About Dr. Robillard

Dr. Julie Robillard is Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of British Columbia, Scientist in Patient Experience at BC Children's and Women's Hospital and Associate Director of Neuroethics Canada. Dr. Robillard sits on the Board of Directors of the Medical Device Development Centre of British Columbia. She is Vice-chair of the Ethical, Legal, Social Impacts Committee of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, Program Chair of the Executive Committee of the Technology and Dementia Professional Interest Area of the International Society to Advance Alzheimer Disease Research and Treatment, and a Network Investigator of the AGEWELL Network of Centres of Excellence. Dr. Robillard brings her multidisciplinary background in neuroscience and biomedical ethics to the study of issues the intersection of brain health, technology, and patient experience. Her current work focuses on the development of tools for the evaluation of the quality, ethics and experience of brain health technology. She is also investigating the integration of artificial intelligence in technology for older adults with dementia and their caregivers. Dr. Robillard’s research has been published in high impact publications and was featured at national and international conferences including the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Alzheimer Association International Conference (AAIC). Her work has also been featured widely by the press, including coverage by the National Post and the Wall Street Journal, and on CBC Television.

Photo credit: Ron Eichler

Current trainees

Tanya Feng, Medical Student Research Assistant

Tanya's project is aimed at defining the policy landscape for genome sequencing for rare diseases in Canada. Currently, she is a medical student at the University of British Columbia. Along with her work at the Core, she is a volunteer in the Emergency Department at Vancouver General Hospital. Inspired by her volunteer experience, in the future she would like to pursue a career dedicated to improving accessibility to mental health services for everyone. Outside of class, she enjoys running, skiing, and looking for her next great adventure.

Monica Ta, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Monica Ta is currently a student in the Laboratory Sciences Program at the University of British Columbia. She finds happiness in making others happy; thus, along with her intrinsic curiosities and passion for the sciences, she hopes to improve the well-being and health of people through research. She aspires to become a medical researcher, and she thoroughly enjoy scientific writing and communication. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, such as through aerobics and weightlifting, and exploring nature and the city, which are where she finds both blissfulness and relaxation.

Julia Wu, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Julia is fascinated by mental health and behavioural disorders, and she is currently working to complete her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Her research project at the Core aims to improve public health knowledge by evaluating the quality of online health information. Outside of research, she enjoys promoting service and leadership through her involvement with Rotary and supporting students as a peer leader in the UBC community. She can be easily spotted around Vancouver trying new food, hiking in the North Vancouver trails, or studying in a downtown Starbucks.

Katarzina Kabacinska, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kat is currently in her last year of Mind, Language and Computation stream in Cognitive Systems program at the University of British Columbia. She is interested in the ethics of human-computer interactions. In the future she would like to use her Cognitive Systems background to contribute to research in ethics of artificial intelligence, particularly in the field of assistive robotics. In her free time, she enjoys reading and role-playing games.

Annika Ang, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Annika Ang is a third-year Integrated Science student in the process of completing her Masters in Management through UBC’s Dual Degree program. With a fervent interest in business, media and neurodegenerative disorders, Annika is a believer of best understanding an issue by first looking at it through the lenses of different knowledge systems. She hopes to apply this skill as she works on the Core’s research on dementia policy. Outside of class, she has fun doing media for the Red Cross Club, volunteering at the Wellness Centre and singing on stage with UBC’s Musical Theatre Troupe.

Sonali Sharma, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sonali Sharma is intrigued by ethics, neurology and brain health, and is currently in the process of completing her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. Through her research at the Core, she hopes to improve the quality of life and care for patients with dementia. In the future, Sonali aspires to pursue a career in the medical field. Outside of the lab and coursework, Sonali enjoys playing the piano, travelling, and spending time with family and friends.

Stephanie Bourne, Medical Student Research Assistant

Stephanie Bourne is a first year medical student at the University of British Columbia. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Immunology from Dalhousie in 2017. Her project focuses on improving the experience of pediatric surgical patients at BC Children’s Hospital. During her free time, Stephanie loves hiking, travelling, and going on food adventures.

Past trainees

Jen-Ai Lai, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Under the guidance of Dr. Julie Robillard, Jen-Ai assessed how cultural perspectives influence peoples' experiences of cognitive screening for dementia. Currently a medical student at the University of British Columbia, she is passionate about integrating science and social science to improve the efficacy of health care delivery for people from all walks of life. Beyond the classroom, she enjoys spending time with elderly, gardening and volunteering through her non-profit organization, Hope for Happiness.

Arlo Sporn, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Arlo Sporn is currently working on a Bachelor of Philosophy. He is fascinated by the intersection between science and morality, and under the supervision of Dr. Julie Robillard, his research looked into the accessibility of online resources about dementia. Aside from his work at the core, he is a passionate musician who loves playing and listening to music, and an aspiring world explorer.

Emanuel Cabral, Research Assistant

Emanuel Cabral holds a B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from the University of British Columbia and a B.A. in Psychology. He is currently a medical student at the University of Sydney. Emanuel’s interest in ethics grew out of his work in mental health advocacy where he was exposed to the importance of sharing appropriate information about mental illness in an ethical and responsible way. He expanded this interest at the Core by working on projects that examine the impact of neuroscience research on public attitudes and policy. In his spare time, he enjoys soccer, tennis, hiking and snowboarding.

Kiely Landrigan, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kiely Landrigan is working towards his Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences, and has research interests in e-Health, knowledge translation, and science communication. His project focused on evaluating online health information regarding the therapeutic use of food in populations at risk of developing or diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to his work at the Core, Kiely works at the Department of Medicine Research Office and is part of an Oncology Nutrition clinical trial at BC Cancer Agency.