Our Team


Principal Investigator



Scott Lear Profile Image

Scott Lear, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences and the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University

Pfizer/Heart and Stroke Foundation Chair in Cardiovascular Prevention Research at St. Paul's Hospital

Director, Community Health Solutions

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Dr. Scott Lear is a Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and the inaugural Pfizer/Heart and Stroke Foundation Chair in Cardiovascular Prevention Research at St. Paul's Hospital. Dr. Lear is also the Director of Community Health Solutions. CHS engages with community partners to learn, develop, and apply novel and sustainable approaches, programs, and policies to enhance chronic disease prevention and management to support healthy individuals and communities. Under CHS, Dr. Lear’s research spans the breadth of prevention of chronic diseases at a population level to the management of chronic diseases at an individual level.

Dr. Lear received his PhD at the University of British Columbia in the area of cardiac rehabilitation. Building on the success of his doctoral intervention program, Dr. Lear founded and now leads the British Columbia Alliance for Telehealth Policy and Research, a team of university-based researchers and health authority decision-makers, to develop and evaluate Internet-based solutions for chronic disease management. In addition, Dr. Lear leads the Multi-cultural Community Health Assessment Trial (M-CHAT) which is an ongoing investigation to identify the role of ethnic background in risk for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Another area of Dr. Lear’s research consists of the identification of environmental characteristics (the so-called ‘built environment’) that may act as facilitators and barriers of healthy lifestyle habits and downstream cardiovascular disease risk. Working with other investigators of the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiologic (PURE) study, Dr. Lear will look at how one’s community can influence disease risk. Together, these projects will translate into effective prevention and management policies and programs for cardiovascular disease.

His research is currently funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.


Trainees



Brodie Sakakibara Profile Image

Brodie Sakakibara, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

A telehealth intervention to promote healthy lifestyles after stroke

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I received my doctoral training (2013) in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of British Columbia in the areas of mobility disability and outcomes measurement. My doctoral research focused on the associations between self-efficacy, mobility, and participation in daily and social activities in older, community-dwelling wheelchair users, as well as on using contemporary methods (i.e. items response theory and Rasch analyses) in the evaluation of measurement tools. I have also done extensive knowledge translation work to facilitate the uptake and use of evidence-based practices in the rehabilitation of individuals with spinal cord injury.

I am currently a post-doctoral fellow funded by a fellowship from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (2013 - 2016), working with Dr. Scott Lear (Simon Fraser University) and Dr. Janice Eng (University of British Columbia). In my post-doctoral work, I am investigating the impact of a telehealth intervention to improve health-related behaviours in community-dwelling individuals who have had a stroke.



Doctoral Students



Ann Yew Profile Image

Ann Yew

PhD Candidate, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

The influence of the built environment on obesity and physical activity

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My doctoral research investigates how the built environment influences obesity and physical activity (PA). Encouraging active forms of transportation such as walking, cycling and using public transit services to get to work or for utilitarian purposes may be one way of increasing PA to combat the rise in obesity. At the population level, lower rates of obesity have been found in countries with higher rates of physically active transportation.

As a health enhancing and environmentally friendly mode of transport, the role of how cycling infrastructure or the ‘bikeability’ of neighbourhoods is related to health outcomes is an important but under-researched area. Using a prospective, multi-level and spatial analysis approach, I will measure changes to PA and obesity over a 3-year period in a sample of 2744 adults. These outcomes will be linked to neighbourhood bikeability, measured using geographical information systems (GIS) to objectively assess features such as designated bike paths, road networks, steepness, and barriers. Recruited from Metro Vancouver communities that vary in income and urbanization, participants are part of the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiologic (PURE) study, an international 12-year investigation of the social and environmental determinants of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.


Master's Students



Adeleke Fowokan Profile Image

Adeleke Fowokan

PhD Student, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Determinants of blood pressure in South Asian children: A mixed methods study

I completed my BSc honours degree in Biochemistry from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, after which I obtained a Master’s degree in public health from the University of Essex, England.

My research interests generally lie in exploring social and biological factors that affect cardiovascular disease risk and outcomes. My doctoral thesis investigates the multi-level determinants of blood pressure in South Asian children. The objectives of this mixed-methods study includes: 1) To conduct a systematic review of the literature to explore factors that predict blood pressure in children and adolescents 2) To identify which of the factors identified through the systematic review are the most important in the South Asian children population 3) To compare the validity of different metrics of body fat in predicting blood pressure in children, and 4) To explore the potential barriers, motivators and facilitators for South Asian families in achieving optimal cardiovascular health.

We anticipate that this mixed-methods study will provide a comprehensive understanding of predictors of blood pressure in children, and this information will provide evidence on the need for ethnically appropriate interventions suited specifically for the target population. I am glad to be part of a dynamic and diverse group of scholars led by Dr. Scott Lear, and I am looking forward to the unique opportunity this brings.


Emily Ross Profile Image

Emily Ross

MSc Student, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Text messaging program to help cardiovascular disease patients' transition out of the hospital

I completed my BASc from Quest University Canada in Squamish, BC, where I studied factors that influence chronic diseases. Now, at Simon Fraser University, I am excited to work on my master's degree with Dr. Scott Lear about issues surrounding cardiovascular disease. My master's thesis will look at whether a text messaging program can help patients with cardiovascular disease transition back into their home and community after being discharged from the hospital. We plan to look specifically at the program's effect on medication adherence, self-efficacy, hospital re-admissions, and its cost-effectiveness. I am looking forward to learning more about how telehealth has the potential to improve patient health.



Recent Graduates



Danijela Gasevic Profile Image

Danijela Gasevic

PhD, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Built environment influences on physical activity, obesity and blood glucose

www.sfu.ca/~dga4
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I hold a Medical doctor degree from Belgrade University School of Medicine, Serbia, and completed a PhD at the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University, working under the supervision of Dr. Scott Lear. My doctoral project focused on examining how the built environment influences physical activity, obesity and blood glucose. My research also extends on exploring the relationship between cultural/ethnic background, body fat distribution and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


Monica Lee Profile Image

Monica Lee

MSc, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Barriers to cardiac rehabilitation program attendance

I completed a BA in Psychology with a Minor in Counselling Psychology, and an MSc in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology. The study I worked on aimed to identify patients' reasons for not attending rehabilitation programs and to find different ways to deliver support to patients who are currently not enrolled in a rehabilitation program. Our group gathered information on patients who decided not to attend the Healthy Heart Program cardiac rehabilitation program and to identify barriers and solutions to attending cardiac rehabilitation. Our objectives were twofold: to identify characteristics of patients who drop out of a standard CRP, and to assess whether online-group-video counselling can deliver psycho-social support to patients who have dropped out of CRP. The results of this study will help change the way we deliver cardiac rehabilitation to patients, by making cardiac rehabilitation more accessible to all patients.


Iris Lesser Profile Image

Iris Lesser

PhD, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Randomized controlled trial in a primary prevention South Asian population using exercise as an intervention to alter body fat distribution and cardio-metabolic risk

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I have a BSc Kinesiology Honours from Dalhousie University, an MSc in Physical Education and Recreation - specializing in Exercise physiology - at the University of Alberta, and a PhD in the department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University under the supervision of Dr. Scott Lear. I am interested in educating the population about the benefits of exercise as I strongly believe that living a physically active lifestyle is the best medicine and can be used in the place of pharmaceuticals in chronic disease management. I hope to continue to broaden this area of scientific knowledge through research, knowledge translation and teaching.


Jasmine Parmar Profile Image

Jasmine Parmar

MSc, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Lifestyle factors that affect childhood obesity in South Asian youth for the RICH LEGACY project

I completed my Masters of Science in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, working on the RICH LEGACY (Research in Cardiovascular Health: Lifestyles, Environment, Genetic Attributes in Children and Youth) project, which investigated various factors that could potentially contribute to obesity in South Asian children (aged 7-9 and 14-16). My thesis focused on the levels of sugar sweetened beverage intake and their relation to obesity in South Asian children. The results of the study will help target areas of intervention for public health policy makers, educators and families for this specific population.



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