our faculty

Sherri Ferguson, MSc  

Instructor: Hyperbaric Safety Director (EMPU100), Fundamentals of Hyperbaric Medicine (EMPU121),  Chamber Operator (EMPU 122) Hyperbaric Technician (EMPU150), High-Altitude Indoctrination (EMPU135, EMPU145) 

Sherri is the current Director of the Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit at Simon Fraser University. She is the Vice-Chair of the Canadian Standards Association Z275 Technical Committee for diving and hyperbaric operations, and the current Chair of the CSA Z275.1 standards committee on Hyperbaric Operations. She is an Executive Member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Association and a member of the Safety Committee of the Undersea and Hyperbaric

Medical Society. Sherri received her Master of Science in Biomedical Physiology and her research focuses on diving and aerospace physiology. Her research includes the cardiovascular effects of decompression, hypoxia and cognition, nitrogen narcosis, and breathing protection used in aviation and self-contained breathing apparatus. Her research is supported by Worksafe BC & The US Office of Naval Research.

Sherri is a trained commercial diver and instructor trainer for recreational, technical and scientific diving. She has been a professional diver since 1995. She was the regional manager for TDI/SDI and has worked for both Poseidon and Dräger as their service technician instructor.

Dr. Neilson Mclean, MD FRCPC Emergency Medicine Specialist

Instructor: Hyperbaric Safety Director (EMPU100), Fundamentals of Hyperbaric Medicine (EMPU121)

After completing his medical degree, Dr. McLean became an FRCPC specialist in Critical Care and Emergency Medicine and gained additional training in Hyperbaric Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He continued his education by completing a diploma of Aviation Medicine and a diploma in Public Health.

Dr. Mclean is currently an Emergency Medicine physician at Surrey Memorial Hospital and Lions Gate Hospital and the Department Head, Critical Care at Abbotsford Regional Hospital. He also holds positions as a Hyperbaric Medical Consultant for the ASI Group, Hyperbaric/Diving MD at Vancouver General Hospital and is the Medical Director and founder of Executive Air Ambulance. He is also the Medical Director of the EMPU. 

Dr. Deyar Asmaro

Dr. Deyar Asmaro started conducting neuroscience research at the Laboratory for Affective and Developmental Neuroscience at SFU’s Psychology department while he was an Honours student under the supervision of Dr. Mario Liotti. He remained with Dr. Liotti for his graduate work and completed his Ph.D in 2014. His work during this time utilized electroencephalography (EEG) to extract event-related potentials (ERPs) that were elicited by affective visual cues (particularly those depicting addictive substances). While conducting this neuroscience research, he also began working with Dr. Peter Suedfeld and Dr. Phyllis Johnson at the University of British Columbia where he started studying psychological and sociocultural factors that contribute to astronaut functioning in extreme environments. He completed novel research in collaboration with Sherri Ferguson (Director of the Environmental Medicine Physiology Unit at SFU) during his doctoral studies and has a number of publications to date. He is a past CIHR Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship recipient and was also awarded the Terry Fox Gold Medal and Prize during his undergraduate years at SFU. Deyar is currently an Adjunct Professor in BPK.


Dr. Justin Roos, BSC, FRCPC-EM

Dr Justin Roos is a staff emergency physician at the Royal Columbian Hospital, clinical faculty at the UBC Faculty of Medicine and a fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. During his training he specialized in wilderness and austere medicine and has a special interest in dysbarism, altitude medicine and hypothermia. He currently lives in North Vancouver with his family, and when he's not in the ED or the hyperbaric chamber he can be found biking, hiking and skiing the west coast.


Dr. Afshin Khazei, MD, FRCPC, ABEM, ABPM-HB, AAFP

Instructor: Fundamentals of Hyperbaric Medicine (EMPU121) Hyperbaric Medical Emergency Simulation (EMPU125)

Dr. Khazei completed his medical training at the University of British Columbia in 1995 along with a family medicine residency in Victoria, BC in 1997, before working as a rural family physician for 3 years. He subsequently completed an Emergency Medicine specialty training and fellowship in Hyperbaric and Diving Medicine at Vancouver General Hospital. He is board-certified in Emergency Medicine (FRCPC), Family Medicine (AAFP), and Hyperbaric and Diving Medicine (ABPM).

Dr. Khazei currently serves as the Medical Director for the Hyperbaric Unit at Vancouver General Hospital, where he has worked an Emergency Physician and Hyperbaric & Diving Medicine Specialist since 2004. Ad the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Lead in the BC Emergency Medicine Network, Dr. Khazei has focused on the creation and delivery of simulation-based CPD programs throughout BC. He was been the recipient of the UBC “Teacher of the Year Award” in 2012 and the “Innovation in CPD Award” in 2013.

Dr. Khazei's areas of expertise are focused on error reduction and performance improvement through simulation and interprofessional team training and maintenance of emergency procedural competency through simulation-based curriculum development and delivery.

Robert Sheffield, BA, CHT

Instructor: Hyperbaric Safety Director (EMPU100), Hyperbaric Technician (EMPU150)

Rob is Director of Education of International ATMO in San Antonio, Texas. He started his career in hyperbaric medicine in 1985 and is an expert in wound center design and development, reimbursement, hyperbaric safety, and transcutaneous oximetry. He is Past-President of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) Gulf Coast Chapter and has served on the NFPA Technical Committee on Hyperbaric and Hypobaric Facilities (Chairman 2006-2014), and the UHMS commitees for Hyperbaric Safety and oxygen, Materials Testing Advisory, and Practice Compliance.

He is co-author of the CHT/CHRN Certification Exam Practice Book and has authored committee commentary in four editions of the NFPA Health Care Facilities Handbook. He has also co-authored several articles on reimbursement and hyperbaric safety.

Francois Burman, Pr. Eng, IntPE (SA), BSc Eng (Mech), MSc (MedSc), MSAIME, FSAIW

Instructor: Hyperbaric Safety Director (EMPU100), Hyperbaric Technician (EMPU150)

Francois Burman started his career as a registered professional engineer in Cape Town, South Africa. His background includes serving as a commissioned marine engineering officer in the South African Navy; working as a project & welding engineer and as a senior manager at the Atomic Energy Corporation of South Africa.

Since 1994, he has specialized in diving and hyperbaric engineering. He is a consultant on new manufacturing programs in the nuclear energy field and an international safety consultant in diving and hyperbaric medicine. He conducts safety surveys of recompression and clinical hyperbaric facilities internationally and is a frequent lecturer on hyperbaric safety topics. He also completed a MSc in Medical Sciences (Baromedicine) from the University of Stellenbosch (2014).

Francois is the Director of Underwater & Hyperbaric Safety for Divers Alert Network (DAN) in Durham, North Carolina, as well as the CEO of DAN Southern Africa and the Director of the DAN Europe Board.

Jeff Forbes, Technical Instructor for High Pressure Compressors

Instructor: Hyperbaric Technician (EMPU150), Bauer Level 1 & 2 Technician

Jeff began his immersion into the world of high pressure compressors with comprehensive factory training at the Bauer Kompressoren plant in Wolfratshausen, Germany. He has worked with and provided training for operators of high pressure compressors extensively in nearly every province in Canada, the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

For the past 20 years he has been the Manager of Technical Training and the Technical Service Manager for Jordair Compressors Inc. in Delta B.C., the exclusive Bauer Compressor dealer for Canada.

Alex McCall, IEng 

Instructor: Hyperbaric Technician (EMPU150), Swagelok Fittings & Tube Bending

Alex worked at British Aerospace in the Dynamics Division for 9 years, where he completed his Electrical/Mechanical Apprenticeship. During his time there he also completed his Higher National Diploma at North Hertfordshire College. He was then offered a position in the Special Projects Group as a Mechanical Engineer at British Aerospace. 

He joined Swagelok Organisation in London, England and Vancouver, Canada in 1996 as the Technical Sales Engineer. He has lived in Canada for the last 20 years and is involved in sales and servicing instruction. 

Don Kinney, Instructor Trainer - Visual  Inspection & Eddy Current for High Pressure Cylinders

Instructor: Hyperbaric Technician (EMPU150), Cylinder Inspection & Oxygen Cleaning

As the owner of Cylinder Training Services, Don started working with and filling high pressure cylinders in 1991. With his background in public safety he continued to gain knowledge in the field of high pressure cylinders and began to develop training programs. He has developed numerous programs for cylinder safety including; Eddy Current testing (2003), SCBA, Fire Department (2004) and their Fire Safety Seminar program (2004). He developed a visual inspection program covering cylinders, valves, cleaning and compressors in 2011. Realized that inspectors needed a source for affordable and high quality inspection tools, he eventually designed tools for the high pressure cylinder industry to assist them in determining damage and ensuring cylinders remain safe.

In 2014 he developed an inspection program for International Training (ITI) that included a manual and an on-line training program that is now taught worldwide. Don continues to dedicate himself to safety in the high-pressure cylinder industries and prides himself on understanding the importance of safe and useful training programs.

Paul Doherty BSN CHRN Patient Care Coordinator VGH HBU

Instructor: Fundamentals of Hyperbaric Medicine (EMPU121)

Paul has been involved in diving for many years and worked as a net diver before becoming a nurse.  He has been with Vancouver General Hospital's Hyperbaric Unit for 22 years and has been in the role of Patient Care Coordinator for 10 years.


Instructor: Fundamentals of Hyperbaric Medicine (EMPU121)

Dr. Gelly has practiced Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care since 1991.  She has practiced in academic settings, in managed care settings and in the independant clinic setting. During a 20 year span, she and her group provided critical 24/7 on call services to an acedemic hyperbaric medicine program.  She is actively involved in the the UHMS and the ACHM, as well as wound care organizations.  She publishes and lectures widely. 

Matt Arnold, DMT

Instructor: Chamber Operator (EMPU122)

Matt has been certified as an Unrestricted Surface Supplied Diver (DCBC) and Diving Medical Technician (IMCA, NBDHMT) since 2006.  From 2015-2020 he worked full times as an Emergency Paramedic for the British Columbia Ambulance service where he now holds a casual position.  He works at the EMPU as a Chamber Operator, DMT, Technician & Instructor.

Dr. Leanne Ramer, SFU Faculty BPK Lecturer

Instructor: Fundamentals of Hyperbaric Medicine (EMPU121)

Dr. Leanne Ramer is a Senior Lecturer in Anatomy and Neuroscience at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. She teaches anatomy at all levels, from microscopic structure to function and dysfunction, with an emphasis on neural control of all systems. Leanne completed her Masters and PhD in Neuroscience at UBC, and postdoctoral training at KU Leuven (Belgium), King's College London, and at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (Vancouver). Her research interests are continually expanded by ambitious students but tend to congregate around neuroplasticity. She lives in Vancouver with her teenage daughter and her Miniature Pinscher Lindsay.


Todd Courtney, Technical Supervisor and Safety Director

Instructor: Fundamentals of Hyperbaric Medicine (EMPU121)

Todd Courtney graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Civil Engineering degree.  He then worked in the building trades, mostly demolition and salvage.  A native of Seattle, he has 20 years of experience as an EMT and CHT.  He's been on the hyperbaric staff at Viriginia Mason since 2001 where he is now the Technical Supervisor and Safety Director. As an associate member of the UHMS he has contributed abstracts on topics including carbon monoxide monitoring and chamber operations. 

Daniel Gericke, CHT DMT-A LST CDI

Instructor: Hyperbaric Medical Technologist (EMPU120) in South Africa

Daniel began his career in the South African Navy Marines and Diving Unit specializing in and teaching underwater explosive clearance diving and disposal. With a keen interest in HBOT and its applications, he went on to direct the South African Navy Decompression Chamber Program and began treating Hyperbaric Therapy patients and those with Decompression Illness. In 2000, Daniel founded the first Multiplace Hyperbaric Medical Center in South Africa at Saint Augustine's Hospital in Durban and, later in 2004, opened a sister facility at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. 

In 2006, Daniel accepted the position of Safety Director at the Bermuda Hospitals Board which, in 2011 achieved its first international safety accreditation. Under Daniel's stewardship and commitment to safe diving, King Edward Memorial Hospital Hyperbaric Center was chosen as a DAN Preferred Provider Facility. 

Philip A. Schell, CHT

My name is Philip Schell.  I am a Certified Hyperbaric Technician, and currently work in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I have held the Diver Medic Certification #1472 and the Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician B1652253 titles along with other certification titles. I am a current National Association of Underwater Instructors #42608 and a Divers Alert Network Professional #1563771.  I also serve on the Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society Board of Directors and Associate Council. I am also a Certified Hospital Emergency Coordinator (Homeland Security) utilizing 30 years’ experience in health education, medical training, advising and assisting caregivers, managing staff, safety officer, public speaking, marketing, teaching and proctoring.  My professional history demonstrates my strength in safety, hyperbaric medicine, team building, instruction, leadership building and balancing priorities.  I teach scuba diving through NAUI and have also been a participant in the US Navy Flying after Diving Study at Duke University.

I have had the great fortune of learning from some of the best hyperbaric medicine and wound care professionals from coast to coast.  I have spent countless hours in many chambers, including Bonnie & Clyde, two of the oldest chambers in the Mid-west, the Golf chamber at Duke and many more.

Natasha Vlcek, Program Assistant

Natasha is the Program Assistant for the EMPU. She is currently studying for her Bachelor's in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry with a concentration in genomics, as well as, a Minor in Global Asia Studies. 

Evan Hutcheon, Graduate Student

Evan started graduate school and working in the EMPU as a chamber tender in 2016. He has been interested in high altitude physiology since his undergraduate degree, where he completed his honours thesis on chronic mountain sickness and high altitude populations. Currently he is working on finishing his PhD investigating how hypoxia impacts the brain, and more specifically whether a difference exists between normobaric and hypobaric hypoxia that can be imaged with an EEG. He enjoys his work as a chamber tender, and especially the days where he gets paid to "travel" to 25,000ft. In his spare time he likes to train Brazilian jiu-jitsu, hike, snowboard, and dirt jump on his mountain bike.

Vera-Ellen Lucci, Graduate Student

Dr. Vera-Ellen Lucci is a Postdoctoral Fellow, working under the supervisor of Dr. Victoria Claydon in the Cardiovascular Physiology Lab at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests include autonomic dysfunction following spinal cord injury and the cardiovascular mechanisms of syncope (fainting). Vera also has a history of academic involvement both locally at Simon Fraser University and internationally through her involvement with the American Autonomic Society. Presently, she holds a CIHR Fellowship to investigate the potential of a cerebral trigger for syncope.