Brooks-Wilson Laboratory Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency


Members of the Brooks-Wilson Lab

Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson

Head, Cancer Genetics, Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Research Centre
Professor, Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University
Professor, Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia
Member, Cancer Control Research Unit, BC Cancer Agency

BSc. Biochemistry (Co-op), Simon Fraser University,
MSc. Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto,
PhD. Genetics, University of British Columbia


Stephen Leach

Born and raised in Calgary, AB. (Giddy Up!)
Headed out to the West Coast for University in Victoria (BSc. Biochemistry)
Worked for several years (1995-2000) at the University of Calgary performing research with the Department of Medicine.
Moved back out to the West Coast in 2001 for an opportunity with the Genome Sciences Centre in the Mapping Group.
Joined the Brooks-Wilson laboratory at the GSC in 2002.

Outside work I spend most/all of my time with my passion for mountain biking.

Lauren Tindale, PhD. student

BSc. (Hons) Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University, 2012
PhD. Candidate Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University

Research Interests:
I study the genetics of healthy aging. Using a cohort of Super-Seniors, aged over 85 and never diagnosed with any major diseases, I am looking for genetic factors that have contributed to their exceptional health and longevity. My project involves using RNA-Seq data from centenarians and mid-life controls to look at allele specific expression in common disease SNPs.


Sam Jones, PhD. student

PhD. Candidate Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia

Research Interests:
Diverse types of lympoid cancers cluster in families.

Undergraduate Students

Past Members

Graduate Students


Undergraduate Students

Rozmin Janoo-Gilani

BSc. Biochemistry and Chemistry (Hons) , University of Nairobi
MSc. Biochemistry, University of Nairobi

I am part of the Cancer Control Research (CCR) Department of the BCCA. Scientists from the CCR Department collaborate with the Brooks-Wilson laboratory in various studies. These include studies of prostate, breast and ovarian cancers as well as melanoma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. I am currently looking at gene-environment interactions in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Dr. Karla Bretherick, Postdoctoral Fellow

BSc. Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology, University of Calgary, 2000
PhD. Medical Genetics, Univerisity of British Columbia, 2008
Postdoctoral Fellow: Genome Sciences Centre, Vancouver

Research Interests:
I am primarily interested in how common genetic variants increase risk for complex disease. My past experience includes linkage and association studies on Type 1 Diabetes (BSc.) and Premature ovarian failure (PhD.). My current project is to investigate the functional affect of a common polymorphism in the H2AX gene promoter region that is associated with increased risk for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Dr. Madalene Earp (completed PhD.)

BSc. Molecular Biology and Genetics, Minor in Statistics, University of Guelph
PhD. Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia

Research Interests:
My doctoral work focused on optimizing and applying a common statistical technique to discover genes that influence a diverse range of human diseases and traits. The common statistical technique was a genome wide association study (GWAS) using DNA pooling. Ovarian cancer, age of natural menopause, auto immune thyroid disease, aortic valve stenosis, and a healthy aging phenotype were studied.

Maziar Rahmani, MD., PhD.

MD. (1988-1996): Babol University School of Medicine, Babol, Iran
Research Fellow (1997-2000): Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
PhD. (2000-2007): James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Postdoctoral Fellow (2007 - present): Genome Sciences Centre, Vancouver, Canada
Recipient of Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada/Pfizer Research Fellowship (2007-2009) and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Fellowship (2008-2011)

Research Interests:

Dan Fornika (completed MSc.)

BSc. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University
MSc. Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia

Research Interests: I am currently working on a study of mitochondrial genome variation in healthy aging. We will be looking for genetic markers of healthy aging by studying "Super-Seniors." These are people who have reached the age of 85 years while maintaining good health and resisting common age-related disease. We know that part of their success can be attributed to their genetics, and my hypothesis is that some of these genetic factors reside on the mitochondrial genome.

Amy English

Born and raised in a small town outside of London, Ontario, I remain a small town girl at heart. From the moment my Grade 10 science teacher mentioned genetics, I knew I had to pursue a career in the up and coming field, and so I moved to London and obtained an Honours BSc in Genetics from the University of Western Ontario.

I continued to pursue my career by attending the MSc program for genetic counselling at the University of Toronto. Following graduation, I lived in Toronto (don't hold it against me!) for five years, while performing genetic counselling and research work in cancer genetics with Cancer Care Ontario.

After jumping at the opportunity to move to the beautiful city of Vancouver in November of 2005, I happily find myself working in the field of cancer research once again, this time with the BC Cancer Agency. As a genetic field worker in the Brooks-Wilson Lab, I get to combine my love for research and genetics with my love for working with people.

Outside of work, I enjoy snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, camping, playing ultimate Frisbee, and spending time with my chocolate lab: Huxley!

Dr. Julius Halaschek-Wiener, Postdoctoral Fellow

MSc. Molecular Genetics, University of Vienna, Austria
PhD. (1998 - 2002) Molecular Oncology, University of Vienna, Austria
Postdoctoral Fellow: Genome Sciences Centre, Vancouver
Recipient of Erwin-Schroedinger Fellowship of the Austrian Science Fund (2004-2006)

Research Interests: How do genetic variations predispose to health or disease? To answer this question we investigate whether certain genetic variants (SNPs, insertions, deletions) in selected candidate genes are associated with a healthy aging phenotype. Additional research interests include gene-environment interactions.

Trevor Pugh (Dr. Marco Marra Lab)

BSc. (Hons, Co-op) Combined Biochemistry & Chemistry, Minor in Commerce, University of British Columbia
PhD. Candidate Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia

Research Interests:
Lung cancer genomics, genetic basis for response to gene-targeted therapies, whole genome amplification, working with limited clinical samples, DNA sequencing technologies, robotics & automation