Training and work environment

My goal is to foster an inclusive, collaborative, and integrous work environment.

As principal investigator, my approach to lab management entails the following:

  • To foster a training environment that supports trainees in terms of mentorship, workplace safety, funding, space to work, access to equipment, supporting personnel (e.g., research assistants), and access to collaborators and outside advisors.
  • Doing my best to be responsive to trainees, while balancing competing demands from my research, teaching, and service roles.
  • I value open, honest, and straightforward communication.
  • I foster equity, diversity, and inclusion through enhanced recruitment and selection procedures, education, and access to mentorship.
  • I seek opportunities for trainee professional development such as supporting them to attend conferences and workshops, to connect with relevant professional and interest groups, to help organize events such as symposia, and to present within continuing education sessions for exercise professionals.  

The primary responsibilities of trainees are to

  • learn scientific skills and knowledge
  • adhere to high standards of ethics and professionalism
  • generate high-quality science
  • work towards achieving their career goals.

The main challenge faced by trainees is sustaining their patience and perseverence: we undertake interdisciplinary technical projects that can take a long time to bring to publication. Most projects involve methods or model development, reliability assessment, and internal validation, followed by tests of hypothesis, external validation to demonstrate generalizability, and/or demonstrate application.  

Graduate students typically lead their own projects, which inevitably requires much independent work. However, all projects benefit from having a team of people work on it, such that I prioritize helping trainees to build their "communities" of support. This support extends in three ways: first, I encourage all graduate students to work with and mentor undergraduate research assistants throughout their degrees, and we seek collaborations where feasible to contribute to projects. Second, I foster intra-lab collaboration through weekly lab meetings and peer mentorship. Third, I encourage trainees to join relevant research groups (e.g., SFU Sport Analytics Group, C2D2, VanBUG) and core faciilities (e.g., SFU Key Big Data Initiative) through which trainees can access mentorship outside of their thesis committees.


The lab is located on the 9th-floor of Shrum Science K and shares a hallway with the Cupples, Krieger, Rosin, and Vieira labs. The lab was fully renovated in 2016 and features a spacious office, a biochemistry lab, a level-2-certified cell culture lab, and an imaging room.

The wet lab is well equipped for state-of-the-art cell culture and protein biochemistry techniques. Major equipment includes the following:

Main experimental equipment:

  • Baker-Ruskinn SCI-tive hypoxia workstation
  • IonOptix C-Pace EP electrical stimulator
  • Sable Systems Peltier plate and controller
  • Etaluma LS560 microscope
  • Panasonic tri-gas incubator
  • Biosafety cabinet and laminar flow hood
  • Bio-Rad MAGPIX multiplex reader
  • BioTek ELx50 plate washer
  • Bio-Rad immunoblotting equipment (gel apparatus, rapid transfer unit)
  • Shakers, heat baths, electrochemistry meter, microcentrifuges, etc.

We also have access to shared facilities in BPK and MBB.


Lab members use their laptops for routine computer work, with most software (e.g., Microsoft Office 365, Matlab) provided free of charge through SFU.

For jobs requiring moderate memory and computing power, we have a shared remotely accessible desktop computer in the lab office [Dell Optiplex, Intel® Core™ i7-6700 Processor (Quad Core, 8MB, 8T, 3.4GHz, 65W), 16 GB memory]. We have access to high-performance computing through the Cedar Supercomputer and Westgrid/Compute Canada, both of which are accessible via the SFU Key Big Data Initiative.