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 (https://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.

 

Deborah Jehu
PhD

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

The objective of Deborah’s research has been to generate new insights into improving therapeutic intervention techniques, develop novel cognitive and mobility assessment approaches, and contribute to increasing the knowledge on compensatory strategies across numerous populations with cognitive and mobility impairment. Deborah completed her PhD at the University of Ottawa, and has collaborated with numerous researchers, interdisciplinary healthcare professionals, and industry partners in Ontario, Hong Kong, and Portland, Oregon. Now funded by the MSFHR and working with Dr. Liu-Ambrose, Deborah is studying the effect of therapeutic interventions with the use of fMRI.

Contact: deb.jehu@ubc.ca

 


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
B.Sc.

 

Lauren Marcotte is an MSc Student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program, and is studying under the supervision of Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. She previously completed her BSc in Exercise Science at the Ohio State University, working under Dr. Brian Focht in the Exercise and Behavioural Medicine Laboratory. She is primarily interested in studying the role of resistance exercise in the promotion of healthy aging.

Contact: lauren.marcotte@alumni.ubc.ca


Visiting Scholars

Meishan Ai
B.Sc.

Meishan completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Beijing Normal University. She is currently working as a visiting volunteer for multiple studies in the Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at UBC. She is interested in protective factors of cognitive function and brain health in older adults, and hoping to pursue graduate studies in related fields.

 

 

 


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

Madison Welch
B.Kin.

 

Madison completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology degree at the University of the Fraser Valley. Within the Lab she coordinates and conducts the exercise intervention classes. In her spare time she can be found hiking with her dog, watching classic movies and having fun 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.

Rebecca Harper
B.Sc.

Rebecca completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo with a Rehabilitation Sciences Minor. She is currently working as a research assistant mainly working on the BRAIN training study and assisting in various exercise intervention classes. In her spare time, Rebecca is a competitive sailor and sailing instructor, she also enjoys baking and hiking on the Gulf Islands.

Esther Au
B.Kin.

Esther completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology degree at the University of British Columbia. Within the lab, she works on the SYNERGIC Trial study and assists with teaching other exercise intervention classes. In her spare time, Esther is an avid ultimate frisbee player and enjoys staying active.

 

 

 


Undergraduates

Lauren Barnett

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.

Daniel Backhouse

Daniel is an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia completing his degree in Engineering Physics. Within the lab he works on pre-processing data for ongoing research studies. Daniel is interested in pursuing a career in medicine. In his spare time he enjoys playing piano, boxing and hiking.

Emma Gerrard

 

Emma 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 and focuses mainly on the Factorial exercise study. Emma is hoping to pursue a career as a physiotherapist. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking, camping, playing soccer, cycling, and practicing yoga.

 

Andy Hung

 

Andy is an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia and is completing his Bachelor degree in Kinesiology. He is currently working as a research assistant for the Factorial exercise studies. Andy is hoping to pursue a career as a physiotherapist. During his spare time, he enjoys hiking, camping, playing basketball, snowboarding, and listening to music.

Albert Ho

Albert is an undergraduate student completing his Bachelor’s in Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. He is currently working as a research assistant within the Vitality and Factorial exercise studies. Albert is hoping to pursue a career in physical therapy. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, playing basketball and staying active.

 

Maysa Shekarlab

Maysa is an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia and is currently finishing her degree in Behavioural Neuroscience and Physiology.  She is currently working as a research assistant for multiple studies in the lab, including the Vitality and Factorial Exercise study. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis and volleyball and hopes to pursue a career in Medicine.

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

Masters Students

Tracy Dignum, PT, M.Ed
Walid Al Keridy, MD

PhD Students

Liang Hsu, PhD
Lindsay Nagamatsu, PhD
Niousha Bolandzadeh, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellows

Glenn J. Laundry, PhD
Jennifer Davis, PhD
Olav Kringolson, PhD