Congratulations to the following faculty members on their

recent publications

Shorter Granulocyte Telomeres among Children and Adolescents with Perinatally-Acquired HIV Infection and Chronic Lung Disease in Zimbabwe
Ajaykumar, A., et al. | Clinical Infectious Diseases | Aug 26, 2020
Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blocker Telmisartan Inhibits the Development of Transient Hypoxia and Improves Tumour Response to Radiation
Wadsworth, B.J., et al. | Cancer Letters| Aug 21, 2020
The Epigenomics of Sarcoma
Nacev, B.A., et al. | Nature Reviews Cancer | Aug 17, 2020
Single Cell Transcriptomes of Normal Endometrial Derived Organoids Uncover Novel Cell Type Markers and Cryptic Differentiation of Primary Tumours
Cochrane, D.R., et al. | The Journal of Pathology | Jul 30, 2020
Cutting Edge: Intestinal Mucus Limits the Clonal Deletion of Developing T Cells Specific for an Oral Antigen
Tsai K., et al. | The Journal of Immunology | Jul 15, 2020
Oligodendrocyte ARNT2 Expression is Altered in Models of MS
Becquart, P., et al. | Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm | July 2020 [Centre for Brain Health]
Synthesis of Diagnostic Quality Cancer Pathology Images by Generative Adversarial Networks
Levine, A., et al. | The Journal of Pathology | Jul 19, 2020
Altered microRNA Expression Links IL6 and TNF-Induced Inflammaging with Myeloid Malignancy
Grants, J.M., et al. | Blood | May 25, 2020
Age-correlated Protein and Transcript Expression in Breast Cancer and Normal Breast Tissues is Dominated by Host Endocrine Effects
Osako, T., et al. | Nature Cancer | May 11, 2020 [Vancouver Sun, The Province ]


Our New Faculty

Dept of Pathology welcomes Dr. James H Lan, MD, FRCP(C), D(ABHI)

Dr. James H Lan, Assistant Professor (tenure-track), UBC, Director, Immunology Laboratory, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Kidney Transplant Program,VGH
Dr. James Lan has accepted UBC’s appointment offer for Assistant Professor, joint Appointment Dept of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine (50%) and Department of Medicine (50%), start day July 1, 2020. He is a nephrologist who completed his cross-training in Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics under the mentorship of Dr. Elaine Reed at the University of California, Los Angeles Immunogenetics Center. His clinical and research interests include development and application of biomarkers to prevent rejection, translation of next-generation sequencing to solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and bringing together pharmacogenomics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics to develop an integrated systems pharmacology strategy for renal transplantation.

A little bit about you:

Born in Taiwan, I moved to Canada when I was 11 and grew up in Vancouver. My career started as an MD in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. When I saw firsthand how rapidly kidney transplantation was able to restore the health of patients with organ failure I became determined to work in the field of transplantation and never looked back. Being a clinician first, Immunology always seemed like a black box, and yet influenced every aspect of my decision-making. With the support of numerous mentors and the UBC Clinician Investigator Program, I took the “path less travelled” in 2013 to cross-train in Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics at the UCLA Immunogenetics Center. I am fortunate that this unique training experience has allowed me to deliver transplant care in its entirety from bench to clinic. Today, my research focuses on the structural biology and immunogenetics of HLA, the role of these molecules in the graft response and immune disease, and the development of molecular assays to monitor immune injury coupled with a systems pharmacology strategy for renal transplantation.

Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

Dr. John Gill introduced me to kidney transplantation and continues to be one of my closest mentors today. Dr. Paul Keown has been an important figure in my career – his contributions to transplantation in BC, Canada, and internationally are truly astounding. His work ethics and imagination continue to inspire me every day. At the same time, he has left very big shoes for me to fill!

What do you like the most about your job?

Given the number of hats I wear (researcher, HLA director, clinician) I never have a dull day at work. It’s truly a special privilege and experience when I can contribute to every aspect of a transplant patient’s journey, from performing their pretransplant assays to executing the transplant itself, and to have the opportunity to bring in new technologies that can improve their outcomes.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Trying to be in 3 places at the same time, and coming up with new excuses at 5 pm to tell my wife/kids why I will be late for dinner.

What do you believe has been the greatest advancement for medicine in the last 50 years?

I think the ability to manipulate the immune system represents a tremendous advancement. Obviously I am very biased because of my area of interest, but organ transplantation has played a big role in this progress. The late Dr. Paul Terasaki designed a simple and yet elegant complement-dependent cytotoxicity assay in 1969 which made it possible to avoid hyperacute rejection, paving the path forward to perform organ transplants. This led to a golden era of rapid evolution in the understanding of immunity and parallel developments in diagnostic technologies and immunotherapeutics, which have since transformed the landscape of transplantation, autoimmunity, and oncology.

Going into the future, how do you believe medicine/science may change?

We are currently witnessing a revolution in scientific advancement. As diagnostic assays become more precise, data-driven algorithms further refine risk prediction, and novel therapeutics improve outcomes, physicians in my generation will be able to take all of these converging technologies and tools to have truly informed discussions with patients, and come up with customized treatment plans that are consistent with each individual’s goals of care and values.

What is the most helpful advice you’ve received?

In a niche field like transplantation the scientific community can be very small, and it is inevitable that strong personalities can clash. I have always taken to heart advice from my mentor Dr. Paul Keown (the epitome of a true gentleman) to be as inclusive as possible and to continue building larger networks of collaboration. As Warren Buffett says, “you can always tell someone to go to hell tomorrow.”

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?

This is a moving target. As my young kids grow up what I enjoy tends to matter less and get replaced by my sons’ favorite things. Our favorite activity these days is to sneak away from my wife and indulge in the best matcha ice cream in Vancouver at Nana’s Green Tea in Kerrisdale.

A day off with my wife Danni and the two boys Jake and John.

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

My career path has brought me in contact with a great diversity of scientists, technologists, physicians, and allied health workers - I am constantly amazed by the collaborative nature of our community and the willingness of like-minded people to go over and beyond their call to support the mission of transplantation.

What are some words of wisdom or perhaps inspiration you wish to share with your colleagues?

Whenever I am faced with seemingly impossible dilemmas, the motto from my high school, Sine Timore Aut Favore , has always inspired me to stick to my own character and a core set of values that are important to me, and to deal with whatever fallout that comes without fear or favour .


COVID-19 department members stories

The BC Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory’s Response to COVID-19

The BC Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory (BCCDC PHL) serves many important functions as British Columba’s Provincial Reference Laboratory, including receiving ~5,000 samples a day which translates into carrying out ~12,000 tests daily. Many of these tests are for rare or complex pathogens including those of public health importance. However, its pandemic response mandate is one of the most vital to get right. For COVID-19, the BCCDC PHL hit the mark.

Remarkable Successes on COVID Research Between Dr. Wellington and Dr. Myp Sekhon, an Intensivist at VGH

The following 7 manuscripts have been published or accepted, all stemming from work initiated in March 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

VSO Project for Musical Health Care Professionals

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra released this video on to a variety of social media platforms on July 8th. The video was produced to honour health care workers in the “front lines” of the COVID epidemic. I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate and I was the only pathologist (to the best of my knowledge) and the only oboist! Pay close attention to the 0:35 second mark to see me featured in the “big” window. The total experience was great fun and quite uplifting. “All you need is love” as the Beatles correctly sang.
Samuel H Krikler, MBChB FRCPC

COVID-19 and a New Vision of a PhD Defence Day: A Supervisor’s Perspective

There are clearly a great many challenges and severe hardships faced by people around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the intention of this article is not to diminish or belittle the very real suffering that is going on. These articles are commentaries on how physical distancing due to COVID-19 has affected the final PhD examinations of our students at UBC.

COVID19 and a New Vision of a PhD Defence Day: A Graduate Student’s Perspective

I attended a PhD defence for the first time during my undergraduate studies at the University of Waterloo. As a newcomer to academia this was when I learned the basics of the doctoral defence proceedings. All lab members took the afternoon off to attend the event in a room a little fancier than where typical lab meetings were held and a big fuss was made over the fact that it was technically a public event despite the final audience being exclusively lab members.


to our newly promoted faculty members

Dr. Chris Steidl, BCCA/BCCRC
Dr. Andre Mattman, St. Paul’s Hospital
Clinical Professor
Dr. Jeff Terry, BCCH
Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Audi Setiadi, BCCH
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. Steven Rasmussen, VGH
Clincial Professor
Dr. Will Hsiao, BCCDC
Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Jeffrey Craig, BCCA
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. Janet Simons, St. Paul’s Hospital
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. Vilte Barakauskas, BCCH
Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Andrew Shih, VGH
Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Paul Levett, BCCDC
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. Mei Lin Bissonnette, St. Paul’s Hospital
Clinical Associate Professor

Projects & Research Initiatives

transition into the future

news from VGH

Artificial Intelligence to Accelerate Translational Research in Pathology

Dr. Ali Bashashati and colleagues awarded UBC Faculty of Medicine strategic investment fund to build fundraising capacity for AI in Pathology.

Artificial Intelligence to Generate Synthetic Pathology Images

Researchers at VGH use artificial intelligence to synthesize histopathology images for a range of cancer types for educational and data sharing purposes.



Latest News

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

The residency admin office had barely taken a breath after a week of on site accreditation sessions with the Royal College the first week in March, when the pandemic hit & everything was turned upside down. Huge credit to our Program Directors for making sure the residents were safe and training could continue with the changing guidelines.

From Produce to Polyps: living the dream - Mike Steel, MD

An aspiring Gastrointestinal Pathologist might not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering the various career opportunities for a Vancouver Island-born individual from a small community.

BMLSc Program

The successful completion and outstanding academic achievements of the 39th BMLSc graduating class were celebrated during a virtual gathering June 5. The graduation celebration over Zoom was a first for the Program and was an extraordinarily heart-warming gathering, proving that synchronous online events can be meaningful. The students surprised us with a moving Thank You video.

Education-Focused Sabbatical in Kenya

What does a sabbatical look like for someone in the Educational Leadership ranks? My sabbatical consisted primarily of two projects outside of - and physically far away from - the UBC BMLSc Program. I was invited to work with the Aga Khan University (AKU) Hospital in Nairobi and with Kabarak University in rural Kenya.

Graduate Studies Program

Newly admitted graduate students

Back to School – Pathology 501

The legendary Dr. David Hardwick, presents concepts related to cell injury and death emphasizing how they are at the underpinnings of Medicine. Simple, practical, foundational, and of course, hilarious. Filmed live with appropriate safety protocols in 2020 at the MSAC, Vancouver.


Virtual Rounds

Pathology Rounds Summary (Dr. Titus Wong)

A core group of faculty and staff adeptly created weekly rounds as a means of bringing the Department together, boost morale and share the richness of faculty’s accomplishments and knowledge. On June 4th 2020, I had the opportunity to attend a virtual presentation given by Dr. Titus Wong titled “Pathology and laboratory medicine’s response to COVID-19: Beyond Diagnostics” as part of the department’s weekly rounds.



Dr. Mel Krajden

Appointed to the Order of British of Columbia

British Columbia

Dr. Dana Devine

ISBT Award

The International Society of Blood Transfusion

Dr. Kirk R. Schultz


Cell Therapy Transplant Canada (CTTC)


MAY 2020

Due to COVID-19, Pathology Day was cancelled this year, but our annual recognition award program wasn't. The Pathology Awards Planning Committee quickly created a plan to ensure that the achievements of staff and faculty would still be celebrated. Awardees were mailed packages that included award certificates and gifts. Congratulations to all the recipients!

Dr. Michael Sutherland

Excellence in Education Award

Dr. Natalie Prystajecky

Excellence in Research and Discovery Award – Early Career

Dr. Monika Hudoba

Most Valuable Player Award

Dr. Michael Kelly

David Hardwick Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Douglas Webber

Excellence in Clinical Service Award

Dr. Christian Steidl

Excellence in Research and Discovery Award

Dr. Andrew Shih

Excellence in Mentoring Award

Loretta Rothstein

Staff Service Award (Technical)

Joanna Huang

Staff Service Award (Administrative)



Dr. Cheryl Wellington

Characterizing tau pathology in survivors of intimate partner violence-related traumatic brain injury

Centre for Brain Health Innovation Fund Kickstart Research Grant

Dr. Agatha Jassem

Characterizing Antibody Response to Emerging COVID-19 Virus

COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding

Dr. Inna Sekirov

Characterizing Antibody Response to Emerging COVID-19 Virus

COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding

Dr. Mel Krajden

Securing Reagent Supplies and Scaling COVID-19

COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding

Dr. Muhammad Morshed

Characterizing Antibody Response to Emerging COVID-19 Virus

COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding

Dr. Natalie Prystajecky

Securing Reagent Supplies and Scaling COVID-19

COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding

Dr. Ali Bashashati

BC Translational Digital Pathology and Artificial Intelligence Initiative

Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) - UBC

PIs from Pathology: Dr. David Huntsman, Dr. Ali Bashashati

Pathology AI for a Federated Quality Assurance Program: Ovarian Cancer Pilot

Cascadia Data Alliance

Dr. Jacqueline Quandt

Characterizing inflammatory and neurodegenerative pathways driving clinical disease in the NR1H3 (LXRA) R415Q model of primary progressive multiple sclerosis

The MS Society of Canada