Our Team

The Swallowing Innovations Lab brings together researchers, trainees, clinicians, and patients.

Our team approaches our research streams from unique perspectives, maintaining a dynamic and innovative environment. Our researchers, trainees and clinicians come from a variety of academic backgrounds and fields. We strive for clinical stakeholder and patient partner participation in all projects in order to maintain the clinical applicability of our work and facilitate prompt translation of our findings into practice, while keeping patients at the center of what we do.

University of British Columbia
Research Trainees
Reana Deng

MSc Candidate

Masters Project Student

Details

Reana Deng is a candidate for a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of British Columbia. She received her Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Speech Science and a Minor in Psychology in 2017 from UBC. Reana is particularly passionate about dysphagia in the acute care setting. Her current research focuses on patient’s perspectives when they are nothing by mouth (nil per os/NPO) following acute illness.

Veronica Letawsky

MSc Candidate

Masters Thesis Student

Details

Veronica Letawsky is a MSc candidate at the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences at UBC currently completing a thesis.  Her research is focused on changes in the quantity and quality of saliva in individuals with Sjogren’s syndrome and how these salivary changes impact perception of swallowing. Veronica recently completed training in salivary bioscience at the University of California-Irvine’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, with support from UBC’s Language Sciences Initiative. She has a diploma in linguistics from UBC and a B.Sc. in biology from the University of Alberta.

Hirad Nourbakhsh

Undergraduate Research Student

 

Details

Hirad is a third year student completing his Bachelor of Science at UBC, specializing in Integrated Sciences. He intends to apply to medical school after completing his undergraduate degree. He has been with Si-Lab since May of 2018. His current project is designing a standard method for measuring the cross-sectional area of phocid upper airways which will contribute to Si-Lab’s development of a human-seal cross-species framework for feeding and swallowing rehabilitation.   

Jasmine Shi

Undergraduate Research Student

 

Details

Jasmine is an undergraduate Integrated Science student specializing in Mathematics and Physiology. She is interested in applying math and computer science to advance medical research. She was a WorkLearn student (Summer, 2018) with Si-Lab and then went on to complete a research project with Dr. Skoretz and Dr. Dawson. For the project she designed coding and tested a text-mining tool to automatically screen abstracts for a knowledge synthesis project which she compared to that of a human expert. Currently, she is on a Co-op, trialing career opportunities in clinical research and in bioinformatics.

Julia Varanese

MSc Candidate

Masters Project Student

Details

Julia received her Bachelor’s Degree in Cognitive Science of Language at McMaster University and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of British Colombia. Her current research interests include dysphagia in individuals with dementia, especially those in long-term care. After completion of her Master’s, she hopes to work clinically with children and continue conducting research.

Orinna Yeung

MSc Candidate

Masters Project Student

Details

Orinna Yeung received her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Sciences at the University of British Columbia and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. Her research interests include investigating the relation between dementia and dysphagia, as well as swallow physiology between humans and animals. Orinna hopes to work with adults in an acute care hospital in the future and apply her research knowledge to clinical practice.  

Lab Affiliates
Stephanie Riopelle

MSc, RSLP, SLP (C)

Clinical Research Assistant, Speech-Language Pathologist

Details

Stephanie is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist, currently practicing in acute care and rehabilitation settings in the lower mainland. She graduated from UBC’s School of Audiology and Speech Sciences in 2018. Stephanie is currently involved in several ongoing projects at Si-Lab, including knowledge synthesis projects focused on swallowing following tracheostomy.

Hillary Stahl

MSc, RSLP

Clinical Research Assistant, Speech-Language Pathologist

Details

Hillary is a registered speech-language pathologist (CSHHPBC). She has been practicing clinically in adult acute care and rehabilitation settings since her graduation from UBC’s School of Audiology and Speech Sciences in 2014. She has always been interested in research, earning a Master’s degree in Developmental Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh prior to pursuing speech pathology. Currently, she is splitting her time between clinical work and the SI-Lab, working as a part-time research assistant.

External Affiliates: Clinical
ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES
Andrea Benoit

MSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

University of Alberta Hospital, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute

Mini Kurian

MClSc, RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

University of Alberta Hospital, Stollery Children’s Hospital

Alysha Serviss

MSc(A), RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, Cardiac Sciences

Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute

Karolin Skogsrud

MSLP, RSLP, SLP(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist, Neurosciences

University of Alberta Hospital

FRASER HEALTH
Dulcie Carter

BSc MMedSci, RSLP, SLP(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Practice Leader, Speech Language Pathology, Fraser Health

Clinical Faculty, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, University of British Columbia

Reena Parhar

MSc, RSLP, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Supervisor, Adult Inpatient, Surrey Memorial Hospital

Erin Tschopp

MSc, RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Practice Leader, Burnaby Hospital

Providence HEALTH
Tara Chen

BA, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Instructor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, UBC

Rachel Kennedy

M.Sc, R-SLP, R-CORU

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Instructor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, UBC

Indershini Pillay

MS, RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Vancouver Coastal HEALTH
Tracey Findlay

MA, RSLP, SLP(C)

Practice Leader, Speech-Language Pathology in Vancouver Acute (GF Strong Rehab Centre, UBC Hospital & Vancouver General Hospital), part of Vancouver Coastal Health.

Clinical Instructor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, University of British Columbia

Ann-Marie Schreiber

Chief Speech-Language Pathologist and Professional Practice Lead for Speech-Language Pathology, Richmond Hospital

External Affiliates: Academic
Dr. Sean M Bagshaw

MD, MSc, FRCPC

Professor and Chair, Department of Critical Care Medicine

Department of Critical Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and School of Public Health

University of Alberta

Scientific Director, Critical Care Strategic Clinical Network, 

Alberta Health Services, Alberta

Canada Research Chair in Critical Care Nephrology (2016-2021)

Website

Dr. James L. Coyle

PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, F-ASHA

Professor, Communication Science and Disorders and Otolaryngology

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and School of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Board Certified Specialist, Swallowing Disorders

Fellow, American Speech Language and Hearing Association

Bio Link

Dr. Camilla Dawson

DClinP, BSc (hons) MRCSLT, HCPC

 

Dr. Heather Flowers

MEd, MHSc, PhD, CCC-SLP, S-LP(C), Reg CASLPO

School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Institut du Savoir – Montfort – A Knowledge Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada

The Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada (clinical affiliation)

Scholar Link

Dr. Martin Haulena

DVM, MSc, DACZM

Head Veterinarian, Vancouver Aquarium

ResearchGate

Dr. Stephen Raverty

MSc, DVM, PhD

Veterinary Pathologist, Animal Health Center

British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture

ResearchGate

Meghan Sebastianski

BSc, MPH, PhD

Alberta Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT Unit Knowledge Translation Program

University of Alberta

Lab Alumni
Past Trainees
Post-doctoral Fellows

Dr. Camilla Dawson, DClinP, BSc (hons) MRCSLT, HCPC

Visiting Scientist

Masters Project Students

Nicole Anger, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Stephanie Riopelle, MSc, SLP(C)

Graduate WorkLearn Program Assistants

Allison Empey, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C) 

Courtney K Dorman, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Alannah Turner, BFA, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Undergraduate WorkLearn Program Assistants

Lisa Nguyen, UBC Speech Sciences
 

Harleen Kaur Hehar, BSc Candidate