Vallance Lab

Dr. Bruce Vallance

Dr. Bruce Vallance completed his PhD training in Gastrointestinal Inflammation at McMaster University’s Intestinal Disease Research Program under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Collins and then pursued studies on disease causing bacteria at the University of British Columbia’s Michael Smith Laboratories with Dr. Brett Finlay. Dr. Vallance is well recognized for his expertiseexpertiseexpertise in the study and modeling of IBD and enteric bacterial infections and was named the Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology and a Michael Smith Research Scholar in 2004. He has authored more than 60 peer reviewed manuscripts addressing the mechanisms underlying IBD and infectious diseases.

Dr. Deanna Gibson

Dr. Deanna Gibson joined the Vallance team in 2006 shortly after she was granted her Ph.D. from the department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the University of Victoria in April 2006. Her Ph.D. research, under the direction of Dr. William Kay, involved the biochemistry of Salmonella adhesion molecules and their exploitation to survive long-term under stressful conditions contributing to environment persistence and virulence. She came to Dr. Bruce Vallance’s laboratory to study Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in May 2006. She was awarded Post-Doctoral research fellowships from the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology jointly funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and AstraZeneca, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Fellowship where she was ranked 3rd overall and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada industrial award (declined). Her overall research interests are: host-pathogen relationships between commensals, enteric pathogens and the gastrointestinal tract; the resulting immunological responses that help maintain intestinal homeostasis; the advancement of probiotic therapeutics to protect against Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and bacterial-induced gastroenteritis. She has been actively pursuing the role of specific Toll-like Receptors during acute colitis caused by Citrobacter rodentium. Additionally, she has been examining commensal populations and their roles in maintaining intestinal homeostasis via the innate immune system.

Dr. Lisa Mannson

Once Dr. Lisa Mansson obtained her PhD in Infection Biology from Karolinska Institute in Sweden and she moved to Vancouver in August 2007 to be a part of Dr. Bruce Vallance’s exciting research team. Her postdoctoral fellowship is sponsored by the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) and AstraZeneca Canada Inc. Recently she received Swedish stipends and awards from Sigurd och Elsa Goljes Minnesfond, Stiftelsen Längmanska Kulturfonden, Foundation Blanceflor Boncompagni-Ludovisi and Julins fond. Her research interest is in studying how invading pathogens interact with the mucosal linings of infected hosts and underastanding the resulting immune response. A dynamic and fine-tuned immune response is crucial as acute infections need to be cleared without producing unnecessary tissue damage or conditions such as chronic inflammation or cancer. Currently there is neither cure nor prevention and only limited therapeutic options for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). To be able to identify therapeutic targets, a more detailed knowledge about how bacteria interact with the infected host and the nature of the triggered immune response is a necessity. During her postdoc at Children’s Hospital Lisa is committed to investigating the possible link between bacterial infection and IBD using the state of art equipment and techniques available in the Vallance laboratory.

Dr. Marinieve Montero

The newest member to join Dr. Vallance’s lab is Dr. Marinieve Montero. She graduated with a Master in Science from the Belarusian State University in 1986. From 1986 to 1996 she was a Research Scientist at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana, Cuba.
In 2001 she moved to Canada and worked as a Research Associate in Dr. Jamie Scott’s laboratory at the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University until her enrollment in the PhD program in September 2002. Her PhD research was conducted on the topic of HIV-1 vaccine development. During her PhD studies she was supported by a trainee award from The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and a Canada Graduate Scholarship from NSERC. She graduated with a PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry in December 2007.
Currently, Dr. Montero is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Bruce Vallance, at the Department of Pediatrics at BC Children’s Hospital/UBC. She is interested in studying the genesis of the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). She recently received the CCFC/CAG/CIHR Fellowship Award (2008-2010) to work on the project entitled Modeling intestinal fibrosis in Crohn’s disease: Maladaptive tissue repair driven by bacterial activation of toll-like receptors.

Mr. Mohammed Khan

Mohammed Khan is presently pursuing a PhD in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia at the Vallance lab. Mohammed Khan research project focuses on how the innate immune system responds to bacterial infection and the mechanisms that regulate subsequent inflammatory events in the human intestine. Using laboratory-grown human intestinal cells and tissues, Mohammed hopes to reveal novel mechanisms of regulation of inflammation and host defense. This research may lead to new treatments for infectious and inflammatory diseases of the human intestine. Mr. Khan’s has received the following awards:

  • Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) Senior Graduate Studentship, 2006-2007
  • Society for Leukocyte Biology-International Endotoxin and Innate Immunity Society Travel award, November 2006
  • Child and Family Research Institute (CFRI), Vancouver, Travel Award, May 2006 and June 2007
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, 2005-2008
  • Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) Graduate Studentship, April 2005
  • University of British Columbia (UBC) PhD Tuition award, 2004-2008
  • CHILD (CHildren with Intestinal and Liver Disorders) Foundation Research Assistantship, 2003-2005
  • University of British Columbia (UBC) International Partial Tuition Fee Award, 1999-2000
  • University of British Columbia (UBC) Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, 1998-2000.

Mr. Andy Sham

Mr. Andy Sham obtained his BSc. in Cell Biology and Genetics from the University of British Columbia. He commenced his graduate study with Dr. Bruce Vallance in September 2007. His research is focused on understanding bacterial-host interactions in the GI tract and determining whether bacterial pathogens are able to subvert host inflammatory responses in order to establish a protected niche within the intestinal microenvironment. Since Inflammatory Bowel Diseases may be caused by a chronic bacterial infection, these studies may help define the mechanisms that lead to IBD.

Should you be interested in joining the Vallance team, please send your application via email to: