Faculty, Staff and Contributors

Faculty, Staff and Contributors


Dr. Peter Watson, Director

Dr. Peter Watson is Director OBER and of the Biobanking and Biospecimen Research Services program at BC Cancer, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) in British Columbia. He also holds appointments as Senior Scientist and as Professor of Pathology, University of British Columbia, and as adjunct faculty at the University of Victoria.

He completed his medical training at the University of Cambridge and St Thomas’s Hospital London, UK in 1983 and specialist training in Anatomic Pathology at the University of Manitoba in 1988. After fellowship training he established a career as a clinician scientist in 1993 at the University of Manitoba, and since 2005 has been at BC Cancer.

He currently combines a clinical practice as a breast pathologist with research interests in the molecular pathology of breast and ovarian cancer, and in biospecimen and biobanking resources. His research program focuses on biomarkers of breast tumour progression and response to therapies. This work has included the discovery, validation, elucidation of the mechanism of action, and exploration of the therapeutic potential of the S100A7 gene in breast cancer. This research has led to publication of over 175 scientific research papers.

He has also led provincial and national biobanking initiatives to advance translational cancer research. In addition, Dr. Watson serves as co-lead of the Canadian Tissue Repository Network (CTRNet) and he is currently the director of the University of British Columbia, Department of Pathology Office of Biobank Education and Research (OBER), serves on the executive of the Marble Arch International Working Group for Biobanking, and is Deputy Editor for the journal Biopreservation and Biobanking.


Dr. Suzanne Vercauteren , Co-Director

Dr. Suzanne Vercauteren is a hematopathologist and associate head of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at BC Children’s Hospital. She obtained her MD and PhD at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands and did her residency in hematological pathology at the University of British Columbia. Since 2013 Suzanne is the director of the BC Children’s Hospital BioBank, the first institutional pediatric biobank in Canada. She has published several papers regarding pediatric biobanking and consenting and is a member of the Canadian Tissue Repository Network Management Committee. She recently received several grants to study public perception on (pediatric) biobanking topics.


Lise Matzke, Leader, OBER; Project Manager – Biobank Resource Centre

Lise Matzke is the leader for OBER and Project Manager for the Biobank Resrouce Centre (BRC). In this role, Lise conducts R&D in biobanking by developing novel tools and products for the discipline. She has also been active as a consultant for different types of biomedical biobanks and she has published several manuscripts. In the past 15 years, Lise has held positions in field, laboratory, research and administrative aspects of biobanking in the areas of biomedical, archaeological, and forensic biobanking.

email to Lise Matzke


Sheila O’Donoghue, Project Manager – Biobank Education and Certification

Sheila O’Donoghue is the Biobank Leader of the Tumour Tissue Repository at the BC Cancer Agency and the OBER Project Manager responsible for the biobank certification and education programs. Prior to working with OBER, she was the project manager for the BC BioLibrary and spent fifteen plus years managing national and local clinical trials. She is the former Chair of the ISBER Education and Training Committee.

email to Sheila O’Donoghue


Tamsin Tarling, Project Manager

Tamsin Tarling is a Project Manager for OBER and has worked in the field of biobanking for 7 years. Tamsin has extensive experience establishing biobanks, both disease specific biobanks and campus wide hospital biobanks. Tamsin’s experience encompasses all aspects of biobanking including the consent of patients, specimen collection, management of SOPs and ensuring good governance over the collection, storage and distribution of specimens. Tamsin is a member of the ISBER Education and Training Committee.


Simon Dee, Information Technology Manager

Simon Dee is the Tumour Tissue Repository and OBER IT Project Manager. He leads the application platform and services development for BC Cancer Agency’s next-generation biobanking platform. He has experience in building technically challenging web-based applications and services. He has implemented the Tumour Tissue Repository) Information Systems Architecture and has also provided a cutting edge solution to support the BC Cancer Agency TTR Database Repository initiative of storing patient clinical data, pathologist annotations, outcomes, and specimen inventories for cancer research. This solution will be ground breaking in supporting and directing new research initiatives as well as allow the exploration of data mining not possible in the past.

email to Simon Dee


Uladzimir Parkalau, IT Developer

Vlad joined the team from Belarus to work as a Computer & Systems Support Technician\IT Developer and is responsible for assisting the team with IT related biobank projects. He has spent over four years working in Web development and about three years in the healthcare sector. He was working on different projects to find and implement solutions for a variety of tasks. His education was in Applied Computer Science with specialization in Network, System and Software Development.


Sindy Babinszky, Biospecimen Technician, BBRS

Sindy Babinszky is the lead biospecimen technician in the Tumour Tissue Repository Program at BC Cancer, a key part of the BBRS. She has over ten years of laboratory experience in both plant and animal tissue culture and has been participating in the biobanking of human cancers for 10 years. Her position encompasses all aspects of biobanking from biospecimen accrual and laboratory maintenance to access and distribution of biospecimens to the translational research community. Her expertise in hands-on biobanking informs her many contributions to OBER projects.

email to Sindy Babinszky


Jodi Leblanc , Consent Nurse BBRSS

Jodi is the Consent Nurse for the BBRS and Tumour Tissue Repository at BC Cancer, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) in British Columbia. She has ample experience in patient care and worked as an oncology and emergency nurse in Canada and the US. She is the principal liaison between the clinical, research and the biobanking communities, and is involved in all aspects of participant involvement in biobanking.


Karlene Carvalho BBRS , Research Assistant

Karlene joined the team as a Research Assistant for the BBRS and the Tumor Tissue Repository after graduating from the University of Victoria with a B.Sc. in Biology in 2017. She is involved in various aspects of the biobanking process, including consenting patients, accrual and processing of biospecimens, laboratory maintenance, and daily TTR operations.


Brent Gali , Project Manager, BBRS

Brent is the BBRS and Tumor Tissue Repository Project Manager at BC Cancer. He has over five years of experience working with numerous labs and research groups in Manitoba and British Columbia. He is responsible for the daily operations of the TTR, as they relate to both retrospective and prospective biospecimen collections. His primary role is to work closely with researchers interested in prospective studies by determining what their research interests are, and how the TTR can best partner with them to obtain the biospecimens they need.