Dr. Lori A. Brotto | Executive Director
PhD, R Psych
Dr. Lori A. Brotto is the Executive Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre. Dr. Brotto is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, with a Joint Appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health. Her program of research focuses on women’s sexual health, and includes randomized controlled trials of psychological interventions (such as mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy) to address low desire in women and chronic genital pain (vulvodynia). She has a strong interest in quality of life among survivors, and has been involved in a number of studies to address sexual health among cancer survivors. To that end, she is a member of the Gynecologic Cancer Collaborative Cluster, lead by Dr. Gavin Stuart. Her CFI-funded research lab is located at Vancouver Hospital and is equipped with sexual psychophysiological measures, an eye tracker, and infrastructure to support salivary hormone collections. She also collaborates on studies exploring asexuality, culture and sexuality, and most recently, digital technologies to deliver women’s sexual health programs.
As a member of the Women’s Health Research Cluster, she is part of the “Applied” theme, which collectively examine women’s health research and its applications to clinical practice and policy. In her role as WHRI Executive Director, Dr. Brotto works closely with the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) as well as other health authorities to raise the profile of research. This relationship also provides opportunities to champion women’s research needs across PHSA settings.
Dr. Gina Ogilvie | Associate Director
MD, MSc, FCFP, DrPH
Dr. Gina Ogilvie is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Global Control of HPV related diseases and prevention, and Professor at the University of British Columbia in the School of Population and Public Health. She is also Senior Public Health Scientist at BC Centre for Disease Control and Senior Research Advisor at the BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre. She was previously Medical Director of Clinical Prevention Services at BC Centre for Disease Control where she provided both operational and scientific leadership to an integrated public health unit with over 100 staff. This unit focuses on providing public health leadership and service in STIs, HIV, Hepatitis and Tuberculosis provincially, nationally and globally. Dr. Ogilvie is currently principal investigator on over 10 million dollars in research grants and she has received funding from NIH, PHAC, CIHR, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Canadian Foundation for Innovation and private foundations including BC Women’s Hospital Foundation among others. Her research is focused on both the public health and clinical aspects of reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, HPV screening and the HPV vaccine, and her findings have been highly influential in setting and directing health policy both in Canada and globally. Among other research projects, she is principal investigator for the ASPIRE program, a global health initiative conducting research and providing women-centred, innovative solutions for cervical cancer prevention and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa. She also leads HPV FOCAL, which is a randomized trial of over 25,000 women comparing primary screening for cervical cancer, and QUEST, a pragmatic randomized trial defining the effectiveness of reduced dosing of the HPV vaccine.
Dr. Paul Yong | Assistant Director WHRI
MD, PhD, FRSCSC
Dr. Paul Yong is a gynecologist with fellowship training in Endometriosis, Pelvic Pain and Advanced Laparoscopy, and Associate Professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Dr. Yong holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain, and is Research Director at the BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis. As PI of the UBC Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Laboratory, Dr. Yong leads a research program that focuses on local neurogenesis, somatic mutations, and central sensitization in endometriosis pain (with a focus on dyspareunia) which has been supported by CIHR, CFI, and Michael Smith Health Research BC. Other roles for Dr. Yong have included serving as co-chair of the gynecology clinical practice committee for the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC); on the early career board of the World Endometriosis Society (WES); and as a member of the EndoAct.ca.
Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Jehannine Austin
PhD, MSc (Genetic Counselling), CCGC/CGCFCAHS
Dr. Jehannine Austin is a Professor in Psychiatry & Medical Genetics at UBC, where she holds the Canada Research Chair in Translational Psychiatric Genomics. She is also executive director of the BC Provincial Health Authority’s Mental Health and Addictions Research Institute. Jehannine is a genetic counselor by clinical training and her research work involves studying the impact of genetic counseling for people with psychiatric disorders and their families. She founded the world’s first specialist psychiatric genetic counseling service that has won an award for its impact on patient outcomes, and is being used as a model for other similar initiatives that are being started around the world. In addition to peer-reviewed publications, she has written a book, and won national and international awards for innovation, leadership, and research as well as a Killam teaching prize. She has been graduate advisor to UBC’s genetic counseling MSc program for the last 11 years. In 2016, she became the first non-American president of the 4000 member US based National Society of Genetic Counselors. She is the first genetic counselor to be a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, or a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
Dr. Hamideh Bayrampour
Dr. Hamideh Bayrampour is an Assistant Professor in Midwifery Program, Department of Family Practice, an associate member in the School of Population and Public Health and a faculty member in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences program at UBC. Dr. Bayrampour’s research interests are in the areas of maternal mental health and substance use and pregnancy outcomes. She is particularly interested in maternal anxiety and its assessment during the perinatal period. She has research expertise in conducting systematic reviews, quantitative and qualitative research, mixed methods studies, and concept and trajectory analysis.
Dr. Kristin Campbell
PhD, PT, BSc
Dr. Kristin Campbell is a licensed physical therapist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia. She also holds appointments at the Centre of Excellence in Cancer Prevention and BC Cancer Cancer Control Program. She is a member of the Oncology Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. She completed her PhD in exercise physiology at the University of Alberta and a Fellowship in Public Health at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre. Her research focus is on the role of exercise in cancer prevention, rehabilitation and survivorship has been funded by the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada and others. She is currently the co-lead for the update of the exercise guidelines for cancer survivors from the American College of Sports Medicine and an associate editor for Physical Therapy, the journal of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Dr. Liisa Galea
Dr. Liisa Galea is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, a member of the Centre for Brain Health, Director of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, and a Scientific Advisor at Women’s Health Research Institute at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Galea obtained her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Western Ontario and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University. She is a Distinguished University Scholar, holds an NSERC-Discovery Accelerator Supplement (for the second time), won a Michael Smith Senior Scholar Award, Cattell Sabbatical Award and the Vancouver YWCA Women of Distinction award (Technology, Science and Research). She was recognized as a Fellow at International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS) and the Kavli Foundation. She has over 140 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and has over 7000 citations with over 600 citations per year since 2013. Dr. Galea is the chief editor of FiN (Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology IF: 6.875, ranked #1 in Endocrinology & Autonomic Systems), an editor of eNeuro, past section editor of Neuroscience and serves/served on the editorial boards of Endocrinology, Hormones and Behavior, and Neuroscience. Dr. Galea has served on peer review panels for National Institute of Health (USA), Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and NSERC. She has held operating grants from CIHR, NSERC, and Alzheimer Society of Canada and secured over $6.5M as the principal investigator and $3M as co-principal investigator in operating grants in total. She is an elected council member of international scholarly committees Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD) and International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS). Liisa Galea sits on the advisory board of Institute of Gender and Health at CIHR. She serves on the Advocacy and EDI committees of Canadian Association for Neuroscience.
Dr. Gillian Hanley
Dr. Gillian Hanley is an Assistant Professor in the department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia. She is a CIHR New Investigator and Michael Smith Foundation Scholar. She obtained her BSc at Dalhousie University where she did a combined Honours in Biology and Economics, followed by a MA at McMaster University in Economics with a concentration in health economics, and finally her doctorate studies at UBC in the School of Population and Public Health. Her research focus combines her substantive interest in women’s health with her training in economics, health services research, and epidemiology to answer questions related to gynecologic cancer, primarily ovarian cancer prevention, as well as healthy reproduction and pregnancy.
Dr. Angela Kaida
Dr. Angela Kaida is an Associate Professor and global health epidemiologist in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Global Perspectives on HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health. Dr. Kaida has been awarded funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, Grand Challenges Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH/NICHD) to lead a community-based research program focused on factors and environments that increase vulnerability or protect sexual and reproductive health. Dr. Kaida conducts mixed-method research among women living with HIV in Canada, safer conception intervention research among men living with HIV who desire children in Uganda, and inter-disciplinary HIV prevention research among adolescent girls and young women at high risk for HIV in South Africa. Her research provides evidence for developing effective social and health policies and programming to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights for HIV-affected individuals and communities. Throughout her career, Dr. Kaida has worked closely with community leaders and decision-makers to integrate research evidence into sexual and reproductive health policy and programming, using a social and gender equity lens. She has served in numerous institutional, national, and global leadership roles including with the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research, sub-Saharan African Network of TB and HIV research Excellence (SANTHE), the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR), and the Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI). To read more about Dr. Kaida’s research contributions, please click here.
Dr. Joelle LeMoult
Dr. Joelle LeMoult is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. She is the Director of the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Laboratory, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar, and a registered clinical psychologist. Through her research, she works to further our understanding of the onset, maintenance, and treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders in adolescents and adults. Using an integrated approach, she examines the cognitive, emotional, and biological responses to stress that contribute to symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Dr. LeMoult has published numerous empirical articles, book chapters, and theoretical papers examining the link between stress and depression, and for her contributions to the field, she received the Rising Stars award from both the Association for Psychological Science and the Society for Research in Psychopathology. Her work is funded by CIHR, SSHRC, and NSERC.
Dr. Sheona Mitchell
MD, MPH, FRCSC
Dr. Sheona Mitchell is a practicing Obstetrician Gynecologist and Assistant Professor with the Northern Medical Program based in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. After medical school at the University of Calgary, she completed her specialty training and Clinical Investigator fellowship in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia as well as a Masters of Public Health at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Mitchell has a keen interest in reproductive health of marginalized populations and has worked extensively in East Africa on cervical cancer prevention using HPV self-collection for screening. Other areas of current research include perinatal substance use in Northern British Columbia with a focus on aboriginal and underserved populations.
Dr. Jerilynn Prior
BA, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Jerilynn C. Prior is a Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of British Columbia working in the area of women’s health. She has devoted her career to investigating women’s menstrual cycles, the population variability of ovulation, the physiology, hormonal change, experiences of and perimenopause treatment, menopausal hot flushes progesterone treatment and the important role progesterone plays in preventing and treating osteoporosis. She is the 2019 recipient of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Aubrey J. Tingle Prize awarded to a BC clinician scientist whose work in health research is internationally recognized. She was honoured in 2017 by WHRI for Knowledge Translation in women’s health research. She founded (2002) and is the Scientific Director of the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR) with its website (www.cemcor.ca) providing practical plain-language evidence based information to 3,500-5,000/day.
She was a founder and 20-year scientist with the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos) and is continuing to lead the BC CaMos Centre. In addition to authoring over 180 peer-reviewed papers (H Index 61), Dr. Prior is the author of the award-winning novel, Estrogen’s Storm Season: Stories of Perimenopause, written to inform and empower perimenopausal women.
Dr. Laura Schummers
Dr. Laura Schummers is a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist. After completing her doctorate of science in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Schummers joined the Contraception and Abortion Research Team in the Department of Family Practice at UBC as a postdoctoral fellow. She holds a BC Ministry of Health-CIHR Health System Impact Fellowship and a Research Trainee award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. Dr. Schummers’s research uses large population-based administrative health databases to examine health services, policy, and clinical research questions related to women’s reproductive and perinatal health.
Dr. Sandesh Shivananda
MD, MBBS, MSc
Dr. Sandesh Shivananda is an Associate Professor at UBC and a Staff Neonatologist at BC Women’s Hospital, with the Division of Neonatology. Dr. Shivananda received his Medical Degree from the University of Mysore, 1998 and then was trained in Neonatology at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, India (1997-2003) and at the University of Toronto, 2007. From there, Dr. Shivananda completed his Masters in Health Informatics at the University of Victoria, BC.
Dr. Shivananda’s interests lie in knowledge translation, integration of technology, and quality improvement. His focus has been in designing, implementing, and evaluating QI programs. He is also the site investigator for the Canadian Neonatal Network’s – Evidence based Practice for Improving Quality. He co-chairs the Neonatal Leadership and Quality and Safety Improvement committees. He also serves as the EPIQ workshop lead facilitator.
Dr. Joanne Weinberg
Dr. Joanne Weinberg is a Professor & Distinguished University Scholar, Emerita in the Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia. She is also an associate member of the Department of Psychology, the Center for Brain Health, and the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
She is an internationally recognized expert in the area of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE), stress, and neuroendocrine-neuroimmune regulation, with a specific focus on mechanisms underlying prenatal alcohol effects on fetal programming of neurobiological systems. In addition to her animal model studies examining brain-behavior relationships from prenatal life through adulthood, she has collaborated actively with clinical researchers to extend her expertise on stress, programming and development to human populations. Of particular note, she was awarded a Developmental Project from the Collaborative Initiative on FASD (CIFASD), an international consortium funded by NIAAA, to examine immune function/inflammation in pregnant alcohol-consuming and control women and their children who are part of a CIFASD longitudinal study (PI: Chambers). She is currently extending this work with a U01 newly awarded as part of CIFASD4 to investigate links among maternal alcohol consumption, inflammation, and outcomes in infants, children and adults with FASD.
Dr. Paul Yong
MD, PhD, FRCSC
Dr. Paul Yong is a gynecologist with fellowship training in minimally invasive surgery, and Assistant Professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Dr. Yong is Director of the UBC OB/GYN Residency Rotation in Chronic Pelvic Pain and Minimally Invasive Surgery, and Co-Director of the UBC Reproductive and Developmental Sciences Graduate Program. In addition, Dr. Yong is Research Director at the BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis (http://Womenspelvicpainendo.com), with his research focusing on endometriosis-associated sexual pain (http://Yonglab.med.ubc.ca).