PEOPLE

Faculty

Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose
PhD, PT

 Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, PhD, PT, is a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, and Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Mobility, and Cognitive Health. She is the Research Director of the Vancouver General Hospital Falls Prevention Clinic (www.fallsclinic.ca) and Director of the Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory (http://cogmob.rehab.med.ubc.ca). Dr. Liu-Ambrose is an associate member of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.

Dr. Liu-Ambrose has a leadership role in two major Canadian Institutes of Health Research initiatives in aging – the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging (CLSA) and the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA). Recognition of Dr. Liu-Ambrose’s research excellence include her national research chair award (Canada Research Chair), 2 national salary awards (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada), 1 provincial salary award (Michael Smith Foundation of Canada), and 2 institution research excellent awards (Faculty of Medicine Distinguished Achievement in Clinical Research and Peter Wall Scholar Award). She also received the Royal Society of Canada’s Alice Wilson Award as a postdoctoral fellow.

Dr. Liu-Ambrose is known internationally for her work in randomized controlled trials of exercise with cognitive and mobility outcomes in older adults. Her research findings have been implemented in health authorities, translated into a provincial-wide program, and influenced international practice guidelines to promote healthy aging.

 


Research Associates

John Best
PhD

Research Associate
Department of  Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

John Best is a Research Associate working under the supervision of Teresa Liu-Ambrose. John’s research uses scientific approaches from lifespan developmental psychology, behavioural economics, health psychology, neuroimaging and kinesiology to study two interrelated questions: (1) What types of experiences bolster cognitive function across the lifespan? (2) What are the cognitive, neural and environmental factors that lead individuals to make choices in the world that promote positive health? In examining these questions, Dr. Best focuses most closely on executive functions, which refer to the cognitive functions essential to goal-oriented and controlled behavior. Originally from the USA, John received a PhD in developmental psychology from the University of Georgia and post-doctoral training in obesity research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

 


Postdoctoral Fellows

Anna Rita Egbert
PhD

Postdoctoral fellow
Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Anna Rita Egbert is a postdoctoral research fellow supervised by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. Anna’s career goal is to improve the health of older adults through research that will be hallmarked by its relevance to society, collaborative nature, and commitment to knowledge exchange. In achieving this goal, she focuses on characterizing the neural signature of both cognitive and physical resiliency with age as well as identifying interventions that promote resiliency. She utilizes multi-modal scientific approaches combining cognitive and neuroimaging methods such as diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (task fMRI), and resting-state fMRI (RS fMRI). Originally from Poland, Anna completed an extensive doctoral training in cognitive psychology and neuroscience at the Department of Clinical Neuropsychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Warsaw, Poland, as well as the Department of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA.

Cindy Barha
PhD

CIHR and MSFHR/PARF Postdoctoral fellow
Department of  Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

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Cindy Barha is a postdoctoral research fellow supervised by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. Cindy’s primary research interests focus on the interactions between the stress and reproductive axes in determining developmental trajectories across the lifespan, with a concentration on how these interactions influence normal age-associated cognitive decline as well as risk for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, she is interested in understanding how sex differences in the cognitive-enhancing ability of exercise training are related to hormones and genotype. Cindy received a PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia. She completed a CIHR-funded postdoctoral fellowship in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and the a joint fellowship from MSFHR and the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation (PARF) at the University of British Columbia. She recently received a 3-year joint fellowship from Brain Canada and Alzheimer Association of USA.

 


PhD Trainees

Elizabeth Dao
PhD

Liz is currently a PhD student in the Rehabilitation Sciences Graduate Program supervised by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. She also completed her MSc under the supervision of Dr. Liu-Ambrose. Previously she earned her BA in psychology where her work investigated the role of mind wandering in task-related attentional responses. Liz has also done work looking at the effect of transcranial magnetic stimulation on motor learning and motor recovery in people with stroke. Her current research will focus on the prevalence of mixed AD and the effect of exercise in people with vascular cognitive impairment.

Contact: lizdao@hiphealth.ca

Lisanne ten Brinke
PhD

Lisanne ten Brinke is a PhD Student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program and is supervised by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. She completed her B.Sc. in Human MovementSciences at the University of Groningen and her M.Sc. in Biology of Human Performance and Health at Maastricht University, both located in the 
Netherlands. During her masters, she did an exchange program at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Teresa Liu-Ambrose. She looked at the influence of exercise (aerobic and resistance exercise) on hippocampal volume.
Contact: lisanne.tenbrinke@ubc.ca

Rachel Crockett
PhD

 Rachel Crockett is a PhD student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program under the supervision of Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. Previously, she completed her B.Sc. in Psychology and her M.Sc. in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Her research focus is in motor neuroscience and the effect of exercise on the structure and function of the brain.

Contact: rachel.crockett@hiphealth.ca

Ryan Falck
PhD

Ryan Falck is a PhD Student of Rehabilitative Sciences. He previously earned his MSc in exercise science from the University of South Carolina working under Dr. Sara Wilcox. His thesis work focused on the effects of a community-based walking program on cognitive function in older adults. He has also spent time working for the Energy Balance Study under principle investigators Dr. Steven Blair and Dr. Gregory Hand. A former collegiate strength and conditioning coach, he is interested in the effects of different intensities, frequencies, and modalities on the cognitive function of older adults.
Contact: ryan.falck@hiphealth.ca

MSc Trainees

Lauren Marcotte
CPT

Walid Al Keridy
MD

 

Dr. Walid Al Keridy is an MSc student in the Experimental Medicine program. He achieved his Medical degree from the King Saud University, Saudia Arabia. His thesis focuses on the relationship between cardiovascular health and cognitive function in older adults. Alongside his work in the lab, he is currently pursuing a fellowship in Behavioural Neurology and Dementia at UBC.


Visiting Scholars

Anna Julia Janssen
B.Sc.

Anna completed her B.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences and Behavioral Neurosciences at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She is currently completing her Masters in Human Movement Sciences at the University of Groningen. She is doing her Master’s Research Internship at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Liu-Ambrose. Her thesis is about the association between mobility and cognitive outcomes, especially executive function, among older adults. In her spare time, Anna enjoys speed skating, hiking, skiing, travelling and making compilation movies of those activities.

Contact: a.janssen@alumni.ubc.ca


Research Coordinator

Stephanie Doherty
B.A.

Originally from Calgary, Stephanie completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of British Columbia. She is a research coordinator within the Aging, Mobility and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. In her spare time, she volunteers as a figure skating coach for the Special Olympics.

 

 

 

 


Research Assistants

Kimberly Bennett
B.Kin.

Kim completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. Within the Lab of Aging, Mobility and Cognitive Neuroscience she currently assists with the Reshaping Study, Vitality Study, and Factorial Study. In her spare time, you can find Kim skiing, running along the seawall and enjoying time with friends and family.

Cheyenne Ghag
B.Sc.

Cheyenne is an undergraduate student completing her Bachelors of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience. She is currently working as a research assistant for the Fit Brains study, under the supervision of Lisanne ten Brinke. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue a career in the medical field. In her spare time, Cheyenne enjoys playing Water Polo, playing Piano and reading.

 

Joey Chan
B.Sc.

Joey completed her Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia. She is currently working as a research assistant for the Fit Brains study where she assists in the classes that are being conducted. In the future, she plans on pursuing a career in the healthcare field. In her spare time, Joey enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, volleyball, hiking, and travelling.

 

Patrick Chan
B.Sc.

Patrick completed his Bachelor of Science in Integrated Sciences at the University of British Columbia.  In the Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, he is mainly working on the Buying Time Study. He has an interest in medicine, hoping to pursue a career as a geriatrician. In his spare time, Patrick also enjoys playing the piano, listening to music, running, hiking, and playing soccer.

 

Kaitlyn Bettauer
B.Sc.

Kaitlyn is an undergraduate student completing her Bachelors of Science in Cognitive Systems at the University of British Columbia. She is currently working as a research assistant for various studies in the Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab including the Buying Time study. Kaitlyn is also on the UBC Thunderbird Women’s Tennis Team and in her spare time she enjoys running, skiing and hiking.

Undergraduates

Lauren Barnett
B.Kin.

Lauren is an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia and is completing her Bachelor degree in Kinesiology. She is currently working as a research assistant for various studies including the RVCI and Factorial exercise studies. Lauren is hoping to pursue a career as a physiotherapist. During Lauren’s spare time she enjoys cooking, doing yoga, skiing, cycling and figure skating.

Michael Li
B.Kin.

Michael is an undergraduate student completing his Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. In the Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, he is mainly assisting with the exercise classes for the RVCI and Factorial exercise studies. He is hoping to pursue a career as a physiotherapist in the future. In his spare time, Michael enjoys the outdoors, especially hiking with his friends, and playing sports such as Volleyball and Ultimate Frisbee.

Mikayla Ogrodniczuk

 

Mikayla is an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia and is completing her Bachelor degree in Kinesiology and Health Sciences. She is currently working as a research assistant for the Synergic and Factorial exercise studies. Mikayla is hoping to pursue a career in sport medicine. Mikayla is also a member of the UBC Women’s Hockey Team. In her spare, Mikayla enjoys spending time outdoors, especially biking, hiking, and playing beach volleyball.


Alumni

Alison Chan
MSc. PT, B.Sc.

Alison Chan has completed her Master of Physical Therapy.

Bryan Chiu
B.Sc.

 

Bryan has graduated from the University of British Columbia with a combined major in Computer Science and Physics. He is currently finishing an internship with IBM.

Caitlin Gomez
B.Sc.

 

Caitlin Gomez recently completed a Bachelor’s degree in Human Kinetics at UBC, focusing on Kinesiology and Health Sciences.

Christopher Lim
B.Kin.

Chris completed his bachelors of kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. He is continuing his studies at UBC to become a nurse.

Danielle Boyd
MSc. PT, B.Sc.

Danielle completed her Bachelor of Human Kinetics at the University of British Columbia with a minor in Commerce. She is now a physiotherapist.

Devika Sharma
B.Sc.

Devika graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and a Health and Fitness certificate. She is now a is a registered dietitian.

 

Glenn J. Landry
PhD

G Landry-ugly pic

 

Glenn Landry completed his graduate research at Simon Fraser University, examining the circadian mechanisms of food & reward entrainment, supported by grants from MSFHR and NSERC, and completed a CIHR-funded fellowship with Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose.

Jennifer Davis
PhD

 

Jennifer Davis has a B.Sc in Honours Physiology, a Masters of Science in Experimental Medicine, a PhD in Health Care and Epidemiology at UBC and she completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. She is now an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan.

 

Jessica Rogers
B.ScN, B.Sc.

Jessica Rogers graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Kinetics. She is now working as a full-time nurse.

Joseph Liu
B.Com.

 

Joseph has graduated with a Bachelors of Commerce from the University of British Columbia. He is now working in financial banking.

 

Kelly Vertes
M.A.

Kelly Vertes received a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Arts degree at the University of Ottawa in Human Kinetics.

Liang Hsu
PhD

 

Liang Hsu completed his MSC and PhD with Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. His research focuses on the neural correlates of mobility and cognition, and novel strategies to promotes them in aging. He is now a Mitacs postdoctoral fellow at UBC and will be a CIHR fellow at the Institute for Aging Research, Boston.

Lindsay Nagamatsu
PhD

Lindsay Nagamatsu completed her PhD in Psychology at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Todd Handy and Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. She is now an Assistant Professor at University of Western Ontario.

 

Michelle Munkacsy
M.Sc.

Michelle completed her Bachelors of Science in Movement Science from the University of Michigan, and her Masters in Human Kinetics at the University of British Columbia. In the Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, she coordinated projects for five years.

Mika Johnson
M.Sc.

Mika graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Master’s of Science in Human Kinetics. She is working as a grant facilitator at UBC.

Nader Fallah
PhD

 

Nader Fallah has a B.Sc. in Statistics, M.Sc. in Biostatistics and PhD in Biostatistics at Tehran University of Medical Sciences. He is currently a statistician at ICORD.

 

Niousha Bolandzadeh
PhD

 

Niousha Bolandzadeh did her PhD in Experimental Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine. She is currently down in silicon valley and started up her own company in brain health.

Dr. Olav Kringolson
PhD

Associate Professor
Department of  Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education, University of Victoria

Dr. Olav Kringolson was a former postdoctoral fellow and now an Associate Professor at the University of Victoria.

Sandy Gill
B.Sc.

 

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Sanford Kong
MD

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Serena Midttun
B.Kin.

 

Serena completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia and is completing her Master of Physical Therapy at UBC.

 

 

Shirley Wang
B.Sc.

Shirley completed her Bachelors of Science in Biology and is now a registered physical therapist.

Tracy Dignum
B.Sc.(PT), M.Ed.

Tracy Dignum is a Master’s student in Rehabilitation Science under the supervision of Dr. Liu-Ambrose. Tracy’s research looks at the impact of mindful meditation on mobility and cognitive outcomes among older adults at risk for falls. Tracy received her BSc in Physical Therapy from Queen’s University and her Master of Education from Memorial University. She has extensive clinical experience in public and private physiotherapy practice and has also devoted much of her career to the education of rehabilitation assistants at Capilano University. Tracy is a mother of three and is passionate about running, yoga and the benefits of mindful living.

Web page: https://zenportfolios.ca/tdignum/

Wency Chan
B.Sc.

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Wency completed her bachelors of science at the University of British Columbia in Biochemistry. Currently, she is travelling the world and hopes to be a physician.

Winnie Cheung
B.Sc.

 

Winnie Cheung completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of British Columbia. She is currently completing her diploma in massage therapy at Langara college.