Executive Team


Abhinav Ajay Kumar

I am currently pursuing my graduate studies as a PhD Candidate in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. In a nutshell, I am investigating the effects of exposure to maternal HIV antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy on cellular aging in infants. I believe in striking the perfect balance between professional and personal life. And so, aside from academic interests I enjoy the Vancouver summer by hitting Spanish banks for some beach volleyball and also for the weekly cricket leagues. I am also extremely passionate about soccer and swimming.

Vice-President, Finance

Jessica Pilsworth

Hi! My name is Jessica Pilsworth and I am a first year PhD student in Medical Genetics. My current research focuses on developing cellular models to study rare ovarian tumour types. On my spare time, I love playing beach volleyball and softball with my friends as well as hiking on the weekends.

Vice-President, Finance

Cassia Warren

I am a Master’s student working at the BC Cancer Agency. My research involves identifying biomarkers of Vitamin C treatment for Pancreatic Cancer using an organoid model, 3D culture of cells. When I am not in the lab, I enjoy playing volleyball, ultimate frisbee and swimming, deciding where to travel to next, or playing board games.

Vice-President, Communications

Mohammed Farooq

Hello! I’m Farooq, a PhD student of Civil Engineering at UBC. Area of my research is in smart and sustainable infrastructure. More particularly, I am trying to monitor deterioration at bridge foundations due to general, flood-related, and climate change-related actions. Outside of my professional life, I love the mountains, and the highways, and the lakes, and the glaciers, and the wildlife. At iGSN, I manage most communications to and from the council.

Vice-President, Academics

Samantha Jones

Hi! My name is Samantha Jones and I am a fourth year graduate student in Medical Genetics. My area of study focuses on familial lymphoid cancer variant analysis. As part of the iGSN, we are here to provide opportunities to interact with other graduate students of various disciplines. If you have any suggestions of events you would like to see, or want to participate behind the scenes, join us at our committee meetings. I am looking forward to hosting the interdisciplinary events with this amazing team!

Vice-President, Academics

Katerina Maria Othonos

I’m a fourth year PhD candidate in the Graduate program in Neuroscience. My work revolves around understanding how cis-regulatory elements (essentially small pieces of DNA) can control the expression of genes. When I’m not in the lab obsessing over keeping my  cell cultures fat and happy and collecting virgins (fly virgins), I enjoy reading books, singing and arranging flowers (using the Japanese style of Ikebana).

Vice-President, Academics

Courtney van Ballegooie

Hello, I’m a PhD student in IOP working at the BC Cancer Agency. My research is on targeted drug delivery using liposomes and nanoparticles for cancer therapy. During my spare time, I love playing tennis, hiking, playing board games, volunteering, and exploring Vancouver.

Vice-President, Student Services

Maria Zhu

My name is Maria and I am a 2nd year MSc student in Neuroscience. My research project investigates the effects of a non-invasive form of electrical brain stimulation on apathy in people with Parkinson’s disease. When I’m not hermitting in the lab, I am always up for trying new things, whether it be discovering a new hiking trail in beautiful BC, running a half marathon, or eating the most unheard foods in foreign countries.

Vice-President, Student Services

Aarya Chithran

Hi! I am a first year PhD student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program. My research focuses on the roles of guidance cues in the adult nervous system, which means I spend most of my time dissecting and analyzing fruit fly brains. I’m very outdoorsy and I like running, hiking and camping. I also enjoy painting and crafting DIY projects during rainy Vancouver weekends.

Vice-President, Student Services

Lakshana Sreenivasan

I am a third year PhD student in the department of Experimental Medicine. My research is based on understanding the signalling pathways associated with therapeutic resistance in pediatric brain tumors and discover a target to circumvent the drug resistance. When I am not breaking bad in lab, I like to go on long drives and get away from the city over the weekends. I also enjoy spending time at the beaches and hiking along the many trails in and around Vancouver.

Vice-President, Student Services

Sarah Louadi

Hi everybody! I am a second year Master’s student in Experimental Medicine. I am currently investigating the role of microglia in Alzheimer’s disease in the hope of improving our understanding of the role neuro-inflammation plays in neurodegeneration and enhancing potential therapeutics. If I am not in the lab, you will find me painting, salsa dancing, reading fantasy, watching anume or promoting mental health awareness. Wherever your interest lies, I would love to engage in a conversation with you, so don’t hesitate to reach out!