CIP Alumni

Since 2010, the University of Calgary CIP has added these clinician scientists to their Alumni roster. 

Dr. Jamie Benham

Dr. Jamie Benham MD, PhD (defended July 2021) (Chief Resident 2018-2019)

Dr. Benham obtained her Bachelor of Human Kinetics and her medical degree from the University of British Columbia. She has completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Calgary and is completing subspecialty training in Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Dr. Benham completed her PhD in Epidemiology through the Department of Community Health Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Ronald Sigal. Her research focused on the impact of aerobic exercise training on reproductive health and health-related quality-of-life in patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Her research is expected to contribute to the current clinical practice guidelines by providing evidence on non-pharmacologic therapies for the management of PCOS.

Dr. Nicholas Sader

Dr. Nicholas Sader MD, MSc (defended June 2021)

Dr. Sader obtained his BSc and medical degree from the University of Manitoba. He is currently a Neurosurgery resident at the University of Calgary. Dr. Sader completed his MSc in Clinical Epidemiology in the Department of Community Health Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Jay Riva-Cambrin and Dr. Keith Yeates.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a public health concern affecting millions of children in North America annually. In most patients, post concussive symptoms resolve within weeks, however 20-30% of children have symptoms that last for months and negatively impact everyday functioning and quality of life. Dr. Sader’s research addressed the urgent need for a test that can accurately diagnose mild traumatic brain injury and reliably predict recovery in pediatric patients. The study’s results provided insights into how mild TBI affects brain structure and help promote advances in clinical care for children with concussion by facilitating diagnosis and the prediction of recovery.

Dr. Sandeep Muram

Dr. Sandeep Muram MD, MSc (defended June 2021)

Dr. Muram completed his BSc and medical degree from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is currently a neurosurgery resident at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Muram completed his MSc through the Department of Community Health Sciences under the supervision of Drs. Jay Riva-Cambrin and Alim Mitha. Increasingly, cerebral aneurysms, plaque within the carotid artery and other diseases within the field of vascular neurosurgery are being treated with less invasive procedures. Placing a stent within a blood vessel is a commonly used technique to treat these diseases. Dr. Muram’s research assessed the risk of developing a stroke in patients receiving an intracranial stent and determining if this was associated with the patient not responding to the anti-platelet medications. The results of this study may lead to changes in the management of the anti-platelet medications administered to patients who are receiving a stent to reduce the risk of stroke that is associated with stent insertion.

Dr. Stefan Lang

Dr. Stefan Lang MD, PhD (defended June 2020)

Dr. Lang received his BASc in Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuropsychology from the University of Guelph, and his medical degree from the University of Ottawa. He moved to Calgary for a residency in Neurosurgery and completed his PhD in Neuroscience (under the supervision of Dr. Oury Monchi), focusing on neuromodulation and neuroimaging.

Specifically, he examined the neuromodulating effect of transcranial magnetic stimulation on Parkinson's patients with mild cognitive impairment. As well, he examined the clinical effect on cognition, using advanced neuroimaging to study the structural and functional brain changes that may occur as a result of the TMS therapy.

Dr. Daniel You

Dr. Daniel You MD, MSc (defended June 2020)

Dr. You obtained his BSc from Dalhousie University and his medical degree from Queen’s University. He is currently an Orthopaedic Surgery resident at the University of Calgary. Dr. You completed his MSc in the Medical Science Program (MDSC) under the supervision of Dr. Prism Schneider and Dr. Paul Salo.

His research examined blood clot formation in hip fractures, which account for over 60% of orthopaedic hospital admissions. Immobility, surgery, and advanced age increase risk for blood clot formation. Despite preventative measures, the prevalence of serious blood clots in the hip fracture population remains high. Thrombelastography (TEG) is a novel blood test that provides a snapshot of a patient’s ability to make and dissolve clots and may be a valuable tool in evaluating increased clotting risk. His study evaluated how long patients with hip fractures remain at increased risk for blood clots after their surgery. In order to develop preventative measures and treatments, it is essential to identify patients at risk for developing symptomatic blood clots. His goal was to use TEG as a bedside tool to evaluate each patient’s risk for blood clots, in order to ultimately provide individualized blood clot prevention guidelines.

Dr. Alysha Keehn

Dr. Alysha Keehn MD, MSC (defended August 2021)

Dr. Keehn obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the University of Alberta and subsequently worked at the Stollery Children’s Hospital and in cancer research prior to pursing her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She completed her Master's in Health Services Research under the supervision of Dr. May Lynn Quan.

Dr. Keehn’s research focused on quality improvement for young women with Breast Cancer and she hopes to pursue fellowship training in Surgical Oncology in the future.

Dr. Candice Poon

Dr. Candice Poon MD, PhD (defended June 2019) (Chief Resident 2016-2017)

Dr. Poon graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Neuroscience Honors with a Dean's Silver Medal from the University of Alberta and went on to complete a Doctorate of Medicine at the University of Alberta. After acceptance into Neurosurgical residency, Candice became keenly interested in Neuro-Oncology. Under the supervision of Dr. Wee Yong, Dr. Poon studied the interactions between the most deadly form of brain cancer, glioblastoma, and the immune system. Her research focused on developing new treatments for glioblastoma by harnessing the dormant powers of the immune system.

Dr. Poon was awarded the John D Petrie QC Memorial Graduate Scholarship to continue her research into treatments for glioblastoma.

Dr. Michael Yang

Dr. Michael Yang MD, MSc (defended June 2019) (Chief Resident 2019)

Dr. Yang obtained his BSc (Honours) and Master of Biotechnology from the University of Toronto and medical degree from the University of British Columbia. He is currently a neurosurgery resident in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary. 

Dr. Yang obtained his MSc in Clinical Epidemiology in  the Department of Community Health Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Jay Riva-Cambrin and Dr. Steven Casha. His research examined the predictors of poor postoperative pain after spine surgery and the development of predictive scoring system to identify high-risk patients. Given the national opioid crisis, there is a push to reduce the amount of opioid medication prescribed to patients. To achieve this, an understanding of the predictors of poor postoperative pain management will allow personalized treatment regimens to help achieve improved patient outcomes.

Dr. Rebecca Hartley

Dr. Rebecca Hartley MD, MSc (defended June 2019)

Dr. Hartley received her BSc in Kinesiology and Biology, as well as her BEd, from Simon Fraser University, and her medical degree from the University of British Columbia. She is currently a Surgery resident at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Hartley pursued her MSc in Community Health Science under the supervision of Dr. Paul Ronksley. Her research focused on pediatric hand fractures. The goal of Dr. Hartley’s research was to predict which pediatric hand fractures are at risk of permanent disability, to flag these children, and to expedite their care. This research led to a clinical care pathway, a tool that family and emergency care doctors can use to assess any pediatric hand fracture.

Dr. Nathan Zondervan

Dr. Nathan Zondervan MD, MSc (defended July 2021) (Chief Resident 2017-2018)

Dr. Zondervan received his BSc in Integrative Biology from Simon Fraser University and his medical degree from the University of Calgary. He completed his MSc in Community Health Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Kevin McLaughlin.

During his residency Dr. Zondervan discovered that he had a passion for medical education and found that there were few tools to assist residents in the development of their teaching skills. His research looked at improving and standardizing medical student knowledge of surgical principles, through the use of surgical residents as teachers of a prepackaged curriculum.

Dr. Adriena De Visser

Dr. Adriena De Visser MD, MSc (defended Sept. 2018)

Dr. De Visser  pursued her BSc in Neuroscience from the University of Lethbridge and her medical degree from the University of Calgary. She currently is a resident in General Surgery and completed her MSc in Community Health Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Gwendolyn Hollaar.

Dr. De Visser has a passion for global health, medical education and research. Her research project will investigate the ethical challenges faced by medical trainees who are part of global health electives. Looking at three different host countries, she plans to develop a handbook and toolkit to guide ethical engagement.

Dr. Bhavneet Kahlon

Dr. Bhavneet Kahlon MD, MSc (defended May 2018)

Dr. Kahlon completed her Bachelors of Science degree in Biology, with a minor in anthropology at the University of Calgary. After receiving her medical degree from the University of Calgary, she moved to Saskatoon where she received her specialty training in Internal Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Kahlon returned back to Calgary to complete her subspecialty Adult Nephrology training at the University of Calgary where she also enrolled in the Clinical Investigator Program and Masters of Community Health Sciences, Health Services Research. Dr. Kahlon completed her MSc under the supervision of Dr. Susan Samuel and Dr. Matthew James.

Dr. Kahlon is interested in the process of transitioning care from a paediatric care environment to an adult care environment, and how to improve this process in order to improve health outcomes in this patient population.

Dr. Jacqueline McMillan

Dr. Jacqueline McMillan MD, MSc (defended June 2018)

Dr. McMillan received her medical degree from the University of British Columbia. She moved to Calgary for her residency in Internal Medicine with a specialty in Geriatric Medicine. Dr. McMillan enrolled in the Clinical Investigator Program and completed her MSc in Community Health Sciences under the supervision of Dr. David Hogan and Dr. John Gill.

Dr. McMillan is interested in researching frailty in HIV-infected older adults. This is an issue of increasing importance with this population surviving into older age and having unique health service and housing requirements

Dr. Michael Avery

Dr. Michael Avery MD, MSc (defended June 2017)

Dr. Avery has Bachelor degrees in Zoology (Honours) and General Mathematics from the University of Calgary. He received his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Western Ontario and currently is a 4th year neurosurgical resident at the UofC. He completed the Clinical Investigator Program at the University of Calgary in 2017.

His research in cerebrovascular surgery has important implications for surgical bypass grafts, by attempting to determine whether the seeding of endothelial cells into synthetic materials can be used to mitigate the risk of thrombosis. Dr. Avery’s research was supported by the Denyse Lajoie-Lake Fellowship in Brain Research.

Dr. Kelvin Leung

Dr. Kelvin Leung MD, MSc (defended Dec. 2016)

Dr. Leung completed medical school at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, obtained his specialty training in Internal Medicine at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, and his subspecialty Adult Nephrology at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada. He completed the Clinical Investigator Program at the University of Calgary in 2016.

Dr. Leung's research focused on hemodialysis and hemodialysis physiology. In particular, the use of hemodialysis biofeedback technology on hemodynamic stability.

Dr. Holly Mewhort

Dr. Holly Mewhort MD, PhD (defended June 2016) (Chief Resident 2015-2016)

Dr. Mewhort received her Bachelor of Science with Honours in Physiology and Doctor of Medicine with Special Training in Research from the University of Alberta.  She has returned to residency training in the department of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Calgary after completing her PhD in Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Paul Fedak. Dr. Mewhort completed the Clinical Investigator Program at the University of Calgary in 2016. During her time with CIP, Dr. Mewhort was also chief resident.

Her research was focused on defining the mechanisms by which monocytes influence cardiac fibroblast activation and extracellular matrix remodeling following ischemic injury of the heart and developing novel surgical strategies for treating the damaged myocardium following myocardial infarction to prevent cardiac remodeling and subsequent heart failure.  Dr. Mewhort’s thesis work was supported by an Alberta Innovate Health Solutions Clinician Fellowship Award and funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. 

Dr. Zahra Goodarzi

Dr. Zahra Goodarzi MD, MSc (defended June 2016)

Dr. Goodarzi graduated with honours from the University of Calgary Bachelor of Health Sciences program in the Faculty of Medicine. During this time she worked with Dr. Kubes where she first saw the role of translational research with clinical practice. She attended medical school and subsequently Internal Medicine Residency at the UofC, during which she won a clerkship teaching award. Dr. Goodarzi completed the Clinical Investigator Program at the University of Calgary in 2016. During her time with CIP, Dr. Goodarzi was also chief resident.  

Dr. Goodarzi’s research examines those with Dementia or Parkinson’s disease with comorbid mood disorders. She aims to understand the current care provided to these patients from their perspective as well as the health care practitioners. Dr. Goodarzi’s research has been presented at multiple national and international conferences, for which she won best poster on two occasions. To conduct this research she received two grants including the Department of Medicine Research Development Award and the AIHS KTA Grant. Her research was also supported by the CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship Master’s Award, the Western Regional Training Centre Affiliate award and an AIHS Clinician Fellowship award. Dr. Goodarzi has won multiple conference awards for her work and was awarded the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation Resident Research Award.

Dr. Petra Grendarova

Dr. Petra Grendarova MD, MSc (defended Jan. 2016)

Dr. Grendarova completed her medical degree with honours at the Comenius University in Slovakia in 2004 and moved to Canada in 2006. She was a radiation oncology resident when she enrolled in the Clinician Investigator Program at the University of Calgary. She pursued her Master's Degree in Health Services Research in the Department of Community Health Sciences and completed the Clinical Investigator Program at the University of Calgary in 2016.

Her thesis topic was Perspectives of Advanced Cancer Patients on Currently Available Decision Support Aid Video on Goals of Care. Dr. Grendarova’s research interests include palliative medicine and radiotherapy, breast cancer and gastrointestinal tumours radiotherapy, stereotactic surgery, stereotactic body radiation therapy, health services research and humanities in medicine.

Dr. Kara Murias

Dr. Kara Murias MD, PhD (defended Nov. 2015)

Dr. Murias received an MSc in Neurosciences and a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Calgary and completed the Clinical Investigator Program at the University of Calgary in 2015. Her PhD candidacy was in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Calgary. After completing her project investigating spatial orientation skills in children after perinatal stroke, she returned to complete her pediatric neurology residency at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Murias’ ongoing research interests include how neurological disease affects the development of cognitive abilities in children, and how we can use neuroimaging methods to investigate plasticity in the developing brain. Her research was supported by a Clinician Fellowship award from Alberta Innovates – Health Services.

Dr. Derek Roberts

Dr. Derek Roberts MD, PhD (defended April 2015) (Chief Resident 2014-2015)

Dr. Derek Roberts received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and a Doctor of Medicine with Distinction from Dalhousie University in 2005 and 2009, respectively. He subsequently completed two years of residency training in the Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery at the University of Calgary before joining the Clinician Investigator and Surgeon Scientist Programs at the same institution. Derek was a PhD (Epidemiology) Candidate in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary and the Chief Resident in the Clinician Investigator Program. Dr. Roberts completed the Clinical Investigator Program at the University of Calgary in 2015. He was also enrolled in a Knowledge Translation (KT) Canada Strategic Training in Health Research Graduate Training Program.

Dr. Roberts’ research aims to create appropriate, evidence-informed indications for use of an emergent trauma surgical paradigm while simultaneously demonstrating use of an integrated knowledge translation intervention that includes collaboration between surgical practice/opinion leaders and researchers. Dr. Roberts’ thesis work was supported by an Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions Clinician Fellowship Award, a KT Canada Strategic Training in Health Research Award, a KT Canada Student Research Stipend, and funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. 

Dr. Joey Grochmal

Dr. Joey Grochmal MD, PhD (defended June 2015)

Dr. Grochmal completed the Clinical Investigator Program at the University of Calgary in 2015. Dr. Grochmal is interested in the regeneration of the peripheral and central nervous system.  In particular, his focus was on the use of stem cells for the augmentation of peripheral nerve repair in various injury scenarios.  Future directions include involvement in translational research opportunities, in his capacity as a Neurosurgery resident, and one day as a clinician scientist. 

Dr. Sarah Lai

Dr. Sarah Lai MD, MSc (defended June 2014)

Dr. Lai completed her medical school training at the University of Alberta in 2007. She went on to pursue a residency in General Surgery at the University of Alberta, and was successful in obtaining her certification as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in 2012.  Dr. Lai was enrolled at the University of Calgary as a Master’s student in the Gastrointestinal Sciences Program and as a resident in the Clinician Investigator and Pediatric Surgery Programs. Dr. Lai completed the Clinical Investigator Program at the University of Calgary in 2014. Her research interests include Glucagon-like Peptide 2 and intestinal adaptation in short bowel syndrome, appendicitis, isolated intestinal perforations and other pediatric surgery topics.

Dr. Lai is currently a practicing Pediatric Surgeon in Colorado.

Dr. Munier Nour

Dr. Munier Nour MD, MSc (defended June 2013)

Dr. Nour completed his Medical Degree at the University of Calgary. His General Pediatric residency training was through Queen’s University in 2011 and Pediatric Endocrinology fellowship training through the University of Calgary in 2012. He was a Clinician Investigator Program Resident (completed in 2013) and Pediatric Endocrinology Research Fellow at the University of Calgary.  His research used High Resolution Peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (HR-pQCT) to assess in vivo bone microarchitecture to assess the effects of growth hormone on bone microarchitecture in Turner Syndrome.

Dr. Nour is now on Faculty in the department of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Yarrow McConnell

Dr. Yarrow McConnell MD, MSc (defended Sept. 2012)

Dr. McConnell completed her BSc (Honours) from the University of Guelph, and graduated from medical school at Dalhousie University. While working on her Surgical Oncology residency at the University of Calgary, she joined the CIP to pursue a MSc focusing on clinical metabolomics for biomarker discovery in pancreatic cancer.

Dr. McConnell is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of British Columbia, a Consulting Surgeon at the BC Cancer Agency, and a Surgical Oncologist and General Surgeon at Vancouver Coastal Health. Her clinical focus is the treatment of peritoneal and other advanced abdominal cancers, including those arising from the appendix, colon, rectum, stomach and small bowel.

Dr. Billie-Jean Martin MD, PhD (defended May 2012)

Dr. Martin graduated from medical school at the University of Alberta and started her residency in Cardiac Surgery at Dalhousie University. Dr. Martin moved to the University of Calgary and joined the CIP to pursue a PhD to better understand the relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease, with Drs. Todd Anderson and Bill Ghali from the Libin Cardiovascular Institute.

Dr. Martin's particular areas of interest have been assessing changes in the vasculature associated with excess weight, as well as how excess weight impacts quality of life in patients with coronary artery disease. Dr. Martin’s work has been supported by a Clinical Fellowship Award from Alberta Innovates, as well as a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She has won awards at the local and national level, including the L. Brent Mitchell Clinical Fellowship, the Department of Surgery Clinical Research Awards (twice), the Dr. Monica Scarabello Travelling Fellowship, the CSCI Clinical Research Award, and the Paul Cartier Cardiac Surgery Research Award from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Dr. Martin currently practices Cardiothoracic Surgery in Oregon.

Dr. Aylin Reid

Dr. Aylin Reid MD, PhD - UofC CIP's first graduate! (defended June 2010)

Now Assistant Professor at UHN-Toronto Western Hospital, Dr. Reid is continuing her work on experimental models of post-traumatic epilepsy to further address questions about epileptogenesis and to investigate potential protective strategies.

"The CIP has been invaluable in preparing me for the unique challenges I will face as a clinician scientist.  It has allowed me to pursue research training while continuing to have residency status and salary, which has been a huge benefit.  I’ve learned from and had access to clinician scientists and mentors that I might not otherwise have met.  Now that I’ve graduated, I have two years of neurology residency to finish before pursuing a clinical and basic science fellowship subspecializing in epilepsy.  I definitely plan to pursue a career as a clinician scientist with a basic science epilepsy lab and a clinical epilepsy practice. I am very proud to be the first graduate of the CIP, and encouraged by the amount of interest medical students express in combining research with their clinical interests!"