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, MD, FRCSC is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and is an associate member of both the Department of Medicine and the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Following residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology, she did a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington, becoming Canada’s first dual specialist in OBGYN and Infectious Diseases. She is an active clinician scientist in Reproductive Infectious Diseases, with several large multicentered research projects on the maternal/infant microbiome and HIV in women. As well, she has been the lead for a study of the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of the HPV vaccine in girls and women living with HIV. She has published more than 200 peer reviewed publications and has received more than $29M in peer reviewed funding. She is currently the lead for CANCOVID-Preg, a Canada-wide surveillance program studying the outcome following COVID-19 for pregnant women and their infants and the lead for a Canadian Seroprevalence study of SARS-CoV-2 using antenatal sera. Dr. Money was the Executive Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at UBC until June 2020, she was previously the inaugural Executive Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) and Vice-President, Research for the BC Women’s Hospital and a past President of the Infectious Diseases Society of Obstetrics & Gynecology (IDSOG).
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.
Janice Andrade, Research Manager
Janice joined the Reproductive Infectious Disease Team in September 2020 as Research Manager of the Antenatal Serostudies Project. The project aims to assess the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in a representative population in Canada using antenatal serum samples.
Janice comes to the team with 12 years of research experience and has led over 50 projects within the areas of Pediatric Orthopaedics, Hyperbaric Oxygen Medicine and Mental Health & Addictions. She values being part of multidisciplinary teams that aim to bring meaningful contributions to clinical practice and public health. In her free time, Janice is passionate about working with children with special needs and volunteering with Make A Wish Foundation.
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.
Suraya Bondy, Research Assistant
Suraya joined the Reproductive Infectious Diseases team as a Research Assistant in November 2020. Her focus has been assisting with the CANCOVID-Preg Surveillance Project and Antenatal Serostudies Project.
Suraya graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences from McMaster University in May 2020. Over the past few years, she has been involved in numerous research projects at the BC Cancer Agency and Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, ON. She is passionate about maternity care and research in obstetrics and gynecology, and hopes to continue her involvement in the field through further educational pursuits in the future.
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
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.
Tiffany Reeve, Research Manager
Tiffany has been on the Reproductive Infectious Disease Team since September 2020. She is currently the Research Manager for the Canadian Surveillance of COVID-19 in Pregnancy (CANCOVID-Preg) project. The aim of CANCOVID-Preg is to investigate the epidemiology and clinical outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 on pregnancy in order to support clinical care and public policy in Canada.
With over 8 years of experience working in maternal and child health, prior to CANCOVID-Preg, Tiffany was the Healthy Starts Strategic Initiatives Research Manager at BC Children’s Hospital. She also worked on the BC Healthy Connections Project (BCHCP) at the Children’s Health Policy Centre. Tiffany’s educational background includes completing a BA in Psychology at Western University and a Graduate Level Diploma in Art Therapy at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She then went on to complete a MSc in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University where she explored the cognitive factors that contribute to the use of e-cigarettes during pregnancy for her thesis.
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.
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.
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.
Elisabeth McClymont, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Elisabeth McClymont is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the UBC Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics. She completed her PhD in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, working with primary supervisor Dr Deborah Money. Her current work with the RID team focuses on COVID-19 in pregnancy and HPV vaccination in women living with HIV. Elisabeth is also involved in other studies looking at the interaction between HPV and the vaginal microbiome, preterm birth, and congenital CMV infection, as well as quality assurance projects at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre.
Zahra Pakzad, PhD Candidate
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 then as 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.