Researcher of the Month


August 2013: Dr. Guri Giaever
July 2013:
Dr. Peter Loewen
June 2013: Dr. Corey Nislow
May 2013:
Dr. Stelvio Bandiera
April 2013: Dr. Peter Zed
March 2013:
Dr. Adam Frankel
February 2013:
Dr. Judy Wong 
January 2013: Dr. James McCormack
December 2012:
Dr. Peter Soja
November 2012:
Dr. Wayne Riggs
October 2012: Dr. Judith Soon
September 2012: Dr. Brian Cairns
August 2012:
Dr. Kathleen MacLeod
July 2012:
Dr. David Grierson
June 2012: Dr. Fawziah Marra
May 2012: Dr. Thomas Chang
April 2012: Dr. Helen Burt
March 2012: Dr. Carlo Marra
February 2012: Dr. Ujendra Kumar
January 2012: Dr. Mary Ensom
December 2011: Dr. Urs Hafeli
November 2011: Marion Pearson
October 2011: Dr. Larry Lynd
September 2011: Dr. Brian Rodrigues


May 2012: Dr. Thomas Chang


Dr. Thomas Chang is Professor and Coordinator of the Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Graduate Training Program at the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He earned his BSc (Pharm) and PhD degrees and completed the Faculty Certificate Program on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at UBC. Following postdoctoral studies in the Division of Cancer Pharmacology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, he returned to UBC to begin his career. Dr. Chang has published primarily in the areas of drug metabolism and toxicology, with almost 250 publications (peer-reviewed primary research papers, review articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings) to date. He has also received several research awards, including a Research Career Award from the Medical Research Council of Canada and Rx&D Health Research Foundation, Research Scholarship from the British Columbia Health Research Foundation, New Investigator Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (U.S.A.), Izaak Walton Killam Faculty Research Fellowship, UBC Distinguished University Scholar Award, and Senior Scholar Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.


A primary focus of Dr. Chang’s scholarly work has been on the regulation of enzymes (e.g. cytochromes P450) involved in the biotransformation of drugs and other chemicals. A current interest is the cellular and molecular pharmacology of nuclear receptors (e.g. pregnane X receptor and constitutive androstane receptor), particularly those that govern the action of drug-metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters. An emphasis is on the role of natural products in modulating the function of these nuclear receptors. Another aspect of his scholarly work is the elucidation of the mechanisms of drug-induced hepatotoxicity. Dr. Chang’s research program is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

Representative Publications

Lau AJ, Yang G, Rajaraman G, Baucom CC, Chang TKH. Human pregnane X receptor agonism by Ginkgo biloba extract: Assessment of the role of individual ginkgolides. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 335: 771-780, 2010.

Lau AJ, Yang G, Rajaraman G, Baucom CC, Chang TKH. Differential effect of meclizine on the activity of human pregnane X receptor and constitutive androstane receptor. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 336: 816-826, 2011.

Lau AJ, Yang G, Chang TKH. Isoform-selective activation of human constitutive androstane receptor by Ginkgo biloba extract: Functional analysis of the SV23, SV24, and SV25 splice variants. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 339: 704-715, 2011.

Lau AJ, Yang G, Yap CW, Chang TKH. Selective agonism of human pregnane X receptor by individual ginkgolides. Drug Metabolism and Disposition 40: 1113-1121, 2012.

Price KE, Pearce RE, Garg UC, Heese BA, Smith LD, Sullivan JE, Kennedy MJ, Bale Jr. JF, Ward RM, Chang TKH, Abbott FS, Leeder JS. Effects of valproic acid on organic acid metabolism in children: A metabolic profiling study. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 89: 867-874, 2011.

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April 2012: Dr. Helen Burt


Dr. Helen Burt is the Associate Vice President, Research & International and Angiotech Professor of Drug Delivery in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She was born in Manchester, England and obtained her BPharm (Hons) from the University of Bath and her PhD in Pharmaceutics from UBC. Her research, supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), involves the development of polymer-based drug delivery systems for controlled and localized drug delivery.

Dr. Burt has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers and eight patents. She has also received several teaching prizes and research awards, including the UBC Killam Teaching Prize and Killam Faculty Research Prize, NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation, Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences (CSPS) Award of Leadership in Canadian Pharmaceutical Sciences, and YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Science, Research and Technology. In addition to her many accomplishments, Dr. Burt is a member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, founding scientist of the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), and has served on the Board of Directors of the Provincial Health Services Authority.


In 1993, Dr. Burt’s lab started working in the newly emerging, but rapidly expanding field of polymer-based drug delivery systems. These systems provide the important features of controlled drug release and targeted or site-directed delivery to improve drug safety and effectiveness. The lab developed the first polymeric “nanomedicine” for paclitaxel and prototyped the first paclitaxel coated stent in 1994. Through successful CIHR and NSERC grants and collaborations with many other groups, Dr. Burt's lab developed and evaluated novel technologies to deliver therapeutic agents for prostate and bladder cancer, arthritis, infectious diseases, orthopedic/bone regeneration. More recent work has focused on the development of a nanomedicine based on hyperbranched polyglycerol nanoparticles loaded with docetaxel and administered locally into the bladder to treat superficial bladder cancer.

Representative Publications

Mugabe, C, Matsui Y, So, AI, Gleave, ME, Baker, JHE, Minchinton, AI, Manisali, I, Liggins, RT, Brooks, DE, Burt, HM. “In vivo evaluation of mucoadhesive docetaxel for intravesical treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.” Clinical Cancer Research, 17 (2011): 2788-2798.

Mugabe, C, Matsui, Y, So, AI, Gleave, ME, Brooks, DE, Burt, HM. “In vivo efficacy of intravesical paclitaxel and docetaxel loaded hydrophobically derivatized hyperbranched polyglycerols.” Nanomedicine, (2011). In press DOI: 10.2217NNM.11.

Jackson, J.K., Pirmoradi, F.N., Wan, C-PL, Siu, T, Chiao, M, Burt, HM. Increased accumulation of paclitaxel and doxorubicin in proliferating capillary cells and prostate cancer cells following ultrasound irradiation. Ultrasonics, 51 (2011): 932-939.

Pirmoradi, F.N, Jackson, J.K., Burt, H.M., Chiao, M. On-demand controlled release of docetaxel from a battery-less MEMS drug delivery device. Lab-on-a-chip, 11(2011): 2744-2752.

Pirmoradi, F.N., Jackson, J.K., Burt, H.M., Chiao, M. A magnetically controlled MEMS device for drug delivery: Design, fabrication and testing. Lab-on-a-chip, 11 (2011): 3072-3080.

Gilchrist, S.E., Letchford, K., Burt, H.M. The solid state characterization of fusidic acid. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. (2011). In press. doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2011.11.00.

Mugabe, C., Raven, P.A., Fazli, L., Baker, J.H.E., Jackson, J.K., Liggins, R.T., So, A.I., Gleave, M.E., Minchinton, A.I., Brooks, D.E., Burt, H.M. Tissue uptake of docetaxel loaded hydrophobically derivatized hyperbranched polyglycerols and their effects on the morphology of the bladder urothelium. Biomaterials 33 (2012): 692-703.

Letchford, K., Burt, H.M. Amphiphilic diblock copolymer micelles and nanospheres with different in vitro stability in human plasma demonstrate similar paclitaxel pharmacokinetics. Molecular Pharmaceutics (in press) 2012.

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March 2012: Dr. Carlo Marra


Dr. Carlo Marra is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Director of the Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The mission of CORE is to improve health-related outcomes to drug therapy through the application of the best in research, education, and practice enhancement strategies. This involves collaboration with other outcomes researchers, professional organizations, and policy makers.

Dr. Marra did his undergraduate and graduate studies at UBC in Pharmacy, Health Economics, and Epidemiology. He went on to complete a postdoc with the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada in Arthritis Epidemiology and Pharmacoepidemiology. He currently holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Pharmaceutical Outcomes. He has also received awards from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, International Society of Quality of Life Research, Canadian Arthritis Network, Medical Research Council of Canada/Arthritis Society, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

In addition to his many accomplishments, Dr. Marra has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles, is a reviewer for more than 30 peer reviewed journals, and has been invited to present nationally and internationally at over 80 conferences.


Dr. Marra's scholarly interests include the conduct of cost-effectiveness analyses utilizing state-of-the-art modeling techniques (including decision analysis, discrete-event simulation, Markov modeling, and Monte Carlo simulation), measurement of health-related quality of life and patient preferences, and pharmacoepidemiology. In addition, he is interested in research that examines the pharmacist’s role in improving chronic disease management and the cost-effectiveness of performing these services. Many of these studies have resulted in changes in policy at both the hospital and provincial formulary levels.

Representative Publications

Najafzadeh M, Lynd LD, Davis JC, Bryan S, Anis A, Marra M, Marra CA. Barriers to integrating personalized medicine into clinical practice: a best-worst scaling choice experiment.  Genet med 2012 Jan 19.doi: 10.1038/gim.2011.26 [Epub ahead of print].

Raymakers AJ, Sadatsafavi M, Marra F, Marra CA. Economic and humanistic burden of external genital warts. Pharmacoeconomics 2012 Jan 1;30(1):1-16. PMID: 22201520.

Anis A, Harvard S, Marra CA. Ontario’s plunging price-caps on generics: deeper dives may drown some drugs. Open Med. 2011;5(3):3149-52. Epub 2011 Sep 27. PMID: 22046229.

Grindrod KA, Lynd LD, Joshi P, Rosenthal M, Isakovic A, Marra CA. Pharmacy Owner and Manager Perceptions of Pharmacy Adaptation Services in British Columbia. Can Pharm J 2011;144(5):231-5.

Wilby K, Marra CA, da Silva JH, Grubisic M, Harvard S, Lynd LD. Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating Pictogram Augmentation of HIV Medication Information (November). Ann Pharmacother. 2011 Oct 25. [Epub ahead of print].

Bowker SL, Richardson K, Marra CA, Johnson JA. Risk of Breast Cancer After Onset of Type 2 Diabetes: Evidence of detection bias in postmenopausal women. Diabetes Care. 2011 Oct 4. [Epub ahead of print].

Harrison MJ, Bansback NJ, Marra CA, Drummond M, Tugwell PS, Boonen A. Valuing health for clinical and economic decisions: directions relevant for rheumatologists. J Rheumatol. 2011 Aug;38(8):1770-5.

Johnson JA, Bowker SL, Richardson K, Marra CA. Time-varying incidence of cancer after the onset of type 2 diabetes: evidence of potential detection bias. Diabetologia 2011 Sep;54(9):2263-71.

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February 2012: Dr. Ujendra Kumar


Dr. Ujendra Kumar is Associate Professor with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC and Senior Investigator at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. Dr. Kumar obtained his MSc, BEd and PhD from India. He gained his postdoctoral experience in CNRS, Marseille, France; Swedish Defense Lab, Umea, Sweden and Canada. He joined as Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University in Montreal and later moved to UBC in 2006.

Dr. Kumar was awarded the Nesbitt-McMaster Award for Excellence in Medicine and Surgery at McGill University and the Senior Investigator Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health and Research. Dr. Kumar’s research has been supported by grants from CIHR, NSERC, CBCF (BC/Yukon), the Danish Council for Independent Research, MSFHR and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is well established and recognized internationally for his work on Somatostatin Receptors and GPCRs dimerization using Pb-FRET analysis. Dr. Kumar has published more than 100 research articles in international journals including Science, PNAS and JBC and has written six book chapters and five review articles on Somatostatin.


Dr. Kumar’s laboratory studies molecular mechanism and functional consequences of GPCRs, Receptor tyrosine kinases and NMDA receptors interaction. Recent studies have demonstrated the potential role of SSTR subtypes in the modulation of epidermal growth factor receptors and mediated tumor promoting signaling pathways. For the first time, the lab has demonstrated that a lack of somatostatin receptors mimic neurochemical changes as in Huntington’s disease. In addition, the lab has been able to explain that somatostatin receptors inhibit NMDA induced excitotoxicity and dissociate NMDARs complex formation.

Representative Publications

Somvanshi RK, Chaudhari N, Qiu X, Kumar U. Heterodimerization of β2 adrenergic receptor and somatostatin receptor 5: Implications in modulation of signaling pathway. J Mol Signal. 2011; 12, 6:9.

Somvanshi RK, War SA, Chaudhari N, Qiu X, Kumar U. Receptor specific crosstalk and modulation of signaling upon heterodimerization between β1-adrenergic receptor and somatostatin receptor-5. Cell Signal. 2011; 23(5), 794-811.

Kharmate G, Rajput PS, Watt HL, Somvanshi RK, Chaudhari N, Qiu X, Kumar U. Role of somatostatin receptor 1 and 5 on epidermal growth factor receptor mediated signaling. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011; 1813(6), 1172-89.

Tadavarty R, Rajput PS, Wong JM, Kumar U, Sastry BR. Sleep-deprivation induces changes in GABA(B) and mGlu receptor expression and has consequences for synaptic long-term depression. PLoS One. 2011; 6(9):e24933.

War SA, Somvanshi RK, Kumar U. Somatostatin receptor-3 mediated intracellular signaling and apoptosis is regulated by its cytoplasmic terminal. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011; 1813(3), 390-402.

Kharmate G, Rajput PS, Watt HL, Somvanshi RK, Chaudhari N, Qiu X, Kumar U. Dissociation of epidermal growth factor receptor and ErbB2 heterodimers in the presence of somatostatin receptor 5 modulate signaling pathways. Endocrinology, 2011; 152(3), 931-45.

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January 2012: Dr. Mary Ensom


Dr. Mary H. H. Ensom (formerly Chandler) is Professor and Director of the Doctor of Pharmacy Program, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia (UBC) and Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Children’s & Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia. Dr. Ensom earned her BSc Pharm degree in 1977 and PharmD in 1985, both from the University of Kentucky. In between degrees, she was a hospital pharmacist and developed clinical services in South Carolina, Washington, and Kentucky. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Pharmacokinetics at the University of Kentucky (UK) in 1987, served on the faculty at the UK College of Pharmacy and also as Director of the Clinical Pharmacokinetics Service at the UK Chandler Medical Center for 10 years (1987-97) before joining the Faculty at UBC in 1997.

Over the course of her career, Dr. Ensom has received 70 awards for scholarship, research, and service. Dr. Ensom has also received 9 outstanding teaching awards, including a UBC Killam Teaching Prize in 2000, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Teaching in both 2001 and 2011, and the Class of 2009 Master Teacher Award. She also received the 2011 American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Education Award for "substantial and outstanding contributions to clinical pharmacy education". Notably, Dr. Ensom is the only Canadian-based recipient of the Education and Publication awards from ACCP, a 12,000+-member US-based organization. She is also one of only 34 Distinguished University Scholars at UBC.

Aside from PharmD students, Dr. Ensom has supervised more than 100 hospital pharmacy residents, MSc and PhD students, and postdoctoral fellows. She is Editor for the Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy and serves on the Editorial Boards of 5 other international journals. Dr. Ensom is a Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), ACCP, Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP), and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS).


Dr. Ensom's long-term research interests have been in clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics with more recent interests in pharmacogenetics and pharmaceutical outcomes evaluations. Her particular areas of research focus include: 1) effects of age, gender, and organ transplantation on pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacogenetics; 2) novel approaches to therapeutic drug monitoring; 3) hormonal influences and drug disposition and action in women; and 4) stability of extemporaneously compounded medications.

As an integrator who bridges the gap between the basic and clinical sciences, Dr. Ensom uses her clinical practice experiences to identify relevant issues that are then studied through her laboratory-based research program. These clinical questions are addressed from a qualitative, quantitative, and mechanistic perspective and study results are directly and immediately translated into patient care.

Dr. Ensom has 440 publications (including 193 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 2 books/monographs, and 12 book chapters) to her credit. Recognition for her research has taken the form of numerous national and international awards from ACCP, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), ASHP, CSHP, and the Canadian College of Clinical Pharmacy (CCCP) as well as the 1990 Astra Clinical Pharmacy Research Award. She was also the recipient of the 2006 ACCP Russell R Miller Publication Award in recognition of “substantial contributions to the literature of clinical pharmacy.” In 2007, Dr. Ensom was one of only 5 campus-wide faculty members to receive the UBC Killam Research Prize in Science.

Representative Publications

Dumont RJ, Partovi N, Levy RD, Fradet G, Ensom MHH. Developing a Limited Sampling Strategy for Cyclosporine Area-Under-the-Curve Monitoring in Lung Transplant Recipients. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2001;20:897-900.

Ensom MHH, Chang TKH, Patel P. Pharmacogenetics: The Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of the Future? Clin Pharmacokinet. 2001;40:783-802.

Ensom MHH, Liu PY, Stephenson MD. Effect of Pregnancy on Bone Mineral Density in Healthy Women. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2002;57:99-111.

Ensom MHH, Partovi N, Decarie D, Dumont RJ, Fradet G, Levy RD. Pharmacokinetics and Protein Binding of Mycophenolic Acid in Stable Lung Transplant Recipients. Ther Drug Monit. 2002;24:310-4.

Ensom MHH, Chong G, Zhou D, Beaudin B, Shalansky S, Bai TR. Double-Blind Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study of Estradiol in Premenstrual Asthma. Pharmacotherapy. 2003;23:561-71.

Ensom MHH, Partovi N, Decarie D, Ignaszewski AP, Fradet G, Levy RD. Mycophenolate Pharmacokinetics in Early Period Following Lung or Heart Transplantation. Ann Pharmacother. 2003;37:1761-7.

Stephenson MD, Ballem PJ, Tsang P, Purkiss S, Ensworth S, Houlihan E, Ensom MHH. Treatment of Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APS) in Pregnancy: A Randomized Pilot Trial Comparing Low Molecular Weight Heparin to Unfractionated Heparin. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2004;26:729-34.

Ensom MHH, Stephenson MD. Pharmacokinetics of Low Molecular Weight Heparin and Unfractionated Heparin in Pregnancy. J Soc Gynecol Investig. 2004;11:377-83.

Kiang TKL, Ensom MHH, Chang TKH. UDP-Glucuronosyltransferases and Clinical Drug-Drug Interactions. Pharmacol Ther. 2005; 106:97-132.

Ting LSL, Villeneuve E, Ensom MHH. Beyond Cyclosporine: A Systematic Review of Limited Sampling Strategies for Other Immunosuppressants. Ther Drug Monit. 2006;28:419-30.

Ting LSL, Partovi N, Levy RD, Riggs KW, Ensom MHH. Pharmacokinetics of Mycophenolic Acid and its Glucuronidated Metabolites in Stable Lung Transplant Recipients. Ann Pharmacother. 2006;40:1509-16.

Ting LSL, Partovi N, Levy RD, Riggs KW, Ensom MHH. Limited Sampling Strategy for Predicting Mycophenolic Acid Area-Under-the-Curve in Adult Lung Transplant Recipients. Pharmacotherapy. 2006;26:1232-40.

Ensom MHH, Decarie D, Sheppard I. Stability of Lansoprazole in Extemporaneously Compounded Suspensions for Nasogastric or Oral Administration. Can J Hosp Pharm. 2007;60:184-91.

Soon JA, Meckley LM, Levine M, Marciante KD, Fielding DW, Ensom MHH. Modelling Costs and Outcomes of Expanded Availability of Emergency Contraceptive Use in British Columbia. Can J Clin Pharmacol. 2007;14:e326-e338.

Oremus M, Zeidler J, Ensom MHH, Matsuda-Abedini M, Balion C, Booker L, Archer C, Raina P. Utility of Monitoring Mycophenolic Acid in Solid Organ Transplant Patients. Evid Rep Technol Assess. 2008;164:1-131.

Ting LSL, Partovi N, Levy RD, Riggs KW, Ensom MHH. Pharmacokinetics of Mycophenolic Acid and its Phenolic-Glucuronide and Acyl Glucuronide Metabolites in Stable Thoracic Transplant Recipients. Ther Drug Monit. 2008;30:282–91.

Lam S, Partovi N, Ting LSL, Ensom MHH. Corticosteroid Interactions with Cyclosporine, Tacrolimus, Mycophenolate, Sirolimus: Fact or Fiction? Ann Pharmacother. 2008;42:1037-47.

Bruchet NK, Ensom MHH. Limited Sampling Strategies for Mycophenolic Acid in Solid Organ Transplantation: A Systematic Review. Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism and Toxicology. 2009;5:1079-97.

Al-Khatib M, Shapiro RJ, Partovi N, Ting LSL, Levine M, Ensom MHH. Performance of Limited Sampling Strategies for Predicting Mycophenolate Area Under the Concentration-Time Curve in Islet Transplant Recipients. Ann Pharmacother. 2010;44:19-27.

Al-Khatib M, Shapiro RJ, Partovi N, Ting LSL, Ensom MHH. Pharmacokinetics of Mycophenolate and its Glucuronidated Metabolites in Stable Islet Transplant Recipients. Ther Drug Monit. 2010;32:373-8.

Ting LSL, Benoit-Biancamano M, Bernard O, Riggs KW, Guillemette C, Ensom MHH. Pharmacogenetic Impact of UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase Metabolic and Multidrug Resistance-Associated Protein 2 Transport Pathway on Mycophenolic Acid in Thoracic Transplant Recipients: An Exploratory Study. Pharmacotherapy. 2010;30:1097–108.

Poulin E, Greanya E, Partovi N, Shapiro RJ, Al-Khatib M, Ensom MHH. Development and Validation of Limited Sampling Strategies for Tacrolimus and Mycophenolate in Steroid-Free Renal Transplant Regimens. Ther Drug Monit. 2011;33:50-5.

Ensom MHH, Stephenson MD. A Two-Center Study on the Pharmacokinetics of Intravenous Immunoglobulin Before and During Pregnancy in Healthy Women with Poor Obstetrical Histories. Hum Reprod. 2011;26:2283-8.

Wilby KJ, Ensom MHH. Pharmacokinetics of Antimalarials in Pregnancy: A Systematic Review. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2011;50:705-23.

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December 2011: Dr. Urs Hafeli


Dr. Urs Hafeli is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. Dr. Hafeli received a BSc degree in Pharmacy at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland in 1986 and a PhD from the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland in 1989. He spent 1.5 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Joint Center of Radiation Therapy at Harvard University, followed by 11 years as a research scientist in the Radiation Oncology Department of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.


Dr. Hafeli's research concentrates on magnetic drug targeting with microspheres and nanospheres and on the preparation of biocompatible and biodegradable monosized particles. In order to make uniform particles, he is investigating flow focusing based on silica- and PDMS-nanotechnologies. The overall aim is to use drug releasing targeted particles for radiopharmaceutical cancer therapy and for targeted drug delivery to the eye. Every two years, since 1996 he has organized and co-chaired the International Conference on the Scientific and Clinical Applications of Magnetic Carriers. At its last meeting in May 2010, the conference attracted 370 participants from 43 countries to Rostock, Germany. The next conference will be in May 2012 in Minneapolis, U.S.A.  Other active fields of research are the development and testing of radioactive diagnostic imaging agents, the development of vaccines that do not require booster shots, and the development and use of microneedles for therapeutic drug monitoring in interstitial fluid.

Representative Publications

Saatchi K, Gelder N, Gershkovich P, Sivak O, Wasan KM, Kainthan RK, Brooks DE, Häfeli UO (2011). Long-circulating nontoxic cardiac blood pool imaging agent based on hyperbranched polyglycerols. Int J Pharm, in press.

Häfeli UO, Ensom MH, Kiang TK, Stoeber B, Chua B, Pudek M, Schmitt V (2011). Comparison of Vancomycin Concentrations in Blood and Interstitial Fluid: A Possible Model for Less Invasive Therapeutic Drug Monitoring. Clin Chem Lab Med, in press.

Yanai A, Häfeli UO, Metcalfe A, Soema P, Addo L, Gregory-Evans CY, Po K, Shan XH, Moritz O, Gregory-Evans K (2011). Focused magnetic stem cell targeting to the retina using superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. Cell Transplant, in press.

Misri R, Saatchi K, Ng SSW, Kumar U, Häfeli UO (2011). Evaluation of 111In labeled antibodies for SPECT imaging of mesothelin. Nucl Med Biol 38, 885-896.

Häfeli UO, Saatchi K, Elischer P, Misri R, Bokharaei M, Labiris NR, Stoeber B (2010). Lung perfusion imaging with monosized biodegradable microspheres. Biomacromolecules 11, 561-567.

Saatchi K, Häfeli UO (2009). Radiolabeling of biodegradable polymeric microspheres with [99mTc(CO)3]+ and in vivo evaluation using microSPECT/CT imaging. Bioconjug Chem 20, 1209-1217.

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November 2011: Marion Pearson


Marion Pearson is a Senior Instructor and Director of the Entry-to-Practice Program at UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences. She completed her BSc(Pharm) at UBC in 1982, a residency in community pharmacy practice in 1983, the Faculty Certificate on Teaching in Higher Education in 1999, and an MA in Higher Education in 2008. She is an award-winning teacher, having received both the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Education and the UBC Killam Teaching Prize. She is a peer reviewer and a member of the Advisory Board for the Faculty Certificate program. Marion is a licensed pharmacist, and has been recognized with a Certificate of Merit and Volunteer Honour Roll Certificates for her committee work with the College of Pharmacists of BC. She has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the UBC Pharmacy Alumni for many years.


Marion is currently a PhD student in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education with a research focus on integration in the pharmacy curriculum. Other recent research projects have included investigations of narrative pedagogy as a strategy for enhancing caring attitudes and students’ usage of and attitudes to digital recordings of lectures.  

Representative Publications

Wang, B., Peng, J., Pearson, M. L., & Hubball, H. T. (2011). Internationalization of a faculty SoTL program: Immersion experiences of Beijing professors in a Canadian research-intensive university. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (5)2, 1-9.

Hubball, H., & Pearson, M. L. (2011). Scholarly approaches to curriculum evaluation: Critical contributions for undergraduate degree program reform in a Canadian context. In M. Saunders, P. Trowler, & V. Bamber (Eds.), Reconceptualising evaluation in higher education: The practice turn. Open University Press Publishers/SRHE.

Pearson, M. L., & Andres, L. (2010). Job location decisions of pharmacy graduates in British Columbia. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 74(4), Article 74.

Hubball, H., & Pearson, M. L. (2010). Grappling with the complexity of undergraduate degree program reform: Critical barriers and emergent strategies. Transformative Dialogues (3)3, 1-17.

Hubball, H., & Pearson, M. L. (2009). Curriculum leadership portfolios: Enhancing scholarly approaches to undergraduate degree program reform. Transformative Dialogues (3)2, 1-16.

Recent Presentations

Pearson, M. L. (2011, October). Reflecting on stories of care: Evaluation of a narrative assignment. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the UBC Centre for Health Education Scholarship, Vancouver, BC.

Pearson, M. L., Fielding, D. W., Albon, S. P., Brady, C. M., Wasan, K. M., & Verma, A. K. (2011, July). Climbing Harden’s Ladder: Harmonization, temporal coordination, and correlation. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX.

Albon, S. P., Seet, T. T., & Pearson, M. L. (2011, June). “Happy together”: Integrating medicinal chemistry and pharmacy practice in Year 1. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada Canadian Pharmacy Education and Research Conference, Winnipeg, MB.

Pearson, M. L., & Marchand, J-P. (2011, June). Digital lecture recordings: Patterns of use and value in learning. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada Canadian Pharmacy Education and Research Conference, Winnipeg, MB.

Pearson, M., Brady, C., & Nicholl, T. (2010, June). Enhancing learning and assessment through peer teaching. Presentation at the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada 1st Annual Canadian Pharmacy Education and Research Conference, Richmond, BC.

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October 2011: Dr. Larry Lynd


Dr. Larry Lynd received his undergraduate degree in pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan in 1986 and PhD in epidemiology from the Deptartment of Health Care and Epidemiology at the University of British Columbia in 2002. He then completed a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in health economics with Dr. Bernie O'Brien at McMaster University. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, an Associate of the School of Population and Public Health, and he has an adjunct appointment to Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He is a Scientist at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcomes Sciences at Providence Health, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar, and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator.

Outside of the university setting, Dr. Lynd has served on the National Drug Scheduling Advisory Committee, and he currently sits on the Health Canada Special Advisory Committee for Non-prescription drugs, the BC Ministry of Health’s Expensive Drugs for Rare Diseases Advisory Committee.


Within the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Lynd is the Associate Director of the Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Collaboration (CORE). Given the mission of CORE to improve health care related outcomes to drug therapy, Dr. Lynd’s primary research interests include epidemiology, health economics, quantitative benefit risk analysis, and the evaluating of health care preferences. He is currently involved in many involving different methods and different disease areas, such as:

Quantitative benefit risk analysis
• Isoniazid for the treatment of latent tuberculosis
• Alosetron for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome
• Rofecoxib relative to naproxen for rheumatoid arthritis
• Long-acting beta-agonists for asthma management
• New antithrombotic agents for the prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation

• Evaluation the association between inhaled corticosteroid use and the risk of lung cancer in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
• Evaluation of the association between statin use the risk of lung cancer
• The relationship between COX-2 inhibitor switching and gastrointestinal adverse events
• Evaluation of the association between selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors and suicide in adolescents

Patients and Societies Risk/Treatment Preferences
• The risk preferences of patients with rheumatoid arthritis for the gastrointestinal and cardiac risks of NSAIDS
• Patients’ preferences for oral and inhaled insulin
• Societal preferences for human papilloma virus vaccination
• Societal preferences for allergen food labelling
• Societies and patients preferences for adverse outcomes associated with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

Rare diseases
• An evaluation of society’s willingness to pay for the treatment of patients with rare disease

Economic evaluation
• Cost effectiveness analysis of a new genetic test for thyroid cancer screening
• Cost effectiveness analysis of low molecular weight heparin versus heparin in general medicine patients
• Cost effectiveness analysis and potential budget impact of a province-wide rollout of cognitive behavioural therapy for prevention of depression relapse in BC.

Representative Publications

Lynd LD, Marra CA, Najafzadeh M, Esdaile JM, Sadatsafavi M. A benefit-risk analysis of rofecoxib relative to naproxen in arthritis – an application of the incremental net-benefit framework. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Safe 2010: 19 (11):1172 – 80.

Guimaraes C, Marra CA, Simpson SH, Meneilly GS, Queiroz RHC, Lynd LD, Gill S. Exploring patients’ perceptions for insulin therapy in type 2 diabetes: A Brazilian and Canadian qualitative study. Patient Pref Adherence 2010; 4: 171-9.

Lynd LD, Najfzadeh M, Colley L, Byrne MF, Willan AR, Sculpher MA, Johnson RF, Hauber AB. Using the incremental net-benefit framework for quantitative benefit-risk analysis in regulatory decision making – a case study of alosetron in irritable bowel syndrome. Value Health. 2010; 13(4): 411-7.

Lynd LD, Najfzadeh M, Colley L, Byrne MF, Willan AR, Sculpher MA, Johnson RF, Hauber AB. Using the incremental net-benefit framework for quantitative benefit-risk analysis in regulatory decision making – a case study of alosetron in irritable bowel syndrome. Value Health. 2010; 13(4): 411-7.

Tsang R, Colley L, Lynd LD. Inadequate statistical power to detect clinically significant differences in adverse events rates in randomized controlled trials. J Clin Epi 2009 ;62(6):609-16.

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September 2011: Dr. Brian Rodrigues


In addition to his role as Professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC, Dr. Brian Rodrigues is a Board Director of the Canadian Diabetes Association. He also serves as a member of all of the major grant review panels including the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Diabetes Foundation, CIHR and Pfizer Cardiovascular Awards. Dr. Rodrigues came to Canada in 1983, and obtained a Masters and a PhD degree in Pharmacology at UBC. Following completion of a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Calgary, he was appointed an Assistant Professor at UBC in 1993. Throughout his career, Dr. Rodrigues has pursued his interest in diabetes and heart research with funding from the HSFBC&Y, CDA, Pfizer, and CIHR. His research findings have been published extensively.

Dr. Rodrigues is also actively involved in the training of graduate students. In the past 5 years, he has graduated nine PhD students who are currently independent investigators or completing PDF’s at Harvard, Yale, NIH and the University of Toronto. At present, his lab has three PhD students.


5-6% of Canadians are currently diagnosed with diabetes. In people with diabetes, inadequate pharmaceutical management predisposes the patient to heart failure, which is the leading cause of diabetes related deaths. One instigator for this cardiac dysfunction is change in fuel utilization by the heart. Thus, following diabetes, when cardiac glucose utilization is impaired, the heart undergoes metabolic transformation wherein it switches to using fats as an exclusive source of energy. Although this switching is geared to help the heart initially, in the long term, this has terrible end results. These include the generation of noxious by products which kill cardiac cells, reduce cardiac function and ultimately result in an increased morbidity and mortality. A key perpetrator that may be responsible for organizing this metabolic disequilibrium is lipoprotein lipase (LPL), the enzyme responsible for providing fat to the hearts. Either exaggeration or reduction in its activity following diabetes could lead to heart dysfunction.  Dr. Rodrigues is actively involved in the examination of the biology of LPL during diabetes. To do this, he uses animal models of diabetes and various cellular approaches including isolation of single heart cells. Given the disturbing news that diabetes is rampant across the globe, and that its incidence will double in Canada by 2016, results from his studies will help in gaining more insight into the mechanism(s) by which cardiac LPL is regulated. This may assist other researchers in devising new therapeutic strategies to restore metabolic equilibrium, to help prevent or delay heart disease seen during diabetes.

Representative Publications

Wang, Y., Puthanveetil, P., Wang. F., Kim, M. S., Abrahani, A., and Rodrigues, B. Severity of diabetes governs vascular lipoprotein lipase by affecting enzyme dimerization and disassembly. Diabetes 60:2041-2050, 2011.

Kim, M.S., Wang, F., Puthanveetil, P., Kewalramani, G., Hosseini-Beheshti, E., Ng, N., Wang, Y., Kumar, U., Innis, S., Proud, C.G., Abrahani, A., and Rodrigues, B. Protein kinase D is a key regulator of cardiomyocyte lipoprotein lipase secretion after diabetes. Circ. Res. 103: 252-260, 2008.

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