About Us

Lab Team

Current Members

Sarah Bowers

UBC Graduate Student

Sarah Bowers

Sarah studied biochemistry at the University of British Columbia and completed a Bachelor of Science in May of 2020. She joined Dr. Kelly Brown’s lab in 2018 as a junior researcher and her B.Sc. honors thesis in the Brown Lab was focused on evaluating biologic underpinnings of a recently described form of childhood vasculitis. As a trainee in the Brown Lab, Sarah was awarded several undergraduate research stipends from the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine and the Centre for Blood Research. She is currently living in England, studying at the University of Oxford as a member of Linacre College and recipient of a Linacre College Clarendon Canadian National Scholarship. She is reading for a master’s degree in integrated immunology and plans to complete her dissertation work at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, with a focus on vascular damage in adult vasculitis. Sarah looks forward to returning to the University of British Columbia in the Fall of 2021 to pursue doctoral studies with Dr. Brown in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. She enjoys spending time outdoors and still tries to participate in ballet class whenever possible.

Kristen Gibson

UBC Graduate Student

Kristen Gibson

Kristen completed a Bachelor of Science in Genetics (Major) and Immunology (Minor) from Western University in London, Ontario. During the course of her degree she was also a full time track & field athlete and was named an Academic All-Canadian in recognition of her combined academic and athletic excellence. In September 2016, Kristen began doctoral studies in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia. In keeping with her dual interest in genetics and immunology, her thesis research is co-supervised by Dr. Kelly Brown (Rheumatology) and Dr. Colin Ross (Genetics) and aims to elucidate genetic underpinnings and genotype-phenotype relationships in pediatric vasculitis. Kristen is the recipient of a University of British Columbia Four Year Fellowship (4YF) for doctoral candidates. When she is not in the laboratory, Kristen can be found exploring the beautiful nature B.C. has to offer.

Stephanie Hughes

Lab Manager

Stephanie Hughes

Stephanie gained a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology (honours) from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK. Her career path has bridged scientific research, biotech, industrial quality control and laboratory management around the globe. Presently she manages Dr. Brown’s lab to ensure smooth running and facilitating various lab based research. When not in the lab, Stephanie enjoyes the great outdoors and crafting.

Liliana Jimenez Jimenez

UBC Graduate Student

Liliana Jimenez Jimenez

Liliana completed a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at La Salle University in Mexico City, Mexico. She started her graduate studies at the University of British Columbia in January 2020. Her research is focused on evaluating platelet-derived proteins in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) as novel biomarkers in the blood that could identify which children with JIA have the highest risk of developing severe forms of the disease. The research is supported by a Canadian Institutes for Health Research grant and conducted in collaboration with Dr. Hugh Kim at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry. Liliana is the recipient of an international graduate fellowship from the Mexican National Council on Science and Technology (CONACyT) as well as a UBC Centre for Blood Research graduate award. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her friends during sunny days and, as a dog lover, she would like to provide foster care to animals awaiting a permanent home.

Iwona Niemietz

UBC Graduate Student

Iwona Niemietz

Iwona completed a master’s degree in pharmacy at the Medical University of Silesia (Katowice, Poland) and has worked several years as a licensed pharmacist. Having worked with many patients with inflammatory disorders, she was inspired to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Kelly Brown at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute to better understand inflammatory disorders and how best to treat them. Her thesis research investigates neutrophil function in the context of sterile inflammation. Her goal is to improve the understanding of innate immune mechanisms underlying various inflammatory diseases, and to leverage her research findings to identify disease-specific biomarkers of inflammation that can inform clinical practice. For this work, Iwona was awarded the Andrew Nord Fellowship in Rheumatology, a University of British Columbia affiliated fellowship for doctoral candidates conducting research to advance the understanding of rheumatic diseases.

Dr. Martina Sundqvist

Visiting Scientist

Dr. Martina Sundqvist

Martina studied at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, first completing a master’s degree in pharmacology (2009) then a doctorate degree (Ph.D., 2013) in the Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research. Her doctoral thesis focused on neutrophil functions and biomarkers in pediatric (auto)inflammatory conditions. Following her Ph.D., Dr. Sundqvist was employed as a licensed pharmacist in Sweden for two years before returning to research at the University of Gothenburg in collaboration with the biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the Key Laboratory of Child Development and Disorders at Children’s Hospital in Chongqing, China. Since 2019 she has been conducting research in the UBC Department of Pediatrics at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute with the aim of identifying pharmacogenomic predictors of drug sensitivity in children suffering from Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). She plans to return to Sweden to establish her own research laboratory that combines studies on pharmacology and rare diseases. Martina’s research is supported by two awards from Sweden: IF:s stiftelse för Farmacevtisk forskning & Elisabeth & Alfred Ahlqvist stiftelse, and the Region Västra Götaland (VGR) Mobility of Regional Excellence (MoRE) 2020 mobility program co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement.