Congratulations to the following faculty members on their

recent publications

The presence of tumour-infiltrating neutrophils is an independent adverse prognostic feature in clear cell renal cell carcinoma
Salina, D., et al. | J Pathol Clin Res | 2021
New developments in existing WHO entities and evolving molecular concepts: The Genitourinary Pathology Society (GUPS) update on renal neoplasia.
Alaghehbandan R., et al. | Mod Pathol. | Jul 2021
Biomaterial and cellular implants:foreign surfaces where immunity and coagulation meet
Kizhakkedathu, J.N., et al. | Blood | August, 2021
Human placental piwi-interacting RNA transcriptome is characterized by expression from the DLK1-DIO3 imprinted region
Lam, L.W., et al. | Scientific Reports | July, 2021
Use of treatment-focused tumor sequencing to screen for germline cancer predisposition
Karsan, A., et al. | The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics | July, 2021
STING pathway expression in low-grade serous carcinoma of the ovary: an unexpected therapeutic opportunity?
Huntsman D., et al. | The Journal of Pathology | June, 2021


Our New Faculty

Dept of Pathology welcomes Dr. Naveena Singh, MD

Dr. Naveena Singh, Clinical Professor, UBC, Anatomic Pathologist, Vancouver General Hospital

I am an anatomic pathologist with a particular interest in gynaecological cancer. I am Indian but was born in Washington, DC, USA. My father was a diplomat and after I was born we lived in Kathmandu, Khartoum, Delhi, London, Madrid and Rangoon. I am the middle child of 5 siblings and every few years we would leave our friends and life behind and start again! I have married to an English artist for 27 years and we have 3 children. These factors have all been constant and enduring lessons in diplomacy, team-working and survival!

I studied Medicine in Delhi, India, and then went on to train in diagnostic pathology first in India and then in the United Kingdom. Before coming over to this country I worked at St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospitals in London, UK. I am delighted and honoured to have this opportunity to work in one of the world’s foremost clinical and research teams in the field of gynaecological cancer. I sincerely hope that I can contribute to the wonderful work being carried out here. My life’s motto has always been to accept every opportunity gratefully and work at it with all my heart, and I look forward to applying this at UBC in the very near future!

Dr. Naveena Singh

A little bit about you:

Upon qualifying as a doctor in India I found it difficult to deal with the suffering of patients and their families. I was drawn to pathology as a career as pathologists work behind the scenes. Looking at slides has a meditative quality that I particularly enjoy. Like all medical specialties, the training is long and difficult, and the work is intense, but in the end there is some flexibility with time which, in theory, works well for family life. In addition to my diagnostic work I enjoy teaching undergraduates and postgraduates. My research has been focused on improving the accuracy of diagnostic pathology reporting. I have introduced changes to the reporting of different gynecological cancers that have been incorporated into international guidelines. I have led national and international collaborative studies and also been fortunate to be invited to participate in many major research trials.

On a personal note, I am one amongst the millions who have lost loved ones in this pandemic, apart from witnessing the suffering of others. For many years I had submerged myself in work and lockdown allowed some time for reflection and recalibration. I look forward to working towards an improved work-life balance in this new chapter in Canada.

Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

My parents: I am from a completely non-medical family. In my very large family (each parent was one of 9 siblings, and I have 43 first cousins!) there are no doctors; there was one very successful dentist and one aunt married a doctor but that’s it. So my parents were very keen for one doctor at least in their 5! As a result I had absolutely no knowledge or expectation of what it would be like. I think I disappointed (even embarrassed!) my mother a little by turning to a diagnostic career (microscope rather than stethoscope!) and I am not sure she ever fully understood what I do, but she was happy that I love my work!

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I am very shy. I am often told that I project complete confidence and expertise when I give talks but despite the dozens of presentations every year for over a decade, I infuriate my family by being as nervous as when I was a student before each and every one of them! This helps me to research the topic very well as I do not like to speak on any issue, however minor, if I do not completely understand it. I also spend time pitching the talk correctly as I hate it when I do not understand something people are telling me. I always look at feedback from participants as this helps me know what I could improve. I am delighted when I get positive feedback. The best compliment I received recently was when I taught my post grads a difficult topic in pathology, saying it had taken me years to get my own head around it: “That’s because you did not have you to teach it!” I floated home that evening!

What are you most looking forward to in your new role with Dept of Pathology?

Time to research my talks and to write and to think! The National Health Service in England is under-resourced and for many years I have been used to doing these things in my own time. All slots were used for something: weekends before kids woke up (a long and productive slot!), travelling on the London Underground (I was the only one to whoop with joy if there were train delays!), times when family watched TV/movies I am not interested in, etc, etc. I look forward to having more time to devote to academic and family activities rather than having them clash or to choose between them.

There are many research areas in which I am already collaborating with the team here and I am in the process of setting up a collaborative project between UBC and multiple Centres in the NHS in the UK on the impact of tumour genetic testing in womb cancers on oncology decisions; if this takes off it will be a dream come true!

What did you learn as a researcher the hard way?

A major lesson that applies to all life not just research: DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE BUREAUCRACY! Read the small print, take each and every rule seriously and keep all documentation complete and secure or it will come back to bite you. Luckily it was an early lesson!

What do you like most about your job?

Many things: Constant learning and teaching. Looking at slides peacefully with some gentle music playing. Being able to stop and read about a case and update myself with the literature. Being able to guide surgeons and oncologists about the best treatment for the patient. Best of all: having opportunities to write: “There is no evidence of malignancy” in my reports and imagining how the patient and her family will feel when they see that sentence!

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The job requires intense concentration. A little lapse can cost someone their life. Keeping up with the description of new pathological entities and interpretations of findings so that the patient gets the best possible treatment. Not knowing how to guide treatment in a rare entity. Balancing the service work with teaching, research and maintaining a decent academic profile without losing sight of the family.

Dr. Singh with offspring.

What profession might you have pursued, if not medicine?

Left to myself I would have been a teacher and studied Physics, with no real ambition or goal! I think teaching children is the most important career for the modern world. A teacher provides a child with uniformity and stability, which many children lack in their homes. If we want a better future for the world we need to invest more in our teachers. Not to mention having school holidays every year! I am trying to encourage my own children to become teachers but without success so far!

How do you like to recharge?

It changes from one year to another but currently, post-pandemic, it is yoga at home (not hot yoga in the studio as previously) and meditation.

What motivates you at work?

Only one thing, constantly: patients.

What’s something that has surprised you about your chosen career path?

That I have never, for a moment, had any regret or been bored or wished I had done something else!


Dr. David Hardwick

Projects & Research Initiatives

News from

BC Centre for Disease Control

Now you’ve been vaccinated, how safe are you? Peek behind the curtain of BCCDC’s work to determine just how effective the vaccines are

Drs. Jassem, Morshed, and Sekirov have been working and collaborating with other UBC researchers on multiple projects to evaluate the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine responses. This has included specific populations groups such as the elderly, immunocompromised patients, as well as healthy patient groups.

News from

BC's Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services - a coordinated, province-wide approach makes B.C. a leader in COVID-19 testing

In early 2020, when the global threat posed by a then-unnamed novel coronavirus started to become clear, B.C.’s laboratory system faced an unprecedented challenge. Laboratories across the province would need to provide fast, accurate testing for this new virus, in addition to continuing their crucial daily work analysing the more 4,200 publically funded diagnostic tests available in B.C.

News from

Clinical Microbiology Proficiency Testing

Covid-19 rapid antigen detection kits and CMPT PT samples

Early this year, CMPT in collaboration with BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) created a COVID-19 proficiency testing program geared to point of care (POC) testing sites. As testing became widespread and rapid testing systems began to proliferate, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, Diagnostic Accreditation Program (DAP), required these sites to be accredited.

UBC Certificate Course in Laboratory Quality Management

What Laboratory Leaders Need to Know...

SAVE THE DATE – January 12 to June 14, 2022

To receive more information on registration and call for presentations please enter your email in the form below. What Laboratory Leaders Need to Know

News from

Providence Health Care

Providence Chemistry

The clinical chemistry team at Providence Health Care including St. Paul’s Hospital (SPH) and Mount Saint Joseph Hospital (MSJ) has been making steady advances in improving patient care both within local facilities and within the province of B.C. At this academic medical centre, the team-based approach has paid dividends in the following areas.

News from

Vancouver General Hospital

Molecular and Advanced Pathology Core (MAPcore): a Translational Research Core Platform for UBC

OVCARE, Pancreas Centre BC, GPEC, MolPath - you've probably heard of at least one of these groups before. But have you heard about the new kid on the block? MAPcore: The Molecular and Advanced Pathology Core.

Pancreas Centre BC Research Symposium 2021

SAVE THE DATE – November 26 2021

On behalf of Pancreas Centre BC, we would like to invite you to the Pancreas Centre BC Research Symposium focused on pancreatic cancer. The symposium aims to bring together local pancreatic cancer researchers.
The symposium will include presentations from senior researchers and trainees, with a focus on highlighting trainee research. Refreshments will be provided. This is an excellent opportunity to network with fellow researchers and learn about local pancreatic cancer research.
To receive more information on registration and call for presentations please enter your email in the form below.

new column “If I Only Knew”


for New Faculty Members

"If I Only Knew"

We asked Dr. Rasmussen to reflect on his career and offer three pieces of advice to newly minted professors.

I look back on three decades of anatomical pathology with both pleasure and fear, and I accept the challenge to reflect on that experience. However, I must say at the outset that this short essay will not be about “lessons learned,” but rather the things I never figured out.



Clinical Faculty Advisory Council Updates

... read more

Meet Anuli Uzozie, Postdoctoral Fellow in The Lange Lab

... read more

2021 Academic Gown Ceremonies

... read more

To the Members of the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine:

As you know I will be stepping down as Interim Head of the Department October 31 and will join you in welcoming Dr. Gao as our new Head.

Further, after 47 years as a UBC faculty member, I plan to retire from the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Science at the end of June next year. I expect to be awarded Emeritus status thereafter as I plan to continue working on some research that I have had no time to deal with fully while occupying various competing positions within the University. These include UBC CFI Coordinator (2000-2001), Associate Vice-President Research & International (2001-2011), Founder and Director of the UBC SPARC Office, (2001 -2003) and Acting or Interim Head, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine for 41 months (Apr 1-Sept 30, 2017; Dec. 1, 2018-Oct. 31, 2021).

I enjoyed many aspects of heading the Path Department, particularly recruiting several young faculty and seeing some of our troops collecting big awards. I have always believed UBC had a great future so it is with some satisfaction that I recognize I was able to play a small part in it. Counting 7 student years I have been on campus for ~54 years all told and feel they were all pretty well spent.

I thank you for tolerating the presence of a non-Pathologist as Interim Head and look forward to running into you in the halls as we get back to ‘normal’ .

Best regards and with wishes for your continued success,


to our newly promoted faculty members

Alaghehbandan, Reza RCH
Clinical Professor
Bretherick, Karla BCCH
Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Brown, Lindsay BCCH
Clinical Professor
Dr. Vercauteren, Suzanne BCCH
Clinical Professor
Dr. Shiau, Carolyn RCH
Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Bush, Jonathan BCCH
Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Chen, Weiwei St. Paul’s Hospital
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. Chipperfield, Kate BCCH
Clinical Professor
Dr. Locher, Kerstin VGH
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. Skinnider, Brian RCH
Clinical Professor
Dr. Prystajecky, Natalie BCCDC
Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Ritchie, Gordon St. Paul's Hospital
Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Romney, Marc St. Paul's Hospital
Clinical Professor
Dr. Schubert, Peter CBR
Clinical Professor



Latest News


This year marks the 40th graduating class of the BMLSc Program!

Our alumni, now 621 strong, are outstanding contributors to society, taking on an incredible diversity of roles. As part of our anniversary celebration, with support of the Faculty of Medicine Alumni Engagement office, we reached out to alumni to find out where they are now and how the BMLSc Program helped them get there.

Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLSc) Program

Our Sincere Thanks and Appreciation to long-term instructors, whose commitment to the BMLSc Program and enthusiasm for teaching will be greatly missed: Helene Bruyere (PATH 402); Bojana Rakic (PATH 301 Carbohydrates); Mark Scott (PATH 300, 327, 402, 415); Brenda Smith (PATH 303 Cytology); Deb Chen (PATH 415).

BMLSc Curriculum Changes

In response to recent retirements and the changing landscape in clinical and foundational research, the BMLSc Program formed the Curriculum Enhancement Steering Committee (CESC) in September 2020. With varied representation from the BMLSc Program, the CESC works towards maintaining consistency in the Program with balancing the changing needs of students and laboratory sciences.

Residency Program: some of the events that happened during the year...

  • GRADS 2021
  • Program Director Updates
  • Welcome to Our New Residents & Fellows
  • Babies, babies and more babies…
  • Talents Beyond Medicine

Graduate Studies Program

Another academic year is starting and I want to extend a warm welcome to all the students joining our graduate program in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. These are special times that have highlighted the value of research such as that carried out in our institution and our department. Heather and I look forward to meeting you all.

Paleopathology as a New Scholarly Activity for MD Undergraduate Students at UBC

In developing a unique project “Hands on Archaeological and Medical Records” as contribution to the Foundations of Scholarship and Flexible Enhanced Learning (FLEX) courses for UBC MD undergraduate medical students at UBC, the first step was to create a repository of images of human bones with pathological conditions.



Dr. Torsten Nielsen

Excellence in Clinical or Applied Research, FOM

Dr. Mel Krajden

Service to the University and Community, FOM

Dr. Mel Krajden

Individual Leadership Impact Award, Life Sciences BC

Dr. Poul Sorensen

Order of British Columbia

Dr. Ramon Klein Geltink

Emerging Scholar Award, Research at Canadian Cancer Society

Dr. Victor Leung

Mission Award - Individual Category from Providence Health
video which features Dr. Leung

Dr. Poul Sorensen

AACR Team Science Award. UBC cancer researchers receive international team science award

Dr. Reza Alaghehbandan

Elected a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology (ACE)



Dr. Gerald Krystal

Optimizing diets during cancer treatment

Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation Grant

Dr. Samuel Aparicio

Cancer single cell dynamics observatory

BC Knowledge Development Fund