Meet the students!

Meet Aya, Chadni, Nicole, and Ryan, four students working on WHRI-affiliated projects over the summer.

Academic Institution Affiliation:
Academic Institution Position/Title:
Academic Affiliation Faculty:
Hospital/Health Centre Affiliation Position:
Degree(s):

Research areas of interest:
Research Themes:

Website:
Biography:

Aya Zakaria

What do you study?
I am currently a 4th year student in the Honours in Biotechnology program. It is a joint program between UBC and BCIT in which students spend two years in BCIT to undergo rigorous laboratory training, and the final two years in UBC to enhance their theoretical knowledge and research skills.

Who is supervising your project?
Dr. Hélène Côté and Anthony Hsieh. Anthony is a PhD student in the Côté Lab and is also an alumnus of the Honours in Biotechnology program.

In one or two sentences, describe the project you’re working on:
My research investigates the mitochondrial toxicity of various combination antiretroviral therapy regimens on primary human blood cells. These drugs are used to treat HIV and have been previously linked with mitochondrial damage. The focus will be centered on examining signs of mitochondrial damage such as changes in mitochondrial DNA content, membrane potential and reactive oxygen species.

What’s your role in the project?
Under the guidance of my supervisor, I am performing all the experiments and data analyses. I also play a primary role in designing each protocol.

What’s been the most memorable/favourite thing you’ve done on the project so far?
My favorite thing about this project is the independence I am given while designing, performing and analyzing my experiments and results. Being so heavily involved with each step has exposed me to the underlying principles of academic research. It also gave me the opportunity to strengthen my networking skills while interacting with the scientific communities that the Côté lab is part of, such as the Centre for Blood Research.


Chadni Khondokerchadni khondoker headshot

What do you study?
I am a fourth year Integrated Science Student integrating human physiology and motor function in the Faculty of Science at UBC Vancouver.

Who is supervising your project?
Dr. Melanie Murray is supervising the project.

In one or two sentences, describe the project you’re working on:
This study will use existing prospective data from the CARMA (Children and Women, AntiRetroviral and Markers of Aging) study to examine the contraceptive choices and associated factors of women living with HIV (WLWH) and their HIV-negative peers. WLWH less frequently choose hormonally based contraceptive methods when compared with their HIV-negative peers; we aim to determine associated factors such as drug interactions with antiretroviral therapy or other medical contraindications that may influence contraceptive prescribing practices.

What’s your role in the project? 
My role in the project is to conduct a literature review on the topic of contraceptive choice among women living with HIV, to determine the appropriate covariates for analysis, download and clean data from redcap for statistical analysis, as well as begin the preparation of a manuscript. I have the pleasure of attending educational talks delivered by inspiring professionals in the health care field that aid in the progression and development of this project.

What’s been the most memorable/favourite thing you’ve done on the project so far?
My favorite part off this project so far has been to be able to work along side and be mentored by a dynamic group of strong, inspiring female professionals. I am constantly left in awe by their passion, vision, and dedication to advancing health care and commitment to engaging marginalized populations. They go above and beyond for their patients as well as their students and role model ways to approach situations both objectively and with empathy. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to work at Oak Tree Clinic and l look forward to what lies ahead.

Connect with Chadni on LinkedIn


Nicole Ng

What do you study?
I am a medical student at UBC going into my second year!

Who is supervising your project?
Dr. Paul Yong

In one or two sentences, describe the project you’re working on:
Right now, I am working on a project looking at factors associated with negative impressions of the medical profession in women with endometriosis.

What’s your role in the project?
My role in the project is to analyze the data collected from the Endometriosis Pelvic Pain Interdisciplinary Cohort Data Registry at the BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis and to present my findings at different opportunities such as the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute Summer Student Research Program poster day.

What’s been the most memorable/favourite thing you’ve done on the project so far?
The most memorable thing I’ve done so far on the project is learning more about how chronic pelvic pain and endometriosis can have big impacts on different aspects of a woman’s quality of life and current approaches to address these problems.


Ryan Yanryan yan selfie

What do you study?
I am currently working on an audit of the Evaluating Maternal and fetal Markers for Adverse placental outcomes (EMMA) clinic here at BCWH.

Who is supervising your project?
Drs. Chantal Mayer and Julie Robertson

In one or two sentences, describe the project you’re working on:
Pregnant women across BC and Yukon are referred for assessment by their prenatal care providers (obstetricians, family doctors, midwives, etc.) if they are at high risk for developing placental disease, including pre-eclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction. We are investigating if the current referral criteria and in-clinic assessment appropriately selects the population at highest risk and what the maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes are.

What’s your role in the project?
Currently I am collecting data from various sources about the referral, EMMA assessment, and pregnancy outcomes, which will then be analyzed and ultimately used to inform better care.

What’s been the most memorable/favourite thing you’ve done on the project so far?
In June, I gave a short presentation of my work to other participants of the BCCHR Summer Student Research Program.