THE TEAM

Our 2022/2023 Executive Team

MIA FRIER
CO-PRESIDENT
mfrier@cmmt.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Continue doing molecular biology research and sharing science with the general public through outreach initiatives.
Random Trait: Perfect colour vision


“When a dolphin sleeps, they only rest one hemisphere of their brain at a time.”

KEVIN JEFFERS
CO-PRESIDENT
kevin.jeffers@alumni.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Continue on in academia and become a Prof in Molecular Biology and/or Genetics; work in BioTech.
Random Trait: Skilled at paper marbling


“In curling, when a rock is placed just in front of another rock (usually belonging to the opponents), it’s called a “freeze.

LETICIA DINATTO
RESEARCH DAY CHAIR
ldinatto@bccrc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Research stress response and damage repair mechanisms and their implications on cancer/aging.
Random Trait: 2000’s emo and pop punk enthusiast

“The South American maned wolf looks like a fox, but it is neither a wolf nor a fox.”

NATHALIE LONGAKIT
JUNIOR RESEARCH DAY CHAIR
nathalie.longakit@ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Continue in academia.
Random Trait: I play some really mediocre tennis.

“Competitive art used to be in the Olympics.”

DOROTHY LIN
SENIOR SEPTEMBER WELCOME CHAIR
dorothy.lin@bcchr.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Continue in academia and hopefully become a professor at the intersection of psychiatry and genetics.
Random Trait: A good portion of my clothes are things that I’ve sewn from thrifted pieces.

“Birds have little eyelashes that look like pearls.”

EVA SHEPPARD-DIXON
SEPTEMBER WELCOME CHAIR
evasd1@student.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Continue in research related to epigenetics and gene therapy and work in biotechnology to translate my research into treatment for genetic diseases.
Random Trait: I own (at least) 15 vintage cameras, all of them in working condition!


“Miss Piggy and Yoda were voiced by the same person: puppeteer, actor, and filmmaker Frank Oz.”

MARIE JOHNS
EVENTS CHAIR
marie.johns@msl.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Travelling abroad for a postdoc in a neurogenetics lab while pondering a career in academia vs. industry.
Random Trait: I have incredible recall for song lyrics, even for songs I haven’t heard in years!


“Young goats pick up accents from each other. This means they join humans, bats, and whales as mammals known to adjust their vocal sound to fit into a new social group.”

CHIAKI SHUZENJI
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS – GRAPHIC DESIGN
cshuzenji@cmmt.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: To pursue a career in cancer transcription regulation research and develop new drug treatments for cancer.
Random Trait: I can ride a unicycle!

There are many vending machines that sell weird things in Japan, such as crepes, fish broth, origami, gold and wedding rings.

GLAFIRA ERMAKOVA
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS – SOCIAL MEDIA
germakova@cmmt.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Continue research in academia or Biotech company
Random Trait: One of my kidneys is upside down

“You can taste onion by rubbing it on your feet.”

KHAIR MUFTI
CO-DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
kmufti@popi.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Continue in academia and become a future Professor in Pharmacogenomics
Random Trait: Skilled at video editing

“It’s impossible to hum while holding your nose. Go ahead, try it!

RAMLOGAN SOWAMBER
CO-DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
rsowambe@student.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Work as a Scientist, developing novel therapeutic strategies.
Random Trait: I like to run marathons

“Mount Logan is the tallest mountain in Canada”

SOPHIE ALBERT
GENETIC COUNSELLING REPRESENTATIVE
s48775@phsa.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: To pursue a career in Clinical Genetic Counselling. I am also interested in contributing to clinical genetics research throughout my career, and getting involved in training future genetic counsellors.
Random Trait: I learned to ski when I was 2 years old

Elephants are highly resistant to developing cancer due to their 20 copies of the p53 gene.”

SYDNEY SCHULZ
GENETIC COUNSELLING REPRESENTATIVE
s48780@phsa.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Genetic Counselling
Random Trait: I was a triple major in undergrad!

“The CGI snow in the Disney movie Frozen was so well done, the code was given to an avalanche researcher from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology for simulation studies.”


2020 – 2022 Executives

EMILIE THÉBERGE
CO-PRESIDENT
emilie.theberge@bcchr.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: To continue in a research career involved in translating clinical genetics research to patient populations and the general public.
Random Trait: I’m decent at drawing human portraits!


“The development of Hawaiian pizza has no relation to Hawaii: It’s credited to a pizza shop owner in a small town in Ontario, Canada, in 1962.

ELIZABETH STEPHENS
SENIOR CHAIR, RESEARCH DAY
elizabeth.stephens@msl.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: I would like to pursue a career in genetic diagnostics.

Random Trait: Excellent cat mom



Sheep have rectangular pupils which allows them to see up to 320° around them without turning their head.

BETHANY ADAIR
UBC GSS MEDICAL GENETICS Representative
badair@cmmt.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Pursue a research career focused on developing gene therapies that will be successful in treating patients with rare, genetic diseases.
Random Trait: I can type 100+ wpm

The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland.”

NIKITA TELKAR
EVENTS CHAIR
nikita.telkar@bcchr.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Join an institute that focuses on population stratification (inclusion of ancestry) in genomic studies; open a genetics diagnostic company.
Random Trait: Pretty good at DIY home repair


“Detroit is north of Canada.”

BECCA CANDLISH
GENETIC COUNSELLING REPRESENTATIVE
rebecca.candlish@cw.bc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: To contribute to research as a genetic counsellor, particularly in neurogenetics
Random Trait: I always paint personalized birthday cards for my friends and family

Figs are pollinated by fig wasps which crawl inside the figs and are digested by their enzymes”

PATRICIA GOMBAS
GENETIC COUNSELLING REPRESENTATIVE
patricia.gombas@cw.bc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: To work as a genetic counsellor and help address the barriers in access to healthcare for underserved populations
Random Trait: I like to cook – particularly I like to come up with really creative meals

“The severed head of a sea slug can grow a whole new body.”

BRENDIL SABATINO
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
bsabatino@cmmt.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Pursue a career in biotech
Random Trait: Karate skills

“Twister was considered a risque game when it came out in the 1960s.”

RACHEL SPENCER
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
rspencer@cmmt.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Continue in academia in molecular genetics.
Random Trait: I run a small photography business.


“Sharks have survived 5 mass extinctions events and are older than trees.”

SHAWN SHORTILL
PRESIDENT
sshortill@cmmt.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Join a research institute studying the molecular cell biology of protein and lipid trafficking. Make transformative discoveries that improve our collective knowledge of life in health and disease.
Random Trait: I have a fairly deep knowledge of craft cocktail bartending


“Australia is wider than the moon.”

OMER RIYADH
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
oriyadh@cmmt.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Continue a career in Bioinformatics , improving data analysis pipelines that ultimately lead to clinical discoveries.

Random Trait: My tolerance for really spicy food.

The coffee break was established in the 1800s when an employee at the Geunderson Tobaco Warehouse began pausing work to brew some coffee.

KIARA LOWES
Genetic Counsellor Representative
kiara.lowes@cw.bc.ca 

 Post-Graduate Aspiration: Work as a cancer or prenatal genetic counsellor
Random Trait: I hand make all of my greeting cards

Hermit crabs have 254 chromosomes.”

LORYN BYRES
Genetic Counsellor Representative
loryn.byres@cw.bc.ca

 Post-Graduate Aspiration: Work as a genetic counsellor
Random Trait: I have synesthesia

Sea otters hold hands when they sleep to prevent them from drifting apart.”

 

MEILIN AN
Special Events Coordinator
meilin.an@ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Develop new and effective treatments for various diseases by uncovering the fundamental biological principles underlying development and disease.
Random Trait: I play violin

“Koala fingerprints are so close to humans’ that they could taint crime scenes.

ROULA FARAG
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
roula.farag@alumni.ubc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: Pursuing career in curating gene variants for rare autosomal recessive diseases and complex diseases.
Random Trait: I do oil paintings


“Roosters have built -in earplugs so when it crows its external auditory canals close-off and prevents sound from coming in.