Our Team - BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit

Our Team

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

    Additional Affiliations

    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

    Additional Affiliations

    Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, with a cross appointment in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC

    Research Interests
    • 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.

    View Publications on PubMed
  • Mariana Brussoni, PhD, MA, BA(Hon)
    Academic Scientist

    Additional Affiliations

    Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and School of Population & Public Health, UBC
    Investigator, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute

    Research Interests
    • Outdoor risky play
    • Parenting perceptions of risk and safety
    • Fathering
    • Burden of injury
    • Nature-based play
    • 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/.

    View Publications on PubMed
  • Alex Zheng, MSc, BSE

    Research Interests
    • Data analysis and visualization
    • Cost modeling
    • Prediction modeling
    • Injury prevention and surveillance

    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.

  • Atousa Zargaran
    CHIRPP Coordinator

    Ms. Atousa Zargaran 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 Atousa for a report.

  • Christina Han, MA
    Research Coordinator, Brussoni Lab

    Research Interests
    • Children’s outdoor play
    • Children’s independent mobility
    • Children’s boundaries
    • Qualitative research
    • Gender

    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.

  • Claire Humphreys, MSc, BA
    Manager, Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC

    Research Interests
    • Child development
    • Child abuse prevention
    • Infant crying
    • Abusive head trauma

    Ms. Claire Humphreys received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Victoria and her Master of Science in Public Health Management from the University of London.

    In 2007, Claire joined the Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC team as the Educator & Information Specialist for the program. As the educator, her responsibilities included training and implementing the Period of PURPLE Crying BC initiative in the Fraser and Interior Health Regions. She also managed PURPLE implementation of BC community agencies such as pregnancy outreach, infant development, adoption, immigration, and child care. As the Information Specialist, she contributed to the development of the program website and the online training modules. Claire currently serves as the Program Manager and continues to provide education and resources to professionals supporting families. She is also the point person for the program’s public education campaign, CLICK for Babies. Claire previously worked in research at the University of Victoria and as a technician at a mood disorders clinic in Vancouver.

  • Denise Beaton, MA
    Project Coordinator

    Research Interests
    • Falls prevention for community-dwelling older adults
    • Road safety
    • Youth suicide and self-harm prevention

    Working in collaboration with the Provincial Manager – Injury and Falls Prevention, Ms. Denise Beaton coordinates multiple projects, supporting team efforts with internal and external partners on ongoing programs and initiatives.

    She brings six years of experience in research and project management. During the course of her MA in Gerontology from SFU she was a graduate research assistant with Gerontological Education, Research & Outreach at the UBC School of Nursing, the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law. Denise is also a Master’s Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) Trainee with the Canadian Frailty Network. She disseminated research findings fourteen times from 2012-2017, at national conferences and a special report interview with Peter Mansbridge for CBC News: The National.

    Prior to moving to British Columbia, Denise was the VP of Operations & Events with Icon Vision Media in Montreal, overseeing day-to-day operational matters and execution of events at a specialized advertising company for high profile international events. In her home province of Prince Edward Island, Denise was the project director and partners liaison with Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing, and the conference coordinator for the Culture, Multimedia, Technology and Cognition (CMTC) Centre.

  • Diana Samarakkody, MBBS, MSc, MD
    Researcher and BC Community 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.

    Dr. Samarakkody has clinical experience in emergency and family medicine and training in community medicine.

  • Fahra Rajabali, MSc

    Research Interests
    • Data analysis and manipulation
    • Data visualizations
    • Injury surveillance
    • Injury prevention
    • Abusive head trauma
    • Cost of injury

    Fahra Rajabali has been at BCIRPU since 2000. She is a specialist in data, visualizations, informatics and in evaluation. Fahra manages the data at the BCIRPU and is responsible for the data and interface for the Injury Data Online Tool (iDOT). She is the evaluation manager for the Period of PURPLE Crying program in BC. She wears many other “hats” in her work on injury surveillance and conference planning. She is also the BCIRPU’s liaison for Northern, Interior and Island Health Authorities. Along with co-workers, Fahra was a recipient of the UBC President’s Staff Award in 2014.

  • Karen Sadler, MCP
    Research Facilitator, Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC/Period of PURPLE Crying

    Research Interests
    • Early childhood development
    • Community engagement
    • Knowledge translation

    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

    Research Interests
    • Injury surveillance
    • Program evaluation
    • Project management
    • Injury prevention

    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.


  • Laura Dale, BA(H), MSc
    Director, The Community Against Preventable Injuries

    Research Interests
    • Behaviour Change Methodologies
    • Program Development and Evaluation
    • Employee Health and Wellness
    • Injury Prevention
    • Public Health Policy Development

    Laura Dale joined the BCIRPU in 2020 as the Director of The Community Against Preventable Injuries (Preventable). She is responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies to enhance the Preventable campaign. She sets strategic priorities and manages the campaign operations, including the maintenance of a robust partnership framework.

    Laura brings a breadth of academic and professional experience spanning the insurance, healthcare, not-for-profit, and charity sectors. With a Bachelor of Arts in Health Studies from Queen’s University and a Masters of Science in Population and Public Health from the University of British Columbia, Laura is motivated to translate the latest health research into evidence-based decisions for injury prevention programming.

    When Laura is not working she enjoys eating her way through Vancouver’s restaurant scene and jogging along the seawall. She is also a serial collector of incomplete “do-it-yourself” home projects.

  • Megan Oakey, MPH, B.HK
    Provincial Manager, Injury Prevention, Population & Public Health, BC Centre for Disease Control; BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit

    Ms. Megan Oakey joined the BC Centre for Disease Control and the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit in 2016 as Provincial Manager for Injury Prevention, with 15 years’ experience working in Public Health in Canada, Australia, Cambodia, Kenya and Tanzania.  Megan is the current co-chair of the BC 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 holds an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, and a BHK in Exercise Science from the University of British Columbia.

  • Samantha Bruin, BA
    Communications Coordinator

    Additional Affiliations

    Media Relations Specialist, 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 seven 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.

  • Shazya Karmali
    PhD (Candidate), Research Coordinator

    Shazya joined the BCIRPU team in 2019 as Research Coordinator. She is completing her PhD in Health Promotion at Western University, where she studied obesity prevention and treatment in the family unit, specifically focusing on physical activity and nutrition behaviours of parents with overweight/obesity and their children. After working at BCIRPU for one year, Shazya completed her Masters in Health Science and Policy in Ottawa, and continued on to her PhD.

    Shazya will be coordinating the SHRed Concussions Study.

  • Takuro Ishikawa, MSc, BA(Hon)
    Graduate Academic Assistant

    Additional Affiliations

    Chief of Knowledge Translation, Hypothesis Journal

    Research Interests
    • Medical decision making and health
    • Risk communication
    • 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.

    Tak uses decision theory as instruments to address social issues, particularly in public health. Before joining the lab, Tak was a consultant to the United Nations Development Plan; advised the Inter-American Development Bank in violence prevention; and developed and evaluated road safety campaigns in Colombia. Tak is currently a UBC Public Scholar, and has been a CIHR/Heart and Stroke Foundation Fellow in Population Interventions for Chronic Disease Prevention, as well as a Highly Qualified professional with AUTO21.

    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.