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[IN-PERSON] Alumni Office Hours with Dr. Shannon Russell – Senior Scientist @ BCCDC | From Petri Dish to Public Health Response: The Career Path of a Scientist Turned Public Health Microbiologist

February 29 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

The UBC Career Centre is excited to bring you a mentorship and networking opportunity to connect with UBC alum, Dr. Shannon Russell. This event is open to all students and alumni. Please prepare one question for Shannon’s Office Hour and email it to: connie.huang@ubc.ca. You will also be given an opportunity to ask your questions during the event.

Dr. Russell completed her PhD in Dr. Brett Finlay’s lab in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of British Columbia in 2014. Her PhD examined the role of antibiotic use in early life, its impact on the gastrointestinal microbiome and how gut microbes affect susceptibility to gut and lung inflammatory diseases.

In 2015, she moved to South Africa to do a postdoc in TB immunology and translational global health research at the Wellcome Trust-funded Africa Health Research Institute in Durban. Dr. Russell joined the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory (PHL) as a research associate in 2018 and became involved in One Health genomic surveillance of enteric pathogens, work undertaken to better understand the sources of foodborne illness outbreaks.

In 2020, she became the interim outbreak coordinator and worked with the PHL team to operationalize SARS-CoV-2 genomics. This work was important for detection and surveillance of emerging variants, and for understanding transmission dynamics in different healthcare and community settings. In her current role as a senior scientist, Dr. Russell works closely with medical and public health colleagues around the province to apply genomics-based approaches to pathogens of public health importance, informing public health measures, outbreak response, and infection prevention and control policy.

In this talk, Dr. Russell will speak to why some of the best career paths aren’t always straight lines and why her career as a public health microbiologist has lead her down a very interesting road. Finally, she will share how sequencing pathogen genomes is changing the way we identify, track and respond to outbreaks.


Attending an Office Hour is an excellent opportunity for you to expand your network and participate in an open, round-table discussion with alumni.

Please email us at recruit.talent@ubc.ca if you require accommodations to access this event due to an ongoing medical condition and/or disability.