Respiratory Medicine

The Division of Respiratory Medicine

The Division of Respiratory Medicine’s mandate is to provide leadership and excellence in the discipline of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine for the children of British Columbia. This includes, but is not limited to excellence in patient care, education of health care workers and the public as well as research in the areas related to Pediatric Respiratory Medicine.

Respiratory problems account for the largest number of physician and emergency department visits for acute problems in children, as well as the largest number of admission to pediatric hospitals and a significant proportion of bed days for chronic inpatient care.  Strong leadership in this specialty is crucial to provide quality care for the children of British Columbia.

UPDATED Dec 6 2023

The division members are all involved in clinical research and have a wide range of interests and expertise. Many of the division members are also part of the BC Child and Family Research Institute (BCFRI) and are involved in collaborations with the scientists at BCFRI.

Dr. Sharon Dell
My formal research training included a fellowship in Asthma, Epidemiology and Health Services Research that led to a Certificate in Clinical Epidemiology (MPH equivalent), from the Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto in 1998. From 2010-16 I assumed leadership roles for this program (renamed the Institute of Health Policy and Management and Evaluation or IHME), serving 3 years as the Associate Program Director and 3 years as the Program Director for their Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research stream (MSc and PhD), during which time I introduced several innovative changes.

I am an expert in rare pediatric lung diseases, with a particular interest in the group of genetic diseases known as ciliary dyskinesia. My research is currently funded by grants from CIHR, NIH and the American Thoracic Society. In 2018, I completed the Hospital for Sick Children: Partners in Leadership Program, Rottman School of Management Executive Program, University of Toronto. A few months ago I was elected as the next Chair of the Pediatric Assembly of the American Thoracic Society.

Dr. Connie Yang
My research is focused on finding the best way to diagnose and treat different types of asthma. I am particularly interested in learning about the reasons why some children have severe, treatment resistant asthma and finding ways to treat these children effectively. I am involved in projects that aim to find the best way to deliver equal access to asthma care to children across the province.

I am also involved in projects that look at the effectiveness of different types of therapies that we use for children with cystic fibrosis, and better understanding rare interstitial lung diseases that occur in children.

Dr. Mark Chilvers
Over the last 15 years I have developed a research interest into non-CF Bronchiectasis. This focused primarily on primary ciliary dyskinesia. I developed a new method for the evaluation of function of microscopic hairs (cilia) which line the airways of the lung. This has been standardized and is now used as an accepted method for the diagnosis of primary ciliary dyskinesia and research platform.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) research is another significant research area. I am the principal investigator on several clinical trials looking at new medications in CF patients.

Dr. Jonathan Rayment
I am interested in the development of new tools that will help us detect lung disease in children. Specifically, this includes new, more sensitive breathing tests that will help us measure lung function in children. As well, I am interested in developing new imaging tests (such as MRI) that will help us see the structure of the lung.

Dr. Claire Seaton
My research is currently focused on ways to improve the diagnosis and care of children with asthma here in BC. I am interested in looking at ways we can improve family and patient-led management in the community through improved clinical education resources for both families and healthcare providers. I am also interested in how Asthma is currently diagnosed by healthcare providers both here in our clinic and in the emergency department, and how this might be improved.

Dr. David Wensley
My interest is in improving care for critically ill children mainly with respiratory problems and utilizing emerging technologies. I have managed an international discussion forum for health care professionals interested in pediatric lung diseases for 20 years. I am developing mobile applications to improve the prescribing of drugs for children. I am working on improving in-hospital care of children using standardized tools to provide early warning of changes in their conditions so that they can be treated before they deteriorate. I have also utilized technology to provide access for children to simple diagnostic tests (oximetry) in their home to assess breathing disorders during sleep and in the developing world to provide access to oximetry in the diagnosis of pneumonia.

The service provides educational experiences to Medical Students, Paediatric Residents and Subspecialty Residents and Fellows.

All pediatric residents rotate through the Division of Respiratory Medicine as part of their core rotation and can also participate in respiratory medicine electives later in their training. The division and its members have received awards from the Pediatric Residents for their excellence in teaching.

The Pediatric Respiratory Fellowship program was fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2013 and provides a two year clinical fellowship for eligible residents. Applications are accepted through the CARMS system. A one to two year clinical or research fellowship in Respiratory Medicine is also available for international trainees. Applications for international candidates are accepted until the end of August for fellowships starting the following July.

The division has been training international fellows since 2002 and has had trainees from the United Kingdom, South America and South Africa. The division is dedicated to providing a high standard of clinical and research training and its fellows have participated in scholarly activities that have led to multiple publications.

Inquiries about the training program including the application process can be directed to Daisy Yin at

BC’s Children’s Hospital is the only pediatric tertiary care centre for a province that contains nearly 1 million children. Consequently, the respiratory division is a busy service that provides care across the full range of pediatric respiratory diseases. Apart from running general respiratory clinics dealing with referrals from across the province, the division also runs weekly multi-disciplinary clinics for cystic fibrosis, asthma, sleep medicine, non-CF bronchiectasis and home ventilation. The home ventilation clinic has now grown to become one of the largest clinics of its kind in North America. Taken together, the outpatient clinics currently have over 3,000 patient visits annually but totals increase every year. The division also provides an in-patient consultation service and sees over 300 new ward consultations each year.

The Respiratory Medicine division is also responsible for the Pulmonary Function Laboratory which is a category 3A laboratory as accredited by the BC Diagnostic Accreditation Program. The respiratory therapists in the pulmonary function laboratory perform over 2500 lung function tests a year, including exercise testing and methacholine challenges. The division also manages the Pediatric Polysomnography Service and tests 150 to 200 children with sleep disordered breathing each year. All of the division members are qualified in flexible bronchoscopy and this procedure is done for inpatients as well as for outpatients through day surgery.


Dr. Sharon Dell, BEng, MD, FRCPC
Division Head

Dr. Connie Yang, MSc, MD, FRCPC, FAAP,
Clinical Associate Professor
Director of the Asthma Clinic, Training Program Director

Dr. David Wensley, MB BS, FRCPC
Clinical Professor
Director of the Pulmonary Function and Sleep Laboratory

Dr. Mark Chilvers, MB ChB, MD MRCP, MRCPCH
Clinical Associate Professor
Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic

Dr. Jonathan Rayment, MD CM, MSc, FRCPC
Clinical Associate Professor

Dr. Claire Seaton, MB ChB, FRCPC
Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Marie Wright, MD, FRCPC
Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Linda Colombini, MDCM, FRCPC
Clinical Instructor

Dr. Lena Xiao, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor

Pulmonary Function Laboratory - Respiratory Therapists:
Jasneet Dhillon, RRT
Opninder Dosanjh, RRT
Elyse Yaremco, RRT
Tammy Bishop, RRT
Jannet Pon, RRT

Administrative Staff:
Daisy Yin (Educational Training Program)
Leslie Merluza (Clinical Secretary)
Angela Pinto (Clerical Admin)
Crystal Do (Clerical Admin)
Samreen Alam (Clerical Admin)
Mary Cajuguiran (Clerical Admin)
Grant Logan (Clerical Admin)

Contact Us:

Division of Respiratory Medicine,
Department of Paediatrics
Room 1C31A, BC Children’s Hospital
4480 Oak Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6H 3V4
Phone: 604-875-2119
Fax: 604 875 3293