Two Kinesiology Students Receive Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute Awards

Alison Williams, UBC School of Kinesiology PhD Student and Freda Warner, School of Kinesiology PhD Student, both received Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) Rising Star Awards.

The Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute Rising Star Awards are designed to support tomorrow’s research leaders; these awards recognize outstanding contributions by VCHRI research trainees to research excellence, service as role models, and other contributions to the VCH research community.


Alison Williams
Award: Rising Star
Supervisor: Dr. Tania Lam
Area of Research: Kinesiology

Alison has been recognized for her support to trainees in their graduate training and education and for taking initiative to independently improve her own skillset, enhancing the overall productivity of the research programs she’s involved in. Her peers note her enthusiasm is infectious and that she brings strong technical, analytical, and organizational skills to her research in rehabilitation after spinal cord injury.“It’s been an absolute joy to work within the spinal cord injury research community,” says Alison. “I’m excited and hopeful that my research examining pelvic floor muscle function after spinal cord injury will have meaningful impact on the way clinicians approach bladder dysfunction after neurological injury.”


Freda Warner
Award: Rising Star
Supervisor: Dr. John Kramer
Area of Research: Kinesiology

Freda has a combination of both academic and leadership skills that have set her apart as a trainee. She has achieved notable academic success while also working on several research projects, and has an outstanding publication record for a second-year PhD student. Her colleagues say she brightens the lab at ICORD and is refreshingly positive. With a unique background in both statistics and biology, Freda has already been able to develop a niche during her PhD and her research examines spinal cord injury at the intersection of other health issues, including pain.

Freda’s advice to aspiring trainees is to invest time into relationships as well as their research. “I find my topic extremely interesting but I also really enjoy working alongside my lab mates and appreciate the support I receive from my supervisor. These are important factors as you’ll be spending a lot of time in that environment with them!”


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