Building Connections: Trainee Mentoring Event

Join us virtually for the opportunity to connect with leaders in health sciences and build your networking confidence.

PART #1: Speed Mentoring - Tuesday, November 2 | 1:00 - 2:15 pm

During this virtual “speed dating” style event, you will have the opportunity to participate in 3 breakout  rooms to uncover the topics below. Each session will be approximately 20 minutes long and will include only 15 trainees and the mentor to maximize connections.

Please note, you will have the opportunity to prioritize your preferred topics/mentor during registration. However due to time and space restrictions your preferences cannot be guaranteed. 

Beyond Academia

  • Dr. Michael Barrus: Dr. Michael Barrus currently works as a user researcher at Google Stadia, where his research informs the development of tools for streamers using the cloud gaming platform. In his spare time, he enjoys research and information visualization consulting for Fisheries and Oceans Canada within the State of the Salmon program, working on the research and design of visualization and analysis tools to support the federal fisheries management planning process.

    Dr. Barrus earned a PhD in Psychology from the University of British Columbia, where he worked with Catharine Winstanley to study the neuroscience of risky decision making. He also enjoys photographing and writing about the natural world, and contribute media to publications and outdoor brands. 

    Dr. Madison Elliott: Dr. Madison Elliott is a UX Researcher with Google’s Privacy, Safety and Security team, where her work is focused on protecting users and keeping people’s Google Accounts safe. Prior to joining Google full time, she completed a PhD in Cognitive Psychology where she used psychophysics to investigate visual attention in data displays.

    During her PhD, Dr. Elliott interned twice with Google Health, working on AI tools to detect cancer in CT scans. She also freelanced as a web developer and data scientist with several finance and networking companies throughout her degree. Her long-term focus is creating better and more inclusive user experiences through better research and design.

    An enthusiastic methods nerd, Dr. Elliott is the co-founder of VISxVISION, an interdisciplinary research initiative that brings vision scientists and data visualization researchers together and promotes applied collaborations. Much of her academic career has been devoted to cataloging and improving scientific practices in both domains.

    Dr. Elliott holds an AA in Computer Science from the Community College of Baltimore County, a BA in Psychology from Roanoke College, an MA in Clinical Psychology from Towson University, and a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of British Columbia. She will not be pursuing any more degrees! 

Success in Academia, Transitioning from Postdoc to Faculty

  • Dr. Catrina Loucks: Dr. Catrina Loucks is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia. Catrina is working to improve pain management in women and children by identifying genetic factors that can help predict an individual’s need for, and subsequent response to, specific analgesics. Additionally, she is working to translate genetic discoveries into improvements in clinical care. Together, her work will allow for more individualized risk-benefit decisions for pain management in women and children, while also contributing to the discovery of novel components of pain response pathways that could pave the way for novel pain management strategies with increased safety and effectiveness.

Thriving in Industry

  • Dr. Adil Kassam: Dr. Adil Kassam is a Senior Scientist at Stemcell Technologies where he leads the Particle Chemistry Team producing magnetic nanoparticles for cell isolation products.

    Prior to joining Stemcell, Dr. Kassam worked as a Research Scientist at E-One Moli designing power tool Li-Ion batteries. He obtained his Ph.D. from McGill in Physical Chemistry and did a post-doctoral position at Dalhousie University on lithium ion battery materials. His undergraduate degree is in Engineering Chemistry from Queens. Dr. Kassam enjoys solving problems using his knowledge from chemistry, data analysis, materials science and engineering. 
  • Dr. Poh Tan: Dr. Poh Tan is the CEO and Founder of STEMedge Academy Inc., where academic learning coaches work with high school students through a 1:1 personalized learning model to develop transferable life-long learning skills in STEM. Dr. Tan obtained her first PhD from the University of British Columbia in Experimental Medicine and is currently completing a PhD in science education, with a focus on Indigenous Hawaiian knowledge at Simon Fraser University.  She is SCWIST's newest Vice-President and board of director in Strategic Partnerships Development and Fundraising where she manages the organization’s fundraising team to build and scale innovative partnerships and fundraising initiatives, to support and empower women and girls in STEM.

Uncovering Non-Traditional Research Careers

  • Dr. Dawn McArthur: Dr Dawn McArthur is Director, Research and Technology Development at BC Children's Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR). BCCHR is one of UBC’s four hospital-based research institutes and has 300+ full time investigators. It is western Canada’s largest child health research institute and is located on the academic health sciences campus of BC’s tertiary care hospitals for children (BCCH) and women (BC Women’s Hospital). 

    Dr McArthur is one of Canada’s first research grants facilitators, and has held senior research development positions for 20+ years. After postdoctoral training, she was hired as the second Senior University Grants Facilitator at Simon Fraser University (1999-2003). In this strategic role, she worked with the VP research and faculty from across the university. In 2003, Dr McArthur was recruited to BCCHR to establish and lead the Research & Technology Development Office (RTDO), with the mandate to enhance research excellence, capacity, and competitiveness of the Institute's multi-disciplinary research community. RTDO has an exceptional record for success and has helped bring in more than $500 million in external funding. ​

    ​She has worked with researchers from all fields, from arts/design to zoology.  She gives workshops and webinars in Canada and abroad on various topics related to grants and research development. 

Women in Science

  • Dr. Jehannine Austin: Dr. Jehannine Austin is the Executive Director of the BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Research Institute, and is a Professor in Psychiatry & Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia. Jehannine is a board certified genetic counsellor and her research work involves studying the impact of genetic counselling for people with psychiatric disorders and their families. They founded the world’s first specialist psychiatric genetic counselling service that has won an award for its impact on patient outcomes, and in addition to peer-reviewed publications, has written a book, and won awards for teaching, leadership, and research. Jehannine is a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

The Clinician & Scientist

  • Dr. Jonathan Wong: Dr. Wong is currently practicing as a neonatologist at BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital. He completed medical school at the University of Toronto, pediatric residency training at Queen’s University, and sub-specialty training in neonatal-perinatal medicine at the University of Toronto.
    Jonathan has an interest in medical education and received a master’s degree in Health Practitioner Teacher Education from the University of Toronto. He is actively involved in supporting the education initiatives in the neonatal-perinatal medicine program, where he co-developed the simulation program and now oversees the academic education curriculum and medical students. Jonathan has also worked to support various health information and technology initiatives, including the clinical systems transformation project (CST) and virtual health initiatives.
    His research focus is on neonatal respiratory physiology, where he has been involved in a number of multi-center studies and primarily looking at non-invasive ventilations strategies. He is currently the UBC site investigator for the Canadian Neonatal Network. Recently, he has been involved in research proposals looking at machine learning for the prediction of chronic lung disease as well as looking at ways to use physiologic data for event prediction in the NICU.

Uncovering Research Leadership

  • Dr. Bruce CarletonDr. Bruce Carleton has been at the BC Children’s Hospital for 30 years.  He is Director of the Pharmaceutical Outcomes Programme and Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Genetics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Population & Public Health at UBC.  He is the Chief of the Division of Translational Therapeutics, in the Department of Pediatrics and a Senior Clinician Scientist at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute.  His work in genomics is more recent, since 2004.  When he isn’t working he can be found boating, hiking, biking and touring around the Sunshine Coast and Hawai’i.  The latter of course pre-pandemic.  Now his exotic destinations include El Patio de Cabana and La Kitchen.

Moderated by Dr. Amirah E. AlyDr. Amirah Aly is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia where she is affiliated with the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, as well as the Department of Medical Genetics. She holds a PhD in Pharmacology from Northeastern University in Boston, where she established the efficacy of a novel intranasal GDNF gene therapy approach for treating Parkinson’s disease. Amirah also holds a Bachelors of Pharmacy from Kuwait University.

PART #2: Be a More Confident Networker - Monday, November 29 | 11:00 - 12:30 pm

Most people don’t think they have the time to build their network. They’ll often say, “I’ll build one, when I need one.” Unfortunately, by then it’s too late. You need to start building your network before you need one. And these high-trust relationships take time to develop.
Networking isn’t rocket science. You don’t have to be a natural at it, nor do only extroverts succeed at networking. Join Gayle Hallgren-Rezac and Judy Thomson, two of Canada’s top networking experts, to learn some of the ‘how tos’ of networking. Event Poster

Learning Objects:

  1. Why networking is easy with a philosophy of Positive Networking®
  2. Why you need a network
  3. Top networking challenges solved
  4. Best tips for networking in the virtual world
  5. How to make networking a habit


Participation is open to trainees of all levels affiliated with research on the Oak Street Campus. Space is limited.

To register, click here

For any questions or concerns please contact