Career Day

   

This annual event provides research graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the Faculty of Medicine with the opportunity to hear from and network with professionals with advanced degrees in medicine working in a variety of different fields. Faculty of Medicine’s Career Day 2021 is hosted by the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI).

2021 CAREER DAY

Charting career opportunities in health care research: Explore a range of career pathways in the health care industry from academia and beyond.

  • Jacqui Brinkman, Director, Graduate Student Professional Development, UBC
  • Calvin Kuo, Assistant Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, UBC
  • Chonnettia Jones, Vice-President, Research, Michael Smith Foundation of Health Research
  • Alon Hendel, Senior Medical Advisor, Amgen
  • Marcelo Mora, Business Development Specialist, Mitacs
  • Darby Thompson, Biostatistican & President, Emmes Canada

Online Sci Comm (with SciCATs): Make your online presentations shine with clear objectives, great content and public speaking skills.

  • Kaylee Byers, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Population and Public Health, UBC

Insights from biotech CEO’s on making the transition to industry: Learn from biotech CEOs on tips to make a successful transition into industry careers.

  • David Granville, Executive Director, VCHRI; Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
  • Lana Janes, Interim CEO, Abdera Pharmaceuticals
  • Tamer Mohamed, President & CEO, Aspect Biosystems
  • Maryam Sadeghi, CEO & Co-Founder, MetaOptima
  • Ali Tehrani, President & CEO, Zymeworks

Previous Career Days

Monday

Dr. Agnieszka Kielczewska holds a Ph.D. degree from McGill University in Human Molecular Genetics. After her graduate studies she joined a Inimex Pharmaceuticals, where she co-discovered the mechanism of action of the lead molecule (now in Phase 3 clinical trials). Since 2011 she has been holding roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen British Colombia, where she currently heads a cross functional Cell Sciences Team. She leads a number of therapeutic and reagent antibody discovery programs utilizing in vivo and in vitro discovery technologies.

Samuel (Shao Huan) Weng is an Associate Scientist at AstraZeneca. With two MSc degrees (Analytical Chemistry from Simon Fraser University and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine from the University of British Columbia), Samuel has expertise in Proteomics for developing diagnostic and therapeutic targets towards personalized medicine, as well as Material and Analytical Chemistry for developing disease detection platforms. Prior to his current role, he worked as a cancer researcher developing a microscale N-termini enrichment method and finding potential therapeutic targets for leukemia at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

Marc Sze completed a Masters (2011) and PhD (2015) at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation under the supervision of Drs. James Hogg and Don Sin. After completing these degrees, he moved to the University of Michigan to complete a postdoctoral research fellowship with Dr. Patrick Schloss. Currently, he is a Senior Scientist in the Oncology, Genomics, and Analytics group within the Genomics and Pharmacogenomics Department at Merck Research Laboratories in Boston, Massachusetts. In his current role, Marc provides bioinformatics support and incorporates single-cell RNA sequencing and machine learning approaches to accelerate pre-clinical oncology research within Merck.

Dr. Juan Hou is the Senior Scientist and Team Lead for Pulmonary Tissue Team at STEMCELL Technologies. Juan obtained her MD degree from China, and her PhD degree in Developmental Biology from Osaka University, Japan. After completing her PhD studies, Juan moved to Vancouver and worked at the Terry Fox Laboratory of British Columbia Cancer Research Center as a Postdoctoral Fellow (and subsequently a Research Associate), where her main research was focused on studying the formation, patterning and differentiation of definitive endoderm, the progenitor cells of the epithelial lining of respiratory and digestive tracts. She brought 15+ years of research experience in the field of developmental biology and respiratory research to her current position. She is currently overseeing the existing pulmonary product portfolios and the development of new products that support cutting-edge respiratory research.

Dr. Rhonda Wideman serves as Director of Business Development & Alliance Management at Zymeworks, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics, focusing on the treatment of cancer.  She works across the spectrum of business development and alliance management activities, with a focus on leading negotiation and diligence for licensing and collaboration agreements, managing ongoing alliances with strategic partners, and coaching teams on best practices for collaborations. Dr. Wideman holds a PhD from University of British Columbia, where her research focused on novel approaches for treating diabetes using cellular and gene therapy, and a MBA in Management of Biotechnology from Simon Fraser University.

Tuesday

Workshop with Danielle Barkley, PhD: Building a Network and a LinkedIn Profile

Even while staying at home, you can still expand your professional network. Join us as we explore suggestions and guidelines for digital networking and using LinkedIn as an important career development tool. Danielle is a Career Educator who works with the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers to support graduate students at UBC. She completed her PhD in English literature at McGill University and has previous experience as a university instructor and writing consultant.

Wednesday

Dr. Amy H Lee is a Systems Biologists who specializes in designing, performing and analyzing genomics and transcriptomics data generated from microbial pathogens and mammalian hosts. She was awarded her Ph.D. in Cell and Systems Biology from the University of Toronto in 2012. Collectively, she has 12 years of experience in microbial pathogenesis, systems biology, bioinformatics and genomics. Dr. Lee has extensive experience in applying omics approaches to the following research areas: A.  The systems biology of innate immunity, neonatal immune development and the impact of vaccination; B. Bacterial comparative genomics and transcriptomics; and C. The systems biology of host-pathogen interactions. Throughout her career, she has focused on the integration of multiple experimental data types to formulate and test novel hypotheses. Dr. Lee started her own research group in 2020 at the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University, focusing on systems biology of host-pathogen interactions and neonatal immune development.

Dr. Michael Hunt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, and the current Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Education in the Faculty of Medicine. In this latter role, he oversees and develops cross-program initiatives to enhance the training and overall experience of the 1,700 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the Faculty of Medicine. Through his faculty position in the Department of Physical Therapy, he has held a number of leadership positions, and been involved with many academic and administrative searches. On the research side, he runs an integrated clinical biomechanics program that has received funding from both CIHR and NSERC. The focus of his research is the identification of the linkages between abnormal movement and physical activity with musculoskeletal disorders, and assessment of conservative treatment approaches.

Dr. Manjeet Kumari has a PhD from the Faculty of Science, University of Alberta, where she used high-throughput technologies of transcriptomics and proteomics to study stress responses at a molecular level. She has post-doctoral training from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at University of Alberta. Her post doctoral research was focused on analysing high-throughput data of the human microbiome and how caesarean section affects the gut microbiome of infants. She is a passionate teacher who has worked at various levels of teaching such as teaching assistant, guest lecturer and faculty sessional lecturer at the University of Alberta. Currently, she is working as a biology instructor at Columbia College, Vancouver.

Dr. Scott Tebbutt is a Professor in the Department of Medicine (Respiratory Division), University of British Columbia, as well as Principal Investigator and Director of Education at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, Canada. His research program is focused on the molecular and cellular understanding of complex disease and other health-related conditions, including inflammatory disorders of the lung, allergic rhinitis, heart failure, and neonatal vaccinology. Since 2009, he has been Chief Scientific Officer (& recently appointed CEO) of the Prevention of Organ Failure (PROOF) Centre of Excellence - a not-for-profit organization dedicated to moving research findings into health care, and focused on non-invasive biomarkers that can diagnose and/or predict organ failure and other clinically-important indications. Dr. Tebbutt serves on numerous local and international scientific advisory committees, including the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute “Transplantation and Cell Therapy (TRACE) Program Biomarker and Cell Therapy Oversight Committee (BCTOC),” and the United States National Institutes of Health Human Immunology Project Consortium (HIPC) “Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Subcommittee.” He holds a B.A. in biochemistry from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of East Anglia (Cambridge Laboratory, John Innes Centre).

Firas Moosvi has a BSc from UBC in Honours Biophysics, an MSc in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in Physics from UBC. His research interests are varied but the two main umbrellas are medical imaging for applications in cancer, and the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). Firas currently teaches in the UBC Master of Data Science program. Most recently, he is looking at how the field of learning analytics can provide insight to surface and reduce inequities in STEM programs.

Dr. Courtney Pollock is an Assistant Professor in the department of physical therapy at UBC. She leads the Mobility and Balance Rehabilitation Research Lab as part of Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute’s Rehabilitation Research Program located at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. She is a physiotherapist and worked clinically for over 10 years prior to transitioning to full-time research, this experience informs her research. The overarching goal of her research is to advance rehabilitation practice by development and evaluation of innovative therapeutic interventions designed with sufficient levels of challenge to optimize the motor control of independent mobility

Thursday

Workshop with Kristina McBurney, PhD, and Leanna Bedell: #SciComm: More Than Just a Hashtag Social Media Workshop for Scientists

Interested in discovering how social media can be used as a tool to advance both science and your career? Join this workshop led by Kristina McBurney, PhD, Scientific Communications Manager at STEMCELL and Leanna Bedell, BSc, Social Media Manager at STEMCELL. Explore how social media can be used not just as a tool for science communication, but to foster collaboration, broaden the reach of your research, troubleshoot experiments, and even make you a stronger candidate for funding.

Friday

Kelsey Law joined Bloom Burton & Co. as an Analyst with the investment banking team in July 2018. Her responsibilities include scientific, clinical and medical due diligence to support the growth strategy and monetization planning of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and healthcare companies. Prior to, Kelsey gained business development experience as a Business Analyst at Triumvira Immunologics Inc. Kelsey holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto where she investigated a drug-repurposing approach for a rare continuum of developmental brain disorders. She also obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Ryerson University.

Sylviane Duval, after working at McGill University, grew the science communications business she launched in 2003 into a consultancy (OpenTheBox Ltd) focusing on knowledge transfer, grant-writing/review, and business/soft-skills training for scientists. Her clients are mostly university research networks and knowledge-based organizations. She is a Co-founder of the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization and member of Evidence for Democracy’s Network of Exports. She has sat on national and international boards supporting the ethical and accessible communication of science, and a national advisory committee promoting the protection of intellectual property. She holds a Secret clearance from the Government of Canada.

Jayde Wood is an intellectual property lawyer, a patent agent and a trademark agent at Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala LLP. Her practice focuses on the strategic creation and development of IP assets. She has worked with a variety of clients, including those in the biotechnology, food processing, renewable energy and consumer products sectors. Jayde completed a B.Sc. in Food Science with Honours, a M.Sc. in Food Microbiology, and a J.D. all from University of British Columbia. During her M.Sc., Jayde conducted research on antimicrobial resistance, phylogenetic grouping, and DNA fingerprinting of food borne microorganisms. She uses her experience in microbiology and food science to help clients with all aspects related to intellectual property.

Riya Ganguly joined the world of innovation and technology transfer after comprehensive training in basic sciences research. She started her career as a Technology Manager with the University of Manitoba where she was involved in patenting, negotiating licensing agreements with commercial partners and developing federal grant proposals for researchers. She then worked with Innovate Calgary as an Intellectual Property Manager, supporting industry partnerships and technology-transfer activities for the University of Calgary. She has also worked as an Innovation Coach and Director of the UAlberta Health Accelerator at the University of Alberta. Riya moved to Vancouver in 2019 and currently works with the University of British Columbia as the Director, Strategic Partnerships with the Vice President Research and Innovation Office. She obtained her MSc from York University in Biology and her PhD from the University of Manitoba in Physiology and Pathophysiology. To support her interest in business and innovation, Riya recently completed her MBA with Queen’s University.

Beth Anderson fuses two of her passions – science and art, through her foundational work at Arkitek Scientific. Raised in a family steeped in the life sciences, Anderson initially opted to follow the art path. Classically trained in piano and ballet, she left for Stuttgart at 16 on a dance scholarship, and danced professionally in NYC, Denver, Chicago, and Mexico City for the next 8 years. Afterwards Anderson spent (or misspent, depending on how you look at it) twelve years as a working musician in a number of bands, traveling often between LA and Pacific Northwest, as well as performing in Thailand. The road to the present has been circuitous, looping back to the sciences. Before founding Arkitek Scientific, she spent three years at Large Scale Biology Corporation where she helped to design and construct 2D electrophoresis equipment, as well as a high volume centrifuge-based oligonucleotide synthesizer, PCOS. In 1997 she and Doug Huff decided to start Arkitek Scientific, a visual communications design group specializing in explanatory content for the science, technology and education communities. In late 2002 she filed a US patent jointly with Dr. Norman Anderson and Doug Huff (U.S. Patent 6,702,229,B2 – Method, Apparatus and Article to Display Flight Information) for a novel navigation instrumentation design that utilizes airspeed and directional indicator information to help pilots synthesize position in extreme weather conditions. She has been asked to speak at TEDx Oakland in 2017 on the intersection of art and science and why both are required to form a complete picture of the world around us.

Kimia Shahangian is a Scientific Marketing Specialist in the Immunology team at STEMCELL Technologies. Kimia completed her MSc in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Working with Dr. Don Sin at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, she studied the immune response to pandemic influenza infection in the context of asthma. In her current role, she is responsible for scientific content creation to help scientists working in the Immunology field find resources and technologies to streamline their workflow in the lab and achieve results faster.

Dr. Christine Genge, is the Team Lead for Scientific Recruitment with STEMCELL Technologies. She first joined the company in the sales department and before moving to focus on bringing in talent for our teams. After completing her MSc in comparative physiology at Queen's University, Christine moved to Vancouver to pursue her PhD with the Molecular Cardiac Physiology group at Simon Fraser University. She then did a short-term Postdoctoral fellowship in the Cardiac Electrophysiology Group, also at Simon Fraser University before moving towards a role in industry.

Dr. Shirin Kalyan is an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, the Scientist leading the new Answer Factory at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and the Director of Scientific Innovation at Qu Biologics, a clinical-stage Vancouver-based biotech with an innovative immunotherapy platform that uses bugs as drugs to treat immune-related diseases. She earned her PhD from the University of British Columbia in Experimental Medicine investigating the pivotal innate immune mediators of inflammation in the context of toxic shock syndrome. Dr. Kalyan was subsequently awarded a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to conduct research in Germany where she led her independent translation research program for three years at the Institute of Immunology in Kiel before returning back to Canada. Her research interests include restoring and supporting immune function in the context of cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases and understanding how drug therapies commonly used to treat chronic degenerative disorders affect immune integrity.

Dr. Allison Matthews is part of a larger, highly collaborative team which combines the expertise of clinicians, bioinformaticians and basic science researchers to help diagnose patients with rare genetics diseases. When conventional analysis is unable to find the cause of a patient's disease, the team uses whole genome and exome sequencing to search for what could be a mistake as small as one letter in the 3 billion letters that make up the genome. As a bioinformation, Dr. Matthews's role is to use computers to help sort through the data and then to apply genetics to prioritize potential causes for each patients. Dr. Matthews has a focus on disease on the X chromosome as well as patients with intellectual disability, metabolic disorders and atypical cerebral palsy.

Dr. Jenny McQueen's academic background is in biochemistry and genetics. During her PhD at the University of British Columbia, she used the common bread yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as a tool to understand how cells replicate and divide. More recently her postdoctoral work has looked at finding shared cellular pathways in both yeast and man. Her passion for science outreach has led her to her current position as program manager for an innovative and inspiring science program for teens at Science World, Future Science Leaders. She continues to imagine new ways of instructing both in the Future Science Leaders program and as a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

Dr. Elodie Portales-Casamar has a PhD in neuroscience and post-doctoral training in bioinformatics and genomics. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the UBC Department of Pediatrics and the Clinical Research Informatics Lead at BC Children's Hospital. In this role, she helps researchers access, collect, manage, integrate, and analyze data necessary for their clinical studies, with the goal to facilitate the translation of research into improved clinical practices. Her research interests lie at the interface between health sciences, bioinformatics, and clinical research informatics focusing on methodologies to integrate heterogeneous datasets and encourage and facilitate re-use of existing data while ensuring data privacy and security.

Dr. Valerio Russo is originally from Italy where he earned a Bachelor and a Master degree in Medical Biotechnology. He then completed his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Queen's University (Kingston, ON), where he focused on cardiac regeneration using adipose-derived stem cells. He continued his training in David Granville lab at UBC, where as a Post-Doctoral fellow he investigated the roles of Granzyme B in skin blistering. Dr. Russo transitioned to the industry at the beginning of 2018 and is currently a Research Scientist at Aspect Biosystems, a Vancouver-based, award-winning 3D bio-printing company.

Dr. Tony Yang is the Program Manager of Airway Centre at Providence Health Care (PHC) and the University of British Columbia (UBC). The aim of this research cluster is to identify better diagnostics and therapies for patients in order to address the growing burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other airway conditions in BC and beyond. In this capacity, he is building a multi- and inter-disciplinary team that is dedicated to developing a) novel technologies, b) new collaborations, and c) integrated training environment with academic/industry partners. With a BSc in Physics and Life Sciences and a PhD in Bioengineering, Dr. Yang is utilizing his science, engineering, and management expertise to transform this vision into reality.

Dr. Jehannine Austin is an Associate Professor in Psychiatry & Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia, where she holds the Canada Research Chair in Translational Psychiatric Genomics. Her research work focuses on using clinical genetics to improve outcomes for people with psychiatric illnesses and includes studying the impact of genetic counseling for people with psychiatric disorders and their families. Based on her research data, she founded the world’s first specialist psychiatric genetic counseling service that has won an award for its impact on patient outcomes, and in addition to peer-reviewed publications, has written a book, and won awards for teaching, leadership, and research. She was 2016 President of the US-based, 3500 member, National Society of Genetic Counselors, and is a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and was selected in 2017 from 3700 nominees as one of CAMHs 150 leading Canadians for mental health.

Dr. Claudia Krebs is a Professor of Teaching, Cellular & Physiological Sciences, and holds both an MD and a PhD. She has expertise in anatomy, body donation, medical education, flipped classrooms, flexible learning, neuroanatomy, and neuroscience education. As a Professor of Teaching, she focuses on giving instruction in the fields of gross anatomy and neuroanatomy for a broad range of students, including trainees in the MD undergraduate program, allied health professions, and biomedical engineering students. She is the principal author of Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews: Neuroscience and the accompanying Flashcard set.

Dr. Andrew Ming-Lum is an associate at Gowling WLG LLP, practising in the Intellectual Property and Life Science groups. Andrew assists clients in patent drafting and prosecution, with a focus on inventions in the biotechnology, immunology, molecular biology and biochemistry fields. Andrew also advises clients on other patent-related issues, such as validity, infringement and freedom-to-operate. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Andrew earned his doctorate in Experimental Medicine from the University of British Columbia, where his research led to the characterization and development of novel anti-inflammatory therapeutics. He also worked for several years in the pre-clinical pharmacology department of a Vancouver-based pharmaceutical company.

Dr. Joseph Puyat is an Assistant Professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health and a Scientist and Research Methodologist at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHEOS). He obtained his PhD in Population and Public Health from the University of British Columbia and his previous training includes an MSc in Health Care and Epidemiology and an MA in Social Psychology. His research focuses on the use of big data analytics and linked, large health administrative databases to examine treatment and quality gaps in depression care.

Dr. Kate Smolina is the Director of the BC Observatory for Population and Public Health, a partnership between the Ministry of Health and all Health Authorities to advance non-communicable disease, injury, and risk and protective factor surveillance in BC. Prior to her current role, Kate worked as a Banting Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia, looking at the full spectrum of factors that influence population medicine use and associated health outcomes. Her interests include chronic disease surveillance, linked administrative data, and health policy. She holds a BSc in Bio-Medical Science from the University of Guelph and a PhD in Public Health from the University of Oxford.

Dr. Grace T. Tharmarajah received her Bachelor of Science at Queen’s University in Canada. Her Honours Thesis focused used Drosophila as a genetic model. She continued her Masters at Queen’sUniversity, looking at genes that modulate aging in long-lived and short-lived animal models. Subsequently, she arrived in Vancouver, Canada to pursue her PhD at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Medical Genetics. Her projects focused on using mice to elucidate the pathways that regulate pigmentation in the context of melanomas and hypopigmented diseases, such as Vitiligo. Following her PhD, Dr. Tharmarajah was hired by Precision NanoSystems, Inc (PNI) to develop the arm of the company centred around reagents designed for molecular biologists. Initially hired as a Business Development Associate, she eventually moved into the role of a Product Manager and worked with several departments in the company to develop new products and support existing applications. A few weeks ago, she started as a Product Marketing Manager at STEMCELL Technologies.

Dr. Michelle Wong is the Senior Director, Research for the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.  In this capacity, her main role involves creating and implementing high profile strategic and key pan-institution initiatives.  She leads the portfolio management and program delivery capability to enable the Faculty and University to evaluate and implement a broad range of enterprise-wide strategic initiatives.   Dr. Wong has held various senior leadership roles related to research, business development, and strategic initiatives over the last ten years.  Prior to UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, she was the Executive Director at PrioNet Canada, a successful Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), a joint initiative of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and Industry Canada.  Throughout her career, Dr. Wong has received many awards and scholarships with provincial and international distinction. Furthermore, she currently sits on many Committees and has had roles on various Board of Directors.