Clinic & research staff

UBCH CARD is an academic teaching and research clinic. Many members of our team, including health care providers, researchers, trainees and residents are part of the UBC Faculty of Medicine and other related disciplines.

The clinic provides assessment and diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders for patients throughout BC, including care and support for the affected individual and his or her family by different team members including: geriatrics, neuropsychology, neurology, social work, geriatric psychiatry, genetic counselling, and neuropathology.

The clinic is also research intensive with a mandate to conduct research initiatives directed at understanding causes and treatments of Alzheimer disease and related disorders.

Physicians

All patients will be seen by either a geriatrician (a doctor who specializes in conditions affecting older populations) or a neurologist (a doctor who specializes in conditions affecting the brain). The physician will complete a detailed history and physical examination. He or she may order additional investigations such as computed tomography (CT) head scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and/or laboratory (blood) tests. 

The clinic physician will send a copy of his/her consult summary to the patient’s referring doctor and/or family doctor. Follow-up appointments will be determined after an initial assessment. 

DR. HOWARD FELDMAN

Dr. Feldman is a Professor in the UBC Faculty of Medicine, Executive Associate Dean, Research and the Director of CARD. In 2009, Dr. Feldman undertook a prominent position in a global drug development program at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where, as the therapeutic area Head, he led all the clinical neuroscience drug development. He returned to Vancouver in 2011 and resumed his leadership roles at both CARD and UBC. Dr. Feldman’s research focuses on aging, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer Disease. His interests include prevention of the disease and the advancement of novel clinical trial methodologies in dementia related research. His research has contributed to the discoveries of genetic mutations which cause FTD, FTD with motor neuron disease, as well as the development of important novel criteria for Alzheimer Disease.
DR. ROBIN HSIUNG

Dr. Robin Hsiung is a staff neurologist at CARD and Associate Professor in the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, UBC. He has a special interest in the genetic and clinical epidemiology of Alzheimer Disease and related neurodegenerative dementias. He is also active in translational research on neurological health and aging. Dr. Hsiung’s research also explores biomarkers for Alzheimer Disease. Biomarkers are valuable to study because they are needed to confirm diagnosis and can be utilized to differentiate types of dementia and help clinicians identify cases in the earliest stages for rapid intervention and treatment.
DR. PHILIP E. LEE

Dr. Philip Lee is Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and an Associate Member of the Division of Neurology with UBC’s Department of Medicine. He is an internist who completed a fellowship in geriatric medicine. He also completed a behavioural neurology fellowship at the University of Toronto before returning to practice in Vancouver. Dr. Lee cares for patients at CARD and is a clinician educator.
DR. IAN MACKENZIE

Dr. Ian Mackenzie, a neuropathologist, has extensive expertise in using brain tissue banks in the care of patients with neurological disorders. His research program centres on neuropathology and the molecular genetics of neurodegenerative disease, particularly dementias. He leads the program on FTD that has resulted in the discovery of several gene mutations that cause this disease. Specifically, Drs. Mackenzie and Hsiung, along with collaborators from the Mayo Clinic and the University of California, San Francisco, are investigating a common genetic mutation underlying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and a form of dementia helps to explain why many patients with those diseases get symptoms of the other. This finding was significant because the implications of finding the common genetic mutation to two diseases may lead to a treatment that could be used for both.
DR. HAAKON NYGAARD

Dr. Haakon Nygaard came to Vancouver from Yale University, where he spent the past decade – first as a neurology resident, then PhD student, and finally a faculty member. He sees patients and conducts research. His scientific interests include bridging the gap between drug development and discoveries in the laboratory and patient care. He is the lead investigator of a large multi-center trial (CONNECT) assessing a new drug for Alzheimer disease, originally developed to treat cancer patients. He was part of the team that discovered a key molecular pathway by which toxic proteins in the brain in patients with Alzheimer disease interact and destroy brain cells. An effort is now underway to develop drugs to modulate this important pathway, including the CONNECT trial. Dr. Nygaard is also the lead investigator on a project assessing the genetic factors involved in individuals living long into the 90s and 100s. Understanding the brain mechanisms of healthy aging can provide important insights into disease processes which preclude longevity, including Alzheimer disease.
DR. DEAN FOTI

Dr. Dean Foti has been on staff at Vancouver General Hospital since 1996, with the title of Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. His practice is in Behavioural and General Neurology, with his main areas of interest dementia diagnosis and management. He provides education to family physicians and specialists in BC. Dr. Foti is an evaluating neurologist at the Clinic for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders, providing clinical care, teaching of Neurology residents and Behavioural Neurology fellows, and participating in clinical research and clinical trials in dementia.
DR. LYNN BEATTIE
Dr Beattie worked in the Clinic from its inception in late 1983 until 2013. A primary interest was seeing patients and their families but she was also Medical Director for most of those years and she participated in a number of research projects about Alzheimer Disease and related dementias. These included the Canadian Study of Health and Aging, various clinical trials and the Canadian Alzheimer Disease quality of life project as well as other investigations. Lynn is Chair of the Research Policy Committee for the Alzheimer Society of Canada and sits on this Board. She is a specialist in Geriatric Medicine and is former President of the American Geriatrics Society and the Canadian Geriatrics Society. She received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her participation in a broad spectrum of activities related to the understanding and care of Alzheimer persons. She is now retired from clinical practice but remains involved in some ongoing projects.
dr. margot genge

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Neuropsychology and Psychometry

Some patients will be referred for a neuropsychological assessment. This assessment will be scheduled several months after the initial clinic visit and involves paper and pencil testing to evaluate different areas of cognition (i.e. memory, language, attention, visuospatial skills, etc.) as well as mood. This detailed testing may take 4-6 hours and is carried out by a psychometrist. Interviews with the patient and family are also included. 

The neuropsychologist will interpret the results of this testing and provide feedback to the patient and/or their family within a few weeks.  

DR. SHERRI HAYDEN
Dr. Hayden is Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology and holds Adjunct Faculty status at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Gerontology. She has been the Clinical Neuropsychologist in the Clinic for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders since 1993. In this capacity, Dr. Hayden provides neuropsychological evaluation and consultation for diagnostic and case management purposes. In addition, she offers psychological treatment/support to patients and families, including children/teens of parents diagnosed with dementia. Dr. Hayden's research interests include: Neuropsychological Assessment Tools in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia; Anxiety and Psychiatric Issues in Neurodegenerative Disorders; Cognitive Effects of Chemotherapy; Endocrinology and Cognition in Neurodegnerative Disorders; Neuropsychological and Psychiatric Issues in Traumatic Brain Injury; Cognition of Electrical Injuries.
anne lyle

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Genetic counselling

Many patients will meet with a genetic counsellor during their first or second clinic visit. The genetic counsellor will take a detailed family history in order to identify memory or other health concerns that might be running in the family. The genetic counsellor can provide information about the genetics of memory disorders, recurrence risks for relatives, and genetic testing.

Genetic counselling is available to all Clinic patients (and their family members) upon request.

EMILY DWOSH

Emily Dwosh completed a Bachelor of Education degree from McGill University and worked briefly as a high school teacher in Montreal before completing her Master's degree in Genetic Counselling at the University of British Columbia. She has worked as a genetic counsellor at the UBC Hospital Clinic for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders (UBCH CARD) since 2001 and has provided information and support to hundreds of families from across BC who are affected by Alzheimer disease (AD) and other memory disorders. Emily has co-authored several peer-reviewed journal articles pertaining to familial AD and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and continues to collaborate with her colleagues at the UBCH-CARD and the UBC Core for Neuroethics on a variety of ongoing research endeavours pertaining to these conditions. Emily continues to enjoy teaching medical and genetic counselling students as a Clinical Instructor with the UBC Department of Medical Genetics, and welcomes opportunities for community education in the fields of dementia and genetics.
colleen guimond


Colleen Guimond is a certified genetic counsellor who received her Master’s Degree in genetic counselling from the University of British Columbia. She has recently returned to the Clinic for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders after providing genetic counselling services for several years to the patients of the UBC Multiple Sclerosis Clinic. Her areas of interest and publications include: epidemiology of complex disorders, reproductive decision-making, pediatric multiple sclerosis and familial Alzheimer disease. She is currently coordinating a Canada-wide study of familial Alzheimer disease. Colleen is a UBC-certified Clinical Instructor and is involved in lecturing, teaching and, supervision for students in the UBC School of Medicine and the UBC Genetic Counselling Training Programme.

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Social Work

As required, a social worker will complete a comprehensive assessment about your daily needs. Based on this assessment, the social worker will help you navigate the health care system by providing connections to community resources and supports specific to your situation. The clinic social worker is also available to help you develop additional strategies for managing a dementia diagnosis.

Social work appointments are scheduled for our patients (and their family members) by team member referral or patient/family request.

AMY FREEMAN
 

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CARD research staff

Study Coordinators

Bryna Arsenault
Bryna Arsenault completed her Bachelor of Science in biology at the University of the Fraser Valley and her Master of Public Health with an epidemiology concentration at the University of Saskatchewan. Bryna has previous experience as a research assistant and joined the Clinic for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders in May 2016 as a research coordinator.
Michele assaly
Mannie Fan
After completing a graduate degree in Neuroscience at UBC, Mannie went on to work in drug discovery and development for several years before deciding she liked working with humans better (than mice and chemicals). She made the switch to clinical research in 2011 and worked at the Centre for Huntington Disease for 3 years. As of March 2015, she brings her dedication and passion for research to the Clinic for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders as a Research Coordinator.
Boris Feldman
colleen guimond


Colleen Guimond is a certified genetic counsellor who received her Master’s Degree in genetic counselling from the University of British Columbia. She has recently returned to the Clinic for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders after providing genetic counselling services for several years to the patients of the UBC Multiple Sclerosis Clinic. Her areas of interest and publications include: epidemiology of complex disorders, reproductive decision-making, pediatric multiple sclerosis and familial Alzheimer disease. She is currently coordinating a Canada-wide study of familial Alzheimer disease. Colleen is a UBC-certified Clinical Instructor and is involved in lecturing, teaching and, supervision for students in the UBC School of Medicine and the UBC Genetic Counselling Training Programme.
Claudia humbert
Tahlee Marian
Benita Mudge
ELOISE NICKLIN
After completing a Psychology BSc at the University of Exeter, UK, Eloise Nicklin went on to study Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience MSc at the University of London, UK. In 2012 Eloise immigrated to British Columbia in search of an outdoor lifestyle and eventually settled in Vancouver in 2013. Since then she has been a research coordinator with the Clinic for Alzheimer and Related Disorders. Currently she is working on a clinical trial for behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, and several observational studies including the Characterization of Mixed Dementia study.
Pheth Sengdy
PENNY SLACK
Penny Slack completed her BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Guelph and her Msc in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UBC. She joined this group in 2009, and is currently coordinating the phase I trial of a nutritional intervention of medium chain triglycerides in Alzheimer disease and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Penny previously coordinated the Clinical Meaningfulness in Alzheimer Disease Treatment (CLIMAT) study as part of the BC Ministry of Health Alzheimer Drug Therapy Initiative, as well as a study looking at the processing of music in patients with Alzheimer disease. She rates on various clinical trials that the group is involved with and was the psychometrist on the Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) study for several years.

Administration

ruby ma


Ruby Ma is program coordinator for Alzheimer and Related Disorders and admin assistant to Dr. Robin Hsiang. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English Language. She joined the Neurology group in 2012. Ruby manages various administrative tasks for Dr. Hsiung’s office, including Dr. Hsiung’s schedule, clinic, and addressing patients’ questions and concerns. She assists with fellows’ applications, educational licenses, and documents for the Cognitive and Behavioural Neurology Fellowship Program. Ruby also assists with research. In addition, she coordinates meetings and events such as the clinic’s weekly education sessions, the recent UBC PWIAS International Roundtable for Music Therapy and Neurological Disorders as well as the UBC Hospital Alzheimer Research Forum.

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Laboratory technician

ALICE FOK
Alice Fok is the laboratory technician for Hsiung/MacKenzie’s research lab. She graduated from UBC in Sciences. She started working in the research laboratory at UBC in Department of Medicine from 1982 to present. She joined the Neurology group in 2008. Her role is to perform and maintain all types of laboratory-related activities such as collecting and processing blood samples to establish a bio-bank from UBCH-CARD & FTD patients. She regularly performs various biomarkers assays such as beta-amyloid, P-Tau and h-Tau. She also routinely extracts DNA from patients’ blood samples to analyze potential risk-factor genes by genotyping.

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