Some of the news & events that happened during the year

Photos from our annual Arts Gala Event organized by PaSA

Annual Pathology Arts Gala

Vicky Li
Degree Program: PhD

Each year, PaSA hosts the Annual Pathology Arts Gala. Our students and faculty gather for an evening of social and artistic performances by members of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory. We welcomed over 60 attendees to this year’s event, held on March 9th, 2018. We are pleased to have performers from past events and alumni to join and present their talents, singing, dancing and musics, and have visual displays submitted from various laboratories. Many thanks to their contributions and our volunteers who made this night possible. And special acknowledgement to our sponsors, Millipore Sigma and STEMCELL. Upon receiving valuable feedbacks, and meanwhile welcoming more voices, PaSA looks forward to incorporate new elements into this traditional event in the coming 2019 Arts Gala event.

Dr. Dana Devine Accepts Graduate Studies Program Director Position

Dr. Dana Devine
Graduate Studies Program

Hello! I just wanted to take the opportunity of the publication of our newsletter to introduce myself. My name is Dana Devine and I’m the new program director for the Graduate Studies Program in Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. Although this is a new role for me in the Department, I’m not new to PALM, having been a department member since 1987 when I arrived from Duke University with my newly minted PhD. My research interest is in hematology/hematopathology. Most of our work over the past 15 years has been focused on blood transfusion specifically seeking to understand the biochemical processes associated with cell aging in modern storage systems and using that information to improve the safety and quality of transfusion products for patients. My lab is in the UBC Centre for Blood Research, located on the 4th floor of the Life Sciences Institute on the Point Grey campus.

I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead our Graduate Studies Program. We have a strong, student-centric program and engaged faculty to supervise training. With a focus on attracting high quality students who will find success at UBC and in their subsequent careers, we help to support some of the great research that is done in our department. Our program does many things well, but we must stay vigilant. With any program there are challenges and ours is no exception. We have yet to develop ways to support and engage the postdoctoral fellows in our department to enhance their training experience and assist them with career development. We live in an expensive city and need to improve the financial support for our students, especially for those who come to the program from outside the lower mainland. Although as a ‘top 50’ university, UBC is a very attractive place to undertake graduate studies, we are still in competition with other schools for top students, as well as from other graduate programs at UBC and we need to focus on our recruiting. We’ll be looking for lots of student, postdoc and faculty input as we develop new strategies to keep our program vibrant

Congratulations to Jennifer Ji this year's Vanier Scholarship recipient

Jennifer Ji
MD/PhD Student
Supervisor: Dr. David Huntsman
Dr. Torsten Nielsen is a Pathology Member on her Committee
Jennifer (middle) with thesis supervisor Dr. David Huntsman (Left), and MD/PhD program director Dr. Torsten Nielsen (Right)

Jennifer is a MD/PhD student mentored by Dr. David Huntsman. Her thesis project focuses on the metabolomic and proteomic characterization of ovarian clear cell carcinomas.

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for women, with about 25,000 women diagnosed in North America each year. Ovarian cancer is subdivided into different groups or ‘subtypes’, according to molecular characteristics and clinical outcome. Clear cell ovarian cancer (CCC) is the second most common subtype of ovarian cancer affecting many women. At late stage, it is more aggressive and resistant to current chemotherapy compared to other subtypes. Molecular and genomic studies suggest that it is a metabolically driven malignancy, but its metabolic profile has not yet been studied. It may be possible to develop CCC-specific therapy through targeting this subtype’s metabolic defects. Jennifer’s research will be the first characterization of a large cohort of clinical cases of CCC using protein expression in conjunction with global metabolite profiling. She hopes that identifying targetable metabolic pathways will guide the development of more effective therapies to help patients with this deadly disease.

Outside of the lab, Jennifer enjoys painting. She is the illustrator for the reading bear society, an non-profit organization working towards increasing childhood literacy especially for underprivileged children ( Jennifer also enjoys nature and is the proud owner of many plants.

    Jennifer’s other awards include:
  • Four year Fellowship (2018)
  • Pathology Day oral presentation award, 3rd place (2018)
  • Translational Cancer Genomics travel award (2018)
  • Canadian conference on ovarian cancer research trainee award (2018)
  • CIHR-UBC-BCCA MD/PhD studentship (2015)
  • Faculty of Medicine Graduate Award (2015)

Celebrating the Winners of the 2018

Heather Cheadle-Yamamoto
Graduate Program Coordinator
  • Jennifer Ji (MD/PhD)Vanier Scholarship (Supervisor: Dr. David Huntsman)
  • Alberto Delaidelli (PhD)Killam Doctoral Fellowship (Supervisor: Dr. Poul Sorensen)
  • Rachel Cederberg (MSc ) Laurel L. Watters Research Fellowship & Cordula and Gunter Paetzold Fellowship (Supervisor: Kevin Bennewith)
  • Tseday Tegegn (PhD)International Doctoral Fellowship (Supervisor: Ed Pryzdial)
  • Tim Xue (PhD)Four Year Fellowship (Supervisor: Honglin Luo)
  • Lauren Forgrave (MSc) - Master’s CIHR (Supervisor: Mari DeMarco)
  • Michael Li (MSc) Master’s CIHR (Supervisor: Christian Steidl)
  • Lily Sung (Takeuchi) (MSc) Master’s NSERC (Jay Kizhakkedathu)
  • Guangze Zhao (PhD) Outstanding Graduate Student Award (Decheng Yang)