The BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH) Pediatric Emergency Department (PED) receives approximately 50,000 visits per year, serving as the first point of care for the province’s most critically ill children and youth. Recognizing the increasing demand on the PED to provide care to more children with complex medical and mental health conditions each year, further research is needed to help the department improve the delivery of quality and timely care. Introduced in 2016, the Student-based Applied Research Training (START) Program is comprised of a team of research trainees that help facilitate several research projects currently being conducted in the department. In collaboration with the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR), the START program is dedicated to fulfilling the organization’s mission of conducting translational and clinical research to benefit the health of children and their families.

What is the Purpose of the START Program?

The START program is designed to provide daily research support in the PED. Having specially trained START students screening and enrolling patient participants ensures that research is being performed at a high quality level. The caliber of the students in the program also contributes to creating a positive experience for patients and families participating in research. Participation in the START program provides students who are interested in health professions with a better understanding of how clinical research is conducted, potentially increasing the number of students considering a career in research. 

How can this experience benefit students?

The START program provides students with exposure to the fast-paced, diverse world of emergency medicine. The program is beneficial to students who may be considering graduate studies, professional programs, or other careers in the health care field. The START program allows students to gain first-hand experience with clinical research being conducted in the BCCH PED. Students will have the opportunity to learn about and recruit for studies that use various research methods, including large multi-centre observational studies and clinical trials. In addition, students will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced clinical staff in a tertiary care PED. Working onsite in the BCCH PED provides START students with the chance to engage in inter-professional relationships with nurses, physicians, clinical trainees, and other health care professionals. Reference letters for students in good standing may be available upon request. Performance evaluations and training sessions occur on an ongoing basis to help support students’ learning and growth. 

Roles and Responsibilities of START Trainees

Our START students assist with recruitment activities in the BCCH PED, which includes screening for and approaching potential participants. This involves discussing the purpose of the studies with patients and families and determining eligibility criteria. The student then establishes whether the family is interested in participating and obtains informed consent when appropriate. The student also enrolls participants and obtains research-related data from patient medical records, liaising with clinical staff in the department. Data is then entered into our research database, REDCap. These duties and responsibilities will be performed under the direct supervision of Research Coordinators.

Who is eligible?

Current or returning undergraduate students, or recently graduated students from an accredited post-secondary program are eligible for this research-training program. Previous research experience is preferred, but not necessary.

What is required?

Students will be asked to commit to four 6-hour shifts per month. Shifts take placed in the PED and run from 1000 – 1600 and 1600 – 2200, seven days a week:

The program runs year-round. All START students must:

  • Submit a Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector (valid within 2 years)
  • Required to submit your QR Code for proof of vaccination against COVID-19
  • Complete onboarding training courses through BCCHR accessed via the PHSA LearningHub
    • Privacy & Security 101 
    • Provincial Code Red - Fire Safety Training 
    • UBC Preventing and Addressing Bullying & Harassment OR PHSA Respectful Workshop
    • Infection Prevention and Control Basics for Not involved in Direct Clinical Care
       
  • Complete online Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS 2) ethics training certificate
  • Complete online Good Clinical Practice (GCP) certificate
  • Complete online Health Canada Division 5
  • Complete online N2 SOP (once selected and onboarded)
  • Study Standard Operating Procedures, requiring dedicated time to learn and understand
  • Attend the START Team Zoom Orientation training 

Qualifications

To be considered for the START team, applicants should possess:

  • Excellent attention to detail and organizational skills
  • Ability to deal with a diverse population in a calm, courteous, and effective manner
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Efficient time management skills
  • Ability to be self-directed, resourceful, flexible and take initiative
  • Basic proficiency with technology i.e. tablets, PC and Mac operating systems
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and in a team environment
  • Experience interacting with health care providers and patients, collecting data in a research context, and/or a general understand of the PED would be strong assets 

Application procedures

Click on the button below to fill out our application form. 

Application Form

START Team Members

Dr. Vikram Sabhaney

Dr. Vikram Sabhaney

Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Attending Physician and Fellowship Director, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, BC Children’s Hospital

Nancy Norton

Nancy Norton

START Coordinator

Nancy has been in the medical field since 2018. She started with BC Cancer as a Research Assistant on the BC Lung Screen Trial and continued through the Lung Screening Program.

Between 2018 and now, she became a Health Care Assistant, Health Unit Coordinator and a Medical Office Assistant. Currently pausing her Bachelor in Health Sciences, she is looking for another field that is more hands on in medical file and is interested in Phlebotomy or Medical Data Research. She spent a lot of time in the private sector before 2018, working in technology and manufacturing. She has a programming degree and the coolest thing before starting in the medical field was working for a plastics manufacturer using potato peels to make — as a partial replacement — some of the products used to manufacture plastic. 

Candice Wiedman

Candice Wiedman

PEM Research Coordinator

Candice is a Clinical Research Coordinator with the Clinical Research Support Unit (CRSU) since December 2023. She has worked in clinical research at BC Children's Hospital for over four years. Previous education includes a bachelors and masters degree in science. She enjoys many things, including spending time with family and developing creativity in areas of art and baking.

Karly Stillwell

Karly Stillwell

PERC Research Coordinator

Karly is a Research Coordinator in the Doan Lab, and has been working with the lab since May 2014. Karly graduated from UBC with a Combined Major in Science. In her free time, she enjoys taking her dog to the beach, playing soccer, and traveling.

Dr. Quynh Doan

Dr. Quynh Doan

Investigator and Pediatric Emergency Physician, BC Children’s Hospital

Yury Onikashvili

Yury Onikashvili

Yury is a third-year student studying Chemical Biology at UBC. He was inspired by his great-grandmother Tamara, who was a surgeon in the republic of Georgia, to pursue medical research. In his free time, he is scouring Vancouver for good food, studying with friends, or playing the bass guitar.

Erica Won

Erica Won

Erica is a 5th year undergraduate student studying Microbiology and Immunology at UBC. She completed two co-op positions at the Tucker lab (Paediatric Rheumatology) and Bedaiwy Lab (Early Pregnancy), contributing to juvenile idiopathic arthritis research and investigating the causes of recurrent pregnancy loss and Asherman syndrome, respectively. Outside of research, Erica enjoys volunteering at her local thrift shop, cuddling babies in the NICU, reading books, going for long walks, and painting!

Olamide Olabiyi

Olamide Olabiyi

Olamide is second year Honors Biology student at UBC. She is passionate about child and youth mental health, as well as inclusion and equity. Outside of START, Olamide is a Child Life Volunteer at BC Children's Hospital, the co-president of the Black Student Union, the treasurer of the Medical Genetics Club, and a computer science TA. In her spare time, Olamide enjoys playing Wordle, travelling, knitting, and catching up on reality TV.

Sammy Gee

Sammy Gee

Sammy is a second-year undergraduate student majoring in Integrated Sciences at UBC, with physiology and immunology as her disciplines. She is passionate about youth mental health as well as immunology. Outside of school, she can be found playing soccer, basketball, and exploring new food places around Vancouver. 

Rameen Siddiqui

Rameen Siddiqui

Rameen is a graduate who studied Biology and Philosophy at UBC. She is passionate about psychiatry and neuroscience and is interested in linking the biological mechanisms of the brain to socio-cultural aspects of mental health. Outside of START, she conducts research at BCCH, investigating the nature of ADHD among first-generation immigrant adolescents. In her free time, Rameen loves watching movies, cooking, and making art.

Christine Chen

Christine Chen

Christine is a fifth-year student at UBC studying biology. Prior to START, she worked at the lung center at VGH studying the clinical implications of air pollution and respiratory health for people with COPD, asthma, and allergic reactions. She is passionate about improving the quality of care for vulnerable populations and contributes through clinical research and volunteering. In her free time, she enjoys trying new food places, watching TV shows, and weightlifting.

Mido Luo

Mido Luo

Mido is a second-year pharmacology student at UBC. She is interested in research topics in drug development, immunology, and myopia. In her spare time, she can be found reading, podcast-producing, cooking, and playing badminton or volleyball. 

Tina Lee

Tina Lee

Tina is entering her fourth year in the Microbiology and Immunology Program at UBC. She is currently enjoying her co-op position at BC Cancer as an Ovarian Cancer Research Assistant, but she is also deeply interested in autoimmune disorders and neurodevelopmental conditions. She spends her spare time acquiring languages, volunteering at various organizations, and hoarding encyclopedias and reference books.

Inaya Bhimani

Inaya Bhimani

Inaya is a third year Behavioural Neuroscience major at UBC. She is most interested in paediatric research and public health, and enjoys working with children. In her spare time, she can be found writing, volunteering, and spending time with her friends and family. 

Hannah Locco

Hannah Locco

Hannah is a third year undergraduate student at UBC majoring in biology. Outside of START, she is the treasurer for the sign language and deaf advocacy club at​ UBC and is part of a team developing a board game that educates children on viruses and the importance of vaccines. In her spare time, she loves exploring Vancouver, going to spin classes, and talking with family and friends.

Saina Nemati

Saina Nemati

Saina is a fourth-year Pharmacology student at UBC. Outside of START, she is involved in spinal cord injury research at ICORD and in the Responsive, Interdisciplinary, Intersectional Child and Community Health Education Research (RICHER). She is also a Child-life volunteer in the BC Children’s Hospital Emergency Department. In her free time, she loves to swim, travel, and spend time with her family and friends.

Yasaman Yaghoub

Yasaman Yaghoub

Yasi recently graduated from UBC with a major in biology. She is passionate about human health advances and loves working with kids. Outside of START, she is involved in Orthopedics research in the HIPpy lab at BCCHR, advocates for marginalized groups at MOSAIC, and is the emergency response team leader at the Red cross. In her free time, you can find her designing illustrations, enjoying her dance class, and advocating for sustainability in the CityHive’s climate innovation lab.

Eniola Owonifaari

Eniola Owonifaari

Eniola is a third-year biology student at UBC. Outside of START, she volunteers with the hemodialysis unit at Vancouver General Hospital and is a child-life volunteer at BC Children's Hospital PICU. She is also the Vice President of Internal Affairs for the UBC Black Student Union. In her free time, she enjoys being with her family and friends, playing piano, and trying different restaurants around Vancouver.

Rhea  Sidhu

Rhea Sidhu

Rhea is a third-year Integrated Sciences student at UBC, with a focus on Anatomical and Biological Sciences as well as Human Health, Disease, and Injury. She is involved in various positions related to her field of study and personal interests, including volunteering at the REACH Community Health Centre, Doctors of Sullivan Heights Medical Clinic, and the Elango Lab at BCCHR. Rhea is also involved as a coach for the Youth Empowering Youth program and works with Indigenous youth living in rural areas through the InSTEM Mentorship program. In addition, Rhea is excited to begin her position as a Research Coordinator with St. Paul’s Colorectal Surgery Group in May. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog Charlie, completing 1000-piece puzzles, jogging and baking.

Danial Almasizadeh

Danial Almasizadeh

Danial is a recent graduate from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Biology. His passion lies in contributing to clinical research and providing mental health support through the START program, Vancouver Coastal Health volunteer resources, and KidsHelpPhone online platform. In his free time, Danial enjoys playing the piano, watching Netflix documentaries, and embarking on adventurous hikes in the North Shore mountains.

Isobel Casey

Isobel Casey

Isobel recently graduated from Quest University with a major in public health, where she also completed a thesis on Visible Minority Experiences in Emergency Departments. While she takes a break from higher education, she is working as the research assistant for the BC-PDR in the Amed Lab at BCCHR and voluteering for Street Saviours and Bard on the Beach. In her free time, you can find her travelling, marathon training, and eating some delicious food.

Kishor Sivanesan

Kishor Sivanesan

Kishor is a fourth year Microbiology & Immunology student at UBC. In addition to START, he works in the Orthopaedics Foot & Ankle department at St. Paul's Hospital as a clinical research assistant, where he developed interests in orthopaedics and sports medicine. He also has interests in spinal cord injury research as shown through his time volunteering with ICORD and BCMOS. During the school year, Kishor enjoys being involved on campus as an Intramural Staff member. In his spare time, he enjoys staying active by swimming, long-distance running, and hiking.
 

Palak Tank

Palak Tank

Palak is a fourth-year student in the Microbiology and Immunology program at UBC. Apart from her ongoing BSc degree at UBC, she also graduated from BCIT with a diploma in biotechnology. Outside of START, she is involved in Make a Smile charities at UBC as a Vice President and a Vive Director of International Relationships at FIMRC - UBC, where she advocates for health care equality for underprivileged groups. In the past, Palak explored diverse fields during her work placements, where she interned as a Research Assistant at Natural Health and Food Products Group at BCIT, Laboratory Analyst at ALS Environmental, and Research Associate Intern at Raphael Herbals. One of her most cherished research projects was when she analyzed the properties and efficacy of hand sanitizer products from all across metro Vancouver during Covid-19, which was featured in NHPRS and Women in STEM conferences. In her free time, you can find her immersed in drawing and exploring new concepts of architecture, and she also enjoys cooking and baking.

Sahib Singh Suri

Sahib Singh Suri

Sahib has graduated from UBC in the Bachelor's of Medical Laboratory Science. He was involved in a collaborative project between the Center of Blood Research (CBR) at UBC and the Department of Vascular Surgery at VGH as a summer student. In this project, he analyzed the shedding of hydrophilic polymer from endovascular sheaths. He also worked as a Laboratory Assistant with PHSA in a pre-analytical COVID response lab in downtown Vancouver. He currently works at the Vaccine Evaluation Center at the BC Children's Hospital as a Research Assistant.

Pavneet  Khakh

Pavneet  Khakh

Pav is a UBC Biology student. He is passionate and interested in topics pertaining to youth mental health. Outside of school, he can be found playing the piano, soccer, basketball or volunteering.

Alessia De Blasio

Alessia De Blasio

Alessia is a third year Integrated Sciences student at UBC studying Behavioural Neuroscience and Disease Epidemiology. Outside of START, she volunteers with the Child Life program in the Emergency Department at BC Children's Hospital and with the UBC Wellness Centre as a Peer Health Educator. In her spare time, she enjoys playing piano and cheering on the women’s soccer team that she manages.

Susan Zhang

Susan Zhang

Susan is a fourth year Microbiology and Immunology student at UBC. She is deeply interested in immunology and human pathology. Outside of START, she is involved in a variety of wet lab research projects. In her “academic” free time, she can be found reading up on immunotherapy, metabolism, inflammation, and various diseases. Outside of academia, she enjoys running at night, dance classes, night skiing, and long calls with friends.

Nandini Kaushal

Nandini Kaushal is a fourth-year Bachelor of Health Science student at SFU. She is majoring in population and quantitative health sciences. She is passionate about paediatric health and medicine. Outside of START, she works as a behaviour interventionist & speech language pathology assistant for children with special needs. In her spare time she can be found painting, volunteering, cooking or hiking.

Zelyn Lee

Zelyn Lee

Zelyn is a Master's student in the Women+ and Children's Health Sciences program at UBC. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, majoring in Neuroscience and Physiology. Zelyn is passionate about health literacy and accessibility within the community. For her Master's thesis, Zelyn is culturally adapting MyHEARTSMAP into Chinese to make mental health screening and resource navigation tools more inclusive and accessible for Chinese youth and families. In her downtime, she loves recharging by spending time with friends and family, going on outdoor adventures, and hunting down her new favourite restaurant!

Joanne Park

Joanne Park

Joanne is a fourth year Kinesiology student at UBC. Outside of START, she is a research assistant for the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit at BC Children’s Hospital and she volunteers in the Intensive Care Unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital. She is passionate about working with children and is interested in paediatric research. In her spare time, she can be found playing basketball, crocheting, and trying new Celsius flavours!

Greg Nikas

Greg Nikas

Greg is a recent UBC graduate holding a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology & Immunology. His research interests involve molecular virology and structural biology and he is passionate about understanding viral infection and the mechanisms of inhibiting and preventing illness. He is currently a research assistant in the Tocheva Lab at UBC working on uncovering the mechanisms of outer membrane protein biogenesis of sporulating bacteria. Before START he was a Co-op research technician at Virogin Biotech, where he studied oncolytic viruses as a cancer therapeutic and a teaching assistant for the Foundations of Microbiology course at UBC. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the outdoors, playing spike ball, travelling, and spending time with family.

Lily Chen

Lily Chen

Lily is a third-year microbiology & immunology student at UBC. In addition to START, she is a Child Life volunteer at BC Children's Hospital and a biology peer tutor at UBC. She is passionate about novel medical research in orthopedic care and vaccine development. In her spare time, she enjoys weight lifting, swimming, hiking, and travelling.

Nazanin Sadoughian

Nazanin Sadoughian

Nazanin is fourth-year Behavioural Neuroscience student at UBC. Outside of START, she volunteers for the physiotherapy program at UBC Hospital, with the UBC Wellness Centre as a Peer Health Educator, and has served as VP Initiatives for the UBC Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Targeted Hope and Support club for two years. She also works as a Clinical Research Assistant at the Vancouver General Hospital Emergency Department in the road safety research team. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching figure skating, baking new recipes, and spending time with family and friends!

Research Student Trainee Award

Andrew Sze

The purpose of the Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) Research Trainee Award is to recognize a member of the Student-based Applied Research Training (START) Program, who exemplifies integrity, professionalism, and excellence in collaboration and communication while conducting research at the BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH) Pediatric Emergency Department (PED).

The winner of the award for the 2022/2023 year is Andrew Sze.  He has demonstrated more than two years of commitment to the START Program. Andrew has always maintained the high quality of the START program by continually looking for ways to improve the studies we enroll and training individuals throughout the program.

Andrew is currently a research technician with the Steiner research group at the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, where he helps out with both basic science and clinical research studies. He is passionate about improving patient outcomes through a better understanding of health and disease both at the bench and bedside, and aspires to become a clinician-scientist one day. 

The START team would like to also recognize five of its members for significant contributions to the team: Kevin An, Durr Al-Hakim, Jenine Hira, Navindi De Silva and Erica Won.

START Alumni

Parveer Pandher

Parveer  Pandher

Parveer is a recent graduate from the University of British Columbia, holding a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology. She is an avid advocate for women's health and hopes to pursue a career related to this in the future. In her free time, Parveer can be seen making pottery and doing henna.

Andrew Sze

Andrew Sze

Andrew was part of the START program for three years, and also spent time as a research assistant with the Sabhaney lab. He is incredibly grateful for all the lessons and experiences gained, as well as the innumerable doors that this program opened up for him. By engaging with a wide variety of studies and patient populations, he gained insight on the diverse and complex health needs of the pediatric population. As he begins his studies in medical school, he hopes to apply the lessons from START to address questions or gaps in knowledge that he encounters in his future practice of medicine. Andrew is now a student in the UBC VFMP Class of 2028, and is excited to see what lies ahead!

Navindi De Silva

Navindi De Silva

Navindi participated in the START program for 2 years. During her experience, she gained valuable skills in clinical research while recruiting children and adolescents for several research studies in the emergency department. She is extremely grateful for the connections she formed with fellow STARTers and the skills she developed through this experience. Navindi is now pursuing her passions as a student in the UBC Medicine VFMP Class of 2028!

Masih Sarafan

Masih Sarafan

Masih was part of start for almost 2 years. He is extremely grateful for all the experiences and skills the program imparted on him and is thankful for the exposure to clinical research the START program allowed him to have at such an early stage in his career. Masih is sure to use these invaluable experiences in the next stage in life as a medical student at UBC’s medical school's Class of 2028.

Varshi Domah

Varshi Domah

Varshi is incredibly grateful that she had the opportunity to work in the ED, to interact with physicians and nurses, and to engage with a diverse group of patients. She is also appreciative of START for providing her the chance to obtain insights on patient interaction and to learn about the day-to-day routine of ED physicians. Lastly, Varshi is thankful to START for strengthening her interpersonal skills and for deepening her knowledge about the integration of medical practice and medical research.

Varshi is now pursuing a Master of Science in Global Health at McMaster University to further her academic interest in the field of global health, and following graduate school, she looks forward to pursuing a medical degree.

Serena Hollman

Serena Hollman

Serena was a part of START during the last year of her undergrad at UBC. She is very grateful for the friendships she made, and for the clinical experience and mentorship she received throughout her time in the program. She is excited to use the patient interaction and clinical skills she gained at START in her next chapter at McMaster Michael G. DeGroote school of medicine, class of 2027, where she hopes to continue exploring her interest in paediatric research.

Jenine Hira

Jenine Hira

Jenine was a member of the START program for 3 years while she studied Microbiology & Immunology at UBC, and also worked as a Research Assistant with the Sabhaney Lab. Through the program, she learned how to work effectively alongside healthcare professionals, convey complex research information to patient families, and gained valuable knowledge on ethics and study design. She is extremely grateful to the START team for providing her with amazing mentorship opportunities and wonderful friendships, and to the awesome physicians and nurses in the ED for being so helpful and excited about research. She can't wait to see how the program continues to evolve and grow.

Jenine is excited to bring the skills she gained from START back to UBC, where she will begin her journey as a medical student in the VFMP Class of 2028!

Henry Li

Henry Li

Henry was part of START during his 3rd and 4th year of his undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia. He is incredibly appreciative to have had the opportunity to work directly with patients, physicians and nurses in the Emergency Department. A highlight of the program was the mentorship and research training offered by Dr. Sabhaney and other ED physicians, as well as the bonds made with other members of the research team. Henry is excited to bring his research experience and healthcare knowledge to Kingston, where he will be joining the Queen's University Medicine Class of 2028!

George Ren

George Ren

George was with START during the last year of his undergrad where he studied Biomedical Physiology at SFU. “START was a great introduction to clinical research for me and catapulted forward my ability to interact with patients and ability to work with doctors/nurses.” He used the skills he gained from START in his role as a research assistant in obstetrics and gynecology during patient recruitment. George is now a part of UBC’s Dentistry Class of 2028 and is still greatly interested in pediatric research and hopes to continue in the Faculty of Dentistry.

Naomi Choong

Naomi Choong

Naomi was a part of the START program during the last year of her undergraduate degree. She is extremely grateful for the experience and skills she gained through interacting with a diverse population of patients and families. She is particularly appreciative of the mentorship she received throughout her time. The START program allowed her to meet great people and prepared her for her next chapter as a student in the UBC Masters of Occupational Therapy program, Class of 2026.

Alyssa Chong

Alyssa Chong

Alyssa was involved in the START program during her last year of her undergrad. She really enjoyed being on the START team and is super grateful for the incredible learning experiences and for the amazing STARTers she’s met. She is currently a Master’s student in the UBC Women+ and Children’s Health Sciences program and will be conducting her thesis on HEARTSMAP-U, a psychosocial self-assessment tool for university students.

Diana Lee

Diana Lee

Diana (she/her) is very appreciative of all the lessons that she learned through the START Program
and as a research assistant in the Doan Lab. Through this experience, she gained new perspectives into the clinical research process, ED workflow, and effective communication with patients, families, and staff. She is a now a student in the UBC VFMP program, class of 2027, with interests in paediatrics and family medicine.

Gia da Roza

Gia da Roza

Gia participated in the START program for 1 year and is incredibly grateful for the unique opportunity it provided her to interact directly with patients, physicians, and nurses. A highlight of the program was the bonds she formed with other START volunteers while working together in the ED. She is excited to take the research skills and healthcare knowledge she gained from START to her next chapter as a student at the UBC Medicine VFMP program in the class of 2027!

Durr Al-Hakim

Durr Al-Hakim

Durr was involved with the START Program for 1.5 years. She is incredibly grateful for the clinical exposure, patient and family interactions, and mentorship that she received. (Especially the lovely kiddo’s that she met!). She is now a medical student at UBC’s VFMP Class of 2027, with interests in emergency and internal medicine.

Kevin An

Kevin An

Kevin is a medical student at UBC in the Class of 2027. He is extremely grateful to have been involved with multiple studies within the PED which helped him gain critical experience in clinical research and patient interaction. He is actively involved in research enabling gene therapies utilizing lipid nanoparticles. He has broad interests in the intersection between technology and innovation in medicine and is eager to continue learning.

Ashini Dissanayake

Ashini Dissanayake

Ashini is a UBC medical student in the class of 2025. During her time with START, she designed and facilitated a quality improvement project to improve the START team's hand hygiene adherence, and recently published a manuscript with the START team leads on this work. She used the clinical research, communication, collaboration, and multi-tasking skills she gained from START in her role as the Clinical Research Coordinator of the Endocrine Research Society, where she worked during her gap year between her BSc and medical school. In this role, she presented three posters at the American Diabetes Association's annual international conference and a fourth poster at the UBC Division of Endocrinology's Research Fest. In medical school, she used her QI experience from START to spearhead a QI project to improve the documentation of discharge opioid prescriptions in Fraser Health hospitals. She is currently working on a research project investigating how social determinants of health are documented and managed in pregnant persons delivering at St. Paul's Hospital.

Nima Toussi

Nima Toussi

Nima is currently a University of Saskatchewan Medicine - Class of 2026 student. I gained so many skills from START! If I had to highlight the most important ones it'd be: 1. Learning how to approach nurses, doctors and patients and 2. Understanding what accountability means in the context of research and patient care.

Rebecca Liu

Rebecca Liu

Rebecca was a part of the START program throughout her coop at BCCHR and is grateful to have been exposed to a unique intersection of clinical research, patient interaction, and communication. She is a student in the UBC VFMP class of 2026 with interests in family and emergency medicine. She is currently involved with research investigating universal mental health self-screening for hospitalized youth.

Tatiana Henriksson

Tatiana Henriksson

Tatiana is currently a student in West Virginia University's School of Medicine, Class of 2026. With the START program, she learned to refine her problem solving skills to determine a patient’s eligibility for research recruitment, while also prioritizing their health and treatment plan. She also learned how to collaborate and effectively communicate with the health-care team and the patient, which is an integral component of her current medical training. She is grateful for her time in the START program.

Kiki Yu

Kiki Yu

My name is Kiki and I am currently a medical student at UBC. Prior to medical school, I completed my BSc in Pharmacology at UBC, which included 16-month co-op at BC Children's where I found out about the START program. I decided to volunteer because I was keen to get involved in clinical research and interact with patients and health providers. START not only exposed me to the acute care setting, but also provided excellent mentorship and learning opportunities, giving me the push I needed to pursue medicine! During my gap years, I worked as a Research Coordinator for radiology and AI research, while volunteering for START on the weekends. Now, I'm back in school and doing my best to balance studying with my hobbies and interests, including seeing as much of the world as possible! Most recently, I travelled to Nepal to conduct a global health project on sickle cell disease and pain management in rural communities for school, as well as a multi-day trek through the Himalayas for pleasure! 

Kiki is the winner of the START program Research Student Trainee Award  for 2021/2022.

Juliette Wong

Juliette Wong

Juliette (she/her) is very grateful for her 1.5 years in the ED as a STARTer and Sabhaney Lab research assistant! The START Program was a wonderful introduction to clinical research, patient interactions, and learning how to collaborate with interdisciplinary care team members. She is now a student in the UBC Island Medical Program's Class of 2026 with interests in pediatrics and family medicine. She is currently involved with PEM research by investigating universal mental health screening for youth in primary care settings.