Research Team


Kelly Mackenzie

Research Manager

Kelly is the research manager for the CEPL, overseeing many of our trials. She is a clinical exercise physiologist with a MSc from University of Alberta (2000). She has both a strong academic teaching background and clinical research experience. As a clinician, Kelly works with clients through their cancer rehabilitation as well as those with complex medical conditions. She enjoys tapping into her creative side to find suitable movement options that work for the clients. When not working, you will most likely find Kelly on a bike or exploring local beaches and forests with her husband and crazy dog!


Natalie Fujisawa

Research Coordinator

Natalie is a Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist and is working as a Research Assistant for the ACTIVATE, CHALLENGE, BE BALANCED and BE FIT trials. Natalie completed her Bachelors of science in Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University with a concentration on active health and rehabilitation. She has worked for several years as a Kinesiologist helping a wide variety of clients increase physical activity and function. Natalie has been active all her life and played sports including soccer, volleyball and ultimate. Outside of the lab, Natalie enjoys weight training, hiking and drinking coffee.


Kelcey Bland

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Kelcey is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Cancer Exercise & Physiotherapy Lab at UBC and the BC Cancer Research Institute under the supervision of Dr. Kristin Campbell and Helen McTaggart-Cowan. Kelcey completed her PhD at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. Kelcey’s research has focused on clinical exercise prescription for people living with cancer from diagnosis to survivorship and end-of-life. Her PhD specifically explored the role of exercise for the management of cachexia in people with advanced cancer. Currently, Kelcey is leading a project that is focused on the knowledge translation and mobilization of the recently published exercise guidelines for people living with bone metastases.


Ignacio Catala

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Ignacio is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Cancer Exercise & Physiotherapy Lab at UBC. He holds a PhD in Physical Activity and Sports Science, a Masters in Physiology, and a Bachelors in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences from the University of Valencia. Currently, Ignacio is leading a project focused on the effect of physical activity on body composition for colon cancer patients. His passion is raising awareness on the importance of physical exercise and living an active lifestyle for patients living with and beyond cancer. In his free time, Ignacio can be found in the mountains, either snowboarding, hiking, or climbing.


Noemi Serra Paya

Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Noemi is completing a postdoctoral research stay in the Cancer Exercise & Physiotherapy Lab at UBC. She holds a a PhD in Sports Science, INEFC of Lleida, University of Lleida, and master and undergraduate degree in Physical Exercise and Sport, INEFC Barcelona, University of Barcelona and University of Alcala (Spain). Currently, she is a full professor at the San Joan de Deu Teaching Campus in Barcelona, Spain. Her passion is to help people improve their quality of life through physical exercise.


Sam Myers

PhD Student

Sam is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Cancer Exercise & Physiotherapy Lab. She was the primary instructor for the BE-FIT virtual exercise program for women with breast cancer receiving hormone therapy. Her thesis explores different strategies to integrate exercise therapy into standard oncological care, including a program evaluation of the Prostate Cancer Supportive Care Exercise Clinic and examining participant barriers and facilitators of engaging in the BE-FIT exercise trial. As a Seattleite, she hopes to bring the learnings from her time in the lab to her community. She enjoys being active and relaxing with her husband, Blaine, and chihuahuas Rocky and Dexter during her free time.


Kendra Zadravec  

PhD Student

Kendra is a first year PhD student supervised by Dr. Kristin Campbell. Kendra completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the University of Victoria in 2018, and her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences with the Cancer Exercise & Physiotherapy Lab. Her current research focuses on how to minimize the prevalence of upper limb dysfunction after breast cancer surgery using physiotherapy. In the future, she hopes to contribute to the body of knowledge that aims to improve the quality of life and clinical outcomes among cancer patients through exercise. During her free time, Kendra can be found running by the ocean, reading, listening to music, and spending too much money on coffee.


Gillian Smith 

Master Student

Gillian is joining the CEPL as an MSc student in Rehabilitation Science. Gillian graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology. She then worked as a Research Assistant at Montreal Children’s Hospital, researching paediatric cancer predisposition syndromes. She is excited to combine her previous cancer research experience with her passion for exercise!


Sabrina Cao

Master Student

Sabrina is in her first year of her MSc in Rehabilitation Science. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science with a focus on Health and Exercise Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. While there, she was lucky enough to be part of a couple cancer rehabilitation projects, which ranged from pediatric to geriatric care. Her passion for the subject only grew from there, and she is excited to join the CEPL to learn from some incredible lab mates and role models!


Rafael Fujita

Research Assistant

Rafael graduated in Kinesiology (2016), and completed his MSc (2019) at the University of São Paulo. He is a fifth year PhD candidate, with research focusing on investigating the impact of co-contraction training as an alternative to maintaining the strength and quality of life in patients living with colorectal cancer undergoing chemotherapy. In the CEPL, Rafa works with exercise for cancer survivorship through the CEPL’s various research projects.


Jee Lam

Research Assistant

Jee Lam is a fourth year Kinesiology undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia. Building on her background as a professional contemporary ballet dancer, Jee aims to complete a Master’s of Physiotherapy upon graduation with the goal of helping clinical and non-clinical populations deepen their connection to their bodies. Jee is looking forwards to immersing herself in the world of exercise oncology and learning more about the research process.


Sean Sawer

Research Assistant

Sean is a Research Assistant in the Cancer Exercise & Physiotherapy Lab, where he works on projects focusing on bone metastases and post cancer treatment exercise prescription. Sean holds a doctorate degree in physiotherapy from Glasgow Caledonian University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Victoria. Alongside his professional pursuits, Sean enjoys unraveling challenging sudoku puzzles, hitting the pavement for invigorating runs, and delving into the intricate art of knitting.