Women in Research: Nadia Khan

In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, the UBC Faculty of Medicine is celebrating women in research by speaking with some of our leading researchers in cancer, heart and lung, population health, and brain and chronic disease.

Nadia Khan, a UBC Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine, was recently named President of Hypertension Canada. Dr. Khan’s research mainly focuses on cardiovascular disease among specific populations.

We spoke with Dr. Khan about her research interests, what she is working on now and what advice she would offer women wanting to pursue a career in scientific research.

What sparked your interest in cardiovascular research?

Nadia Khan

In medical school, I found it interesting that certain populations tended to develop specific diseases and disease patterns. I wanted to explore what the transition points were for specific people or populations that led to disease. I found vascular disease and its risk factors like hypertension and diabetes interesting, as these processes are so interconnected.

Cardiovascular disease has a tremendous impact – both on a global perspective and also on the individual lives of my patients – and I really want to help in this area.

What are you working on now?

I am leading several studies on how different ethnic and sex groups manage their cardiovascular disease.

I am also leading intervention studies that test different ways of improving the management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in South Asian populations.

What advice would you offer women wanting to pursue a career in scientific research?

As you pursue your research questions, surround yourself with great mentors and remember – persistence is key.

Meet some of our other leading researchers

Marianne Sadar

Marianne Sadar, a UBC Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, recently developed an experimental drug that shrinks advanced prostate cancer tumours in the lab. It is the first drug in the world that targets the “engine” of the tumour that causes the cancer to grow.

We caught-up with Dr. Sadar to learn more about her journey into cancer research, her recent drug discovery and the strengths that she feels women bring to the scientific community.

Joanne Matsubara

Joanne Matsubara, a UBC Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, is examining age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – a chronic disease and major cause of blindness among the elderly.

We spoke with Dr. Matsubara about her journey in research, her current projects and what she hopes to accomplish.

Sheona Mitchell-Foster

Sheona Mitchell-Foster is an Assistant Professor with UBC’s Northern Medical Program based in Prince George, B.C. She is also a practicing obstetrician gynecologist and researcher, who is dedicated to examining cervical cancer prevention and the reproductive health of marginalized and vulnerable populations.

We spoke with Dr. Mitchell-Foster to learn more about what sparked her interest in pursuing a career as a clinician-scientist, her current research projects and what advice she would offer to women wanting to enter the scientific community.

Lynn Raymond

Lynn Raymond is a UBC Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Clinic Director of the Centre for Huntington Disease, and Director of the UBC MD/PhD Program.

We spoke with Dr. Raymond about her interest in neurology, her current research project and the benefits of pursuing a career in scientific research.