Associate Heads

Our Associate Heads support the Department of Medicine by providing strategic leadership and oversight in key areas. Serving as core members of the Department’s Executive and Advisory Committees, the Associate Heads will actively contribute to the development and implementation of the Departmental Strategic Plan, and will be responsible for executing specific objectives and priorities related to their respective portfolios.


Associate Head, Academic Affairs

Dr. Diane Lacaille, MD, MHSc, FRCPC

Dr. Diane Lacaille was appointed the Associate Head of Academic Affairs for the Department of Medicine in September 2015.

Dr. Lacaille oversees Academic Affairs supporting and advancing promotion, tenure and recruitment activities in the Department of Medicine. She has also Chaired the Department of Medicine Equity Committee since 2016.

Dr. Lacaille is a Professor in the Division of Rheumatology. She completed her MD and internal medicine training at McGill University, and her Rheumatology training and a Master’s in Health Sciences, clinical epidemiology, at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Lacaille’s research interests focus on the impact of arthritis on employment and preventing work disability, and evaluating the quality of health care services received by people with rheumatoid arthritis. She also has a has a passion for mentoring, and has mentored trainees and young faculty within the Division of Rheumatology, the Arthritis Research Centre, and within the broader arthritis research community.

Dr. Lacaille holds the Mary Pack Chair in Arthritis Research from UBC and The Arthritis Society of Canada. She is also the Associate Scientific Director and a Senior Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada.  Dr. Lacaille was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for making significant contributions and bringing credit to Canada in 2013.


Associate Head, Education

Dr. Andrea Townson, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Andrea Townson was appointed the Associate Head of Education for the Department of Medicine in September 2015.

Dr. Townson provides strategic Education leadership and direction to the UBC Department of Medicine with respect to the support and advancement of learning, education scholarship and innovation across the Department. She cultivates a positive and inclusive culture that values education and learning while driving progress to sustain and advance the excellence of our education programs. 

Dr. Townson is a Clinical Professor in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has completed her Masters of Science in Health Professions Education. She completed her MD at Queen’s University and her Residency Training at UBC in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Townson’s clinical and research interests include spinal cord injuries and high lesion injuries. She also studies ventilator dependency resulting from paralysis of the diaphragm.

Dr. Townson is actively involved in clinical teaching with medical students and residents on the spinal cord injury unit at GF Strong as well as scheduled clinical skills teaching for medical students in the Musculoskeletal and Bedside clinical skills teaching blocks. She was the recipient of the Theo van Rijn Award for Contribution to the UBC PM&R Residency Program in 2012.


Associate Head, Research

Dr. Teresa Tsang, MD, FRCPC, FACC, FASE

Dr. Teresa Tsang was appointed the Associate Head of Research for the Department of Medicine in September 2011.

Dr. Tsang oversees the strategic operations of the Research Office supporting and advancing research, scholarship and innovation in the Department of Medicine.  She takes the lead role in the the external review of research, and develops initiatives to advance the research mission of the Department.

Dr. Tsang is a Professor in the Division of Cardiology. She came to UBC in October 2009 from the Mayo Clinic and specializes in echocardiography and clinical epidemiology. She is internationally recognized for her research in atrial fibrillation, echocardiographic prediction, and prevention of first atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and stroke; atrial remodeling and reversal; and diastolic dysfunction.

She is on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Society of Echocardiography. In 2015, she was appointed Director of Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Echo Lab. In 2016, Dr. Tsang received CIHR-NSERC grant for her work entitled “INformation FUSion for Echocardiography (INFUSE): A Novel Platform for Automatic Analysis of Echocardiography Data at Any Point-Of-Care”, which represents cutting edge echocardiography platform pioneered at Vancouver General Hospital in conjunction with UBC Biomedical Engineering team.