Graduate & Postdoctoral Education (GPE) Office Staff

Dr. Miriam Spering is an associate professor in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences. She previously served as director of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, where she carried out initiatives to promote students’ wellbeing and lived experience, as well as curriculum evaluation and renewal to continue student access to world-class graduate education. Her passion lies in graduate mentorship, and her success in supervising and supporting students has been recognized with the 2021 Mentorship Award by Women in Cognitive Science Canada. As Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, Dr. Spering works closely with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, managing graduate and postdoctoral education programs within the Faculty of Medicine. She plays a key role in developing UBC’s academic health vision in graduate and postdoctoral education across the province, ensuring that graduate and postdoctoral education activities align with the Faculty’s and UBC’s strategic priorities and plans.
Dr. Yan Gao is the Education & Advancement Coordinator at the Graduate & Postdoctoral Education Office. She manages educational projects and initiatives in the office. Her current portfolio includes graduate program review, the Advancing Renewal Project, FoM curriculum change, and the Responsible Conduct of Research course. Yan completed her PhD in Educational Studies at the University of Victoria and joined the GPE office in August 2021.
Asmae El Bouhali is our Embedded Counsellor dedicated to the clinical care and support of our graduate students. Asmae is a Clinical Counsellor with membership with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She holds graduate degrees in Counselling Psychology and Human Development from the University of Ottawa and the University of British Columbia. Her undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology and Communication was obtained at the University of Amsterdam.
Asmae offers a collaborative, safe, compassionate therapeutic space in which clients can explore self- awareness, mindfulness, and personal growth. She facilitates change and goal attainment utilizing a trauma informed lens and several theoretical and research-based methodologies, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy.  Asmae also has extensive experience in cross-cultural therapy and is able to offer services in Moroccan-Arabic and Dutch. 
Alisha Lettman is the Graduate and Postdoctoral Wellbeing Support Coordinator. Her role is to promote health and education activities that proactively improve wellbeing for Faculty of Medicine research graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Her portfolio encompasses direct, non-clinical wellbeing support for research trainees and wellbeing-focused consultation with trainees, faculty, and staff. Alisha is an alumni of UBC.
Richa Sharma is the Graduate Student & Postdoctoral Affairs Coordinator for the Graduate & Postdoctoral Education (GPE) Office. Her role is to support GPE Office in strategically planning, designing, developing, and implementing a variety of activities that support Masters and Doctoral students, as well as postdoctoral fellows (PDFs). She is responsible for maintaining and improving the graduate student experience through the organization and coordination of centralized events, awards, policies, and procedures. Richa holds Masters degree from Carnegie Mellon University, USA, and joined the GPE office in October 2021.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Education Office email:

Faculty of Medicine Graduate Program Contacts

Research- based programs

Audiology and Speech Sciences (PhD)
Advisor: Dr. Stefka Marinova-Todd
Program Coordinator: Winnie Wong

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSc, PhD)
Advisor: Dr. Thibault Mayor
Program Coordinator: Doris Metcalf

Biomedical Engineering (MEng, MASc, PhD)
Director: Dr. Karen Cheung​
Program Coordinator: Kelly White

Cell and Developmental Biology (MSc, PhD)
Director: Dr. Calvin Roskelley
Program Coordinator: Cyndi Liu

Experimental Medicine (MSc, PhD)
Director: Dr. Tricia Tang
Senior Program Assistant: Sharon Xu

Interdisciplinary Oncology (MSc, PhD)
Co-Directors: Dr. Kevin Bennewith and Dr. Wan Lam
Program Administrator: Sharon Ruschkowski

MD/PhD Program (MD/PhD)
Director: Dr. Torsten Nielsen
Program Administrator: Naureen Khan​

Medical Genetics (MSc, PhD)
Advisor: Dr. Stefan Taubert
Program Coordinator: Azin Zeinali

Neuroscience (MSc, PhD)
Director: Dr. Catharine Winstanley
Program Coordinator: Emily Palmer

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (MSc, PhD)
Advisor: Dr. Helene Cote
Program Coordinator: Heather Cheadle

Pharmacology and Therapeutics (MSc, PhD)
Director: Dr. Pascal Bernatchez
Program Secretary: Wynne Leung

Population and Public Health (MSc, PhD)
Director: Dr. Susan Cox​
Program Manager: Emily Vangulik

Rehabilitation Sciences (MSc, PhD)
Advisor (MSc, PhD): Dr. Bill Miller
Program Assistant: Cassandra Gilliam

Women+ and Children’s Health Sciences (WACH) (MSc, PhD)
Advisors: Dr. Alex Beristain​ and Dr. Angela Devlin
Program Manager: Natalie Twohey

Course-based programs

Global Surgical Care (MGSc)
Director: Dr. Faizal Haji
Education Manager: Cecilia Gruber

Health Administration (MHA)
Advisor: Dr. Nick Bansback
Program Coordinator:

Health Sciences (MHSc)
Director: Dr. Jason Sutherland
Program Manager: Emily Vangulik

Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (MSc)
Director: Dr. Chris Mcleod
Program Coordinator: Shaine Meghji

Public Health (MPH)
Director: Dr. Paul Kershaw
Program Manager:

Rehabilitation Sciences (MRSc online)
Advisor (MRSc online): Dr. Alex Scott
Program Assistant: Sonia Ben Slimane

Surgery (MSc)
Advisor: Dr. Alice Mui​
Program Coordinator: Valeria Kolesova