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Aaron Liu

PhD Candidate

Aaron Liu is a graduate student in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia, working under the supervision of Dr. Soren Gantt and previously Dr. Tobias Kollmann in the VEC since 2017. His research involves using next-generation sequencing to understand viral infection and immunity. His interests are in developing assays to measure antibody responses to viral infections to aid the development of vaccines and surveillance of viral infections. Aaron has previously held the BCCHR Healthy Starts Studentship and currently holds UBC’s Four Year Fellowship. 

Adriana Cabrera

Adriana Cabrera

PhD Student

Ms. Cabrera is a graduate student in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia, working under the supervision of Dr. Manish Sadarangani in the VEC since 2019. Her research involves the development of a vaccine against antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, focusing primarily on Klebsiella peneumoniae. She is interested in finding a new approach that would help to limit the spread and emergence of bacterial resistance, particularly through vaccination.

Avani Lamba

Masters Student

Avani is an MSc student in the School of Population and Public Health at The University of British Columbia. She started at VEC in September 2021 and is working under the supervision of Dr Julie Bettinger. Her research is focused on Meningococcal disease and vaccination.

Dr. Bahaa Abu Raya

Dr. Bahaa Abu Raya

Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellow

Dr. Abu Raya is an Infectious Diseases clinician-scientist and joined the VEC in 2015 as a pediatric infectious disease fellow. His research has been predominantly in the field of immunization in pregnancy to protect the newborn, focusing on pertussis. He is also a member of the "Immunization Monitoring Program ACTive" (IMPACT) pertussis working group and the "Progressing Immunization in Pregnancy Evaluation and Research" (PIPER) group.​ Dr. Abu Raya is the recipient of the prestigious 2019 European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases Young Investigator Award in the "basic science" category and a holder of the prestigious Vanier Canada Scholarship award. 

Bernice Ramos

Masters Student

Bernice  is a graduate student in the Microbiology and Immunology program at the University of British Columbia, working under the supervision of Dr. Manish Sadarangani at the VEC. Her project focuses on describing the epidemiology of invasive pneumococcal disease and the effects of new generation conjugate vaccines.

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Catherine Byrne

PhD Student

Gabriel Blank

Pediatrics Resident

Gabriel Blank is a Vancouver-based pediatrics resident who recently joined the VEC in 2021. Gabriel received his undergraduate degree in Physiology and Pharmacology prior to completing Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He has experience in multimedia video creation and project coordinating, in addition to recreational involvements in acting, singing, and related artistic endeavors. He is working alongside Dr. Bettinger and Dr. Mitchell to help create a vaccine educational video for healthcare providers.

Dr. Gabrielle Gaultier

Dr. Gabrielle Gaultier

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Gabrielle completed her PhD in the Biotechnology program at Lakehead University in October 2020. Her PhD projects investigated B-cell and antibody responses to the 13-valent pneumococcal protein-polysaccharide conjugate vaccine in adults with severe chronic kidney disease (CKD), natural immunity against Haemophilus influenzae type a and B-cell subpopulations in adults with CKD, as well as antibodies specific for Streptococcus pneumoniae in Indigenous and Non-Indigenous adults. Gabrielle joined Dr. Sadarangani’s lab group in April 2021 where her research focuses on the immunological analysis of infectious diseases for the purpose of vaccine development and evaluation, with a particular emphasis on SARS-CoV-2.

Gurvir Dhutt

Gurvir Dhutt

Graduate Academic Assistant

Gurvir is a graduate student in the Master of Public Health program at the University of British Columbia. He has a Master of Science degree in Aging and Health where his studies focused on strategies to promote health and healthy aging in the older adult population. His interests in public health research broadly consist of determining the effectiveness of disease countermeasures and using these findings to develop health promotion policies for our population

Jennifer Gillis

Jennifer Gillis

PostDoctoral Fellow

Jennifer joined the VEC in late 2020, working with Drs. Sadarangani and Ogilvie. Jennifer is an epidemiologist and biostatistician with over 10 years of research experience related to HIV, co-infection, and HPV-associated cancers. Her work with the VEC will focus on HPV vaccination, examining the long-term effectiveness of different dosing schedules using longitudinal cohort data.

Jessica Tuengel

Jessica Tuengel

PhD Candidate

Jessica is a member of Dr. Soren Gantt's lab and a graduate student in Experimental Medicine. She has a master's degree in International Community Development where her studies focused on social justice, medical anthropology, global health and how poverty and numerous social inequalities create health disparity. Her current doctoral research at the University of British Columbia focuses on immune ontogeny during early life and infant immune responses to viral infections. She is inspired by a world where advocacy and science aid in alleviating human suffering caused by poverty and inequalities in the distribution and outcome of infectious diseases.

Jimmy Lopez

Jimmy Lopez

Masters Student

Jimmy joined the VEC in 2019. He studies epidemiology and biostatistics at the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. His current research is on influenza vaccine safety with focus towards high-risk populations.

Jung-Bahadur Singh Kandola

Masters Student in Experimental Medicine

Jung-Bahadur is a graduate student in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia, working under the supervision of Dr. Julie Bettinger at the VEC. His research interests include understanding and addressing vaccine hesitancy in the South Asian population, with an emphasis on the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. He aims to translate knowledge into more effective and approachable interventions to address vaccine hesitancy in the information age.

Kyle Amaral

Masters Student in Experimental Medicine

Kyle is a graduate student in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia, working under the supervision of Dr. Manish Sadarangani in the VEC since 2021. His research involves continuing Dr. Bahaa Abu Raya’s work on pertussis.

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Mahin Delara

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Mahin joined the VEC in late 2020 with a background in health education, applied health sciences, midwifery, maternal and child health.  Her current research focuses on evaluating vaccine effectiveness and safety in children and adolescents.

Marian Orhierhor

Marian Orhierhor

Masters Practicum Student

Marian is currently a Mastercard foundation graduate scholar and a second-year graduate student in the Master of Public health program at the School of Population and Public Health, UBC. She has a background in parasitology, and her interest in public health lies in infectious disease epidemiology and vaccine-preventable disease surveillance. For her practicum, she works with Dr. Julie Bettinger on understanding expectant and new mothers’ beliefs, attitudes and behaviours about paediatric vaccination.

Natalie Cavallin

Natalie Cavallin

Medical Student

Natalie Cavallin is a medical student at UBC in the class of 2024. She joined the VEC in October 2021 and is working with Dr. Manish Sadarangani and Adriana Cabrera on the development of a vaccine against Klebsiella pneumoniae. Natalie completed her B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry for the Medical Sciences at the University of Victoria.

Dr. Phyu Mar Soe

Dr. Phyu Mar Soe

PhD Student

Phyu Mar is a graduate student at the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH), University of British Columbia. She joined Dr.Bettinger’s research team in July 2021 after completing her Master of Science in International Health at University of Heidelberg. Prior to joining SPPH and VEC, she was involved in research on antimicrobial resistance, HIV disease epidemiology and behavioral surveillance system at both the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS). Her research interests include child health, vaccine effectiveness and safety, disease surveillance, and infectious disease epidemiology. Her current research is on COVID-19 vaccine safety among high-risk populations.

Dr. Robine Donken

Dr. Robine Donken

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Donken has been a postdoctoral fellow with the VEC since 2017. Robine is an epidemiologist and obtained her PhD at the VU University in Amsterdam in collaboration with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. Her research focus is on the most effective dosing schedule for HPV vaccination with regard to effectiveness and immunogenicity.

Dr. Wendy Pringle

Dr. Wendy Pringle

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Pringle joined the VEC in 2019. She has a PhD in Communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MA from McGill. Wendy's research deals broadly with strategies for effective health communication, with a current focus on vaccine hesitancy and perinatal care."

Alumni

Continued learning is one of the Vaccine Evaluation Center’s core values. We welcome and appreciate the work of our students and trainees, including undergraduate, medical and graduate students as well as postdoctoral and clinical research fellows.

 

Graduate students

Jung Kandola, MSc Experimental Medicine
2022-Present with Dr. Julie Bettinger

Avani Lamba
2022-Present with Dr. Julie Bettinger

Bernice Ramos, MSc Microbiology and Immunology
2022-Present with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Kyle Amaral, MSc Experimental Medicine
2021-Present with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Brynn McMillan, PhD Experimental Medicine
2021-Present with Dr. Manish Sadarangani (Co-supervised by Dr. Agatha Jassem)

Phyu Mar Soe, PhD Population and Public Health
2020-Present with Dr. Dr. Julie Bettinger

Adriana Cabrera, PhD Experimental Medicine
2019-Present with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Jimmy Lopez, MSc Population and Public Health
2019-2021 with Dr. Julie Bettinger

Aaron Liu, PhD Experimental Medicine
2018-2021 with Dr. Soren Gantt

Rana Minab, MSc Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
2018-2021 with Dr. Soren Gantt

Bahaa Abu Raya, PhD Experimental Medicine
2017-2021 with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Catherine Byrne, PhD Microbiology and Immunology
2016-Present with Dr. Soren Gantt

May Abdel-Hamid Ahmed, MSc Population and Public Health
2016-2018 with Dr. Julie Bettinger

Jessica Tuengel, PhD Experimental Medicine
2014-2021 with Dr. Soren Gantt

 

Medical residents and fellows

Anne (Tinta) Deasy, General Pediatrics Fellow
2021-Present with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Diana Bark, Public Health Resident
2020-Present with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Sarah Silverberg, Pediatrics Resident
2020-Present with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Abdulwahed Zainel, Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellow
2020-Present with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Dalal Mohammad, Pediatric Resident
2019-Present with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Stephan Saad, Adult Infectious Disease Fellow
2019-2021 with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Nassr Nama, Pediatrics Resident
2019-2021 with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Te-Yu Hung, Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellow
2019-2020 with Dr. Julie Bettinger

Rabab Al-Ghaithi, Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellow
2018-2020 with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Alastair McAlpine. Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellow
2018-2020 with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

James Toft, Pediatric Resident
2018-2020 with Dr. Julie Bettinger

Hana (Mijovic) Mitchell, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellow
2017-2018 with Dr. Julie Bettinger

Bahaa Abu Raya, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellow
2015-2017 with Dr. Tobi Kollmann

 

Postdoctoral fellows

Gabrielle Gaultier, Postdoctoral Fellow
2021-Present with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Jennifer Gillis, Postdoctoral Fellow
2021-Present with Dr. Manish Sadarangani (Co-supervised by Dr. Gina Ogilvie)

Mahin Delara, Postdoctoral Fellow
2020-Present with Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Elisabeth McClymont, Postdoctoral Fellow
2020-Present with Dr. Soren Gantt (Co-supervised by Dr. Manish Sadarangani)

Wendy Pringle, Postdoctoral Fellow
2019-Present with Dr. Julie Bettinger

Citlali Marquez, Postdoctoral Fellow
2019-2021 with Dr. Soren Gantt

Robine Donken, Postdoctoral Fellow
2017-2020 with Dr. Manish Sadarangani (Co-supervised by Dr. Gina Ogilvie)

Clara Rubincam, Postdoctoral Fellow
2015-Present with Dr. Julie Bettinger

Raidan Alyazidi, Postdoctoral Fellow
2015-2018 with Dr. Soren Gantt

Devon Greyson, Postdoctoral Fellow
2015-2018 with Dr. Julie Bettinger

Learn more about the VEC Team

Investigators

Research Support