Dr. William Miller’s 2021 Research and Staff team consists of PhD and Masters students, research staff, as well as undergraduate Work Learn students. The majority of Dr. Miller’s research is conducted at the Rehabilitation Research Program (Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute) based out of the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre.

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PhD and Masters Students

Isabelle Rash (PhD Student)

Coming from advertisement, marketing and R&D, Isabelle is currently a PhD Student in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of British Columbia with Dr. Brodie M. Sakakibara and Dr. William C. Miller supervising. In the previous Master of Digital Media program, she learned how to be proficient in building, managing and leading digital media projects. With a strong interest in the health-tech industry, her PhD studies focus on combining rehabilitation for stroke survivors with new technologies. 



Himani Prajapati (PhD Student)

I am currently a first year PhD student at the University of British Columbia in Rehabilitation Sciences under the supervision of Dr. William C. Miller. I have completed a Bachelors in Physiotherapy and Masters in Neuro Physiotherapy and also possess a clinical background in Neuro Rehabilitation. I am interested in Rehabilitation Interventions focusing on balance, mobility and fatigue in people with spinal cord injury consequently aiming to ameliorate quality of life.  



Gordon Tao (PhD Student)

Gordon is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia in the Rehabilitation Sciences graduate program with Dr. William C. Miller supervising. He completed his BSc in Life Sciences at Queen’s University and his MSc in Rehabilitation Sciences at McGill University. Gordon is passionate about the role of assistive technologies in supporting independence and improving quality of life. His research interests include digital media and virtual reality applications for health as well as stakeholder-driven evaluation of assistive technologies. His doctoral research focuses on the design of digital games for rehabilitation.





Farzad Ravari (PhD Student)

With a background in a Masters of Public Health (MPH), Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon from Iran, I am pursuing a PhD in Rehabilitation at the University of British Columbia. My research interest stems from my experience in computer-based rehabilitation for management of gait disorders, balance training, brachial plexus injuries, dorsalgia, radiculopathy, sciatica, spondylosis, and muscle training in brain stroke and cerebral palsy.




Pegah Derakhshan (PhD Student)

Pegah Derakhshan is a first-year PhD student in Rehabilitation Science under the supervision of Dr Bill Miller and Dr Ben Mortenson. Pegah completed her medical degree in Iran, and her research focused on patients with spinal cord injury. 




Tanya Fawkes (PhD Student)

Tanya is an Occupational Therapist and PhD student at UBC in Rehabilitation Sciences with Drs. Ben Mortenson and Bill Miller supervising. She has worked as an OT in a variety of clinical areas that ultimately led her to having a passion for OT led home modifications for those with injuries, illness or other functional changes that require adaptations in the environment to improve accessibility. Her research will focus on the sustainability of home modifications and the value to the system of improving access to home modifications to support aging in place.



Colleen Hamilton (Masters Student)

Colleen is a student in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at the University of British Columbia. Colleen is from Victoria and comes from a professional background in economic development planning. She is thrilled to soon be joining the profession of OT, which combines her loves of anatomy and psychology (and getting to figure out what makes people tick). In her spare time, she tries to get out trail running in our gorgeous coastal forests as much as possible, but in reality spends most of her time at local playgrounds with her two kids.






Lisa Hsieh (Masters Student)

Lisa is a student in the Master of Occupational Therapy program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) under the supervision of Dr. William C. Miller. She is originally from Kelowna, but has called Vancouver home for the last decade or so. Lisa decided to pursue the holistic profession of occupational therapy after being inspired by her professional work to remove barriers in sport for marginalised populations. As a student OT, she loves being able to help others get back to doing their favourite activities. In her free time, Lisa enjoys soaking up the sun by playing ultimate frisbee and hiking.


Brittany Wong (Masters Student)

Brittany is a student in the Master of Occupational Therapy program at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. William C. Miller. She was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C. At age 17, Brittany had emergency brain surgery and was an outpatient at GF Strong. Her experience as a patient was pivotal to her realization of the importance of rehabilitation teams and motivated her to pursue a career where she could have the same impact. Brittany was drawn to occupational therapy because of its holistic and creative approach to helping others find solutions to their barriers. In her spare time, you can find Brittany indulging in tasty foods, being active, and spending quality time with friends and family.


Research Staff


Ethan Simpson (Research Coordinator, University of British Columbia)

Ethan is the Research Coordinator for Dr. Miller at UBC. He completed his BSc in Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Exeter before his MSc in Rehabilitation Sciences at UBC. He enjoys spending time with friends and can often be found engaging in outdoor activities.




Heather Cathcart (Work Learn Student, University of British Columbia)

Heather is a 4th-year undergraduate student at UBC majoring in a combined major in Chemistry, Life Sciences and Earth & Environmental Sciences. She is passionate about improving others’ quality of life, rehabilitation and public health. Heather is exploring multiple career paths but hopes to pursue a career in health care.




Olivia Yung (Work Learn Student, University of British Columbia)

Olivia is currently a Kinesiology student at UBC. She is passionate about sharing her love for sports and enjoys building community through recreational activities. She plans to pursue a career in health care, but when she’s not studying, you can find her paddling in an outrigger canoe or in the mountains.




Aditya Dhariwal (Work Learn Student, University of British Columbia)

Adit is doing a combined major in Chemistry, Math and Life Sciences. He is interested in how technology integrates with rehabilitation. Outside of research, you can find him playing sports with his friends.










Magalee Blumenkrans (Work Learn Student, University of British Columbia)

Magalee is currently completing her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology at UBC. Her current research interests are in rehabilitation through outdoor recreation, the impacts of exercise-related cognitive errors on physical activity participation for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), and the benefits of exercise for older adults with cognitive impairments. While she is not studying or helping out with research you can find her paddling or hiking with friends/family, running, biking, listening to music, reading, attending concerts, or cooking.




Rita Jin (Work Learn Student, University of British Columbia)

Rita is currently a third year UBC BSc student majoring in physiology and minoring in psychology. Her current research interests are in rehabilitation processes following spinal cord injuries, technologies that can assist with mobility and health (i.e. through virtual reality and digital assessment applications), and other projects that promote the overall wellbeing of patients and their caregivers through holistic and biopsychosocial reviews. In her spare time, Rita enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, going on hikes, listening to new music, trying not to fall off her penny board, and experimenting with photography/videography/digital art!


Alicia Leong (Volunteer Student, University of British Columbia)

My name is Alicia Leong. I am currently a third-year Political Science student at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Throughout my undergraduate journey, I have been exploring the intersection between disability theory and rehabilitation sciences. I have work experience in home care settings for people with spinal cord injury. My interests range from the provision of affordable care services closer to the communities where those affected live and advocacy for accessibility and disability rights. I hope to pursue a career in occupational therapy. Outside of school, I love being in nature, filmmaking and reading.