With expertise in injury epidemiology, health promotion and education, psychology, kinesiology, preventive medicine, and public health, BCIRPU provides a breadth of knowledge and applied injury research, development, and leadership to support government, health authorities, and injury prevention stakeholders.
Ian Pike, PhD Director
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UBC
Co-Director and Spokesperson, The Community Against Preventable Injuries
Dr. Ian Pike is the Director of the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UBC, Associate Scientist at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and Co-executive Director and Spokesperson for The Community Against Preventable Injuries – an injury prevention social marketing organization. His academic training is in kinesiology, health promotion and injury prevention, with particular emphasis on population health and the workplace. He has some 30 years experience in injury prevention and healthy lifestyle promotion, and has worked in the private, not-for-profit, and academic sectors. For his leadership and work in developing a province-wide health promotion and injury prevention program for the health care sector, Dr. Pike was recognized with an international award of excellence by the Association for Worksite Health Promotion.
Dr. Pike has been an invited speaker and expert participant at numerous health, wellness, and injury prevention conferences and meetings. He is published in the academic and professional journals, and serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the journal, Injury Prevention.
Shelina Babul, PhD Associate Director / Sports Injury Specialist
Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, with a cross appointment in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC
Sport and recreation injury
Concussion/traumatic brain injury
Knowledge implementation, education, and awareness
Dr. Shelina Babul focuses primarily on sport and recreation evidence-based research and knowledge implementation, with a specialization in concussions/traumatic brain injuries and their prevention, recognition, treatment, and management. She is the Director of BC Children’s Hospital Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (BC CHIRPP) and an Investigator with both BC Children’s Hospital and the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC.
Dr. Babul chairs the BC Concussion Advisory Network (BC CAN) and is a member of several provincial and national concussion advisory committees, including Parachute’s National Concussion Subcommittee and the Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium. She received the 2016 BC Hockey Safety Award and the 2014 Prevention and Awareness Award from the Brain Injury Association of Canada.
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and School of Population & Public Health, UBC
Investigator, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute
Outdoor risky play
Parenting perceptions of risk and safety
Burden of injury
Play space design
In addition to her affiliations with the BCIRPU, University of British Columbia, and the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Dr. Mariana Brussoni is also a board member of the Child & Nature Alliance of Canada. Trained as a developmental psychologist, she investigates child injury prevention. Current research interests include the influence of geographic, cultural and social places on parenting related to risk and safety; developmental importance of children’s risky play; the impact of injury on children’s health-related quality of life; injuries among Aboriginal populations; and injury surveillance.
Mariana’s research has been featured extensively in national and international media. She currently leads CIHR-funded research to develop an index of the playability of the built environment; and Lawson Foundation-funded research to develop an online tool to reframe parents’ risk perceptions with the goal of facilitating children’s access to nature-based risky play. Further details can be seen at http://brussonilab.ca/.
Mr. Alex Zheng joined the BCIRPU in October 2017 as a Biostatistician/Researcher. A graduate of the Masters of Science in Biostatistics program at the University of Toronto, Alex brings over seven years of research experience from his time at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. His main role is to provide statistical support and analytical prowess to the many projects conducted at the Unit.
Christina Han, MA Research Coordinator, Brussoni Lab
Children’s outdoor play
Children’s independent mobility
Ms. Christina Han is a research coordinator working with Dr. Mariana Brussoni, and is responsible for the overall management and implementation of two nationally-funded projects – Playability and Go Play Outside! – from data collection to data analysis and dissemination. Previously, she worked with Dr. John Oliffe at the UBC School of Nursing, managing a series of qualitative research projects on depression and suicide, from which she has successfully published 20 peer-reviewed articles (5 first-authored).
Since Christina joined Dr. Brussoni’s lab in 2016, she has shifted her research focus to children’s outdoor play and independent mobility. She is currently completing her PhD in the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program (ISGP) at UBC, supervised by Dr. Brussoni (Pediatrics and SPPH) and Dr. Laurie Ford (ECPS). Her PhD research investigates children’s perceived neighbourhood boundaries using children’s narratives, photos, and map drawings. She is particularly interested in understanding how children feel about and manage their boundaries, and finding emerging patterns across different age groups, gender, and neighbourhood.
Dian L. Leung, MEd Research Assistant
Ms. Dian Leung has worked with the BCIRPU since 2007. Following the completion of her Masters in Education in 2006 at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, her primary role focuses in administration at the University of British Columbia. At the Unit, she has the opportunity to provide administrative and financial support to student, staff, and faculty while working with UBC and hospital administration groups. She supports injury prevention and health promotion by organizing the BCIRPU webinar series and providing secretariat services to the BC Injury Prevention Alliance and BC Injury Prevention Committee. Along with her co-workers, Dian is a recipient of the 2014 President Staff Award. She is proud to be working with an amazing team.
Diana Samarakkody, MBBS, MSc, MD (Community Medicine) Community Coordinator/Mobilizer
Dr. Samarakkody joined the BCIRPU in 2015 and is responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing community injury prevention initiatives and campaigns. She serves as the ThinkFirst Vancouver Chapter Coordinator for the Brain Waves program.
She completed her medical training, and her Masters and Doctorate in Community Medicine from the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka, and went on to pursue her postdoctoral fellowship at the Monash Injury Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Samarakkody has extensive experience working as a primary care and a community physician and has worked in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF.
Ms. Fahra Rajabali has been at the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit since 2000, following the completion of her Masters of Science in Health Information Science at the University of Warwick, England. Although she wears many “hats,” Fahra’s primary role is working on data at the Unit, including data analysis and visualizations. She is also the Evaluation Coordinator for the Period of Purple Crying BC initiative. Other roles include injury surveillance and conference planning. Fahra is the Unit Liaison for Northern, Interior, and Island Health Authorities. Along with her co-workers, Fahra was a recipient of the UBC President’s Staff Award in 2014.
Jennifer Smith, BFA Research Coordinator
Senior Program Manager, The Community Against Preventable Injuries
Ms. Jennifer Smith has been a Research Coordinator at BCIRPU and Senior Program Manager for The Community Against Preventable Injuries (Preventable) since October 2016. She first joined BCIRPU in 2013 as a Highly Qualified Professional affiliated with the AUTO21 Networks of Centres of Excellence. Jennifer’s work with AUTO21 involved researching the epidemiology of child occupant and young driver fatalities.
Karen Sadler, MCP Research Facilitator, Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC/Period of PURPLE Crying
Early childhood development
Ms. Karen Sadler joined the BCIRPU in October 2017 as the Manager for Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC. Karen oversees the daily operation of the Period of PURPLE Crying, a public education program that supports parents and caregivers in their understanding of early increased infant crying and reduces the incidence of SBS in BC. Karen has come from the early years non-profit sector in Vancouver, where she facilitated local and public sector collaboration towards a more integrated system of services and supports for young children and their families. Karen volunteers in a number of school and sport associations roles.
Kate Turcotte, MSc Researcher
Ms. Kate Turcotte has been at the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit since 1999, following the completion of her Masters of Science in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa. Her role at the Unit comprises supporting Dr. Shelina Babul’s concussion knowledge implementation program, as well as project management, grant and report writing, injury surveillance, program evaluation, and conference planning. Kate is the Unit Liaison for Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health, and she provides secretariat support for the BC Injury Prevention Committee and the BC Concussion Advisory Network. Along with her co-workers, Kate was a recipient of the UBC President’s Staff Award in 2014.
Ms. Megan Oakey joined the BCIRPU and the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2016 as Provincial Manager for Injury and Falls Prevention. Megan has over 11 years’ experience working in public health in injury prevention, healthy schools, physical activity, healthy eating, and healthy weights, leading both health promotion and clinical practice projects.
Megan is the current co-chair of the Provincial Public Health Injury Prevention Committee, which provides guidance and recommendations on injury prevention to the Provincial Public Health Executive Committee, the Ministry of Health, and the Provincial Health Officer. She also co-chairs the BC Injury Prevention Alliance, chairs the BC Falls and Injury Prevention Coalition, and is an active member of the BC Road Safety Strategy. Megan received her Bachelor of Human Kinetics in Exercise Science from UBC and her Masters of Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.
Mhairi Nolan, RN, SCM CHIRPP Coordinator
Ms. Mhairi Nolan is the Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting & Prevention Program (CHIRPP) Coordinator. This is an injury surveillance program run by Health Canada tracking all injuries and poisonings seen in the Emergency Department of BC Children’s Hospital.
For any requests concerning injury statistics associated with children up to the age of 17 years, please contact Mhairi for a report.
Rachel Ramsden, MPH, BKin Research Assistant
Early child development
Ms. Rachel Ramsden is a Research Assistant with the BCIRPU, focusing on the research areas of public health, injury prevention, and knowledge translation. While completing her Master of Public Health from UBC in 2015, Rachel joined the team at the BCIRPU to develop research reports on concussions among children and youth. Since then, she has also worked on updating the Injury Data Online Tool (iDOT) and is currently completing a project on occupational asbestos exposure. When not working, Rachel can be found on the soccer field either playing with her women’s team or coaching the local youth players in her community.
Samantha Bruin, BA Communications Coordinator
Media Relations, The Community Against Preventable Injuries
Ms. Samantha Bruin joined the BCIRPU in 2017 as Communications Coordinator. Her job involves enhancing the Unit’s communications strategies and supporting a variety of projects through content creation, media relations, and the creation of reports, infographics, and other communications materials. Samantha also supports the Unit’s work with The Community Against Preventable Injuries.
She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and holds a certificate in Marketing Communications from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Samantha has over five years of experience specializing in health care communications, having held positions at Pain BC and the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences at St. Paul’s Hospital.
Sami Kruse, MPH Researcher
Sami Kruse joined the BCIRPU research team in 2009 after obtaining her Master’s in Public Health from the University of British Columbia. During her MPH, Sami worked as a part of a team developing an international tool for monitoring the implementation of child rights in early childhood. Sami’s current research focuses on injury prevention and health promotion of children and youth. In particular her interests include understanding the burden of injury, the role of parents in child injury prevention, and exploring the use of technology in child injury prevention strategies.
Samar Al-Hajj, PhD Candidate (SFU) Research Assistant
Samar joined BCIRPU in 2010, she’s working on a joint UBC-SFU research project aimed at developing a Visual Analytics System Dashboard for Canadian Child and Youth Injury Prevention. The new Dashboard will facilitate the storage, display and dissemination of Canadian Child and Youth injury indicators, data and research.
Chief of Knowledge Translation, Hypothesis Journal
Medical decision making and health
Socioeconomic determinants of health
Mr. Takuro Ishikawa is a doctoral student in Experimental Medicine at UBC. He holds a Master of Science in Experimental Medicine, an Honours Baccalaureate in Psychology, and graduated with honours from the BCIT Technical Communication associate degree program.
Takuro coordinates two randomized control trials testing online tools to help parents make better decisions regarding car seats and children’s outdoor play. His projects involve collaboration with the Laboratory for Rational Decision Making at Cornell University, and the Centre for Adaptive Rationality at the Max Plank Institute in Berlin.
Before becoming a graduate student, Takuro was a road safety research advisor in Colombia; consulted for United Nations Development Plan in economic development projects; and advised the Inter-American Development Bank on harmonization of crime and violence indicators for 14 Latin American countries. He is a UBC Public Scholar, a Heart and Stroke Foundation/CIHR Fellow in Population Interventions for Chronic Disease Prevention, and a Highly Qualified Professional with AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence. His research has been published in top tier periodicals such as the American Journal of Public Health, and was recognized with a first honours award by AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence.