FHS researchers and experts are working with partners from around the world in response to COVID-19.

With a wealth of experience from past pandemics, our research community is well positioned to provide expertise and advice with the current outbreak.

In addition, our faculty members are currently involved with a number of important research projects to better understand, test and prevent COVID-19 and better coordinate efforts to control pandemics on a global scale.

These transformative discoveries will have significant social, economic and environmental impacts for current and future generations.

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BC COVID-19 Research and Collaboration Symposium: Public Health, Populations, Health Services, and Impacts

The primary goals of the Symposium were to raise awareness of the rich set of COVID-19 research projects and their methodologies underway across BC on the public and population health response and its impacts as well as health services and social sciences/humanities research and to encourage collaboration as well as identify and address challenges to the research. Much of this research has been recently funded, is being undertaken as a “pivot” from other research projects, or is underway even though unfunded. Therefore, the Symposium was not “results” focused, but was instead focused on identifying synergies across planned/early-stage research. The main sessions, taking place from Sept 1st to 2nd, focused on highlighting research funded by CIHR, MSFHR, and Genome Canada/BC.

The objectives of the symposium were to:

  1. Share the broad range of research being conducted across BC on population and public health, health services and other impacts of COVID-19 to stimulate discussions around synergies and research gaps;
  2. Learn how this research can inform and support the BC Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 strategic priorities and the BC Strategic COVID-19 Research Framework; and
  3. Discuss strategies for minimizing patient burden and the efficient use of data and support platforms that are available to COVID-19 researchers in BC.

The recordings of the sessions are provided by the BC Academic Health Science Network. Visit their website for more information, and for the entire symposium video playlist.

Day 1 Sessions:

Territorial Welcome by Elder Margaret George
Welcome by Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer

Symposium introduction by Peter Berman, UBC SPPH

Session 1: Setting the Scene – Strategic Priorities and Frameworks

  • Public health response to COVID-19 in British Columbia [David Patrick, BCCDC]
  • BC Ministry of Health – Research Priorities and Alignment [Victoria Schuckel, BC Ministry of Health]
  • Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research – Overall Response related to COVID-19 and Research Priorities [Chonnettia Jones, MSFHR]
  • BC COVID-19 Strategic Research Advisory Committee (SRAC) - Input into the BC Strategic COVID-19 Research Framework [Kelly Barnard, SRAC]
  • Knowledge Translation [Lupin Battersby, SFU Knowledge Mobilization]


Session 2: Development and implementation of public health measures

  • Epidemiology and Modeling [Caroline Colijn, SFU]
  • Implementing Public Health Measures [Alice Virani, PHSA]
  • Developing Readiness Strategy Guidance for Travelers Visiting Friends and Relatives [Cindy Jardine, University of the Fraser Valley]
  • Organization, Politics and Governance of Response [Max Cameron, UBC]

Session 3: Population health impact of public health measures

  • Overall population impacts [Kate Smolina, BCCDC]
  • Indigenous Peoples/Communities [Jeff Reading, SFU]
  • Seniors [Kelli Stajduhar, UVic]
  • Children and Youth [Ryan Rhodes, UVic]
  • Rural populations [Kathy Rush, UBC-Okanagan]
  • Specific Patient Populations [Juan Antonio Avina-Zubieta, Arthritis Research]

Session 4: Pandemic Impact on Health Services and Workforce

  • COVID-19 Health Services [Alison Hoens and Chris Carlsten, UBC]
  • Non-COVID-19 Health Services and Delivery [Emilie Joos, Vancouver Coastal Health]
  • Overdose Prevention [Amanda Slaunwhite, BCCDC and Louise Meilleur, FNHA]
  • Rural Medicine and Virtual Services [John Pawlovich, Rural Coordination Centre of BC/UBC]

Day 2 Sessions:

Welcome by Joy Johnson, President and Vice-Chancellor, SFU

Symposium introduction by Peter Berman, UBC SPPH

Session 5: Support Platforms and Methods

  • Expedited, harmonized research ethics [Terri Fleming, Research Ethics BC]
  • Patient oriented research and REACH BC [Stefanie Cheah, BC SUPPORT Unit]
  • BC COVID-19 research database [Lindsay Hedden, BC AHSN & SFU]
  • Population Data BC [Kim McGrail, UBC SPPH and UBC Health]
  • COVID-19 Inclusive Language Guide [Harlan Pruden, BCCDC]


Session 6: Other impacts of public health measures/ unintended consequences

  • BC schools/post-secondary institutions – Special Education [Vicki Floyd Knight and Kim Zebehazy, UBC]
  • Work from home [Kafui Monu, UNBC]
  • Back to work [Simon Pimstone, UBC]
  • BC Geographies [Valorie Crooks, SFU]

Session 7: Global Health

  • Travel restrictions and other crossborder measures during pandemics: The role of global governance [Kelley Lee, SFU]
  • Democratic Health Communications during COVID-19 [Heidi Tworek, UBC]
  • Pandemic Economies: Bonds, Hedge Funds and Making Money with a Pandemic [Susan Erikson, SFU]
  • Utilizing Health Systems Data to Respond to COVID-19 in Seven Resource Poor Countries [Michael Law, UBC]
  • Containing COVID-19: How has governance, the public health system and politics shaped country responses [Peter Berman, UBC]
  • Protecting South African healthcare workers from COVID-19: A comparative contextualized global occupational health analysis [Annalee Yassi & Jerry Spiegel, UBC]
  • Gender disparities within the response to COVID-19 [Julia Smith, SFU]
  • Impact of COVID-19 on mental health [Lara Aknin, SFU]


Session 8: Synthesis

  • Summary of rapporteur session reports [Tania Bubela, FHS, SFU]
  • Discussion of next steps and synergies Study Questions, Populations, Data, Methods, Enablers, Challenges & Gaps [Moderators: Tania Bubela, FHS, SFU and Chonnettia Jones, MSFHR, MSFHR]

COVID-19 research works in progress

Anne-Marie Nicol
KT through professional practice role

Mark Brockman
Serological test for COVID-19 antibodies

Mark BrockmanMasa Niikura, Peter J Unrau
SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Research: Fast track isothermal viral diagnostics

Mark BrockmanZabrina Brumme, Leonid Chindelevitch, Robert Holt, Mario Ostrowski, Victor Appay, George Gao, Bradley Jones, Zara Ndhlovu, Thumbi Ndung'u
Harnessing cross-reactive T cell receptors to eliminate latent HIV reservoirs

Scott Lear
Measuring Mental Well-being During a Pandemic Study

Kelley Lee, Julia Smith, Adam Kamradt-Scott, Catherine Worsnop, Caroline Coljin, Karen Grépin, Will Hsiao, Julianne Piper
Decision tools to inform adoption and lifting of crossborder measures during the COVID-19 pandemic and future global outbreak preparedness

Kelley Lee, Julia Smith, Clare Wenham, Ahmed Al-Rawi, Rosemary Morgan, Karen Grépin, Sophie Harman, Sara Davies
Understanding and mitigating real-time differential gendered effects of the COVID-19 outbreak

Kelley Lee, Adam Kamradt-Scott, Karen Grépin, Catherine Worsnop, Julianne Piper
Understanding non-compliance with the International Health Regulations (2005): Recommended strategies to inform and strengthen global coordination of the COVID-19 outbreak response

John O'Neil, Nguyen Vu Cong, Kanna Hayashi, Harry Minas, Jill Murphy, Will Small, Duc To, Nguyen Van Hoi
Implementation Research to Improve Scale-Up of Depression Services in Vietnam (IRIS-DSV)

Julia Smith
Gender and COVID-19

Zabrina Brumme, Don Kirkby, Chanson Brumme, Julio Montaner
Rapid release of an easily accessible SARS-CoV-2 genome analysis pipeline

Zabrina Brumme, Christopher Lowe, Jill Jackson, Chanson Brumme, Victor Leung, Nancy Matic, Julio Montaner, Gordon Ritchie, Marc Romney, Aleksandra Stefanovic
COVID19 test sensitivity:  Investigating COVID-19 test sensitivity using differential, research-based molecular methods

Zabrina Brumme, Christopher Lowe, Chanson Brumme, Nancy Matic, Julio Montaner, Gordon Ritchie, Aleksandra Stefanovic
Development of sensitive and quantitative molecular technologies for SARS-CoV-2 detection

Stuart Peacock, Helen McTaggert-Cowan, Mary de Vera
Understanding the experiences of individuals with immunosuppressive conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic (UNIFIED)

Stuart Peacock, Kim McGrail, Mike Burgess
Public Input into Pandemic Planning: deliberating trade-offs in COVID-19 planning

Meghan Winters, Caislin Firth
COHESION-BC Study: COvid-19, HEalth and Social InteractiOn in Neighbourhoods in British Columbia

Kate Tairyan
COVID-19 online course

Travis Salway, Joelle LeMoult, Gina McGowan, Harlan Pruden, Emily Rempel
Tailoring BC’s public health guidance for managing anxiety and depression in the context of COVID-19

Ralph Pantophlet, J.-P. Julien, S. Pöhlmann
Repurposing of anti-HIV antibodies to target the glycan shield of SARS-CoV-2

Ralph Pantophlet,
Preclinical development of an epitope-focused vaccine component against SARS-CoV-2

Ralph Pantophlet
Assessment of COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies and COVID-19 positive patient sera for neutralizing activity using a pseudovirus-based

Ruth LavergneHasina Samji, Will Small, Tonia Nicholls, Christian Schutz
Access to mental health care in the context of COVID-19: Rapid analysis of population-based administrative data in British Columbia

Shira Goldenberg, Ruth Lavergne, Mei-ling Wiedmeyer
Is British Columbia’s COVID-19 response meeting the needs of im/migrants?

Kanna Hayashi, Kora Debeck, M-J Milloy, Cheyenne Johnson, Dean Wilson
Impacts of COVID-19 harm mitigation efforts on COVID-19 risk and health among people who use illicit drugs in Vancouver, BC

Beth Snow, Amy Salmon, Wei Zhang, Ihoghosa Iyamu
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers in the Lower Mainland

Lindsay HeddenRuth Lavergne, Rita McCracken, Ian Scott, Mei-ling Weidmeyer
Patterns of primary care in the context of COVID-19

Lindsay Hedden, Kendall Ho, Sandra Sundhu, Colleen McGavin, Helen Novak Lauscher
HealthLink BC Emergency iDoctor-in-assistance: Evaluating a new service responding to the pandemic

Sonya Cressman, Julia Smith, Rosemary Morgan, Colleen Allison, Carolie Colijn, Don Sin, Renelle Myers, Pat Camp 
A gender-accurate economic model for optimizing COVID-19 response policy

Hasina Samji, Matthew Carwana
Community partnership to mitigate harm from COVID-19 for vulnerable families, children and youth: deploying a social
pediatrics approach to measure gaps and define essential services

Shira Goldenberg, Ruth Lavergne, Mei-ling Wiedmeyer, Kate Shannon, Susitha Wanigaratne
Preventing and Mitigating the Impacts of COVID-19 Among Im/migrants in British Columbia: Rapid Mixed-Methods Data to Inform Policy and Programmes

Julian Somers, Stefanie Rezansoff, Angela Russolillo, Akm Moniruzzaman, Brittany Bingham
“Blind Spots”: People in Prison and Precarious Housing During COVID-19

Stuart Peacock, Murray Krahn, Girish Kulkarni
The Response of Provincial Health Systems to COVID-19: Service Provision and Costs Across Health Sectors, First Nations and other populations

Our experts' research publications

Kelley Lee

LEE K., Akuffo E., Shaw T.
Canada’s COVID-19 response: Navigating national and global solidarity - The Round Table (Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs)

LEE K., Worsnop C., Grepin K., Kamradt-Scott A.
Comment:  Coordination remains critical to effective global response to COVID-19 - Lancet

Wenham C., Smith J., Morgan R., LEE K. et al.
COVID-19:  The gendered impacts of the outbreak - Lancet

McInnes C., LEE K., Youde J.
The Oxford Handbook of Global Health Politics - Oxford University Press

Fang J.
Challenges and opportunities for Taiwan’s global health diplomacyTaiwan-U.S. Quarterly Analysis

Moon S., Sridhar D., Pate M., Jha A., Clinton C., Delauney S., Edwin V., Fallah M., Fidler D., Garrett L., Goosby E., Gostin L., Heymann D., LEE K., Leung G., Morrison S., Saavedra J., Tanner M., Leigh J., Hawkins B., Woskie L., Piot P.
Will Ebola change the game?:  Ten essential reforms before the next pandemic. The report of the Harvard-LSHTM Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola - Lancet

Herington J., LEE K.
The limits of global health diplomacy:  Taiwan’s observer status at the World Health Assembly - Globalization and Health

Kamradt-Scott A., LEE K.
The 2011 Pandemic Preparedness Framework:  Global health secured or a missed opportunity - Political Studies

, Kamradt-Scott A.
Cholera: The environmental origins of outbreaks and pandemics - Environmental Medicine

The World Health Organization - Routledge

Fidler D.
Avian and pandemic influenza:  Progress and problems for global governance - Global Public Health

Saker L., LEE K, Cannito B., Gilmore A., Campbell-Lendrum D.
Special Topics in Social, Economic and Behavioural ResearchGlobalization and infectious diseases


Anne-Marie Nicol

, Hurrell C., Mcdowall W., Bartlett K., Elmieh N.
Communicating the risks of a new, emerging pathogen: The case of Cryptococcus gattii - Risk Analysis: An International Journal

Robert Hogg

Marziali M.E., Card K.G., McLinden T., Wang L., Trigg J., HOGG RS.
Physical Distancing in COVID-19 May Exacerbate Experiences of Social Isolation among People Living with HIV - Aids and Behavior

Susan Erikson

Betting On Pandemic - Medical Anthropology

Pandemics Show Us What Government is For - Nature Human Behavior

Johnson L.
Will Financial Innovations Transform Pandemic Response? - Lancet Infectious Diseases

Global Health Futures? Reckoning with a Pandemic Bond - Medicine Anthropology Theory

Faking Global Health - Critical Public Health

Cell Phones ≠ Self and Other Problems with Big Data Detection and Containment during Epidemics - Medical Anthropology Quarterly

The Limits of the International Health Regulations: Ebola Governance, Regulatory Breach, and the Non-Negotiable Necessity of National Healthcare - The Governance of Disease Outbreaks. International Health Law: Lessons from the Ebola Crisis and Beyond

Maya Gislason

Climate change, health and infectious disease - Virulence

West Nile virus: The production of a public health pandemic - Sociology of Health & Illness

Sounding a public health alarm: Producing West Nile virus as a newly emerging infectious disease epidemic - Advances in Medical Sociology

Bohdan Nosyk

, Armstrong WS., Del Rio C.
Contact tracing for COVID-19: An opportunity to reduce health disparities and End the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the USIN PRESS, Clinical Infectious Diseases

Our experts in the media

August 30 - Tania Bubela
B.C. researchers gather for COVID-19 symposium - Global News

August 28 - Tania Bubela
B.C. study on easing COVID-19 restrictions - CFAX 1070

August 8 - Julia Smith
When a contagion comes, women bear a heavy burden - Salon.com

July 21 - Natalie Kinloch
SFU Researchers Working to Improve Covid-19 Testing - T-Net

July 12 - Kelley Lee
The WHO’s bungled handling of Covid-19 crisis - The Business Standard

July 9 - Kelley Lee
WHO Allows for Coronavirus Transmission by Tiny Air Particles, Before Symptoms - Wall Street Journal

July 9 - Kelley Lee
Pandemic failure or convenient scapegoat: How did WHO get here? - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

July 8 - Kelley Lee
(DU) US definitively leaves the WHO, "very bad timing" News Hour - Dutch Public Television

July 8 - Kelley Lee
Trump Administration Withdraws from the World Health Organization - KQED Public Media for Northern California

July 8 - Cecilia Sierra-Heredia
Vancouver’s allergy season is heating up due to climate change - The Georgia Straight

July 7 - Kelley Lee
Is the Coronavirus Killing the World Health Organization? - New York Times

July 7 - Kelley Lee
Is the Coronavirus Killing the World Health Organization? - Inter News Cast

July 4 - Shira Goldenberg
Opinion: We need to ensure universal health care includes migrant workers during and beyond COVID-19 - The Province

July 1 - Ralph Pantophlet 
The Vancouver Company Turning Blood into a COVID Treatment: A Tyee Video - The Tyee

June 30 - Kelley Lee
WHO’S PANDEMIC IS IT, ANYWAY? - America Dissected Podcast

June 30 - Kelley Lee
Evaluating criticism of WHO - wrongdoer or scapegoat? - World Insight, CGTN (China)

June 29 - Tania Bubela
The Ethics and Legalities Surrounding Finding a Vaccine - CJWW Radio

June 26 - Kelley Lee
Can the EU assume the mantle of global leadership? - World Economic Forum

June 25 - Bohdan Nosyk
UBC receives $14 million in federal funding for COVID-19 research - Mirage News

June 24 - Kelley Lee
(DU) Corona: The future of the WHO, A toothless tiger - Da Groene Amsterdammer (Netherlands)

May 29 - Kelley Lee
Coronavirus: Who is the loser in US-WHO rift? Global Health - India International Times

May 28 - Kelley Lee
Specialist: U.S. government wasted crucial time in COVID-19 battle - CGTN

May 27 - Kelley Lee
What the growing rift between the US and WHO means for COVID-19 and global health - Nature

May 27 - Kelley Lee
Listen: It’s a Small World Health Organization - The Atlantic

May 26 - Travis Salway
To end conversion therapy, we must understand what it actually means - The Globe and Mail  

May 26 - Julia Smith
SFU researcher co-leads international team that examines the impact of COVID-19 on gender - The Peak

May 26 - Julia Smith
CNN mocked for claiming women are 'bearing the brunt' of pandemic - Fox News  

May 26 - Julia Smith
Coronavirus Results in More Male Deaths, yet Affect Women with other Consequences - The Science Times 

May 25 - Julia Smith
The prices and penalties women pay in a pandemic - Halifax Examiner 

May 25 - Bruce Lanphear
When cleaning, keep the long-term toxic effects of many disinfecting products in mind: BIFS - Bowen Island Undercurrent

May 24 - Julia Smith
Coronavirus is killing more men. But the lockdown will hurt women and their rights - CNN.com  

May 22 - Pablo Nepomnaschy
'Zoom fatigue' is real, and it's causing a new kind of anxiety amid coronavirus isolation - Nature Index

May 21 - Stuart Peacock
UBC researchers ask for public input to inform COVID-19 policy - UBC Faculty of Medicine

May 21 - Kelley Lee
Fact-checking And Assessing Trump's Letter Of Rebuke To WHO - National Public Radio

May 20 - Susan Erikson
We Need More than Big Data to Track the Virus - Financial Times

May 20 - Kelley Lee
SFU professor leads research project on global coordination in response to COVID-19 pandemic - The Peak

May 20 - Kelley Lee
Is the World Health Organization on life support? - Al Jazeera English

May 20 - Kelley Lee
(FR) WHO could survive without financial support from the United States - ICI Radio-Canada.ca

May 19 - Kelley Lee
What happens with vaccine development if US withdraws from World Health Organization? - KCRW 89.9 FM  

May 19 - Susan Erikson
Pandemic Bonds: How a World Bank Financial Instrument Failed the World's Poor - Al Bawaba

May 19 - Kelley Lee
Members Of WHO Vote On The Need To Investigate Global Coronavirus Response - NPR

May 19 - Kelley Lee
Taiwan Says It Tried to Warn the World About Coronavirus. Here’s What It Really Knew and When - Time 

May 19 - Kelley Lee
Trump threatens to permanently cut WHO funding if it doesn’t reform in 30 days - Vox 

May 19 - Kelley Lee
International border screening measures for COVID-19 (PART I) - CBC Radio One 97.5FM (CBEW) 

May 19 - Kelley Lee
International border screening measures for COVID-19 (PART II) - CBC Radio One 97.5FM (CBEW) 

May 19 -  Bohdan Nosyk
COVID-19 Contact Tracing Could Also Help End HIV, These Researchers Say - TheBodyPRO.com  

May 19 -  Stuart Peacock
UBC researchers announce public deliberation to provide input to COVID-19 public policy - Mirage News

May 16 - Kelley Lee
Under fire WHO meets at a critical time in the pandemic - ABC Radio National 

May 14 -  Julia Smith
Douglas Todd: Canadians need more data on COVID-19 - Vancouver Sun

May 11 - Tania Bubela
Canada needs a proactive pandemic innovation strategy - The Hill Times

May 8 - Julia Smith
The Coronavirus Is Hitting These Nurses Especially Hard - Refinery29

May 8 - Zabrina Brumme
COVID SCIENCE-Abbott coronavirus test is accurate; infected mother's breast milk may protect infants - Daily Mail Online

May 8 - Meghan Winters
Experts warn of increasing car use, loss of transit routes post-crisis - National Post

May 7 - Meghan Winters
Potential rise in post-crisis car use and loss of transit routes puts cities at a crossroads - The Canadian Press

May 7 - Julia Smith
How COVID-19 disproportionately affects women (PART I) - CBC Radio One 104.7FM (CBVE)

May 7 - Julia Smith
How COVID-19 disproportionately affects women (PART II) - CBC Radio One 104.7FM (CBVE)

May 4 - Kelley Lee
National security and global health experts are increasingly concerned China will develop a coronavirus vaccine first - Business Insider

May 2 - Scott Lear
Focusing on overall health while at home has benefits now, and in the future - The Good Men Project Magazine

May 1 - Paola Ardiles Gamboa
Peter Wall Centre for Advanced Studies will host Witness Webinar on privacy rights and the COVID-19 pandemic - The Georgia Straight

May 1 - Kelley Lee
As coronavirus tsunami leaves China, wave of infections may be far from over - South China Morning Post