Welcoming Dr. Emilia Lim to UBC!

We are pleased to announce the recruitment of Dr. Emilia Lim by the Edwin S.H. Leong Centre for Healthy Aging and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to UBC!

Dr. Emilia Lim will be an Investigator in the ELCHA and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She obtained her BSc in Bioinformatics at the University of Alberta, where she completed her thesis on the Human Metabolome Project with Dr. David Wishart. She then pursued her PhD in Bioinformatics under the mentorship of Dr. Marco Marra at UBC and the BC Cancer Genome Sciences Centre. Here, she worked on epigenomic and transcriptomic biomarker discovery for treatment refractory hematological and pediatric cancers. Most recently, she completed her postdoctoral training with Dr. Charles Swanton at the Francis Crick Research Institute and University College London (UCL), studying chromosomal instability and how it shapes lung cancer evolution.

Her interest in lung cancer in never smokers directed her to develop a framework for studying the environmental impact on cancer initiation. Through this work, she discovered that air pollution triggers lung cancer initiation by promoting clonal expansion of cells harbouring oncogenic mutations which have accumulated due to aging. Moving forward, she envisions leading an environmental gero-genomics group, with an emphasis on areas of unmet need in Canada. Her research program will concern how environmental exposures disrupt normal cells to accelerate the initiation of age-related disease states such as cancer. Her team will perform multi-omic investigations of how environmental pollutants co-opt molecular mechanisms to shape tissue landscapes into diseased states. This will be done with a view towards molecular disease prevention, revealing targets for screening and intervention.