In addition to core investigators, staff, and trainees, the RID team includes an extensive array of collaborators and partnerships.
Dr Deborah Money, Investigator
Dr. Deborah Money is the Executive Vice Dean at the UBC Faculty of Medicine. She is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, associate member in the Department of Medicine and the School of Population and Public Health, and active clinician and researcher in Reproductive Infectious Diseases. She trained with a BSc in Microbiology, then completed her MD followed by her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at UBC and a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington. She is a leader in prevention of HPV associated cancer in women living with HIV, prevention of perinatal transmission of HIV and the study of the vaginal microbiome in health and disease. She has published more than 180 peer reviewed publications and has received more than $24M in peer reviewed funding. She is the past- Vice President, Research at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, Provincial Health Services Authority, past-President of the Infectious Diseases Society of Obstetrics & Gynecology (IDSOG), and former Executive Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute. She is actively involved in teaching and established the first fellowships in Infectious Diseases for Obstetrician/Gynecologists in Canada. She was awarded the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 as well as the Women’s Health Research Institute Career Award for Excellence in Research in 2017, and the IDSOG Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.
Dr Julie van Schalkwyk, Investigator
Dr. Julie van Schalkwyk is Site Head, Obstetrics & Gynecology, BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre, effective as of September 1, 2016. She is present Chief Medical Officer, BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre. She has been on staff at BC Women’s, Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Hospital since 2005, and is a Clinical Associate Professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Dr. van Schalkwyk completed a Master’s Degree at the University of Ottawa in Microbiology and Immunology in 1995 before attending medical school at Dalhousie University. She then completed her Obstetrics and Gynaecology Fellowship at the University of British Columbia in 2004, followed by additional training in Infectious Diseases at UBC. Dr. van Schalkwyk has an interest in infectious diseases as they relate to pregnancy, newborns and gynaecologic health. Her research includes HIV, HBV, surgical site infection and intra-amniotic infection. She provides specialized care for women with reproductive infectious diseases at two BC Women’s clinics in addition to general obstetrics and gynaecology in the community.
Dr Chelsea Elwood, Investigator
Dr. Chelsea Elwood completed her B.M.Sc. and M.Sc. in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Western Ontario and then completed a Reproductive Infectious Disease fellowship at the University of British Columbia after her medical training in OB/GYN at UBC. In addition to providing a general OB/GYN, Dr. Elwood is able to provide care and consultative services for women with reproductive tract infections. She is actively engaged as a translational researcher in both basic science and clinical research focusing on the vaginal microbiome in women’s health. She is also a member of the SOGC Infectious Disease committee whose role is to make recommendations in reproductive care as it relates to infectious diseases.
Dr Arianne Albert, Senior Biostatistician
Arianne Albert is the Senior Biostatistician at the Women’s Health Research Institute. Arianne has a PhD in Zoology (Evolutionary biology) from UBC (2006), and 15+ years of experience in experimental design and analysis. Her work with the WHRI (since 2011) has encompassed many areas of women’s health research in collaboration with researchers in the RID team, including HPV vaccination and screening (Drs Money and Ogilvie), HIV in pregnancy and across the lifespan (Drs Money, Elwood, Cote, and Murray), HBV in pregnancy (Dr. van Schalkwyk), and the role of the vaginal microbiome in women’s health issues (Drs Money and Elwood). Her specific interests lie in elucidating the best statistical techniques and study designs to answer questions in complex and mainly observational data.
Arezou Azampanah, Research Assistant
Arezou Azampanah received her Master’s degree in Medical Biology from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She started working with the WHRI in 2010 as a research assistant with the CART team, which is involved in research about contraception and abortion. She currently works at Oak Tree Clinic where she studies HIV research in pan-Canadian and international clinical trials. Her interest is to contribute to clinically-oriented research to improve the health and well-being of women and children.
Ariadna Fernandez, Research Manager, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, PHSA Site
Ariadna has worked with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia as the Research Program Manager since 2008. In this role, she has been responsible for promoting research and fostering academic scholarship within the Department. She works with residents, clinicians, researchers and graduate level trainees to support their research and research training. She is responsible for implementing the Departmental Strategic Plan for research as a member/Co-Chair of two Departmental Advisory Groups. She also Chairs the annual Dr. Fred Bryans Faculty Research Forum, a program designed to promote research by faculty in the Department
Nancy Lipsky, Research Projects Manager
Nancy began working with the Women’s Health Research Institute in 2009. Starting in the former “Mental Health and Substance Use Program”, Nancy has enjoyed managing a wide variety of research projects, going on to serve as a co-investigator on several studies. She is passionate about promoting health equity across populations, and helping give voice to the experiences of traditionally under-served groups. Nancy joined the Reproductive Infectious Diseases Team in 2014 and is honoured to work among an incredible array of team members and study participants. She is the National Manager for the HPV in HIV Study, a study aiming to learn how well the HPV vaccine works in girls and women living with HIV. Nancy also supports general reproductive infectious diseases team initiatives and projects, and provides management support to studies of HPV, vaccines, and infections in pregnancy.
Evelyn Maan, Research Nurse / Manager
Evelyn has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years. Since 2001, she has worked as a Research Nurse / Manager with the Oak Tree Clinic and Reproductive Infectious Disease teams at BC Women’s Hospital. During this time, she has facilitated the conduct of more than 40 multi-year, multi-site projects, from inception through to publication.
Currently, Evelyn divides her time working on the Maternal Microbiome Legacy Project and the CARMA (HIV & Aging) series of projects. She also provides both administrative and finance support as well as contract facilitation for the compliment of studies at the Oak Tree Clinic.
Zahra Pakzad, Research Projects Manager
Zahra has been with the Reproductive Infectious Diseases team since June 2015. She began working as a Research Coordinator with the VOGUE (Vaginal Microbiome Group Initiative) study, and is currently the Research Manager for the Maternal Microbiome LEGACY Project, a study examining the relationship between the vaginal microbiome and development of the infant gut microbiome in the context of vaginal vs. caesarean deliveries. Zahra enjoys working with an amazing multi-disciplinary team on this study. Her biggest motivation is seeing the interest and willingness from the hundreds of participants she’s visited at home for postpartum follow-up, and how the results of the study could one day impact obstetric care. Before working at the WHRI, Zahra was a graduate student with the UBC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, doing wet lab research within the division of Neurology at UBC Hospital. Her thesis project involved designing and validating a new diagnostic assay for use in the clinical care of people living with the autoimmune condition Myasthenia Gravis.
Melissa Watt, Clinical Research Coordinator
Melissa has been a clinical research coordinator with the Women’s Health Research Institute for 10 years. She began her career with PHSA as an administrative assistant with the Department of Obstectrics and Gynaecology in 2007 and developed an interest in clinical trials administration. Since that time, she has worked on several industry sponsored and investigator lead studies. Melissa obtained her CCRP designation from SoCRA in 2012. Her research interests include infectious disease, the vaginal microbiome and women’s sexual health.
Iveoma Udevi, Research Assistant
Iveoma holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences and a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies from Simon Fraser University. She works as a Research Assistant on the Maternal Microbiome Legacy Project. In the future, Iveoma plans to enroll in a Master’s degree program to pursue her research interests in global health. She is particularly interested in maternity care, maternal health, and health inequities in the global context.
Beheroze has been managing the WHRI Research Laboratory since its inception in 2013. She is responsible for sample processing for the CARMA, HPV-in-HIV and Legacy studies.
Marguerite Heyns, Resident
Elisabeth McClymont, PhD Candidate
Elisabeth McClymont is a PhD Candidate in the department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the UBC Faculty of Medicine, working with primary supervisor Dr Deborah Money. She is part of the HPV in HIV Study team and her thesis looks at factors relating to HPV vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy in girls and women living with HIV. Elisabeth is also involved in other studies looking at the interaction between HPV and the vaginal microbiome, preterm birth, and cervical pre-cancer treatment, as well as quality assurance projects at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre.