Meet the Team

image001Bolette Skjoedt Rafn, PhD Student Representative

3rd year Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Kristin Campbell. Academic background: Bolette has a bachelor degree in physiotherapy from Copenhagen and a Master degree in Health Science from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She has 7 years of clinical experience as a physiotherapist predominately working with people with musculoskeletal injuries and people with various chronic conditions. Bolette’s work focuses on improving the ability to lead a normal life after treatment for breast cancer, specifically prevention and management of breast cancer-related lymphedema and other upper-body issues.

Interests: Everything outdoorsy: biking, hiking, skiing, running in the woods, and beach BBQ.

Why Rehabilitation Sciences: This program is producing world class research. That was enough to make me move here from across the world.

Future ambitions: I hope to contribute to improving the post-surgical rehabilitation for women with breast cancer to lower the prevalence of chronic upper-body issues.


glasses pref copy 2Kate Hayward, Postdoctoral Representative

Postdoctoral Fellow
Kate Hayward completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) at James Cook University (Australia) and her PhD at The University of Queensland (Australia). Kate’s graduate work built upon her clinical experience and focused on people with severe upper limb impairment after stroke. Here, she evaluated the use of novel training interventions (e.g., SMART Arm, outcome-triggered electrical stimulation), along with identifying clinical factors associated with functional recovery. To extend on her graduate work in people with severe impairment, Kate joined the Brain Behaviour Lab at UBC (Dr. Lara Boyd) to use multimodal neuroimaging to explore the dynamic capacity of the severely damaged brain and identify possible brain biomarkers associated with functional recovery. Her postdoctoral work aims to unpack the neurobiology of severe upper limb impairment after stroke. The outcomes of her research will be used to inform the development of novel training interventions to promote optimal upper limb recovery after severe stroke.

Hobbies: Cycling, hiking and travelling the world with family and friends

Bea Francisco, M.Sc Student Representative

Bea is an MSc candidate in the Rehabilitation Sciences program under the
supervision of Dr. Lara Boyd in the Brain Behaviour Lab. Bea completed her
undergraduate degree in Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia.
Her current research examines the influence of aerobic exercise on
neurophysiology and motor learning in healthy older adults. Outside of the
lab, Bea enjoys being active outdoors, playing sports, and travelling.





Laura Bulk PHoto (2)Laura Yvonne Bulk, Education Chair

PhD, year 2, Dr. Laura Nimmon & Dr. Tal Jarus

Background: BSW (Bachelor of Social Work), MOT (Master of Occupational Therapy). I am a practicing occupational therapist

Research interests: Experiences of blindness, End-of-life, Health professionals with disabilities, critical theory, participatory/emancipatory research, arts-informed research.

Favourite hobbies: Cooking for people, walking with a friend, playing board/card games, having potlucks

Why Rehabilitation Sciences?

Throughout my personal and professional experiences, I have witnessed individuals go through rehabilitation/recovery, going on a journey to become self-empowered, and then go out into environments where social and policy barriers prevent them from flourishing. My work as an OT gives me the great privilege of coming alongside individuals on their journeys, and allows me to work at shifting some of the stigma around disability. I deeply value my work as an OT. But I believe that my work as a scholar will provide additional opportunities and training so I am better able to contribute to change in social and policy arenas. As clinicians and scholars we have the power to create change, and what I am learning as a PhD student will help equip me to be a more effective advocate and change agent.

For more, see the following link for my piece in the Physical Therapy newsletter:

Future ambitions:

I am currently, and will continue, making a difference in the lives of individuals and communities through my work as an advocate, a scholar, an occupational therapist, and an active volunteer.

My PhD education will equip me with more of the skills, training, and networks necessary to inform and advocate for social and policy change. This career could take various forms, and I acknowledge that throughout my doctoral work I will learn of opportunities about which I am presently unaware. I do anticipate that my life’s work will involve making recommendations to policymakers, participating in initiatives designed to combat stigmatization, and continuing to conduct research that will contribute to positive change in Canada and beyond.

I hope to work with national and international organizations aiming to contribute to greater justice in Canada and internationally. Eventually I would be honoured to represent Canada within organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Amnesty International, or the World Health Organization (WHO) in the promotion of human rights, flourishing, and dignity. Through my present work, I will be equipped to do things such as:

  • provide strategic leadership and engage partners;
  • participate in shaping research agendas, stimulating the generation and translation of valuable knowledge;
  • articulate ethical and evidence-based policy options
  • catalyse change, building sustainable institutional capacity

Although these may seem grand goals right now, I know that just as I have now reached goals that once seemed impossible, I will be able to attain these as well. I do believe that we, as Canadian scholars and advocates, can make a significant impact upon the injustices in the world.


Sue Peters, 
4th year in program, PhD candidate, Lara Boyd & Jayne Garland.

Received MPT from Western University. Worked 5 years as a full time physio in both public and private practice in clinics in Burnaby and Vancouver.My long-term goal as an independent researcher in neurorehabilitation is to significantly advance our understanding of the mechanisms underpinning the cognitive aspects of voluntary goal-directed movements, and exploit this knowledge to develop novel rehabilitation approaches that improve standing balance and gait after stroke. Achieving this goal will allow increased understanding of the neurophysiological mechanisms associated with brain and muscle impairments and plasticity post-stroke.
Hobbies: running, hiking, yoga.
Why rehab science? I came to learn from the best! My supervisors are at the top of the stroke rehab field and I wanted to learn from them.
My future ambitions include becoming a faculty member at a top Canadian university in a PT department.

IMG_4666Kelcey Bland, 
MSc Student

Kelcey began her MSc in the Rehabilitation Sciences Program under the direction of Dr. Kristin Campbell in 2015. She completed her Bachelors of Human Kinetics in Kinesiology and Health Sciences at UBC in 2012. Prior to starting her Master’s, Kelcey worked in Dr. Campbell’s research lab as a research coordinator and lead exercise trainer for a study investigating the feasibility of offering physician-referred exercise programming as a part of supportive care during breast cancer treatment. Kelcey’s current research interests include exercise prescription for cancer survivors and exploring the potential role of exercise in reducing cancer treatment side-effects and improving patient quality of life. Outside of research, Kelcey is a Certified Pilates Instructor and has been teaching Pilates at the Vancouver Pilates Centre for 4 years. She hopes to continue pursuing her research interests as PhD student in the future.





Dennis Riley Louie, representative for off-campus labs (Vancouver South)
Year 1 in program, PhD, Janice Eng
Background: Honours BSc (Physiology), MScPT (practicing PT), worked 4 years in neurological PT
Research interests: Stroke, neurological rehab, biotechnology
Hobbies: Exercise and sports (ultimate, volleyball, swimming)
Why Rehabilitation Sciences? Advance my knowledge in research and to make an impact on a greater scale in neurological rehabilitation than 1:1 treatment.
Future Ambitions: Not sure, would like to combine teaching, research, and clinical backgrounds into one role.



IMG_3854Brodie Sakakibara

Dr. Brodie Sakakibara is Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, and Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia. His current research focus is on secondary stroke and cardiovascular disease prevention, self-management, and the delivery of health and rehabilitation services for people with disabilities using consumer technologies. He is a member of the British Columbia Alliance on Telehealth Policy and Research, a multi-disciplinary research team working in the area of health-related services using telecommunication technologies, as well as the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery.




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Sarah Sayyari, Mentorship Program Coordinator

Sarah is a second year Master of Science student studying Rehabilitation sciences in Dr. Kristin Campbell’s clinical exercise physiology lab. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Sarah completed a bachelor degree in Kinesiology from The University of British Columbia. Sarah’s primary areas of research are Breast Cancer prevention and rehabilitation. Sarah’s masters thesis is focused on establishing the unmet rehabilitation needs of Breast Cancer survivors in British Columbia. Outside of research, Sarah enjoys long distance running, weight training, and playing tennis with her boyfriend Joe





 Jesse M Charlton

1st year PhD student working under Dr. Michael Hunt.
Academic Background: Jesse has a Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching, and a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences focused on gait biomechanics and osteoarthritis. His primary research focus is the examination of conservative treatment approaches for chronic musculoskeletal diseases. Jesse also has a significant background in athletic strength and conditioning.

Interests: Jesse is an avid mountain biker, trail runner and skier; though he has competitive backgrounds in judo and football. A good whiskey will always pique his interest.

Why Rehabilitation Sciences: Jesse believes in research that aims to improve clinical practice and the lives of people with chronic disease. The Rehabilitation Sciences program is a unique place to facilitate this research.

Future Ambitions: Jesse aims to complete his dual degree (MPT/PhD), and then continue in the field of biomechanics and musculoskeletal disease. His ultimate goal is to develop his own research program.

Jenn Ferris

Jenn is a 1st year PhD student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program at UBC under the supervision of Dr. Lara Boyd. Jenn completed her MSc in Neuroscience at UBC. Her research examines neuroimaging and sensorimotor outcomes after stroke. Outside of the lab, Jenn enjoys running and hiking in the beautiful BC mountains!









Cristina Rubino – Professional Development Officer

Cristina is a 1st year PhD student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program at UBC under the supervision of Dr. Lara Boyd. Cristina completed her MSc in Neuroscience under the supervision of Dr. Jason Barton. Her previous research involved designing and developing a reading training program for patients with a visual deficit known as homonymous hemianopia. Currently, she is interested in using structural and functional neuroimaging to investigate the mechanisms associated with learning-dependent changes in healthy adults and stroke patients.  Outside of the lab, Cristina likes to explore new places through road biking, hiking, snowboarding, and playing Ultimate Frisbee.








Andrew Ramsook

PhD student with Jordan Guenette

Background: BPHE, University of Toronto/MSc, UBC

Research interests: Respiratory Exercise Physiology

Why Rehabilitation Sciences? Get to work with a great team in beautiful BC.