HR News and Updates

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Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

COVID 19 continues to disrupt our work and personal lives. But despite these challenges the faculty, staff, students and trainees within the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine have adapted and excelled. The talent, abilities and dedication within the Department have been demonstrated and recognized in many ways.

Dr. Al Rawahi, Dr. Titus Wong and Dr. Aleksandra Stefanovic, successfully worked with all of the province’s health authorities to define the need for additional training in infection prevention and control. From there they then went on to secure additional Ministry of Health funding to expand the Infection Prevention and Control certificate course in order to educate a greater number of the province’s health care providers about infection prevention and control. Many thanks to Dr. Amir Hadzic (Interior Health), Dr. David Harris (Providence Health), Dr. Diana Whellams (LifeLabs), Dr. Elisa LloydSmith (Vancouver Costal Health), Dr. Inna Sekirov (Provincial Health Services Authority), Dr. Jocelyn Srigley (Provincial Health Services Authority), Dr. Monika Naus (Provincial Health Services Authority), Dr. Nancy Matic (Providence Health), Dr. Shazia Masud (Fraser Health), and Dr. Victor Leung (Providence Health) who have taken on additional teaching responsibilities to help with the increased teaching load. Thank you as well to Joanne Wouterse and Jong Kim for supporting the logistics of the teaching expansion.

Many of the Department’s researchers successfully obtained research grants to study various aspects of COVID 19. Amongst the grants awarded were:

  • The ABCD Consortium (“Accelerating Blood and Cardiopulmonary COVID-19 Diagnostics”) Principal Investigator: Dr. Mari DeMarco (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine);
  • “Linking Transmission Metadata to Viral Genotype and Serological Response of COVID-19”, Principal Investigator Dr. Mel Krajden ;
  • Dr. Cheryl Wellington worked with VCH physicians to examine the immune response in critically ill patients who had COVID-19.

Four month’s after the COVID-19 lock down occurred, the Rix Foundation provided the Department with a $1.5 million donation, that was matched by funds from the Provost, to create Professorship in Laboratory Quality The Department is now actively recruiting a successor for Dr. Michael Noble .

The University of Maryland and USAID (United States Agency for International Development) has requested the Department’s certificate in Laboratory Quality program accept an additional 21 quality managers from Botswana. Many thanks to Dr. Michael Noble and Maggie Ma for enabling this program expansion. .

In late September, Dr. Suzanne Vercauteren accepted the role as the Department’s lead for the Inclusion Action Committee and within a month, had 15 department representatives accept her invitation to join her in identifying where the Department is inclusive, where there needs to be improvement and identify what the Department needs to do to be more inclusive. We are very grateful to these individuals, who represent the Department’s geographical distribution as well as the Canadian population, in helping the Department become more inclusive.

Several Pathology and Laboratory Medicine faculty members won prestigious awards and were appointed to key leadership roles. Dr. Mel Krajden was appointed to the Order of British Columbia. Dr. Poul Sorenson was appointed as the Director, Academy of Translational Medicine. Dr. Christian Steidl won the Faculty of Medicine’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Basic Science Research. Dr. Philipp Lange won the Faculty of Medicine’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Overall Excellence, Early Career. Dr. Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu was inducted as a Fellow, Biomaterials, Science and Engineering. Dr. Dana Devine was appointed as the Director for the Canadian Blood Research Centre and Dr. Helene Cote was appointed as the Graduate Program Director, for the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Dr. David Granville was appointed as the Executive Director for the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. Dr. Andrew Shih, was appointed as the Program Director of the Area of Focused Competence Diploma Program in Transfusion Medicine.

We also welcomed Ms. Karen DuPlessis t as Program Assistant, Pathology Residency Program and Jong Kim accepted as the Program Assistant for the Infection Prevention and Control program.

Genevieve MacMillan
Director, HR and Administration

New Staff Member(s)

Jong Wook Kim, Infection Control and Prevention Certificate Program Assistant

I was born and raised in South Korea, and have been abroad since 10th grade. I double-majored in Mathematics and Asian Studies in the UBC (Class of 2020), and worked in TD and the UBC MD Undergraduate Admission. I am capable of coding programs mainly in Java, Python, Dart, and building mathematical models/simulations in R, Matlab and Python.

Interesting facts I am an animal lover (I wanted to be a zookeeper when I was a child), and I have two dogs: Joggy (Beagle) and Gulbi (American Eskimo). I love cooking, and thus, to expand my food spectrum and earn extra money as a student, I worked as a barista, pita maker, and one of kitchen cooks in Green Leaf!