HIFI Award Recipients

The Health Innovation Funding Investment (HIFI) Awards support cross-faculty and cross-campus research at UBC's Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. Awards of up to $25,000 were granted to faculty members collaborating across faculties, disciplines, and campuses to develop new teams, pursue new ideas, or translate findings from innovative health-related research.

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2022 Spring
General Stream
Advancing data-driven rural unattached patient personas development: A person-centred design to inform preventative solutions
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Kathy Rush, Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Eric Li, Associate Professor, Faculty of Management and Principal’s Research Chair (Tier 2) in Social Innovation for Health Equity and Food Security, UBC Okanagan
  • Charlene Ronquillo, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Khalad Hasan, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics, Irving Barber Faculty of Science, UBC Okanagan
  • Jason Sutherland, Professor, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine
  • Selena Davis, Adjunct Professor, Health Information Science, University of Victoria; Digital Health Strategist, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
  • Lindsay Burton, PhD student, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
An environmental scan to promote effective communication for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing and live in BC long-term care facilities
HIFI Award: $24,818
  • Jeff Small, Associate Professor and Director, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Jennifer Baumbusch, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Julie Beadle, Postdoctoral Associate, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Diana Cochrane, Research Coordinator, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science and School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Shannon Freeman, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Human and Health Sciences, University of Northern British Columbia; Adjunct Instructor, UBC Northern Medical Program, Faculty of Medicine
  • Lillian Hung, Assistant Professor, CRC-Senior Care, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Lorienne Jenstad, Associate Professor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Grace Shyng, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Sonia Hardern, Regional Practice Lead, Research and Knowledge Translation-Long Term Care and Long-Term Care and Assisted Living Professional Practice Team, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute
  • Aderonke Agboji PhD Candidate, School of Nursing, Faculty of Human and Health Sciences, University of Northern British Columbia
Catalyzing multimodal magnetoencephalography (MEG) research on children’s brain health and development
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Hee Yeon Im, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Deborah Giaschi, Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Janet Werker, Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Anthony Herdman, Associate Professor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Lauren Emberson, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Tamara Vanderwal, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
  • Rebecca Feldman, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science, UBC Okanagan
  • Alex Cook, PhD student, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Zahra Kheradmandsaadi, PhD student, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Akosua Kesewah Asare, PhD student, Neuroscience Program, Faculty of Medicine
Developing quantitative ultrasound imaging for organ inflammation and fibrosis
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Robert Rohling, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Christopher Nguan, Associate Professor, Department of Urologic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Kelly McNagny, Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine
  • Mei-Lin Bissonnette, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
  • Maziar Riazy, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
  • Tim Salcudean, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science and School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Medicine
  • Michael Hughes, Research Associate, School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Medicine
  • Kristin Li, Technician, School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Medicine
  • Rohit Singla, MD/PhD student, School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Medicine
  • Farah Deeba, PhD student, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Yasmin Lau, undergraduate student, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine
  • Cailin Ringstrom, undergraduate student, Engineering Physics, Faculty of Applied Science
Promoting active school travel in the BC Interior
HIFI Award: $14,000
  • Christine Voss, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine
  • Mariana Brussoni, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine
  • Trent Smith, Site Co-Director, Undergraduate Education, Southern Medical Program and Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine; Medical Director, Child and Youth, Interior Health
  • Meghan Winters, Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
  • Brianna Tsui, graduate student, Experimental Medicine Program, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
Young people with old muscles: mapping the decline of muscle health in musculoskeletal conditions
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Jackie Whittaker, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine
  • Cameron Mitchell, Assistant Professor, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Education
  • Marine Theret, Research Associate, School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Medicine
  • Michael Koehle, Professor, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Education; Director, Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine
  • Fabio Rossi, Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Medicine
  • Allyson Schweitzer, Assistant Professor, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Education
  • Justin Losciale, PhD student, Rehabilitation Sciences Program, Faculty of Medicine
  • Trish Silvester-Lee, patient partner
Team-Based Stream
Automated detection of Alzheimer’s Disease from retinal fundus images using deep learning
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Ipek Oruc, Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Robin Hsiung, Associate Professor, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
  • Sonia Yeung, Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Ozgur Yilmaz, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science
Building capacity for team-based social prescribing in British Columbia
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Maureen Ashe, Professor, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine
  • Bill Miller, Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine
  • Ben Mortensen, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine
  • Christie Newton, Associate Professor and Associate Head, Education and Engagement, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine
  • Robert Petrella, Head and Professor, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine
  • Joseph Puyat, Assistant Professor, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine
  • Kathy Rush, Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Brodie Sakakibara, Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine; Investigator, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, Southern Medical Program, Faculty of Medicine, UBC Okanagan
  • Sanya Grover, graduate student, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine
  • Gurkirat Singh Nijjar, graduate student, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine
  • Grace Park, Program Medical Director, Home Health, Fraser Health
  • Beverley Pitman, United Way British Columbia
  • Kate Mulligan, Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Anna Maria Chudyk, Postdoctoral fellow, College of Nursing, University of Manitoba
Development of a serious game educational resource on chronic pelvic pain in gynecology for Canadian health care providers-in-training
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Fuchsia Howard, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Paul Yong, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine
  • Leanne Currie, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Sciences
  • Karim Qayumi, Professor, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine; Founder, Centre of Excellence for Simulation Education and Innovation
  • Margaret Carlyle, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Sociology, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UBC Okanagan
  • Natasha Orr, postdoctoral fellow, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine
Optimizing team-integrated primary care for older adults
HIFI Award: $17,000
  • Kerry Wilbur, Associate Professor and Executive Director, Entry to Practice Education, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Vanessa Kitchin, Librarian, Southern Medical Program, Faculty of Medicine, UBC Okanagan
  • Jennifer Bolt, Clinical Assistant Professor (Partner), Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Research and Development Pharmacist, Seniors’ Care/Pharmacy Practice Models, Interior Health
  • Colleen Inglis, Assistant Professor (Partner), Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Clinical Pharmacy and Research Specialist, Island Health and Community Health Services, Island Health
  • Karen Dahri, Associate Professor (Partner), Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Clinical Pharmacotherapeutic and Research Specialist, Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Diane Villanyi, Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
  • Kristen Haase, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Sciences
  • Nancy Sin, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Edwin Betinol, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine
  • Anuoluwapo Favour Awotunde, MPharm student, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Soft robotics, nanotech and the next technological leap of treating erectile dysfunction
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Hadi Mohammadi, Associate Professor, School of Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, UBC Okanagan
  • Ryan Flannigan, Assistant Professor, Department of Urologic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine

2021
Barriers, facilitators, and outcomes of a novel interdisciplinary eHealth clinical system to improve pediatric sleep care pathways in British Columbia
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Dr. Elizabeth Keys, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Dr. Osman Ipsiroglu, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. David Wensley, Head, Critical Care, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Denise Gabriel, Professor, Integrated Sciences, Faculty of Science
  • Dr. Calvin Kuo, Assistant Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Medicine
  • Mary Glasgow Brown, Clinical Assistant Professor, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Charlene Esteban Ronquillo, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Quevie Abalde, Student, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Scout McWilliams, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine
Development of an app to facilitate remote implementation of KidsAction Coaching
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Dr. Jean-Paul Collet, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Stephanie Glegg, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Lise Olsen, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Dr. William McKellin, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Arts
  • Dr. Mojgan Gitimoghaddam, PhD candidate, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine
Empowering individuals who are postpartum with education, self-monitoring for complications, and research through a mobile application 
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Dr. Xue Chen Ke, Clinical Instructor, Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Marianne Vidler, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Eric Li, Associate Professor, Faculty of Management, UBC Okanagan
  • Dr. Emmanuela Ojukwu, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Dr. Lang Wu, Professor, Department of Statistics, Faculty of Science
  • Dr. Lianne Tomfohr-Madsen, Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education, Faculty of Education
Harm reduction innovation: Exploring a tri-partnership model for the delivery of drug-checking services on campus and in the community
HIFI Award: $24,975
  • Dr. Nelly Oelke, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan 
  • Lauren Airth, PhD student, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Dr. Lianping Ti, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine; Research Scientist and Health Administrative Data Lead, BC Centre on Substance Use
  • Sara Fudjack, PhD candidate, School of Social Work, Faculty of Arts
  • Dr. Zach Walsh, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UBC Okanagan
Neural network-based concussion classifier: Sex-based considerations
HIFI Award: $20,000
  • Dr. Naznin Virji-Babul, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Kwang Moo Yi, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science
  • Dr. Liisa Galea, Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Dr. Shelina Babul, Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine
  • Natalie Dalton, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
Pre-processing community nursing and allied health data for equity-informed artificial intelligence for interdisciplinary wound care
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Dr. Charlene Esteban Ronquillo, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Dr. Xiaoxiao Li, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Dr. Leanne Currie, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Lorraine Block, PhD candidate, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science; Clinical and Implementation Lead for eWound EHR, Vancouver Coastal Health 
  • Dr. Ivan Beschastnikh, Associate Professor, Computer Science, Faculty of Science
Putting type 2 diabetes into remission: Developing a patient-centred, interdisciplinary nutrition intervention for delivery in urban and rural community pharmacies
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Dr. Jonathan Little, Associate Professor, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Dr. James Johnson, Professor, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Tom Elliot, Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Tamara Cohen, Director of Dietetics and Assistant Professor, Food, Nutrition and Health, Faculty of Land and Food Systems
  • Dr. Joel Singer, Professor, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Jennifer Davis, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Management, UBC Okanagan
  • Dr. Jennifer Bolt, Clinical Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Dr. Mary Jung, Associate Professor, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis, Director, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management; Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine; Professor, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Dr. Brendan Byrne, Physician, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine 
  • Dr. Barbara Oliveira, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Chris Xi, Student and Patient Partner, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Sean McKelvey, Registered Pharmacist, Institute for Personalized Therapeutic Nutrition 
  • Marc Pelletier, Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Health Systems Transformation and Sustainability 
Reward and avoidance in major depressive disorder: Developing predictive markers of treatment response 
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Dr. Trisha Chakrabarty, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Rebecca Todd, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Dr. Stan Floresco, Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Dr. Luke Clark, Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Yuexiaoxi (Cecilia) Yu, MSc student, Neuroscience Program, Faculty of Medicine
  • Ryan Tomm, PhD student, Psychology, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Alexander Terpstra, PhD student, Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
Virtual reality training tool to facilitate police investigations of head injury and strangulation in intimate partner violence cases
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Dr. Paul van Donkelaar, Professor, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • Dr. Shelina Babul, Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine
  • Stephanie Ashton, PhD student, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan
  • John Jacob, Senior Director, Strategy and Innovation and Head, Digital Lab, BC Children's Hospital 
  • Tara Haarhoff, Manager, Data Analysis Unit, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
2020
Allies in health: Social support for health behaviours and combating loneliness in the face of COVID-19
HIFI Award: $19,800
  • Dr. Christiane Hoppmann, Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Dr. Jennifer Jakobi, Professor, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Development
  • Dr. Maureen Ashe, Associate Professor, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Ken Madden, Associate Professor, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Rachel Murphy, Assistant Professor, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Wolfgang Linden, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
Application of virtual reality to treat vaginismus: Fear of sexual activity
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Dr. Lori Brotto, Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Alan Kingstone, Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Dr. Melanie Altas, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine
  • Natalie Brown, MA student, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
Can we blame the COVID-19 overdose surge on emergency income supports? Empirical evidence to support social policy planning
HIFI Award: $24,527
  • Dr. Lindsey Richardson, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts; Research Scientist, BC Centre on Substance Use
  • Dr. Jane Buxton, Professor, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine; Medical Lead, Harm Reduction, BC Centre for Disease Control
  • Dr. David Green, Professor, Vancouver School of Economics, Faculty of Arts
  • Dr. Lianping Ti, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine; Research Scientist and Health Administrative Data Lead, BC Centre on Substance Use
  • Dr. Amanda Slaunwhite, Adjunct Professor, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine; Senior Scientist, BC Centre for Disease Control
  • Dr. Heather Palis, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and BC Centre for Disease Control
  • Allison Laing, PhD student, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts
Creating a calmer NICU: Pilot testing a robot for optimizing brain development in preterm infants in the NICU
HIFI Award: $24,859
  • Dr. Liisa Holsti, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Manon Ranger, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Dr. Guy Dumont, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computing Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Dr. Kevin Golovin, Assistant Professor, Mechanical School of Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Shahbaz Askari, PhD student, Department of Electrical and Computing Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Indigenous Elder-led app to support parents’ two-eyed seeing for parenting
HIFI Award: $17,000
  • Dr. Wendy Hall, Professor Emeritus, School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Dr. Patti Janssen, Professor, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine
  • Gloria Mellesmoen, PhD student, Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Arts
Smartphone- and nanotechnology-enabled platform for deployable extracellular vesicle and virus detection
HIFI Award: $25,000
  • Dr. Russ Algar, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science
  • Dr. Karla Williams, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences