THE TEAM

Our 2020/2021 Executive Team

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.”

EMILIE THÉBERGE
VICE-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.

KEVIN JEFFERS
CHAIR, RESEARCH DAY
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.

Elizabeth Stephens
JUNIOR 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.

DEEMA ALHUSARI
CHAIR, SEPTEMBER WELCOME
dalhusari@bccrc.ca

Post-Graduate Aspiration: I would like to be part of the impact that science has on society by serving as a liaison between policymakers and scientists to make science more inclusive and attractive to youth.
Random Trait: I’m a scuba diver and I make coffee out of date palm seeds

All worker bees are female.”

Mia Frier
JUNIOR CHAIR, SEPTEMBER WELCOME
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.”

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.

BRENDIL SABATINO
JUNIOR 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.”

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.

RACHEL SPENCER
JUNIOR 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.”

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.

NIKITA TELKAR
EXECUTIVE MEMBER
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.”

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.”

 

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.”