Susan Hooper is the Executive Assistant to Dr. Sriram Subramaniam. Over 20 years, Susan has held the role of executive assistant, working in a variety of industries including finance, mining, nuclear power, architecture, IT and healthcare.

“In my position, no job is too big or too small, and so I have had the chance to incorporate a variety of skillsets depending on my environment. I have enjoyed working in sales, investor and public relations, event planning, team building and project management, in addition to office and executive administration,” says Susan. “I believe you learn best from the people you surround yourself with, and so consider myself fortunate to have had the pleasure of working with bright and innovative individuals trying to make a difference.  After spending almost a decade in Toronto, I came back to Vancouver aiming to spend my time working in an environment focused on helping people not only within the work environment, but outside of it as well – something more meaningful than previous placements.  Since my start date three years ago in the Subramaniam Lab, I feel I have found that setting.”


Tell us about your role as the Executive Assistant to Dr. Subramaniam.

My position entails taking care of all administrative functions for both Dr. Subramaniam and the Subramaniam lab office, in addition to being a conduit to other university departments and faculties both domestically and internationally.  Any assistance I can provide that can help to alleviate the small and sometimes tedious details in his workload, I will take on.  I also ensure that the members of our lab team are supported, in addition to being the buyer for all research supplies.  In that sense, I foster and maintain solid relationships with our vendors and see to it that our lab is perpetually stocked with requested inventory so that our scientists are set and ready to go.


What excites you most about your job?

The people!  We have an incredible team of individuals who make up our lab family.  I am continuously impressed at their intellect, drive, work ethic and focus in chasing discoveries or working creatively together towards a goal.  It invigorates and inspires me and is a reminder that great things can be achieved with passion and collaboration.

Sue is an indispensable member of our team and anchors all of our administrative activities. She is ever-ready to provide assistance where it is needed with an infectious can-do attitude!

Dr. Sriram Subramaniam, Professor

What do you enjoy when you are not working?

I enjoy spending time with my partner and family, spending time in nature, helping others, working with children with learning disabilities, being active and exploring our beautiful planet.



What is your favourite quote and why?

“At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, but how you made them feel.” 
Maya Angelou

People are programmed for human connection and I believe every heart can be touched by the unspoken word or unacted gesture.  The feeling of being loved, accepted, included, acknowledged and understood has the power to leave a profound imprint on someone and their life.


This profile was originally published on the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology’s website.