Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute Investigator Awards.

Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) facilitates clinician-scientists in their efforts to make new discoveries to improve the health and well-being of patients across their lifespan. The Investigator Awards provide salary support to leading health research investigators in order to help expand their capacity for innovation-driven research that can lead to new health care knowledge.

The 2023 VCHRI Investigator Awards recipients are:

Congratulations to our graduate student Kiarah O’Kane for winning UBC’s Three Minute Thesis Competition!

Kiarah O’Kane (she/they), a clinical psychology graduate student at UBC, earned a top spot in UBC’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.

Hosted by UBC’s graduate and postdoctoral studies, graduate students present complex research ideas on one slide in three minutes at UBC’s 3MT competition.

Kiarah presented their thesis Do you mythunderstand me? Sexuality myths and sexual outcomes. This research explores the role of sexuality misinformation and its impact on beliefs and sexual well-being.

Kiarah is co-supervised by Dr. Samantha Dawson, assistant professor in UBC’s department of psychology and Dr. Katrina Bouchard, assistant professor in UBC’s department of obstetrics and gynecology.

For more information, please visit:

Congratulations to Drs. Bouchard, Atlas, and Dehaeck on receiving a WHRI Catalyst Grant! 

The Women’s Health Research Institute, in partnership with the BC Women’s Health Foundation, awarded six Catalyst Grants for the advancement of knowledge in women’s and newborn’s health.  

Department members Dr. Katrina Bouchard (PI), Dr. Melanie Altas, and Dr. Ulrike Dehaeck received a Catalyst Grant to study the sexual health implications of vulvar lichen sclerosus, a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects the external genitals. Their team will adopt a couple-based approach to examine the sexual health of patients and their partners over time. The results of this dyadic longitudinal study will inform educational materials and psychological supports for sexual distress offered at the BC Centre for Vulvar Health. 

Congratulations to Dr. Bouchard and Co-Investigators Dr. Altas, Dr. Dehaeck, Dr. Dawson (UBC Psychology), and Ms. Rossi on this award! 

For more information, please visit: 

Congratulations to Dr. Katrina Bouchard on receiving a New Faculty Research Award from the UBC Faculty of Medicine!

The New Faculty Research Award provides research funds to support newly appointed Assistant Professors in the Faculty of Medicine. 
Dr. Bouchard’s research project focuses on characterize a network of pain, sexual distress, and negative affective symptoms among patients with chronic vulvar pain at the BC Centre for Vulvar Health. This work is part of a larger research program on the sexual health implications of vulvar pain and unwanted genital sensations among women and individuals with vulvas. 
Congratulations to Dr. Bouchard and all recipients of the New Faculty Research Award! 

SSHRC Insight Grant

We are thrilled to share that our team was awarded a 4-year SSHRC Insight Grant to examine emotion co-regulation and sexual wellbeing in couples day-to-day and over time. Looking forward to collaborating with Dr. Samantha Dawson (UBC Sexuality and Wellbeing Lab) and Drs. Lougheed and Vaillancourt-Morel on this project!


We are excited to share that incoming Phase Lab graduate student, Kiarah O’Kane, was awarded a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship for their master’s research. Congratulations, Kiarah!