MD/PhD “Building Bridges” Seminar Series – ALL ARE WELCOME

Our seminar series aims to illustrate the relationship that exists between clinical practice and medical research, allowing MD/PhD and other interested students to hear about different career tracks and various ways to combine clinical and research work. In addition to speaking about their active research, the invited speakers discuss their experiences and training backgrounds, share their advice with prospective clinician-scientists, and give their opinions on career development options for clinician-scientists.  All faculty, clinical investigator trainees, and students in the Faculty of Medicine are invited. We also welcome other members in the UBC community to join us.

Date and Time: 26 November 2018, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Location: Latham Hall, Medical Student Alumni Centre, 12th Avenue & Heather Street, Vancouver, BC
Meeting ID: 30210. Phone In 1-844-521-0666 (toll-free), followed by the 5-digit ID, followed by #.
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Invited speaker: Dr. Haakon Nygaard
Fipke Professor in Alzheimer’s Research, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
Director, UBC Hospital Clinic for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders

To better understand the healthy brain, Dr. Nygaard leads a project to sequence the genomes of centenarians in search for a genetic cause of dementia-free aging. As both a clinician and a scientist, Dr. Nygaard hopes to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical neurology to facilitate novel therapeutic development in Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Nygaard will talk about his clinician-scientist training path and some of his research highlights.

Date and Time: 15 October 2018, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Blair Leavitt
Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, UBC
Director, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics

Dr. Leavitt is a full Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics & the Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology (Associate) at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Leavitt completed his medical degree at McGill, medical internship at Columbia-Presbyterian, neurology residency at Cornell and Harvard. While in Boston, he completed a basic neuroscience research fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital of Boston. Blair is a consulting neurologist and Director of Research at the UBC Centre for Huntington’s Disease. A scientist and physician, Dr. Leavitt’s time (both clinical and research) is dedicated to developing new treatments for genetic brain disorders such as Huntington’s disease. He also works on other neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Frontotemporal dementia. Dr. Leavitt is currently the Director of the CMMT Transgenic Animal Facility and a founding Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Huntington’s Disease.

Title of talk: “A Career in Genetics, Neuroscience and Neurology”

Date and Time: 4 June 2018, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Scott Tyldesley
Clinical Professor, Department of Surgery (Radiation Oncology), UBC
Provincial Program Lead for Radiotherapy, BC Cancer Agency

Dr. Scott Tyldesley completed school at UBC in 1993 and residency in Radiation Oncology at the BC Cancer Agency in 1998. He went onto a Masters in Public Administration at Queen’s University with a Masters project on needs analysis for radiation oncology from 1998-1999. He has been a staff Radiation Oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre since. His areas of expertise include radiation oncology (genitourinary, breast); health policy, health services research and needs assessment. He is a former Michael Smith Foundation Scholar in Health Services Research and has over 120 publications related to oncology. Dr. Tyldesley is a Co- principal investigator on the Canadian Institute of Health Research funded team for Operations Research in Cancer Care, which is a collaboration between clinicians and administrators at the BC Cancer Agency and operations research scientists at the Sauder School of Business at UBC. He is the chair of the BC Cancer Genitourinary Outcomes Unit and former chair of the BC Cancer Breast Cancer Outcomes Unit.

Dr. Tyldesley will share his clinical and research experiences with our group.

Date and Time: 12 March 2018, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Fidel Vila-Rodriguez
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UBC
Director, Non-Invasive Neurostimulation Therapies Laboratory & Schizophrenia Program

Dr. Fidel Vila-Rodriguez obtained his Medical Degree from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, followed by a Fellowship at the Saint John of God Mental Health Services focusing on Psychiatry and Schizophrenia. After completing the first Fellowship, he obtained a Masters in Neuroscience from the Universitat de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Vila-Rodriguez moved to Canada and completed a Fellowship at the British Columbia Mental Health and Addiction Services focusing on Severe Mental Disorders as well as a Fellowship at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

As a Clinician-Scientist, Dr. Vila-Rodriguez has a strong interest in conducting translational research that bridges understanding on the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders with the clinical applications of this knowledge. He is particularly interested in applying this strategy to severe mental disorders such as refractory schizophrenia and treatment refractory depression. His clinical practice is actively focused in those most severely afflicted by such conditions, and his research interests are directed at finding novel therapeutic interventions within Non-Invasive Neurostimulation Therapies (NINETs) that can help mitigate the suffering of those with severe and refractory forms of psychosis and depression. He strongly believes that understanding at a mechanistic level how NINETs work is a critical step towards translating this knowledge to clinical practice. More important, translating that knowledge to clinical practice will have a direct, immediate, and positive impact for those who struggle and suffer the most devastating forms of mental disorders.

Title of talk:  “Afraid of failing? A [long] account of failures by a clinician-scientist”

Date and Time: 27 November 2017, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Ben Chew
Associate Professor, Department of Urologic Sciences, UBC

Dr. Ben Chew is originally from Duncan, BC, graduated from UBC Medicine in 1998 and completed his urology residency at the University of Toronto in 2003. His fellowship focused on kidney stones and minimally invasive surgery at the University of Western Ontario. He has been on active staff at VCH since July 2006 where he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences. Dr. Chew’s research focuses on how kidney stones form and in particular intestinal absorption of minerals that can form kidney stones (calcium and oxalate). His research focuses on genetically modifying bacteria normally used to make yogurt to express a naturally occurring enzyme that breaks down oxalate, thus preventing its absorption into the body where it can combine with calcium to form kidney stones. This novel type of therapy could be administered in yogurt and help patients prevent painful future kidney stone episodes.

Dr. Chew will make a presentation about his active research, discuss his training background and how he combines clinical work and research, and share his advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: 10 April 2017, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. John Boyd
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Critical Care Medicine), UBC

Dr. Boyd received his MD from the University of Western Ontario in 1998, trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Western Ontario, and subsequently trained in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at McGill University from 2001-2004. His Postdoctoral Fellowship was at the Meakins Laboratory in Montreal 2004-2005. He is an Intensivist at St. Paul’s Hospital ICU and an investigator at the Institute for Heart + Lung Health.

Dr. Boyd has over 65 peer-review publications and. He has held grants from CIHR, MSFHR, National Sanitorium Association and others. In 2011, he published that the standard clinical method of administering intravenous fluids and inotropes can worsen outcomes for patients with septic shock. he translated this discovery into clinical practice by founding and co-directing a team at St. Paul’s Hospital that now guides these treatments in critically ill patients based on the research-informed use of ultrasound. This program includes the creation of a training program for acute care physicians. He has been gratified at the outcomes from this effort which has led to a 10% improvement in survival in patients presenting with shock. The improvement to patient outcomes resulted in changes to clinical practice, contained in the 2014 Canadian National Critical Care ultrasound guidelines that he co-wrote.

His translational research occurs in collaboration with Dr. Robert Hancock, one of the members of the CIHR SONRIS sepsis network he led. His laboratory is located at St Paul’s Hospital where septic patients consistently rank among the most severely ill in North America. With tools including high throughput sequencing, his results are poised to lead the field in acute meta-genomic research. They have defined a lethal cytokine profile associated with severe sepsis, shown that immune profiling is superior to clinical data in predicting organ failure, and identified a 31 gene endotoxin tolerance profile which predicts subsequent organ failure.

His mechanistic research found that reverse cholesterol transport is the dominant force behind clearance of bacterial toxins from the circulation. This clearance is impaired by the LDL receptor associated molecule PCSK9. This work identified a role for anti-PCSK9-based sepsis treatment and led to co-founding of Cyon Therapeutics Inc. in 2014.

Dr. Boyd co-founded a UBC spin-off company, Cyon Therapeutics with Drs. Jim Russell, John Boyd and Simon Pimstone. This team has discovered, published and submitted patents showing that inhibition of PCSK9 is associated with improved outcomes of sepsis. The team moved from genomics discoveries using their multiple, large well-validated sepsis genomics registries to study natural human mutations of PCSK9 in sepsis, to pre-clinical models of sepsis using PCSK9 knock-out mice and, in separate studies, antibody to PCSK9 and then to human hepatocytes to confirm that inhibition of PCSK9 enhances endotoxin clearance, and mitigates inflammatory response and organ dysfunction in sepsis. Cyon plans to develop a novel PCSK9 inhibitor in sepsis. Cyon has submitted patents internationally regarding PCSK9 inhibition in sepsis.

Dr. Boyd will share his advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: 25 January 2016, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Torsten Nielsen
Associate Director, MD/PhD Program, UBC
Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, UBC

Dr. Torsten Nielsen was born and raised in North Vancouver, BC. He received his B.Sc. from the Department of Biochemistry at UBC in 1991, and graduated from the McGill MD/PhD Program in 1997.

Dr. Nielsen’s active research encompasses two major areas. As director of the Genetic Pathology Evaluation Centre at Vancouver Hospital (working with his close colleagues David Huntsman and Blake Gilks) he leads several active tissue microarray and gene expression profiling projects. A common theme of his work is to make clinical sense out of results from breast cancer and sarcoma basic science investigations, and their translation into diagnostic and predictive tests. As an independent principal investigator, Dr. Nielsen directs his lab in a research program to develop much-needed systemic treatments for sarcomas, particularly synovial sarcoma and myxoid liposarcoma, neoplasms most commonly occurring in the limbs of young adults, and to develop practical clinical tests for the intrinsic subtyping of breast cancer.

Title of talk: “Bench to bedside development of the Prosigna test for breast cancer molecular risk”

Date and Time: 16 November 2015, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Michael Seidman
Acting Director, Cardiovascular Tissue Registry & Research Histology, Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, Providence Health Care & UBC

Dr. Michael Seidman is soon to be a member of the clinical faculty of Providence Health Care and UBC, focusing on clinical care, education, and research relating to cardiovascular pathology. He was recruited to UBC in 2013 specifically to take on a role in the Cardiovascular Tissue Registry. Dr. Seidman has training in vascular biology, immunology, molecular biology, genetics, and anatomic pathology.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, Dr. Seidman grew up in suburban Baltimore, in suburban Chicago, Illinois, in Richmond, Indiana, and in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He attended Cornell University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences. His undergraduate research was split between two laboratories, one focused on molecular biology and molecular genetics and the other working on the cell biology of viral gene therapy vectors. He was the recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program.

Dr. Seidman spent a year in Cambridge, England, studying as a Churchill Scholar of the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States. He completed a Master of Philosophy degree in Physiology, working on peptide phage display to identify drug targeting ligands. Returning to the States, Dr. Seidman undertook studies in the NIH funded Medical Scientist Training Program at the Weill Cornell / Rockefeller / Sloan Kettering Tri-Institutional MD/PhD Program in New York City. Completing a thesis relating to the genetics and cell biology of leukocyte migration, Dr. Seidman earned his PhD in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis. Upon completion of his MD, Dr. Seidman initiated a residency in Anatomic Pathology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Seidman also conducted subspecialty training in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Pathology and in Molecular Genetic Pathology, as well as spending a term serving as the Chief Resident.  During this time, Dr. Seidman’s academic efforts were focused on translational studies aimed at improving diagnostic understanding of non-neoplastic disease.

Dr. Seidman’s work is a good example of 50-50 split, involving both translational and collaborative research, and he would be happy to share how and why he reached that point.

Date and Time: 28 September 2015, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Janessa Laskin
Medical Oncologist and Senior Scientist, BC Cancer Agency
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC

Dr. Janessa Laskin is a Medical Oncologist and Senior Scientist at the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at UBC.  Dr. Laskin completed her medical training including a Fellowship in Medical Oncology at UBC, and also completed a Thoracic Oncology Clinical Research Fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical School in Nashville, TN. She joined the staff at the BC Cancer Agency in 2003.

Dr. Laskin is particularly interested in the treatment of people with thoracic malignancies, particularly lung cancer. Dr. Laskin enjoys the clinical aspect of managing and treating patients and she blends this with a clinical research interest. She is actively involved in initiating research projects, which includes writing protocols, gathering data, analyzing and presenting the results. The next generation of therapy for lung cancer involves an integration of molecularly targeted agents designed to interfere with the growth and proliferation of cancer cells specifically. These projects have many correlative elements with the basic sciences that are exciting and promising.

Dr. Laskin will share with us the story of her career path – evolution of an oncologist.

Date and Time: 22 June 2015, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Liam Brunham
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC

Dr. Liam Brunham is a graduate of the UBC MD/PhD Program. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at UBC and a Principal Investigator at the Centre for Heart and Lung Innovation. Dr. Brunham completed his PhD under the supervision of Dr. Michael Hayden in Medical Genetics and was awarded the Governor’s General’s gold medal, the most prestigious award offered to graduating doctoral students at Canadian Universities. Dr. Brunham is a general internist with a focus on clinical lipidology and is an attending physician at the Health Heart Program Prevention clinic at St. Paul’s hospital, one of the largest specialty lipid clinics in Canada.

Dr. Brunham’s research focuses on understanding how changes in specific genes contribute to differences in drug-response as well as to alterations in plasma lipid levels and their relationship to metabolic and cardiovascular disease. His laboratory uses cutting-edge approaches in human genetics including genome-wide association studies and next-generation sequencing to investigate the role of genetic variation in these phenotypes. His laboratory also uses genome-editing tools and stem-cell based cellular models to dissect the functional impact of genetic variants and investigate molecular mechanisms underlying adverse drug reactions.

Title of talk: “Negotiating your first faculty position”

Date and Time: 27 April 2015, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Nadia Khan
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (General Internal Medicine), UBC

Dr. Khan is a clinician researcher and general internist at St. Paul’s Hospital and scientific member of the Center for Health Evaluation and Outcomes Sciences (CHEOS). Her central motivation is aimed at providing acute and chronic disease management for vulnerable populations. Through these activities she is member of a number of research teams including the Ethnicity Optimal Health Outcomes (ETHOS) team, an Executive Board Member of Hypertension Canada and sits on the scientific advisory board for the South Asian Health Institute.

Having completed a medical degree at the University of Alberta with Honors in research, Dr. Khan completed a general internal medicine fellowship at the University of Calgary, followed by a MSc in Community Health Sciences (Epidemiology) at the University of Calgary where she was mentored by one of Canada’s leading researchers, Dr. William Ghali. This strong foundation has helped Dr. Khan build her research career, with over 100 publications her work has recently been featured in the Vancouver Sun, OMNI television, and Editor’s choice for BMJ Heart in 2012. Dr. Khan is currently leading in a multinational ethnicity acute coronary syndrome study recruiting almost 2000 patients in Canada, China and India.

Dr. Khan will talk about her life stories and her success in her career.

Date and Time: 12 January 2015, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Paul Yong
Assistant Professor, Divisions of Gynaecologic Specialties and Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, UBC
Consultant Gynaecologist, Vancouver General Hospital
Research Director, BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis

Dr. Paul Yong is a graduate of the UBC MD/PhD Program, and completed a Residency in Obstetrics & Gynaecology followed by a Clinical Fellowship in Endometriosis, Pelvic Pain & Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery. Dr. Yong is a Consultant Gynaecologist at Vancouver General Hospital, Research Director at the BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis, and an Assistant Professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Dr. Yong’s clinical interests are in the surgical and multidisciplinary management of endometriosis and dyspareunia. His research program is focused on the pathophysiology of endometriosis dyspareunia, ranging from psychological, anatomic, cellular, and genomic factors, and was recently funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Title of talk: “10 years after the MD/PhD program: Transition to faculty”

Date and Time: Monday, 17 November 2014, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Adeera Levin
Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC
Head, Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, UBC
Executive Director, BC Provincial Renal Agency
President-elect, International Society of Nephrology

Dr. Adeera Levin is a Professor of Medicine, Head Division of Nephrology at the University of British Columbia, and Consultant nephrologist at Providence Health Care/ St Paul’s Hospital, in Vancouver Canada. She is the Executive Director of the BC Renal Agency, which oversees the care, planning and budgets for Kidney services in the province of British Columbia. In this capacity, she has leveraged her epidemiological training, clinical knowledge and health outcomes research to develop an evidence-based transparent system which enhances the care of patients across the continuum of care (from identification of CKD through to dialysis, transplant and death).

Dr. Levin is active in international activities across the spectrum of kidney activities, and has served as Secretary General of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN), and is now President Elect of ISN. Her major research areas of interest include non traditional risk factors for CVD in CKD patients, (with particular focus on anemia, phosphate and vitamin D, and progression of CKD variability) as well as models of care. She has 268 peer reviewed publications, numerous book chapters, and has co-edited a textbook on CKD.

Dr. Levin has received numerous teaching and research awards from local and national groups. In 2013, she was awarded the Canadian Society of Nephrology Outstanding Contributions to Canadian Nephrology, and 2014 was awarded the Kidney Foundation Research Medal of Excellence, and inducted as a fellow into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She serves on numerous editorial boards and reviews for major kidney and medicine journals. She is the Principal Investigator on a large cohort study CAN-PREDDICT, and holds numerous peer reviewed grants. She collaborates with investigators across Canada and internationally. She is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the new Canadian Journal of Kidney Health & Disease.

Dr. Levin will share with us her research, clinical work, and experiences.

Date and Time: Monday, 16 June 2014, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. David Scott
Clinician-scientist, Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer Agency

Dr. David Scott is a recently appointed clinician-scientist at the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer Agency. Dr. Scott undertook his MBChB/PhD training in Auckland, New Zealand prior to fellowship training in Hematology and Pathology. He came to Vancouver in 2010 as a research and clinical fellow in the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer. His research focus is biomarker development in lymphoid cancers and understanding treatment failure in these diseases.

Dr. Scott will make a presentation about his research, discuss his training background and share his advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: Monday, 28 April 2014, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. David K.B. Li
Professor, Department of Radiology, UBC

Dr. David Li is Professor of Radiology and Associate Member in Neurology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Director of the UBC MS/MRI Research Group. He was formerly Head of Radiology at the UBC Hospital and Interim Head, Department of Radiology, University of British Columbia. After obtaining his medical degree and radiology residency at UBC, which included additional training in nuclear medicine at Harvard Medical School and body CT at University of California (San Francisco), he did postgraduate studies in MRI at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School (London). His primary research interest is the application of MR techniques in the study of patients with multiple sclerosis.

In addition to talking about his active research, Dr. Li will also talk about his training background and how he combines teaching, clinical work and research, and share his experiences and opinions on career development options for clinician-scientists.

Date and Time: Monday, 27 January 2014, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Desmond Nunez
Head, Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, UBC

Dr. Desmond Nunez started as Head of the Division of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of British Columbia in January 2012. Dr. Nunez’s interest in head and neck surgery were affirmed by a medical student elective attachment to Dr. Harvey Tucker, one of the then doyens of laryngeal surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. A 4th year clerkship under the supervision of Dr. Lennox Jordan Senior Lecturer in Social & Preventative Medicine at the University of the West Indies (UWI), introduced him to the excitement of clinical data collection and statistics.

Dr. Nunez undertook postgraduate surgical and research training in the United Kingdom after completing his MB BS (UWI) degree and a one year rotating internship in the Bahamas. This included training in emergency medicine, paediatric and general surgery in addition to otolaryngology. Registrar training was followed by a Research fellowship and a Clinical Tutor in Otolaryngology appointment at the University of Leeds where he developed a range of bench research skills in Professor Michael Wells’ laboratory. He was awarded the Doctor of Medicine (MD, equivalent to a PhD) by the University of Leicester for his thesis “The prevalence of human papilloma viruses in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma a polymerase chain reaction investigation”. Senior registrar (fellowship equivalent) training in Nottingham and Leicester and fellowships at centres in London, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco culminated clinical training.

The training in education Dr. Nunez gained during his University of Leeds appointment provided the basis for making major undergraduate and postgraduate contributions in his career postings first as Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and University of Aberdeen and then at the University of Bristol and North Bristol NHS Trust. These included the establishment of the East of Scotland Otolaryngology specialist Registrar Training Committee and restructuring of medical student education and assessment at the Universities of Aberdeen and Bristol.

Dr. Nunez has authored over 100 peer reviewed original articles, abstracts, and textbook contributions spanning basic science, clinical research and educational material aimed at otolaryngologists, allied clinicians, scientists, postgraduate trainees and medical students, the latter most recently exemplified by ‘The Essential Clinical Handbook for ENT surgery’ published in September 2013. He has served on surgery in general and otolaryngology examination boards of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh, England, Glasgow and Ireland. He is an assistant editor of the Journal of Laryngology and Otology and a peer-reviewer for several journals, publishers and grant funding bodies.

Title of talk: “Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery – an academic view”

Date and Time: Monday, 7 October 2013, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Lynn Raymond
Director, MD/PhD Program, UBC
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UBC

Dr. Raymond is a Professor in the UBC Department of Psychiatry and Brain Research Centre, and an Associate member of the Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology. She completed an MD/PhD degree at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, followed by Neurology residency and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore. She continues to practice Neurology, with specialization in Huntington disease, in addition to heading a basic science laboratory. She serves as Director of the Medical Clinic at the UBC Centre for Huntington Disease, as well as Director of the UBC MD/PhD Program.

The Raymond lab is interested in molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic dysfunction and selective neuronal vulnerability in neurodegenerative disease. The focus is on the role of altered NMDA-type glutamate receptor signaling in striatal and cortical neurons, especially in mouse models of Huntington disease. Recent publications from the lab demonstrate that the balance of extrasynaptic to synaptic NMDA receptor activity is altered early in striatal neurons in the YAC128 HD mouse model, and that the use-dependent, extrasynaptic NMDA receptor-selective antagonist memantine normalizes this altered signaling, improving motor learning and expression of the pro-survival transcriptional regulator, phosphorylated CREB. Current studies focus on exploring the mechanisms underlying NMDA receptor mis-localization, and consequences for synaptic plasticity and survival/death signaling, in striatal neurons of YAC128 HD mice.

Title of talk: “Combining neurology practice with basic neuroscience research: Huntington disease as a model”.

Date and Time: Monday, 6 May 2013, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Evelyn Stewart
Associate Professor, Division of Clinical & Behavioural Neurosciences, Department of Psychiatry, UBC
Senior Clinician Scientist, Child & Family Research Institute

Dr. Evelyn Stewart is the Founding Director of the Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Clinic and Research Program at B.C. Children and Women’s Health Centre. She is a clinical, genetic and neuroscience researcher, as well as a child and adult psychiatrist. Her research focuses on genomic, phenotypic, and treatment aspects of childhood-onset neuropsychiatric disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Dr. Stewart has authored over 50 original papers, reviews and chapters on genetic, clinical, and treatment aspects of OCD, Tourette’s Disorder, and related illnesses. She sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation, on the Medical Advisory Board of the Tourette Syndrome Association and is Co-director of the International OCD Foundation Genetics Collaborative.

Dr. Stewart will share her story on how she was able to build a successful career and balance the demands of clinical work and research.

Date and Time: Monday, 28 January 2013, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Graeme Boniface
Chief Operating Officer, Vancouver Prostate Centre
Chief Operating Officer, PC-TRiADD

Dr. Graeme Boniface joined the Prostate Centre in 2008 as COO, after more than 20 years in drug development in both the academic and private industry sectors. Most recently he was Senior Director of Clinical Research at QLT Inc. where he oversaw the clinical development of the company’s drug platform in Oncology, Urology, Dermatology, and Endocrinology indications. Trials conducted by his team have led to successful regulatory marketing approvals by the US FDA, Canadian, and European agencies.

Title of talk: “Translational research, the academic: Industry interface”

Date and Time: Monday, 5 November 2012, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Jeffrey Brubacher
Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, UBC
Scientists, Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Evaluation
Scholar, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research

Dr. Jeffrey Brubacher focuses his research on injury prevention with a special interest in drug impaired driving, substance abuse and injury, and patient safety in the emergency department.

Dr. Brubacker will give a talk on his research experience and his clinical work.

Date and Time: Monday, 16 April 2012, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. David Ansley
Clinical Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, UBC

Dr. David Ansley is a clinician scientist with 25 years experience in clinical care, research and teaching. His area of specialization is cardiac anaesthesiology.

Research in Dr. Ansley’s group has mainly centred on patient oriented, translational clinical investigation of anesthetic mediated cardioprotection. Dr. Ansley has been principle investigator funded from competitive sources such as Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) and Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society (CAS). He has collaborated with other research groups at UBC, and at national and international levels in multicentre studies of perioperative myocardial ischemia and blood conservation strategies for cardiac surgery. He has more than 100 published manuscripts, abstracts and conference proceedings. He is an invited reviewer for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society, and he is a sought after reviewer for nearly one dozen scientific journals.

In addition to talking about his research, Dr. Ansley will also talk about his experiences and opinions on career development options for clinician-scientists.

Date and Time: Monday, 12 December 2011, 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Steven Miller
Canada Research Chair in Neonatal Neuroscience
Scholar, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
Senior Clinician Scientist, Child & Family Research Institute
Associate Professor, Division of Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, UBC

The focus of the neonatal neurology research group is to better understand brain development and injury in the newborn. Using advanced magnetic resonance (MR) techniques and bedside brain monitoring we study how white matter injury and systemic illness affects brain development in critically ill newborns. A better understanding of the factors that impact brain development and injury will allow us to directly improve the neurodevelopmental outcome of high-risk newborns.

Neurodevelopmental impairments are common in newborns delivered prior to term age and in newborns with heart birth defects, and result in a large burden of long-term disability. White matter injury, abnormal brain development and systemic illness are interrelated abnormalities that commonly follow preterm birth or heart birth defects, with focal non-cystic white matter injury being the characteristic pattern of brain injury. Though focal non-cystic white matter injury is associated with diffuse abnormalities of motor and cognitive function, how this happens is unknown. Systemic illness (e.g. infection) and therapy (e.g. steroids) may also be associated with diffuse abnormalities of motor and cognitive function.

Dr. Miller will make a presentation about his active research and share his advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: Monday, 24 October 2011, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Stephen Yip
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, UBC
BC Cancer Agency, Centre for Translational and Applied Genomics, Vancouver Cancer Centre, BCCA

Dr. Stephen Yip obtained his combined MD-PhD degree at UBC in 1999. His PhD thesis, under the supervision of Julia Levy, was on the use of a photosensitizer for the purging of contaminating leukemic cells in autologous bone marrow transplantations. He was then accepted into the neurosurgery training program at VGH and completed four years of residency training before switching to the neuropathology program at VGH and obtained his FRCPC certification in 2006. Next, he completed two years of Royal College-funded research fellowship in molecular neuro-oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital under the supervision of David Louis. Dr. Louis, chief of pathology at MGH, through his description and characterization of 1p19q chromosomal loss in oligodendroglioma, propelled the field of molecular diagnostics in neuro-oncology. His research was focused on the molecular characterizations of recurrent glioblastomas specifically somatic mutations in the mismatch repair gene MSH6. He then completed fellowship training in molecular genetics pathology at Harvard Medical School under the supervision of John Lafrate at MGH. This one year clinical training consisted of rotations in different clinical molecular diagnostic laboratories affiliated with Harvard Medical School. He was exposed to different advanced molecular diagnostic techniques and was involved in trouble-shooting clinical molecular diagnostic problems.

Dr. Yip returned to Vancouver in 2009 and is physically located at BCCA Vancouver Cancer Centre. His clinical appointment is to provide clinical molecular diagnostics and neuropathology signouts. He is also affiliated with the Centre for Translational and Applied Genomics (CTAG) and involved in the developments of novel molecular diagnostic assays. His current research interests are in the genomic and epigenomic profiling of cancers especially primary brain tumours, taking advantage of the local expertise at the Genome Sciences Centre, BCCRC, and CTAG. Currently he is using 2nd generation sequencing technology to study oligodendroglioma, ependymoma, chordoma as well as meningioma. Ultimately he wants to take novel genomic/epigenomic discoveries to the clinic – by developing clinical molecular assays and then be used to better stratify cancer patients and to identify those that might respond to novel molecular targeting agents. He is also associated with the development of BrainCare, a local effort to develop multidisciplinary seamless care for brain tumour patients in this province and also in the establishment of a local neuro-oncology research network which includes the development of a brain tumour tissue bank. He is the course director for Oncology 502 (Concepts in Oncology) that is offered under the Interdisciplinary Oncology Program (IOP) and is a member of the IOP executive committee as well as the UBC MD/PhD admission and advisory committee.

Dr. Yip strongly believes in the integration of molecular genetics with clinical pathology and the rapid translation of cancer genomic discoveries in medicine.

Title of talk: “Next generation sequencing – principles, practice, and translational applications in medicine”

Date and Time: Monday, 18 April 2011, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Chris Sibley

Chris Sibley completed his Bachelor and Masters degrees at McMaster University in the Department of Biology under the tutelage of Dr. Turlough Finan. His PhD training was carried out at the University of Calgary in the Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases with the mentorship of Dr. Michael Surette. This work primarily focused on studying the complex airway infections in cystic fibrosis patients, which emphasized the translational benefit of studying human-associated microbial communities with a personalized approach to bench-to-bedside research. He recently received the Cangene Gold Medal Award for the Canadian Graduate Student of the Year for his doctoral work. Throughout his training he has received funding from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the University of Calgary Leaders in Medicine Program. Chris is currently in the second year of his MD degree and the seventh year of the MD/PhD Program at the University of Calgary.

Title of talk: “Culture enriched molecular profiling of the cystic fibrosis airway microbiome”

Objectives/Introduction: The microbiome of the respiratory tract, including the nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal microbiota, is a dynamic community of microorganisms as diverse as the gastrointestinal microbiome. The cystic fibrosis (CF) airway microbiome consists of the polymicrobial communities present in the lower airways of CF patients. It is comprised of chronic opportunistic pathogens (such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and a variety of organisms derived mostly from the normal microbiota of the upper respiratory tract. The complexity of these communities has been inferred primarily from culture-independent molecular profiling. As with most microbial communities, it is generally assumed that most of the organisms present are not readily cultured. Our culture collection, generated using more extensive cultivation approaches, reveals a more complex microbial community than that obtained by conventional CF culture methods. Methods: To directly evaluate the cultivability of the airway microbiome, we examined CF sputum samples in depth using culture-enriched molecular profiling, which combines culture-based methods with the molecular profiling methods of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms and metagenomic 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Results: We demonstrate that combining culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches enhances the sensitivity of either approach alone. Our techniques were able to cultivate 43 of the 48 families detected by deep sequencing. The five families recovered solely by culture-independent approaches were at very low abundance (< 0.002% total sequence reads). 46% of the molecular signatures detected by culture from the six patients were only identified in an anaerobic environment, suggesting that a large proportion of the cultured airway community is composed of obligate anaerobes. Conclusions: We demonstrate that the majority of bacteria in the CF airway microbiome are amenable to culturing, suggesting that culture-enriched molecular profiling is useful for the recovery of rare members of the human microbiome. Understanding the function of the microbiome in health and diseases will be facilitated by the ability to grow these organisms in either pure or mixed culture.

Date and Time: Monday, 17 January 2011, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Jason Barton
Professor, and Canada Research Chair, Department of Medicine (Neurology), UBC and Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, UBC
Director, Clinical Neuro-ophthalmology, UBC
Director, Human Vision and Eye Movement Laboratory, UBC

Dr. Jason Barton is a visual cognitive neuroscientist and a clinical neuro-ophthalmologist. He obtained his MD from the University of British Columbia in 1984 and his PhD from the University of Toronto in 1996, for studies of the cerebral processing of motion perception and smooth pursuit eye movements. He was assistant and associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School until September 2004 when he returned to the University of British Columbia as Professor and Canada Research Chair. He has received the Francis McNaughton Award from the Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation, the Young Investigator Award from the North American Neuro-ophthalmological Society, and the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioural Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology. The Human Vision and Eye Movement Laboratory is focused on understanding high-level visual processing and cognitive control of saccadic responses, using behavioural, functional neuroimaging, and neuropsychological studies in healthy and clinical populations. In object recognition, the lab has contributed significantly to our knowledge of face recognition processes and structure-function correlations in prosopagnosia and described the new condition of developmental topographic disorientation. In eye movements it has defined the modulatory effects of task-switching, described the nature of historical and expectation-based influences on antisaccade programming and their anatomic correlates, and shown how these are altered in schizophrenia and autism.

In addition to talking about his active research, Dr. Barton will also talk about his training background and how he combines teaching, clinical work and research, and share his experiences and opinions on career development options for clinician-scientists.

Date and Time: Monday, 20 December 2010, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Intan Schrader Alumnus, Clinician Investigator Program, UBC

Dr. Intan Schrader was born in Melbourne, Australia, however grew up here in Vancouver, BC. After a semester at UBC, she returned to Australia to study medicine at the University of Melbourne and commenced a six and a half year commute to Australia. Having completed her medical degree, she returned to Canada in 2004 to begin her residency in Medical Genetics and has thus far completed her third year of clinical training. In 2007 she was accepted into the Clinician Investigator Program where she began graduate studies in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Schrader has been investigating the association of germline mutations in the E-cadherin gene with lobular breast cancers under the mentorship of Dr David Huntsman at the BC Cancer Agency.

Title of talk: “A family’s tie between bones and blindness; insight through next-generation sequencing”

Date and Time: Monday, 18 October 2010, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Don Sin
Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC
Canada Research Chair in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD)
Senior Scholar, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
Head of Respiratory Medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver

Dr. Don Sin is a Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC), a Canada Research Chair in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and a Senior Scholar with the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR). He is also the site head of Respiratory Medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Dr. Sin is the only sitting Canadian member of the international Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) scientific committee and has authored more than 180 peer-review articles.

His main research focus is to discover novel biomarkers to improve the care and diagnosis of patients with COPD and to better understand how lung inflammation leads to cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer in men and women.

Dr. Sin would be delighted to talk to the students about a future career as an academic internist. Title of talk: “Why you should choose UBC internal medicine program for your residency?”

Date and Time: Monday, 12 April 2010, 5:30 – 6:30 pm (NOTE: Starting at 5:30 pm)

Invited speaker: Dr. Poul Sorensen
Johal Chair in Childhood Cancer Research
Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, UBC
Senior Scientist, BC Cancer Research Centre

Dr. Poul Sorensen undertook his undergraduate, medical, and PhD degrees at UBC. After completing postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, he returned to UBC in 1993 to start his own laboratory.

Dr. Sorensen is currently the Johal Chair in Childhood Cancer Research, based at UBC/BC Cancer Agency. His research focuses on the aberrant signaling pathways that are involved in the development of childhood and breast cancers. The pathways responsible for these changes in childhood tumours have not received as much attention as their counterparts in cancers that tend to affect adults. However, Dr. Sorensen’s laboratory has identified numerous proteins that are specifically altered in a range of childhood cancers, and is in the process of determining how these molecules transmit the signals that cause cells to become cancerous. This will allow rapid implementation of strategies to target these proteins therapeutically, which is already underway.

Dr. Sorensen will make a presentation about his active research, discuss his training background and how he combines clinical work and research, and share his advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: Monday, 7 December 2009, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Sam Wiseman
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, UBC

Dr. Sam Wiseman graduated from medical school at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and also completed his residency training in General Surgery at the same institution, obtaining his Fellowship in Surgery from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2000. He subsequently moved to Buffalo New York where he spent three years in subspecialty fellowship training at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). At RPCI he completed an American Head and Neck Society Advanced Training Council approved Head & Neck Surgery Fellowship, a Society of Surgical Oncology approved Surgical Oncology Fellowship, and an oncology research fellowship that was focused on studying the molecular biology of cancer. After completing his training Dr. Wiseman joined the staff at St. Paul’s Hospital in 2003 and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Wiseman’s surgical practice is concentrated on the treatment of thyroid tumors and parathyroid disease, he still also carries out other cancer surgeries (such as sentinel node biopsy and lymph node dissection), and General Surgery operations (such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy and hernia repair). While his clinical and basic research are especially focused on thyroid and parathyroid disease, Dr. Wiseman has also continued to study other human cancer types in the laboratory including; breast, colon, rectal, and lung cancers. His research has taken a translational approach, or applied new knowledge/discoveries learned in the laboratory to address important clinical diagnostic, prognostic and treatment questions. Dr. Wiseman has many research collaborators (both clinicians and scientists) and is involved in the training and supervision of many undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students.

Dr. Wiseman has published many clinical and scientific research papers and his research has been presented at countless meetings locally, nationally and internationally, and has been recognized with many honours and awards. In 2005 Dr. Wiseman was the first surgeon in the history of British Columbia to receive the prestigious Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award. In 2007 Dr, Wiseman was selected from surgeons world-wide to receive the prestigious American College of Surgeons Travelling Fellowship to Japan. In 2008 Dr. Wiseman was a recipient of a Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award — a prestigious national award program that annually honours 40 Canadians in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors under the age of 40.

Throughout his career Dr. Wiseman has contributed to his profession and society in many different ways (other than clinical, research, and teaching contributions) including serving as a reviewer and editor for many medical journals, acting as a grant reviewer for several granting agencies, member of the Executive Council of the British Columbia Cancer Agency Surgical Oncology Network, department of surgery representative for the University of British Columbia Clinical Investigator Program, Director of Research for General Surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital, and Director of Research for General Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Wiseman will make a presentation about his active research, discuss his training background and how he combines teaching, clinical work and research, and share his advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: Monday, 5 October 2009, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Jane Buxton
Physician Epidemiologist, BC Centre for Disease Control
Associate Professor, School of Population & Public Health, UBC

Dr. Jane Buxton received her medical degree from the University of London, UK. Dr. Buxton completed an MHSc and FRCPC in Community Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Buxton is a Physician Epidemiologist at the BC Centre for Disease Control. She is also an Assistant Professor and Director of the Community Medicine Residency Program (2001-2008) in the School of Population & Public Health at UBC. Her areas of interest include: communicable disease control, outbreak investigation, breast cancer risk, hepatits A, B and C, transfusion transmissible diseases, illicit drug use epidemiology and harm reduction, and social context of health behaviour.

Dr. Buxton will make a presentation about her active research, discuss her training background and how she combines clinical work and research, and share her advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: Monday, 6 April 2009, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Ken Bassett
Professor, Family Practice, Anaesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, UBC
Associate member, School of Population & Public Health, Anthropology & Sociology, UBC
Chair, Drug Assessment Work Group, Therapeutics Initiative, UBC
Director, BC Centre for Epidemiologic and International Ophthalmology

Dr. Bassett directs the Drug Assessment Working Group of the Therapeutics Initiative, in the Department of Anaesthesiology Pharmacology and Therapeutics at UBC. He serves on the Canadian Expert Drug Advisory Committee, the principal committee of the Common Drug Review program which is designed to centrally review all newly approved prescription drugs in Canada. Supported by the UBC Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Bassett maintains an international teaching program (health services methods, epidemiology & anthropology) focused the prevention and treatment of blindness in Tibet, Tanzania, Nepal, India and Egypt. As Director of the BC Centre for Epidemiologic and International Opthalmology, UBC, he works closely with eye care program methods, data management, and report production.

Dr. Bassett’s research focuses on the systematic review of drug therapy and drug funding policy. He has received recognition for his skill in the critical appraisal of drug therapies, and has considerable background in the practical issues impacting public plan formularies. He is also conducting several pharmaco-epidemiologic studies of serious adverse events associated with prescription drug therapy in British Columbia and Ontario.

Dr. Bassett is a practicing physician with a PhD in medical anthropology from McGill University. He will make a presentation about his active research, discuss his training background and how he combines clinical work and research, and share his advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: Monday, 1 December 2008, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Dianne Miller
Associate Professor and Division Head, Gynaecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UBC

Dr. Dianne Miller is the Division Head of Gynaecologic Oncology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia. She is also the Provincial Gynaecology Tumour Group Chair for the Province of British Columbia. Dr. Miller obtained her BSc. in Microbiology and Immunology at UBC in 1976, her MD at UBC in 1980. She then interned at the Toronto Western Hospital prior to working as a Family Doctor in Yellowknife NWT. In 1988, Dr. Miller completed her Royal College certification in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UBC. This was followed by completion of a Royal College Fellowship in Gynaecologic Oncology in Toronto in 2000. Dr. Miller has been employed at BCCA/UBC since that time. Dr. Miller is actively involved in both clinical trials and in collaborations with translational and basic scientists. She is particularly interested in looking potential screens for early diagnosis and in targeted therapies.

Dr. Miller will make a presentation about her active research, discuss her training background and how she combines clinical work and research, and share her advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: Monday, 12 May 2008, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Peter Rieckmann
Professor, UBC Department of Medicine (Neurology)
Director, Multiple Sclerosis Program at Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and UBC
Regional Director (Pacific Northwest), endMS National Research and Training Network

Dr. Peter Rieckmann is a renowned clinician scientist and international expert in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and neuroimmunology. Treating and studying multiple sclerosis as a multidimensional disease and bringing more recognition to the impact of MS on patients are cornerstones of his vision.

Dr. Rieckmann’s research is focussed on the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis and related diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). This includes regulation of immune cells, functional aspects of the blood brain barrier and extended phenotype/genotype interaction during the course of disease. Multiple sclerosis is still a leading course for permanent disability in young adults. An imbalance of auto-aggressive immune reactions and impaired endogenous repair mechanisms is one likely explanation, but we still do not completely understand the relevant components and their interactions in this scenario.

Studying disease modifying genes in MS, his research group identified co-stimulatory molecules, like CTLA-4 and PD-1 as potential candidates having an impact on the course of the disease. The neurotrophic factor, CNTF, was demonstrated to be associated with better recovery after attacks and in the EAE model was associated with better outcome and less axonal damage. Currently, Dr. Rieckmann’s research is orchestrated around the blood brain barrier – the important interphase between immune system and CNS. His research group has identified specific genes in cerebro-endothelial cells as mediators of immune cell migration and potential modulator of regenerative processes within the brain.

Dr. Rieckmann will make a presentation about his active research, discuss his training background and how he combines clinical work and research, and share his advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: Monday, 10 March 2008, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Rusung Tan
Professor, UBC Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Head, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital

Dr. Rusung Tan was raised in the Okanagan Valley and finished high school at Vernon Senior Secondary. He completed a B.Sc. (Honours) in Physiology (1982) and an MD (1986) at the University of British Columbia. Following an internship at St. Mary’s Hospital in Montreal, his medical career has been varied. He began by practicing family medicine in Toronto, Northern Ontario and British Columbia before returning for residency training in pathology (Medical Microbiology). He subsequently obtained research training with Professor Hung Sia Teh of the University of B.C. and Professor Andrew McMichael of the University of Oxford, where he completed a Ph.D. Since returning to Vancouver, Dr. Tan has been engaged in academic pathology, teaching and basic research as a medical microbiologist at C&W Hospital.

Dr. Tan’s research interests are in childhood immunity and autoimmunity, particularly the role of T cells, natural killer cells and natural killer T cells in protection from viral infection, and pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. He is the finder of a novel mutation in the protein responsible for X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP). This discovery solved a longstanding mystery of young male deaths in a large first nations family, led to some basic immunological findings, and has been used for prenatal diagnosis in the family. Clinically, this has led to early cord blood transplantation, and better prognosis.

Dr. Tan will make a presentation about his current research, discuss his background and training, how he incorporates research into his practice alongside his clinical responsibilities, and share his advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: Monday, 21 January 2008, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Alan So
Assistant Professor, Department of Urologic, UBC
Sciences Research Scientist, Prostate Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute

A graduate of the University of Alberta, Dr. Alan So came to the Prostate Centre as a Clinical Fellow in 2002, following completion of his residency at Dalhousie University. He worked with Dr. Martin Gleave on the mechanisms of development of hormone resistance, bone metastasis of prostate cancer, and in the development of novel intravesical therapeutics for bladder cancer.

During his post-doctoral fellowship he has published more than 10 peer-reviewed papers. He is a recipient of many awards, including the Vancouver General Hospital Foundation’s “In It For Life” Clinician Scientist Award, an ASCO “Young Scientist Award”, and a prestigious Michael Smith Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award.

Dr. So’s current research focuses on the study of development of novel therapeutics for bladder cancer and determination of the functional role of GLI1/2 in the progression of prostate cancer to its lethal stage of androgen independence. He has characterized the functional role of different survival genes (including clusterin and Hsp27) in different tumor models (prostate, breast, lung, and bladder) in cancer progression. He is active in clinical trials across Canada and is a member of National Cancer Institute of Canada GU Clinical Trials Group and Canadian Uro-Oncology Group.

Dr. So will make a presentation about his active research, discuss his training background and how he combines clinical work and research, and share his advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: Monday, 19 November 2007, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Youwen Zhou
Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology & Skin Science, UBC
Director, Chieng Genomics Centre and Laboratory of Predictive Medicine and Therapeutics, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute

After completing his Bachelor of Science at Nankai University, China, and his Masters of Science at Tulane University, New Orleans, Dr. Youwen Zhou earned his PhD in Molecular Genetics at the State University of New York, followed by his medical degree at the University of Toronto. He completed his residency in dermatology at the University of British Columbia.

In his clinical practice, Dr. Zhou specializes in medical dermatology, skin oncology and laser skin surgery. He is active in scientific research on melanoma, skin pigmentation, rosacea, hyperhidrosis and psoriasis.

Dr. Zhou will make a presentation about his active research, discuss his training background and how he combines clinical work and research, and share his advice for clinician-scientist trainees.

Date and Time: Monday, 22 October 2007, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Del Dorscheid
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC, The James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research

Dr. Del Dorscheid grew up in Alberta, and was the first graduate from the formal combined MD/PhD program at McGill. He graduated from Medicine in 1993, and completed his PhD thesis in Experimental Medicine. He moved onto the University of Chicago where he completed his Internal Medicine residency and subsequently a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, including post-doctoral research with Dr. Steve White. After one year on the Faculty at the University of Chicago, he relocated with his family to Vancouver in 2000 to take a position in Critical Care Medicine at UBC.

Dr. Dorscheid is a member of the Divisions of Critical Care Medicine and Respirology at St. Paul’s Hospital. He attends in the medical intensive care unit at St. Paul’s and is a researcher at the iCAPTURE Centre, leading an active research group investigating inflammatory airway diseases including asthma and ARDS. He is also an MSFHR Scholar.

Dr. Dorscheid will make a presentation on his current research, and discuss his training background and advice for prospective clinical scientists.

Date and Time: Monday, 17 September 2007, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Invited speaker: Dr. Andrew Weng
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC
Senior Scientist, Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer Research Centre

Dr. Weng received his PhD and MD degrees at the University of Chicago and joined the UBC faculty in 2005. His research focuses on signal transduction via the Notch receptor in lymphoid cells. By understanding the role of Notch in cancer development, he hopes to develop methods for manipulating Notch activity to shut down the growth of established cancer cells, and perhaps also to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

Dr. Weng has a background in hematopathology, and in addition to talking about his research, he will also talk about his experiences and opinions on career development options for clinician-scientists.