeletal (muscles and bones) and sensory systems (sight, taste, touch, smell, hearing) as they interact with the neurological system (brain) to improve quality of life. They use a variety of treatment modalities including the technique of adjustment as well as other sensory-based treatments to bring about improvements in health. This exciting new field is gaining a lot of steam, especially from media coverage around the success of functional neurology with high profile athletes, such as Sidney Crosby and Olympic medalists, looking for a competitive edge. In everyday life, many people are utilizing  functional neurology after being told their test results are normal but their symptoms are still affecting their daily lives.

As more research is conducted in the field of neurology, functional neurologists can modify and evolve their treatments to conform to the newest standards of care for the best possible results.

Learn More about Dr. Haxton and Functional Neurology by visiting his website here:

Sabrina Martini, Neurology Student, U of C (4th year)

Sabrina is a student entering her 4th year of her Bachelors of Science majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge. Thus far into her bachelor’s she has contributed to research regarding sleep-dependent hippocampal memory. Her interests lie in all things medical and wishes to go on to medical school in the years to come.

Linda Petiot BSc, CBAP, CISA, Vice-President CNA

a deer peaking out from behind a lawn chair

Feeling Shy – Picture coming soon

Linda’s bio is pending.

Sarah Rieger, Professional Journalist & Editor

Smiling woman with long dark hair

Sarah Rieger – Journalist & Editor

Sarah Rieger is an associate news editor at HuffPost Canada. In her spare time, she volunteers with local arts organizations and loves reading about science, the environment and technology.