Graduate & Postdoctoral Education (GPE) Office Staff

Dr. Michael A. Hunt is the Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Education in the Faculty of Medicine (since August 2019). He is also a Professor in UBC’s Department of Physical Therapy, the Director of the Motion Analysis and Biofeedback Lab, and the former Graduate Director to the Rehabilitation Sciences Graduate Program. Dr. Hunt’s research interests focus on identifying changes in movement patterns and biomechanics as a result of injury or disease, and using this information to develop no-surgical and non-pharmacological interventions to improve symptoms and function. As the Associate Dean, he is dedicated to improving the learning environment, training, and overall outcomes of Faculty of Medicine research trainees.
Dr. Karen H. Ross is a Graduate & Postdoctoral Wellbeing Support Coordinator for the Graduate & Postdoctoral Education Office. Her position has been tasked with the development of robust and innovative wellbeing support for research trainees in the Faculty of Medicine, and her portfolio encompasses research trainee wellbeing, community, and healthy settings. Karen completed her PhD in 2019 at the University of Calgary and joined the GPE team in March 2020. (Currently on Parental Leave)
Dr. Yan Gao is the Education & Advancement Coordinator for the Graduate & Postdoctoral Education Office. She takes care of the educational projects and initiatives in the office. Her current portfolio includes graduate program review, the Advanced Renewal Project, FoM curriculum change, and the Responsible Conduct of Research course. Yan completed her PhD in Educational Studies at the University of Victoria and joined the GPE office in August 2021.
Asmae El Bouhali is our Embedded Counsellor dedicated to the clinical care and support of our graduate students. Asmae is a Clinical Counsellor with membership with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She holds graduate degrees in Counselling Psychology and Human Development from the University of Ottawa and the University of British Columbia. Her undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology and Communication was obtained at the University of Amsterdam.
Asmae offers a collaborative, safe, compassionate therapeutic space in which clients can explore self- awareness, mindfulness, and personal growth. She facilitates change and goal attainment utilizing a trauma informed lens and several theoretical and research-based methodologies, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy.  Asmae also has extensive experience in cross-cultural therapy and is able to offer services in Moroccan-Arabic and Dutch. 
Sandrine Espié is a Graduate and Postdoctoral Wellbeing Support for the Graduate Postdoctoral Education Office. Her role is to promote health and education activities that proactively improve wellbeing for Faculty of Medicine research graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Her portfolio encompasses direct, non-clinical wellbeing support for research trainees and wellbeing-focused consultation with trainees, faculty, and staff. Sandrine completed a MPA from Seattle University and joined the GPE office in February 2022.
Richa Sharma is the Graduate Student & Postdoctoral Affairs Coordinator for the Graduate & Postdoctoral Education (GPE) Office in the Faculty of Medicine. Her role is to support GPE Office in strategically planning, designing, developing, and implementing a variety of activities that support Masters and Doctoral students, as well as postdoctoral fellows (PDFs). She is responsible for maintaining and improving the graduate student experience through the organization and coordination of centralized events, awards, policies, and procedures. Richa holds Masters degree from Carnegie Mellon University, USA, and joined the GPE office in October 2021.
Leigh  Spanner is the Healthy Environments in Academic Research Teams (HEART) Project Coordinator. Her role is to develop the HEART program, which aims to support faculty, staff and learners to enhance competencies in wellbeing, equity, diversity, inclusion and effective leadership to promote healthy, respectful, and productive work environments in academic research teams. Leigh holds a Maser’s degree from the University of Oxford, co-authored the University Mental Health Charter and joined the GPE team in July 2022.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Education Office email:

Faculty of Medicine Graduate Program Contacts

Audiology and Speech Sciences (MSc, PhD)
Advisor: Dr. Stefka Marinova-Todd
Program Assistant: Winnie Wong

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSc, PhD)
Advisor: Dr. LeAnn Howe
Program Coordinator: Doris Metcalf

Biomedical Engineering (MEng, MASc, PhD)
Director: Dr. Karen Cheung​
Program Coordinator: Michelle Lee

Cell and Developmental Biology (MSc, PhD)
Director: Dr. Cal Roskelley
Program Coordinator: Cyndi Liu

Experimental Medicine (MSc, PhD)
Director: Dr. Tricia Tang
Senior Program Assistant: Sharon Xu

Genetic Counselling (MSc)
Advisor: Dr. Jehannine Austin
Program Assistant:

Global Surgical Care (MGSc)
Director: Dr. Brian Westerberg
Education Manager: Cecilia Gruber

Health Administration (MHA)
Advisor: Dr. Nick Bansback
Program Coordinator:

Health Sciences (MHSc)
Director: Dr. Martin Schechter
Program Coordinator:​

Interdisciplinary Oncology (MSc, PhD)
Co-Directors: Dr. Kevin Bennewith and Dr. Wan Lam
Program Administrator: Sharon Ruschkowski

MD/PhD Program (MD/PhD)
Director: Dr. Torsten Nielsen
Program Administrator: Jane Lee​

Medical Genetics (MSc, PhD)
Advisor: Dr. Stefan Taubert
Program Assistant: Cheryl Bishop

Neuroscience (MSc, PhD)
Director: Dr. Miriam Spering
Program Coordinator: Emily Palmer

Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Director: Dr. Liisa Holsti
Student Services Manager: David Tsukada

Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (MSc)
Director: Dr. Karen Bartlett
Program Coordinator: Shaine Meghji

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (MSc, PhD)
Advisor: Dr. Helene Cote
Program Coordinator: Heather Cheadle

Pharmacology and Therapeutics (MSc, PhD)
Director: Dr. Pascal Bernatchez
Program Secretary: Emily Palmer

Physical Therapy (MPT, MTP/PhD)
Director: Dr. Alison Greig​
Student Services Officer: MPT Advisor

Population and Public Health (MSc, PhD)
Director: Dr. Susan Cox​
Program Manager: Emily Vangulik

Public Health (MPH)
Director: Dr. Paul Kershaw
Program Manager:

Rehabilitation Sciences (MRSc, MSc, PhD)
Advisor (MSc, PhD): Dr. Bill Miller
Advisor (MRSc online): Dr. Tal Jarus
Program Assistant: Cassandra Gilliam

Reproductive and Developmental Sciences (MSc, PhD)
Advisors: Dr. Alex Beristain​ and Dr. Paul Yong
Program Assistant: Samantha Rosiczkowski​

Women+ and Children’s Health Sciences (WACH) (MSc, PhD)
Advisors: Dr. Alex Beristain​ and Dr. Angela Devlin
Program Manager: Natalie Twohey

Surgery (MSc)
Advisor: Dr. Alice Mui​