Dr. Brittany Bingham (division of social medicine) and Dr. Stephanie Sellers (division of cardiology) are 2022 Health Research BC Scholar Award recipients

The UBC Department of Medicine is pleased to report that Dr. Brittany Bingham, division of social medicine, and Dr. Stephanie Sellers (division of cardiology) have been named 2022 Michael Smith Health Research BC Scholar Award recipients.

The Scholar and Research Trainee Programs specifically support BC’s next generation of health researchers. This year’s awardees are investigating diverse research areas including: community-based health projects guided by Indigenous approaches to health and research in BC’s interior; interventions to reduce overdose during dual public health emergencies; supports for older adults with cancer; access to breastfeeding support in BC; and, mental health for men through social connection.


The Scholar Program supports early-career health researchers who are building leading-edge health research programs, training the next generation of scientists and expanding their potential to make significant contributions to their field.

Dr. Brittany Bingham (division of social medicine)
Host Institute: University of British Columbia
Research Location: Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity

Dr. Brittany Bingham (she/her/hers) is a member of the shíshálh nation and holds an MPH and PhD in Health Sciences from Simon Fraser University. She is the Director of Indigenous Research at Vancouver Coastal Health Indigenous Health, Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE) and an Assistant professor in Social Medicine at UBC.

Brittany previously worked in Indigenous policy at the BC ministry and has overseen research that examined the transformation of First Nations health governance in BC. Currently, she is PI of a CIHR grant investigating access to sexual health care among Indigenous women/LGBTQ2S+ peoples. Brittany’s program of research aims to make contributions to MMIWG & 2SLGBTQQIA+, TRC and In Plain Sight Calls to Action and Recommendations.

Drawing on decolonizing and intersectional research approaches to inform action for health equity and reproductive justice among Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, and gender diverse people

Health and social inequities faced by Indigenous women continue be shaped by ongoing systemic colonialism. My research program draws upon Indigenous and decolonizing methods to establish an empirical evidence base to inform interventions and action. Specific objectives include: 1) To draw upon Indigenous methodologies, community and arts-based approaches to understand Indigenous reproductive and maternal health experiences, identifying factors that influence access culturally-safe and trauma informed care; 2)Through intersectional, feminist and decolonial lenses understand how socio-structural factors facilitate or mitigate access to responsive justice systems, identifying community-led and strengths-based responses for Indigenous women who have experienced violence; 3) Examine and evaluate policies and initiatives aimed at addressing the MMIWG calls to justice for marginalized Indigenous women (including women living with HIV and in sex work). Map and innovative strategies and inform evidence-based actions for the development of structural, community-based and Indigenous-led responses; 4)Explore and map marginalized Indigenous women’s primary care experiences using cultural and arts-based methods to inform innovative interventions.

Dr. Stephanie Sellers (division of cardiology)
Host Institute: University of British Columbia
Research Location: Centre for Heart Lung Innovation

Dr. Stephanie Sellers is an assistant professor in the University of British Columbia (UBC) in the Department of Medicine and Division of Cardiology working at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation at St. Paul’s Hospital. She completed her Master’s at the University of Northern BC (Vascular Physiology), her PhD (Pharmacology & Therapeutics) and Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Radiology) at UBC during which she also trained at the University of Western Australia and Yale University.

Stephanie’s work primarily focuses on determining the mechanisms of heart valve disease and artificial heart valve dysfunction as well as advancing emerging imaging techniques for cardiovascular disease using in-vivo and ex-vivo models.

Valvular heart disease and bioprosthetic heart valves: Defining mechanisms of degeneration and therapeutic discovery from bedside to bench

Aortic stenosis (AS) is a narrowing of the valve that controls blood flow from the heart to the body. AS results in significant decline in quality of life and can be fatal if untreated. Unlike most types of heart disease, there is no medication to treat AS and the primary therapy option is replacing the diseased valve with an artificial one by open-heart surgery or transcatheter implantation (insertion of an artificial valve through the blood vessels leading to the heart). Unfortunately, artificial valves can be dysfunctional and have limited durability, which can lead to heart failure, the need for repeat valve replacement, or death. With a focus on clot that can form on artificial valves, this research aims to determine the causes of valve dysfunction and degeneration, define methods to detect and predict which patients will experience valve dysfunction, and identify methods to increase valve durability. Overall, this work will provide critical new information to guide clinical care and the future evolution of artificial heart valve use that will improve the outcomes and quality of life of patients with AS.


The Research Trainee Program supports health researchers in the training phase of their research career to enable career development and enrich BC’s health research talent.

The association of genetic risk factors with morphology and outcomes in interstitial lung disease
Principal investigator: Daniel Marinescu
Supervisor: Chris Ryerson (division of respiratory medicine)

Air pollution as a modulator of molecular, structural, and clinical outcomes in patients with fibrotic interstitial lung disease
Principal investigator Gillian Goobie
Supervisors Tillie-Louise Hackett
Co-supervisors Christopher Ryerson (division of respiratory medicine)

Cholesteryl ester transfer protein-mediated regulation of HDL cholesterol levels and clinical outcomes in sepsis
Principal investigator Haoyu Deng
Supervisors Liam Brunham (division of general internal medicine)

The role of the innate immune system in hypoxic ischemic brain injury post cardiac arrest
Principal investigator Michael Tymko
Supervisors Mypinder Sekhon (division of critical care medicine)

Dissecting heterogeneity in COPD: A functional imaging-guided-omics study
Principal investigator Stephen Milne
Supervisors Don Sin (division of respiratory medicine)
Co-supervisors Janice Leung (division of respiratory medicine)

Transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation for treating neurogenic bladder dysfunction following spinal cord injury
Principal investigator Tiev Miller
Supervisors Andrei Krassioukov (division of physical medicine & rehabilitation)

Click here to read about all of the 2022 Michael Smith Health Research BC Scholar and Trainee Award recipients