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 Health 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.

 


Postdoctoral Fellows

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.

 

Nárlon Cássio Boa Sorte Silva
PhD

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

Nárlon Cássio Boa Sorte Silva is a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Liu-Ambrose’s lab. He received a PhD degree in Kinesiology from Western University in London, Ontario. Originally from Brazil, Narlon received a BSc degree in Physical Education from Nove de Julho University in São Paulo. The overarching goal of Narlon’s research is to investigate the impact of physical exercise on health outcomes in older adults at risk of dementia. In Dr. Liu-Ambrose’s lab, he is investigating whether exercise can prevent or slow down pathological processes affecting the white matter of the brain, in older adults with vascular cognitive impairment. He has established international collaboration in dementia research through the Vascular Cognitive Disorders Professional Interest Area (VPIA) within the Alzheimer’s Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (ISTAART). His postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Liu-Ambrose’s lab is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and a joint grant by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR)/Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation (PARF). Narlon is passionate about research, exercise, poetry, music, and Brazilian food.

Contact: narlon.silva@ubc.ca

 

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

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

Elizabeth Dao
PhD

Previously, Liz completed her BA (Hons) in Psychology at the University of British Columbia.  In her undergraduate training, she looked at the role of mind wandering in visual attention using event related potentials (ERPs) with Dr. Todd Handy. After completing her undergraduate degree, Liz worked as a coordinator on several research studies investigating the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation in promoting neuroplasticity and motor recovery after stroke with Dr. Lara Boyd. Currently, Liz is a PhD candidate under the supervision of Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. Her PhD work focuses on the pathophysiology of small vessel ischemic disease and how it may affect cognitive and physical function in older adults. Specifically, Liz utilizes conventional and novel neuroimaging methods to assess the role of demyelination, white matter hyperintensities, and cerebral amyloid deposition in cognitive and physical impairments. In addition, her PhD work investigates the role of lifestyle interventions, such as aerobic exercise, in modifying small vessel ischemic pathology to improve clinical outcomes for older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

Contact: lizdao@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

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 Movement Sciences 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

MSc Trainees

Kim Bennett
B.Kin.

Kim is a MSc student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program and is supervised by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. She previously completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia.

Contact: kimbenn@mail.ubc.ca

Matthew Noseworthy
B.Sc.

Matthew is a MSc student in the Neuroscience program under the supervision of Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. Previously, he completed a BSc in Biochemistry (Honours and Co-op) and ran with the varsity cross-country running and track team at the University of Victoria. During his Honours and Co-op terms, Matt performed research in Dr. Brian Christie’s molecular neurobiology lab, Dr. Brad Nelson’s cancer immunotherapy lab, Dr. Katherine Elvira’s microfluidics lab, and Drs. Sandra Hundza and Marc Klimstra’s motion and mobility research lab. Broadly, Matt is interested in lifestyle and integrative approaches to cognitive and physical health and performance. His MSc project will assess the effect of exercise in a natural, outdoor environment versus a built, indoor environment on cognitive health in community-dwelling, older adults. Outside of the lab, Matt will be training and competing with UBC’s cross-country running team.

Contact: mattnose@alumni.ubc.ca

Ryan Stein
B.Kin.

 

Ryan Stein is a MSc Student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program and is under the supervision of Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. He completed his BSc in Kinesiology at the University of Victoria under the supervision of Dr. Brian Christie in the UVic Concussion Lab.

Contact: ryan.stein@alumni.ubc.ca

Madison Welch
B.Kin.

 

Madison is a MSc student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program and is supervised by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. She previously completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology degree at the University of the Fraser Valley. Her research focuses on the role physical activity has in pregnancy.

Contact: madison.welch@hiphealth.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.

 

 

 

 


Research Assistants

Alexis Bullock
B.Sc., M.Kin.

Alexis completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Masters of Science in Kinesiology at McMaster University. In her spare time, Alexis enjoys mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and spending time in the great outdoors.

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 Health 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.
BIO

Albert Ho
B.Kin.

Albert completed his Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia, and hopes to pursue a career in physical therapy. Within the lab, he is a lead instructor for the RVCI and Factorial exercise studies. In his spare time, Albert enjoys biking, playing basketball, and spending time outside.

Sofia Grant
B.Sc.

Sofia completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the University of Calgary with a major in Exercise and Health Physiology. In her spare time, Sofia enjoys teaching and taking dance classes, listening to music, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.

Nancy Rutherford
B.Sc.

Nancy completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia with a minor in psychology. Nancy is the Falls Prevention Clinic coordinator. She plans to pursue a career in physiotherapy and continue working with older adults. In her spare time, Nancy can often be found hiking, camping, taking tap classes, or hanging out at the beach.

Connor Sullivan
B.Sc.

Connor completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Within the lab he assists with exercise classes for the RVCI and Factorial studies. During the winter he enjoys snowshoeing on the North Shore and during the warmer months you will find him hiking, kayaking, and swimming outdoors.

Daria Tai
B.Sc.

Daria completed her Bachelor of Science in Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia. She is currently working as a research assistant for various studies in the lab. She enjoys baking, hiking and swimming in her spare time, so much that she is also a swimming instructor and lifeguard.

 


Undergraduates

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.

Mij Santos

Mij is an undergraduate Psychology student at the University of British Columbia. She is the Falls Prevention Clinic Admin Assistant. She supports the Falls Clinic Coordinator in her day-to-day work and assists with other research activities. She hopes to work in healthcare after graduation. In her free time, Mij likes watching movies, going to concerts, and visiting new places.

Jasmine Sindhar

Jasmine 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 within the Factorial exercise studies and assisting in other exercise studies. After tearing her ACL and having a positive experience with physical therapy throughout her recovery, Jasmine became inspired to pursue physical therapy to provide the same if not better level of care for others. In her spare time, Jasmine enjoys hiking, weightlifting, and baking.

Alumni

Masters Students

Tracy Dignum, PT, M.Ed
Walid Al Keridy, MD
Elizabeth Dao, B.A.
Lauren Marcotte, B.Sc.
Liang Hsu, B.Sc.
Lindsay Nagamatsu, B.A.

PhD Students

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

Postdoctoral Fellows

Glenn J. Landry, PhD
Jennifer Davis, PhD
Olav Kringolson, PhD
Anna Rita Egbert, PhD
John R. Best, PhD
Hyuma Makizako, PhD

Research Associates

John Best, PhD
Jennifer C Davis, PhD