Gordean Bjornson, Recipient of the Faculty of Medicine’s Applegarth Staff Service Award

We are pleased to announce that Gordean Bjornson, Research Administrator with the Vaccine Evaluation Centre is the 2014 recipient of the Faculty of Medicine, Applegarth Staff Service Award in the Administration category.

Gordean graduated from UBC  in 1982 with a BSc in Microbiology and after a year of working on the UBC campus came to work for Dr. David Scheifele as a Research Technician in his laboratory.  While working in the lab she obtained her MBA from UBC in 1988 and joined the UBC M & P family that same year.  In 1988, she worked with Drs. Scheifele and Tingle on the establishment of the Vaccine Evaluation Center (VEC)  at BC Children’s Hospital, the first such academic entity in Canada.   The VEC is recognized as a leading vaccine research center in the country and its model of operation has been replicated both in Canada and internationally.   Since 2000, Gordean has also been the Administrator for the Canadian Association for Immunization Research and Evaluation (CAIRE) whose office is located at the VEC.   Working with other vaccinologists in Canada,  CAIRE facilitates research collaboration and networking among Canada’s vaccinologists.   In her role with CAIRE she has helped to conceptualize and organize numerous research-oriented workshops, consultations with vaccine manufacturers and educational initiatives.

Gordean has represented both the VEC and CAIRE on the planning committees for the past three  Canadian Immunization Conferences and two workshops to identify research priorities for new vaccines in Canada.

Gordean has co-authored 29 peer-reviewed publications and as first author in five.

Congratulations to Gordean!


The Applegarth Staff Recognition Award was conceptualized by Dr. Derek Applegarth, a popular member of the Departments of Pediatrics and Pathology at BCCH, and currently Professor Emeritus. He proposed that deserving staff be recognized for excellence in personal achievements and outstanding contributions to the Faculty of Medicine and thus, the inception of the Applegarth Staff Recognition Awards. Three awards are granted annually: two in the Administrative category, and one in the Technical/Research category.