Dr. Stuart Turvey
Photo courtesy of Genome Canada
Credit: Canadian Press
 

 

Dr. Stuart Turvey – Principal Investigator

As a Pediatric Immunologist and clinician-scientist, I study two major health problems that are informed by clinical realities and that have immune system dysfunction as key to their pathogenesis:

  • asthma−the most common chronic non-communicable disease of childhood; and
  • primary immunodeficiency diseases−devastating and often life-threatening genetic disorders in which parts of the immune system are missing or dysfunctional. 

My research approach is sensitive to the child's developmental course and aims to define the underlying cellular, molecular, and genetic abnormalities responsible for disease. The new knowledge we generate improves diagnosis and disease management. Ultimately, our work identifies new, individualized strategies to treat these challenging chronic child health conditions.

Outside of the lab, I enjoy running, gardening and spending time with my family.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr, Hind Sbihi

Dr. Hind Sbihi 
My background involves receiving engineering degrees from École Polytechnique Montreal (B.Eng) and École Centrale de Paris (M.Eng), and a Master of Science and PhD in Occupational and Environmental Health from the University of British Columbia (UBC). My doctoral work involved investigating air pollution exposure assessment methods for birth cohort studies of childhood asthma and allergies. Throughout my PhD, I was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Banting and Best doctoral award, the four-year UBC doctoral fellowship and the Killam Pre-doctoral fellowship. 

I am currently involved in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal (CHILD) study. My research is focused on integrating features of the built environment (transportation and natural spaces) with infants gut microbiome in the aetiology of childhood allergic disorders. 

Awards: 
CIHR Post-doctoral Fellowship Award (2018)
MSFHR Trainee Post-doctoral Award (2017)
BC Children’s Research Institute Mining for Miracles Post-doctoral Fellowship (2017)

Dr. Bhavi Modi

Dr. Bhavi Modi

I am a human geneticist by training with over six years of experience in women's health research. My doctoral work involved investigating the genetic mechanisms of complex female reproductive disorders and pregnancy complications. My current postdoctoral research in Turvey and Wasserman labs focuses on utilizing applied genome analysis methods towards the study of rare genetic disorders. These projects allow me to integrate next-generation analysis techniques with biological theory for a more functionally informative approach that has a better chance of impacting healthcare management. My work is driven by a keen passion to help families going through diagnostic odysseys - a passion that is fueled by personal experiences. This makes coming to work an exciting and gratifying experience.

Outside of the lab, I love spending time with my family. I am also an avid reader, I love to sketch and paint, build elaborate puzzles and work on small home decor projects.

Graduate Students

Chelsea Cutler

Chelsea Cutler – MSc Student

I have my BA majoring in Biology from DePauw University. Previous research and work experience in Microbiology has led me to pursue my Master’s degree focusing on the gut microbiome. My research focuses on the role of the gut microbiome in the development of allergic diseases, particularly atopic dermatitis (eczema). I am passionate about microbes and how they interact with human health.

Outside of the lab, I enjoy playing and watching sports, painting and singing.


 

Catherine Biggs

Dr. Catherine Biggs – MSc Student
I am a Pediatric Allergist and Clinical Immunologist pursuing a research fellowship and MSc in Experimental Medicine in the Turvey Lab. My research project aims to characterize the molecular basis of primary immune deficiency and atopic immune dysregulatory syndromes.

Outside the lab, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family and friends, and working on musical and art projects with my kids.    
    
Awards:
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Health Professional-Investigator Award (2018)
Primary Immune Deficiency Treatment Consortium grant (2016)
AllerGen Emerging Clinician-Scientist Fellowship (2016)
CAAIF Research Fellowship for Clinicians with training in Clinical Immunology and Allergy (2016)
 

Henry Lu

Henry Lu – PhD student

I have a BSc in Integrated Sciences with Distinction from UBC, integrating microbial pathogenesis and physiology. My research focuses on defining the pathogenesis of various primary immunodeficiency diseases as a means to improve our understanding of human immunology. In particular, I am studying CARD11 and MALT1 deficiency to define novel mechanisms of CARD11-BCL10-MALT1 (CBM) signalosome-mediated NF-κB regulation. Given their role in immunodeficiency, atopy, and malignancy, investigating these genes allow us to help inform the treatment and management of current and future patients. In addition to this, I also study the transcription factor BCL11B and its role in T cell and innate-like lymphocyte-mediated allergic disease.

My outside interests include weightlifting, swimming, boating and camping.

Awards:
Four Year Doctoral Fellowship (2018)
Theodore E Arnold Fellowship (2018)
Faculty of Medicine Graduate Award (2018)
FCE Fusion Trainee Award (2018)
Shaughnessy Hospital Volunteer Society Fellowship in Health Care (2017)
Theodore E Arnold Fellowship (2017)

Undergraduate Student

Alice Zhou

Alice Zhou – Lab Assistant / Summer Student

I am happy to be back in Vancouver for the summer. I'll be starting my second year at the University of Toronto in September. I'm studying global health, immunology and physiology. I look forward to working with the research team and gaining valuable experience in the Turvey Lab. 

 

Research Staff

Darlene Dai

Darlene Dai – Biostatistician 

I am a biostatistician with more than 5 years of experience in analyzing and interpreting data. I specialize in using high dimensional genomic, proteomic, and clinical data to derive clinically useful diagnostic or prognostic tests.

I hold a Bachelor of Statistics from Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, China and also completed a Masters in Statistics at the University of British Columbia in 2013. I enjoy eating, drawing, travelling and watching movies!

Kate Del Bel

Kate Del Bel – Research Manager

As the Research Manager of the Turvey Lab, I ensure that all lab operations run smoothly. I have my BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph and an MSc in Microbial Molecular Genetics from the University of Calgary. This background training has led me to focus my research on rare diseases and their genetic causes. I am passionate about translational research and the opportunity to find answers and possible treatments for BC Children's Hospital patients and families.

When I am not in the lab, I enjoy reading, crafting and spending time with my family.

Mehul Sharma

Mehul Sharma – Research Technician

I have an MSc in Pathology at UBC. I research primary immune deficiencies. Come meet me if you would like to learn more about me and my research!

My extracurricular activities revolve around mountains and lakes in the summer, and movies for the rest of the year.

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Valerie Tolsma – Administrative Assistant

I like to think that I’m the most important member of the Turvey lab – other than Turvey himself, of course. In my role as Chief of Scheduling, I am responsible for managing Dr. Turvey’s calendar. He has entrusted me with his most precious resource – time. Stuart is my boss, yet I control him. It’s a paradox that works!

CHILD Study Staff

Linda Warner

Linda Warner – Clinical Research Coordinator

I am currently the clinical research coordinator for MIREC and CHILD longitudinal cohort studies, and have been a pediatric nurse at BC Children's Hospital for over 25 years in a variety of clinical settings, including cardiology, oncology, daycare surgery and a refugee/immigrant pediatric clinic. I have my BSc in Nursing from UBC and my CCRP designation/certification from SoCRA. I am passionate about recruitment and retention in research; the families I meet in clinic are the highlight of my job. We are proud of a high success rate of sample collection and study procedure completion from our dedicated participants. Our research team is actively involved in participant engagement and developing strategies that make children and their parents proud to be important members of our research team. We also have developed a variety of tools and techniques for optimizing sample collection, and reducing anxiety and/or discomfort for invasive procedures.

My interests outside of work include travel, cycling, hiking, cooking and gardening. I have traveled to Haiti with my profession for several projects, as I am quite interested in facilitating health care education and support in countries that are in need.

Maureen Mooney

Maureen Mooney – Clinical Research Nurse

My role is Research Nurse with the CHILD and MIREC-ENDO studies. We are about to start clinic visits in both studies where the children are approximately 7 to 9 years of age. In both studies, the moms were recruited while they were pregnant and the families have become very precious cohorts in these longitudinal studies. We are very grateful for their commitment!

Mary Beckingham

Mary Beckingham – Clinical Research Assistant

I am originally from London UK, with a background in Child Development and Education and entered the world of research quite by chance. I am currently in my 16th year working as a Research Assistant at UBC.  I am a member of the Turvey Lab Team, working on the CHILD and MIREC-ENDO studies. These are longitudinal studies looking at how certain exposures during a mother’s pregnancy and the infant’s early-life may affect the child’s health later in life.

I have lived in UK and Kenya but call Canada home.  When not at work, I manage a busy international household. I have 5 adult children and 4 grandchildren whom I adore!

Lauren Muttucomaroe

Lauren Muttucomaroe – Clinical Research Assistant

I am a Research Assistant for the CHILD, MIREC and TIDEX Studies, and I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology (Minor in Psychology) from UBC. I love interacting with the families and enjoy how my role is combination of what I studied and what I am passionate about. I am planning to pursue my Masters in Public Health to further my opportunities in the Healthcare and Research fields.

Tamara Coffin

Tamara Coffin – Clinical Research Assistant

I am a research assistant with the CHILD Study and MIREC-ENDO Study. They are both longitudinal cohort studies with the children ranging from 7 to 9 years of age. I am very thankful to all the participants, and I am excited to see what new findings will emerge from this age group! I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa and have recently graduated with a Master of Public Health from the University of Alberta.

Outside of work, I stay active by playing soccer and tennis. I also enjoy playing the piano and violin.
 

Alumni

Shan-Yu (Shane) Fung (Research Associate)
Leah Stiemsma (PhD graduate)
Aabida Saferali (PhD graduate)
Hong Yang (Research Associate)
Felix Orben (MSc graduate)
Anthony Tang (PhD graduate)
Robert Ragotte (Co-op undergraduate student)
Nico Marr (Research Associate)
Aaron Hirschfeld (Laboratory Manager)
Salmon Ali (MSc graduate)
Karolynn Hsu (MSc graduate)
Christoph Blohmke (PhD graduate)
Aaron Hirschfeld (Lab manager)
Rachel Victor (Research assistant)
Julia Schneiderman (Research assistant)
Sarah Kam (Research assistant)