About Us

Contact Us

BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute
Robinson Lab, Rm 2071
950 West 28th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5Z 4H4


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Location and Affiliation

Our lab is part of the Department of Medical Genetics at The University of British Columbia.

We are located in the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute at the Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia. Our facility is located centrally in Vancouver at the corner of 28th and Oak Street.

Our Lab

Wendy Robinson PhD. (PI): 
Wendy completed her PhD. in Population Genetics at U.C. Berkeley. She did a post-doc in Zurich, Switzerland with Prof. Albert Schinzel who taught her to appreciate clinical cytogenetics. She is currently a professor in the Dept. of Medical Genetics and the Assistant Dean of Graduate and Post-doctoral Education. She is the proud mother of two adorable boys and is very appreciative of all the students/staff that do all the work!  Profile on ResearchGate E-Mail: Wendy P. Robinson
Maria Peñaherrera (PhD. 2003- Lab and Project Manager)
 Mlost photoaria completed her PhD in Medical Genetics at UBC in 2003  in this very lab studying X chromosome inactivation in human placenta. She is originally from Quito, Ecuador, and returned there after her degree where she set up the country’s most modern forensic and paternity genetics lab for the Ecuadorian Red Cross. However, she missed us too much and had to come back! She has a special interest in understanding the developmental origin of different tissues, as well as genomic imprinting in the human placenta. Maria coordinates all research projects and lab collaborations, as well as protocol standardization and training of students and staff. E-Mail: Maria Peñaherrera
Johanna Schuetz PhD. (Research Coordinator 2015-2016/ NIH Project Data Manager 2018)Johanna Schuetz Lab website 2018

Johanna received her BSc (First class Honours) from Simon Fraser University in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and there her Honour’s project consisted of (attempting to) crystallize a membrane protein. In 2012 she finished her PhD in Medical Genetics from UBC in the Brooks-Wilson lab, studying genetic susceptibility to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She loves chatting over a good cup of tea about science outreach, genetics, and new points of view. Outside the lab, she likes reading graphic novels, looking for “treasures” at the beach and collecting assorted kitchen gadgets. Email: (DataManager_NIH) placentomics@bcchr.ca; Email: Johanna Schuetz

Chaini Konwar MSc.2 (PhD. Candidate)Chaini Konwar Lab Website 2018Chaini is a Doctoral student in the Robinson Lab. She is studying epigenetic, genetic, and transcriptomic changes associated with inflammation of the placenta and associated membranes, known as chorioamnionitis (CA). She did her first MSc. in Medical Biotechnology in India and pursued her second MSc. in Animal Genetics from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia. Apart from working in lab, she enjoys travelling, exploring new places and experiencing new cultures. She shares a deep passion for food – both cooking and eating. She also has a keen interest in teaching and has been an active participant in many instructional and teaching workshops. E-Mail:Chaini Konwar
Giulia Del Gobbo (PhD. Candidate)
Giulia Del Gobbo Lab website 2018Giulia is a graduate student in the Robinson lab studying the associations between genetic variants and risks for pregnancy complications and congenital defects, as well as the association between candidate variants and changes in DNA methylation in the placenta. She received her BSc. Honours degree in Biology from Queen’s University in 2015. Outside of the lab, Giulia enjoys hiking, running, and indulging in her love of food and a good cup of coffee or tea!    E-Mail: Giulia Del Gobbo
Victor Yuan (MSc. Candidate)
Victor Yuan Lab WebsiteVictor is a GSAT master’s student with a BSc. in Honours Cell and Molecular Biology from Concordia University, Montreal. He is currently looking into ways to tease out cell type –specific signals in placental DNA methylation data. Victor is dedicated to acquiring a multidisciplinary education by learning math/stats through courses at UBC. In his spare time, Victor likes to go rock climbing at the Hive! Email:Victor Yuan
  Li Qing Wang (Summer Student 2017/volunteer 2016-to date):
LiQingLab website 2018Li Qing is an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia and is working towards an honours degree in Cellular, Anatomical and Physiological Sciences. She volunteered at the Robinson Lab during the summer of 2016 and began working with us in June 2017 on a summer studentship. Under the supervision of our graduate students , she has worked on both preeclampsia and chorioamnionitis related projects.  Li Qing enjoys being immersed in genetics research and is interested in studying congenital defects in the future. In her free time, she plays the piano and has performed at Carnegie Hall and at the Ehrbarsaal at the Prayner Conservatory in Vienna . Email: Li Qing Wang
Desmond Hui BSc. (Lab Technician)
Desmond Hui Lab WebsiteDesmond earned his undergraduate degree in Microbiology & Immunology from UBC. Following graduation he worked in prostate cancer research for a year to gain more laboratory exposure. Interested in the similarities between cancer biology and placenta biology, he decided to further enhance his learning experience by working in the Robinson Lab. Outside the lab Desmond volunteers for UBC’s Let’s Talk Science, BC Crisis Centre, and Special Olympics of BC. During his free time, he enjoys hiking, swimming, badminton, and kicking back at home with a good book. Email: Desmond Hui
 Amy Inkster (Medical Genetics Graduate Student-Rotation )
Amy_winter1617Amy is a graduate student in the Robinson lab studying sex specific differences in development. She received her BSc. in Chemistry from the University of Calgary in 2016. In her spare time, Amy enjoys yoga, skiing, and indulging her love of coffee. Email: Amy Inkster


Sam Wilson (PhD. 2017)
Sam Wilson Lab WebsiteSam was a PhD.  student in the Robinson lab studying the DNA methylation profiles  of placentas from pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia (a maternal hypertensive disorder) and intrauterine growth restriction (poor fetal growth);  with a particular interest in identifying novel biomarkers capable of detecting women at high risk of these complications. She completed her BSc. Honours Specialization in Genetics from the University of Western Ontario (and refuses to call it Western University). While not in the lab, Sam enjoys hiking, playing soccer, and cooking yummy things.  E-Mail:Samantha Wilson


Magda Price (PhD. 2016/PDF-Data Manager 2017):
Magda Price Lab WebsiteMagda completed her PhD in the Robinson Lab (2016) studying changes in DNA Methylation in congenital diseases that affect the spinal cord. As a Post-Doc, Magda moved on to examining placental small non-coding RNAs across gestation, which are important regulators of gene expression. She has developed an interest in the processing and analysis of “big data” and founded a working group at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute to foster collaboration amongst big data scientists. She used this experience in her position as Data Manager for Wendy’s NIH-funded study “Placent’omics”. Since moving to BC, Magda has really taken to the West Coast lifestyle – she bikes to work every day, enjoys hiking, climbing and backcountry skiing. If you ask, she’ll even teach you how to juggle. E-Mail: Madga Price
Irina  Manokhina MD/PhD. (Post doctoral)
Irina Manokhina MD PhD. (Post doctoral): Irina graduated from the Moscow Medical Academy in 2003 as a Doctor of Medicine and then in 2009 received her PhD. in Genetics from the Research Institute for Medical Genetics (Russia). She was awarded the CFRI- Mining for Miracles Postdoctoral Fellowship. She developed approaches to non-invasive prenatal diagnostics with cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma. Irina is an avid photographer, an accomplished painter/artist and enjoys winter sports, gardening and travelling. E-Mail: Irina Manokhina
Olivia De Goede (MSc. 2016)
Olivia de Goede (BSc.): Olivia is a master’s student who received her BSc. Honours in Biology from the University of Victoria in 2013.  She is studied the DNA methylation profiles of immune cells in cord blood and their relationship to neonatal immunity. In her spare time, Olivia was a goalie for the UBC soccer team!   E-Mail:Olivia De Goede
Ruby Jiang MSc. (Lab Technician)

Rlost photouby earned her undergraduate degree in Biology in Tianjin, China. Ruby Moved to Canada in 1999 and  worked in the lab from 2000-2016. Ruby was known as our “lab guru”.  E-Mail:Ruby Jiang 

Kristal Louie MSc. GC  (Research Co-ordinator)



Kirsten Hogg PhD. (Post doctoral)



Joanna Mendell (Research Co-ordinator)



John Blair (MSc.) 2013

E-Mail: John Blair



Courtney Hanna (PhD.) 2013



Gina Teodosio (Lab Assistant)





Dan Diego Alvarez (Post-Doc) 2011

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Ryan Yuen (PhD) 2011

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Danielle Bourque (MSc) 2010

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Luana Avila (BSc)

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Jennifer Sloan (Research co-ordinator)

Karla Bretherick (PhD) 2008

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Sara Harbord (MSc) 2007

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Paul Yong (M.D./PhD) 2006

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Jane Gair (PhD) 2005

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Lauren Currie (Directed studies student) 2005

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Maria Peñaherrera (Ph.D.) 2003

Cathy Anderson (Post-doc) Ph.D. 2002

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Christy Beever (MSc.)  2002

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Michael Wang (MSc.)  1999

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Helene Bruyere (PDF 1998-99)

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Prior lab photos


Lost photo                                2012


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