Gender Equality Week, OVCARE, updates to the Maternal Microbiome Legacy Project, and more! ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏
September 2018
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Gender Equality Week 2018

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September 23rd marked the start of Canada's inaugural Gender Equality Week. Throughout the week we are sharing the ways that #EveryoneBenefits from gender equality in health research, across our social media.

BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre Foundation (BCWHF) also used this week to kick off their #AFutureOfEquality campaign. We encourage you to read more about their campaign, and share your own messages. 

Finally, on Friday, September 28th, we will be sharing ways that we can all #TakeActionForChange to address inequalities in health research, funding, leadership, and practice. Follow us @womensresearch on Twitter and Instagram, and let us know how you will #TakeActionForChange to move the needle on women’s health research.

World Sexual Health Day

On September 5th, 2018 WHRI held a celebration in honour of World Sexual Health Day. The event featured rapid-fire presentations from trainees and students covering a wide variety of topics relating to women’s sexual health and sexual rights.

Couldn't attend? Check out our Twitter Moment for some of the highlights.

Research Spotlight

This Ovarian Cancer Awareness month we are recognizing the history of OVCARE and the strides they've made in the field of ovarian cancer research, impacting women's health around the globe.

In December 2000 in the cafeteria at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), Drs. David Huntsman, Dianne Miller, and Blake Gilks sat down to brainstorm how they might improve outcomes for women with ovarian cancer.

Despite conventional research efforts in the field of ovarian cancer – both locally and internationally – there had not yet been a research breakthrough leading to significantly improved outcomes for women with the diagnosis. Most of these women died within five years of receiving the diagnosis, which motivated them to build a multidisciplinary team and core resources to facilitate research. At the time, it was unprecedented to have contrasting perspectives of a pathologist, geneticist, and clinically focused gynaecologic oncologist to tackle this disease.

They presented their plans to the BC Cancer Foundation and the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation. From there, OVCARE was born.

Read more.

Congratulations to Drs. Gina Ogilvie and Marette Lee!

Dr. Gina Ogilvie and Dr. Marette Lee have received a MSFHR 2018 Implementation Science Team Project Grant for the "At-Home Cervical Cancer Screening & Strategies To Enhance Engagement With The Care Pathway For Under-Screened Populations project".

They will use implementation science methodology to explore and address barriers to cervical cancer screening in BC to improve access to screening in under-served populations.

Read more.

World Alzheimer's Day

Did you know?
There is increasing evidence that women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease when they have a previous history of multiple pregnancies.

Check out this article by Drs. Paula Duarte-Guterman and Liisa Galea on research which aims to understand why Alzheimer’s Disease impacts women more so than men.

Read more.

Legacy Update

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The Maternal Microbiome LEGACY Project team is excited to announce the launch of our second study site, being led by Dr. Sheona Mitchell-Foster at the University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC) in Prince George!

The goal of the Maternal Microbiome LEGACY Project, being led by Dr. Deborah Money, is to help clarify the link between the vaginal microbiome, mode of the delivery (vaginal or caesarean section delivery), and the development of the infant gut microbiome. Since its launch earlier this year at BC Women’s Hospital, the Maternal Microbiome LEGACY Project has recruited over 160 participants from the greater Vancouver area. The addition of our Prince George site will help in establishing a study population which is more representative of the British Columbia population.

Read more.

Pharmacokinetics and Safety of Commonly Used Drugs in Lactating Women and Breastfed Infants

Dr. Wee-Shian Chan, Head of BC Women’s Department of Medicine, is leading a team based out of BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre (BCWH) to further research on the transfer of commonly used drugs from mother to child via breastmilk.

Keep reading.

Meet Gail Vincente, Research Coordinator!


I assumed the position of Research Coordinator for the Lead-in TMIST and Main TMIST Mammography Studies at WHRI in August 2018.

I have 14 years of experience in Clinical Research (7 in Cardiac Surgery Research at SPH & VGH and 7 in Haematology/Oncology Research at SPH) and 5 years in animal research.  I’ve participated in an FDA audit and a Health Canada Inspection.

I hold a MSc in Animal Science from UBC (Physiology & Nutrition).

I have been SoCRA CCRP certified from 2009-2018.


Meet Tobi Reid, Summer Student


What do you study?

I’m entering my third year of the UBC Midwifery Program in the Faculty of Medicine.

Who is supervising your project?

My supervisor is Dr. Nichole Fairbrother, Director of the Perinatal Anxiety Research (PAR) Labin Victoria, BC.

In one or two sentences, describe the project you’re working on:

I’m currently involved in two projects. The first is studying new mothers’ unwanted, intrusive thoughts of infant-related harm and how these thoughts relate to the development of postpartum anxiety disorders, like obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). My work on this project was supported through the 2018 UBC Faculty of Medicine Summer Student Research Program (SSRP). The other project I’m involved with is looking at the use of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as treatment for severe fear of childbirth. I’ll be presenting the results of this work as my 3rd year midwifery research project.

What’s your role in the project?

For the thoughts of harm study, I assisted with preparing survey and interview data for analysis using SPSS software. For the fear of childbirth study, I’ve been drafting resources to support the future development of an online CBT treatment manual. I’ve also helped out with funding and research ethics applications and literature reviews for these and other PAR Lab projects.

What’s been the most memorable/favourite thing you’ve done on the project so far?

I never thought I’d say this, because I don’t really consider myself to be much of a numbers or equations person, but I’ve really enjoyed learning how to write SPSS syntax. It’s like learning a new language! There’s something very satisfying about figuring out how to tell a computer program to turn a bunch of numbers into actual research findings. I’ve also learned a great deal about perinatal mental health in general, and I feel more equipped to support clients experiencing mental health challenges in my upcoming clinical placement.


Women Deliver 2019

Save the date for Women Deliver 2019, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women.

When: June 3-6, 2019
Where: Vancouver Convention Centre
More information.

The Stollery Midwifery Research Initiative

Are you a Midwife or Midwifery researcher looking for partner-funds or a jumpstart to your research project? UBC’s Midwifery Program is launching a research fund for Midwifery-led and Midwifery-related projects!

Applications are due November 2nd.
More information


Perinatal Data Registry

The Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) is pleased to announce the launch of a pilot project in partnership with Perinatal Services BC that will provide streamlined and efficient access to data within the BC Perinatal Data Registry (BCPDR).

Read more.

Congratulations to Dr. Lori Brotto!

Dr Lori Brotto has been elected as a member of the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists!

Read more.

Dr. Gillan Hanley

WHRI member Dr. Gillian Hanley is a health services and health economics researcher with OVCARE.

Read more about her work evaluating a knowledge translation initiative which asked gynaecologists across British Columbia to consider changing their practice to include opportunistic salpingectomy to prevent ovarian cancer.

UBC 2018 Faculty of Medicine Awards

Congratulations to WHRI members Drs. Joanne Weinberg and Jehannine Austin, who were recently awarded for their work in the UBC 2018 Faculty of Medicine Awards.

Read more.

Meet Dr. Sarah Munro!

Read our feature on Dr. Sarah Munro on her work on access to contraception and informed, shared decision-making.

Congratulations, Dr. Laura Schummers!

Dr. Laura Schummers was recently awarded with the Health System Impact Fellowship, co-funded by CIHR (70%) and BC Ministry of Health (30%). This is a two year award, Sep 2018 to Aug 2020, with total amount $155,000.

The title of Laura's project is Population-based epidemiological analyses to evaluate and inform reproductive health policies in British Columbia.