Basic Sciences Track Co-Chairs

Jimmy Dikeakos

Dr. Jimmy Dikeakos is an Assistant Professor in the Department Microbiology and Immunology at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.

Dr. Dikeakos received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from McGill University in 2002 and went on to complete graduate studies at the University of Montreal. In 2008, Dr. Dikeakos graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry under the supervision of Dr. Timothy Reudelhuber and Dr. James Omichinski. Dr. Dikeakos then completed post-doctoral studies at the Vollum Institute in Portland, Oregon with Dr. Gary Thomas specializing in HIV pathogenesis. Since 2012, he has been a faculty member at the University of Western Ontario where he leads a research group studying interactions between HIV-1 accessory proteins and host proteins.

Ralph Pantophlet

Dr. Ralph Pantophlet is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences and an Associate Faculty member of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Research work in Dr. Pantophlet’s laboratory is currently focused on investigating antibody responses to HIV and flu, particularly in the context of host-virus interactions and anti-viral antibody responses. Knowledge gained from studying the interactions of such antibodies with their target epitopes will be applied to the design of immunogens that may be developed into modern pre-clinical vaccine candidates and, ultimately, new and better vaccines.

Clinical Sciences Track Co-Chairs

Troy Grennan

Dr. Troy Grennan is currently the Physician Lead for the Provincial HIV/STI Program at the BC Centre for Disease Control, as well as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of British Columbia.  Following training in internal medicine, infectious diseases and medical microbiology, he completed a CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network postdoctoral fellowship examining human papillomavirus (HPV) in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM).  His research and clinical work currently focuses on HIV and STI prevention, as well as HPV and anal cancer screening, with a particular focus on MSM.

Fatima Kakkar

Dr. Kakkar graduated from McGill University (1999-2003). She completed her pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario (2003-2007) before continuing with an infectious disease fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (2007-2009). She also obtained a degree in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the Gorgas Institute of Tropical Medicine in Lima, Peru (2009). A research fellowship in Immunocompromised Pediatric at the University of Toronto (2009-2010) and a Masters in Public Health-Quantitative Method at the Harvard School of Public Health (2010-2011) have been added to his academic curriculum.

Dr. Kakkar has been awarded grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Quebec Health Research Fund. She has been a guest speaker five times since 2013.

Social Sciences Track Co-Chairs

David Brennan

David J. Brennan, PhD, is Associate Professor, OHTN Chair in Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health (Social Work); Director, CRUISElab (; Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. His community-engaged research focuses on the health needs of gay and bisexual men and particularly those who have been marginalized by a number of socio-cultural factors including age, race, and HIV status.  Professor Brennan’s recent work includes examining how gay men use online spaces and apps for social and sexual connections as well as for health education and service access.

Cathy Worthington

Dr. Catherine (Cathy) Worthington is a Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy, University of Victoria. Her current work in the HIV field focuses on services development for First Nation and Métis communities; social inclusion (housing, employment, stigma reduction); training and mentoring; and community-engaged research methods. She is BC co-lead for the CIHR REACH 2.0 Centre and co-lead for the CIHR Canadian Clinical HIV Trials (CTN) Prevention and Vulnerable Populations (PVP) Core.


Epidemiology and Public Health Sciences Track Co-Chairs

Viviane Dias Lima

Dr. Viviane Lima is a Research Scientist and the Senior Statistician at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, and an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia.  Dr. Lima has extensive knowledge in analyzing clinical and administrative data, developing mathematical models and participating in cost-effectiveness analyses. She holds two career awards, has published 161 papers in high-impact journals in the last 11 years, supervises a research team of junior researchers and students, and she has several national/international collaborations and advisory appointments. She is currently a nominated principal applicant and co-applicant on six national/international grants (> $10 million in funding). Dr. Lima is a member of different committees including the HIV/AIDS’s Committee for Drug Evaluation and Therapy, which develops BC’s primary care and HIV treatment guidelines.

Naveed Janjua

Dr. Naveed Zafar Janjua is an epidemiologist and senior scientist with hepatitis services in the clinical prevention services at the BC Centre for Disease Control and Clinical Associate Professor at School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia. Dr. Janjua is a Medical Doctor (MBBS) with a Masters of Science (MSc) degree in Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH).  At BCCDC, his work involves surveillance, research and policy advice related to hepatitis B and C.  His research interest includes hepatitis B and C epidemiology, disparities in treatment access and disease outcomes. His global health research includes unsafe medical injections and transmission of blood borne pathogens, socio-economic disparities in health and nutritional transition in developing countries.

Dr. Janjua is also leading a Public Health Agency of Canada funded initiative for developing culturally and linguistically appropriate educational and self- care resources for people at risk or affected by hepatitis C in Canada.

Community Representative

Jaydee Cossar

Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) Manager






Patience Magagula

My journey started 2008 when I was 9 months in Canada. My passion is serving Refugees/Immigrants LWHIV. I also bring a diverse range of approaches to the work of HIV and fighting for women’s rights and girls.

I sit in a number of boards and committee’s across Canada. I’m also a train the trainer. I have a certificate in Community Development through Langara College and completed Community Capacity building at SFU.  I have a diploma in Community Support Work. My goal is to share the importance of supporting and cultivating the next generation of people living with HIV. Currently a Director at ACPNET-BC.

Flo Ranville

Flo Ranville, Peer Mentor/Qualitative Interviewer with the SHAWNA project, was born and raised in Vancouver and is the mother of seven children and two grandchildren. She has over 15 years of experience in the anti-violence field, having worked as an Aboriginal outreach worker, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder worker, and Program Coordinator for a parenting program reuniting families involved in the foster care system. Flo has survived personal experience living in the Downtown Eastside, substance misuse, violence, homelessness and sex work. She was diagnosed with HIV in 2000. Flo began in community-based research over 10 years ago as a peer researcher on the MAKA project involving sex workers in the Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.  She volunteered at AIDS Vancouver for two years and worked as a peer research associate with the Dr. Peter Study. Flo has been on the REACH 2.0 National Leadership Committee as the BC Representative since 2015. With the SHAWNA project, Flo has been mentoring and training peer research associates in community-based research activities, including participant recruitment, group facilitation and knowledge translation.  As a qualitative interviewer Flo has worked on a broad range of studies involving women living with HIV, such as studies on healthcare access, child separation, experiences of incarceration, and studies specific to Indigenous women living with HIV. She has also facilitated arts-based research projects on HIV Stigma & the law.  She enjoys working in community-based research with the HIV community to help her peers be a part of the solution in the fight against HIV.