The BC Epilepsy Society Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) is comprised of approximately eight members each playing a professional role across a wide range of disciplines involving epilepsy. The PAC includes but is not limited to physicians, scientists, social workers, nurses and psychologists all committed to assisting the BC Epilepsy Society with matters requiring specialized and expert advice. The PAC meets with the Executive Director to discuss a wide range of topics such as education, fundraising, clinical issues (such as medication shortages), in addition to highlighting novel basic and clinical epilepsy research. Further, the PAC Chairperson sits on the Board of Directors to provide an interface between the two committees. Input from the PAC serves as an invaluable source of expertise to assist The BC Epilepsy Society.
Stuart M Cain, PhD
Research Associate, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health and Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
PAC Co-ChairDr. Cain completed an undergraduate degree in Pharmacology at The University of Glasgow, UK before undertaking his Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology and Neurophysiology at The University of Strathclyde, UK. His post-doctoral studies took place in Dr. Terry Snutch’s laboratory at The University of British Columbia where he is now a basic science Research Associate. Dr. Cain’s research examines the electrical activity that occurs in single neurons and nerve cell networks in the brain to further understand the cause of seizures. This information is used to design and develop new drugs and experimental therapies for the treatment of, and to hopefully work towards finding a cure for epilepsy. Dr. Cain joined the PAC after the BC Epilepsy society awarded funding to support his research, leading to the publication of a number of scientific manuscripts on various aspects of epilepsy pathophysiology. For more information on current research activities see www.researchgate.net/profile/Stuart_Cain.
Linda Huh, MD, FRCPC
Assistant Clinical Professor at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital
Dr. Huh graduated from Medical School at the University of Ottawa and then completed Pediatrics residency (Memorial University) and Pediatric Neurology Fellowship at UBC. She completed her Epilepsy Fellowship at Yale University and is now an Assistant Clinical Professor at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital (BCCH). She currently serves as the director of the BCCH Ketogenic Diet program and the UBC Pediatric Neurology residency program. Dr. Huh’s areas of special interest include medical education, Critical Care EEG Monitoring, epilepsy surgery and the Ketogenic Diet. She joined the BC Epilepsy Society PAC in 2008 and has been working to assist the society to support the families living with epilepsy.
Dr. Mary Connolly MB, BCh, BAO, FRCP(C), FRCP(I), FRCP(Edin)
Pediatric Neurologist and Epileptologist at BC Children’s Hospital
Dr Connolly is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics (Neurology), head of The Division of Pediatric Neurology and Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at BC Children’s Hospital and The University of British Columbia (UBC). Dr. Connolly received her medical training at Trinity College, Dublin followed by residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in Ireland. She completed Pediatric Neurology training at UBC followed by an epilepsy fellowship at The Children’s Hospital, Boston. In conjunction with colleagues in Pediatric Neurosurgery, she established the Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Program at BC Children’s Hospital in 1994. In 2012, she established the second Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Clinic in Canada.
Her clinical and research interests include the role of epilepsy surgery in children, psychiatric co-morbidity in children with epilepsy, tuberous sclerosis complex, Dravet syndrome and telemedicine management for epilepsy.
She was President of the Canadian Association of Child Neurology from 2009-2011. She is Co-Chair of the Canadian Pediatric Epilepsy Network and Chair of the Pediatric Content Committee of the American Epilepsy Society. She received the Clinical Practice and Advocacy Award from the Canadian League Against Epilepsy in 2015 and the inaugural Dr. Parminder Singh Award of Distinction from the BC Pediatric Society in 1995.
Chantelle Hrazdil, MD, FRCPC
Neurologist at Vancouver General Hospital
Dr. Hrazdil completed medical school at the University of Alberta, following which she moved to Vancouver to perform her Adult Neurology Residency Training through the University of British Columbia (UBC). She then completed a Fellowship in Epilepsy and Electroencephalography at the University of Calgary, where she worked with Dr. Sam Wiebe, a world leader in Epilepsy and the current President of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE). She then moved back to British Columbia as a UBC Division of Neurology Clinical Assistant Professor and member of the Vancouver General Hospital Epilepsy program. She has been a national examiner for the Canadian Society of Neurophysiologists. Her research interests and related publications have spanned such topics as non-convulsive status epilepticus, validation of an epilepsy surgical evaluation decision making tool, and patient/physician perceptions of epilepsy surgery. Some of her clinical interests include: epilepsy surgical evaluation, autoimmune encephalitis, women’s issues in epilepsy, epilepsy-related driving implications, and epilepsy pediatric transition. She has been a member of the BC Epilepsy Society Professional Advisory Committee since starting her practice in 2012, and remains committed to advocating for improved resources and quality of life for patients with Epilepsy living in British Columbia.
Sherrill Purves, MD, PhD, FRCP, FAAN
Retired Clinical Neurologist and Epileptologist
Dr. Purves was a founding member of BC Epilepsy in the 1980’s. She started the Epilepsy Program at VGH in 1983 after training with Dr. Juhn Wada at the UBC hospital. She has worked in the US and Canada in general Neurology (Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver and Sioux City, Iowa and in a specialized Epilepsy Center in Minneapolis ( MINCEP)). She has had extensive experience with the needs of patients and their families who have had seizures and Epilepsy in the Lower Mainland until her retirement in 2014.
Jing Ee Tan, PhD, ABPP-CN
Psychologist in the Epilepsy Program at Vancouver General Hospital
Dr. Tan is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist with the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology with specialized clinical expertise in neuropsychological assessment of individuals with complex medical conditions such as epilepsy. She currently practices as a Registered Psychologist in the Epilepsy Program at Vancouver General Hospital, and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Neurology at the University of British Columbia. In addition to her clinical and supervisory duties, Dr. Tan also serves as a reviewer for neuropsychology journals. She has published numerous research articles and book chapters on neuropsychological issues in complex medical and psychological conditions. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with Neuropsychology Specialization from the University of Victoria, Canada, completed her pre-doctoral residency at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University Clinical Psychology Training Consortium, and her post-doctoral clinical fellowship at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital, USA.
Anita Datta, MD, FRCPC
Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia
Dr. Datta is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and is also Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, in both Child Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology. She obtained her MD from the University of Saskatchewan, and completed her Pediatric Neurology residency at the University of Alberta. She then went on to an Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital - Harvard University. Prior to joining BC Children’s Hospital, she served as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Neurology at both the University of Saskatchewan and University of Calgary. She has served on Medical School admission committees and is presently a national examiner for the Canadian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology. She is currently program director of the epilepsy fellowship training program. Her primary clinical interest is epilepsy and its surgical management. She is also involved in the Tuberous Sclerosis Clinic and is part of the Ketogenic Diet team. Her research interests include clinical epilepsy, neurophysiology and neuropsychological outcomes. She has authored peer reviewed publications and book chapters in these areas.
Islam Hassan, MBChB, MMedSc, MRCP(UK), MRCPsych, FRANZCP, FRCPC
Clinical Assistant Professor and Epilepsy Neuropsychiatrist at Vancouver General Hospital
Dr. Hassan is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Neuropsychiatry at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and a Consultant Neuropsychiatrist within the adult Epilepsy Program at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and the BC Neuropsychiatry Program at UBC Hospital. He completed his medical training at the University of Alexandria followed by a Master’s degree in Neuropathology at the University of Adelaide. Dr. Hassan then undertook postgraduate clinical training in general medicine in Perth and Melbourne culminating in Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of the UK (Internal Medicine). He undertook specialist training in Psychiatry at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne followed by a Neuropsychiatry of Epilepsy Fellowship at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and a subsequent Neuropsychiatry Fellowship at UBC. Dr. Hassan’s work within the Epilepsy Program focuses on the interaction between seizures and mental health. Dr. Hassan is also actively involved in research focusing on the neuropsychiatric aspects of epilepsy. He joined the BC Epilepsy Society in 2016 and works to support persons and families living with epilepsy in enhancing and maintaining their health and quality of life.
Sharon Peinhof, RN, BSN
Nurse Clinician Neurology Department at BC Children’s Hospital
Sharon graduated from UBC Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1991 and then began working on the Neuroscience ward at BC Children’s Hospital immediately after graduation. She has continued working in neurosciences and joined the Neurology outpatient clinic in January 2006. During her time in Neurology, she has primarily worked with Epilepsy patients and families as a resource of information, support and assistance. She is been highly involved in providing education to families with epilepsy through BC Children’s Hospital and contributes her valuable expertise to the BC Epilepsy Society.