Our lab represents a collaborative team of unique individuals who support and respect others and their work.
BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute
Robinson Lab, Rm 2071
950 West 28th Avenue
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. (Corner of 28th and Oak Street.) Click map to enlarge.
Current staff and trainees (2023)
|Wendy Robinson PhD. (PI)
Wendy completed her PhD. in Population Genetics at U.C. Berkeley and a post-doctoral fellowship in Zurich, Switzerland. She enjoys dark chocolate, walking/running, and being outdoors! If she could go back in time, she would like to explore the forests and mountains of western North America from 200 years ago. If she could have a superpower, it would be the ability to bring calm to others.
E-Mail: Wendy P. Robinson
|Maria Peñaherrera (PhD. 2003- Lab and Project Manager)
Maria 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. Her ideal superpower would be to have the ability to heal people.
E-Mail: Maria Peñaherrera
|Amy Inkster (PhD Candidate, Medical Genetics)
Amy is a PhD student studying sex differences in placentation and development, with a special interest in X chromosome inactivation and how male and female placentas differ even in healthy, low-risk pregnancies. Amy received her BSc in Chemistry from the University of Calgary in 2016, and despite thinking she could never learn to code, is loving her time in the Robinson lab analyzing “big” data and is officially a convert; the more data the better. When not thinking about placentas, Amy loves most forms of working out or exploring the great outdoors, and is a fan of really good coffee. If Amy could visit any time or place in history, she would go back to the origin of life to understand how it happened (metabolism-first? RNA world? something else entirely…?).
E-Mail: Amy Inkster
|Nikita Telkar (PhD Candidate, Medical Genetics)
Nikita (co-supervised by Dr. Wan Lam and Dr. Wendy Robinson) is interested in how genetics varies across the stages of human development, and is affected by ancestry. She is working on making a catalogue of small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) in the human placenta. She loves making colourful plots in R, and that moment of accomplishment when the code that is executed works. She earned her BSc in Biomedical Genetics (2017) from Newcastle University, and her MSc in Genetics of Human Disease (2018) from University College London (UCL). When not in front of the computer, she enjoys reading, photography, expanding her repertoire of cooking recipes and music taste, and drinking Italian Roast coffee. If she could have a superpower it would be telekinesis, and would want to time-travel back to Ancient Greece.
E-Mail: Nikita Telkar
|Icíar Fernández (PhD Candidate, Genome Sciences & Technology)
Icíar is a graduate student studying sex-influenced DNA methylation and gene expression patterns in placentas complicated by pre-eclampsia, a maternal hypertensive disorder. From early gestation, male and female babies develop differently – what she didn’t know before joining the Robinson lab is that the human placenta has a sex too, which plays a huge role in how it responds to its environment! She received her BSc. in Biomedical Science from the University of Kent in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys doing yoga, running, reading, and indulging in her love of cheese. If she could time-travel, she would go to a Fleetwood Mac concert in the 70s.
E-Mail: Icíar Fernández
|Li Qing Wang (MD/PhD student Reproduction& Developmental Sciences)
Li Qing is medical student at UBC, where she previously earned an honours degree in Cellular, Anatomical and Physiological Sciences. She has worked with us on and off since 2016 studying both preeclampsia and chorioamnionitis. 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.
E-Mail: LiQing Wang
|Jiyoung Han (PhD Candidate, Genome Sciences & Technology)
Jiyoung is a PhD candidate studying placental epigenomes including DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications associated with the sex and cell origin. She is also interested in cross-talk between DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications in the placenta. She received her BSc in Life Science in 2018 at the University of Seoul. In her free time, she enjoys taking photographs of city streets and buildings and editing them. If she can have a superpower, she would want a power that decomposes any garbage immediately.
E-Mail: Jiyoung Han
|Ella Beraldo (MSc Student, Genome Sciences & Technology)
Ella is graduate student at UBC interested in studying how in utero exposures, such as maternal stress, can influence placental DNA methylation. Placental epigenetic variation is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors and can impact placental function, which thereby can affect health outcomes for both mother and baby. Coming from an entirely wet-lab background, if you told her before joining the Robinson Lab she would be loving creating and running her own code she wouldn’t have believed you! Before moving to Vancouver, she received her Honours BSc. in Biology from McMaster University in 2021. In her free time, she is enjoying the BC beaches, hiking and skiing, as well as reading and painting. If she could have any superpower, she would choose the ability to fly (both for coolness and no-traffic-commute factors) and would want to time travel back to Ancient Egypt to see the pyramids be built.
E-Mail: Ella Beraldo
|Evie Au (Lab Technician)
Evie earned her BSc in Combined Major in Science from UBC. Her diverse laboratory experiences range from studying cherry fruit genomes to detecting chromosomal abnormalities in pregnancy using cffDNA, ultimately leading her to the Robinson lab where she continues to pursue her passion for clinical genetics. When not hands deep in a placenta, she likes to go outdoors hiking and camping in the mountains surrounding Vancouver or biking around the city eating all the food and petting all the animals. If she can have a superpower, she’d like to be able to fly granting her the freedom to travel the world without transportation constraints.?
E-Mail: Evie Au
- Ruby Jiang MSc. (Lab Technician)
- Kristal Louie MSc. GC (Research Coordinator)
- Kirsten Hogg PhD. (PDF)
- Joanna Mendell (Research Coordinator)
- John Blair (MSc.) 2013
- Courtney Hanna (PhD.) 2013
- Gina Teodosio (Lab Assistant)
- Dan Diego Alvarez (PDF) 2011
- Ryan Yuen (PhD.) 2011
- Danielle Bourque (MSc.) 2010
- Luana Avila (BSc.)
- Jennifer Sloan (Research Coordinator)
- Karla Bretherick (PhD.) 2008
- Sara Harbord (MSc.) 2007
- Paul Yong (M.D./PhD.) 2006
- Jane Gair (PhD.) 2005
- Lauren Currie (Directed studies student) 2005
- Maria Peñaherrera (PhD.) 2003
- Cathy Anderson (PDF) Ph.D. 2002
- Christy Beever (MSc.) 2002
- Michael Wang (MSc.) 1999
- Helene Bruyere (PDF) 1998-99