Education and Training

The interdisciplinary nature of Dr. Viviane Lima’s expertise allows her to provide supervision and mentorship to students across various disciplines including public health, epidemiology, statistics, and mathematical modeling. Students work with the research team to solve problems and address current challenges in HIV care to improve the lives of people living with HIV.

Dr. Lima holds a faculty appointment with the University of British Columbia (UBC)’s Faculty of Medicine and predominantly provides thesis supervision to students enrolled in the Experimental Medicine program. Prospective students seeking the supervision of Dr. Viviane Lima are encouraged to visit the UBC Faculty of Medicine webpage, here, to explore their eligibility. Those interested can contact the EMBARC group by filling out the form here


Current Graduate Students


Currently, Dr. Lima supervises two Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students and one Masters of Science (MSc) student in the Faculty of Experimental Medicine. She has successfully supported five graduate students to achieve their degrees. In addition, she also mentors medical students on a regular basis through the UBC FLEX program and clinical rotations in Public Health. Information on past medical students and their research can be found here.

Meet our current graduate students below.

Nance Cunningham, MHSc

PhD Candidate – Experimental Medicine Program

About Nance Cunningham: Nance is a Graduate Research Assistant in the team of Dr. Viviane Dias Lima at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. After completing her Masters in Health Science from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, she worked for humanitarian organizations in Asia, including health program strategy, migrant and refugee health, context-appropriate health education, community outreach, assessment of detention conditions, and monitoring and evaluation of a variety of programs. In 2019 she started a PhD in the Infectious Diseases Program, Experimental Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia (UBC). Currently, in addition to her work at the centre, Nance is supporting multiple projects focused to move forward various microelimination of Hepatitis C projects around the world.

Interesting fact: In a previous job, Nance had the first feature-length film with an HIV-positive main character made in Myanmar for World AIDS Day, 2000.


Qian (Monica) Ye

PhD Student – Department of Statistics

About Monica Ye: Qian (Monica) Ye is a PhD student in statistics in the Department of Statistics at University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Her research interests lie in innovative statistical models analyzing longitudinal and survival data, and their applications in the field of epidemiology and public health. She is currently a statistician working in the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE).



Kiana Yazdani, MSc

PhD Student – Experimental Medicine Program

About Kiana Yazdani: Kiana is pursuing her PhD in Experimental Medicine program at the University of British Columbia, under the guidance of Dr. Viviane Lima. She currently works as a graduate research assistant at British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. Kiana’s main interests lie in working with administrative data and leveraging quantitative methods to address research gaps tailored to marginalized populations. Her thesis studies the intersection of mental disorders, substance use, and HIV and aims to understand the influence of opioid agonist therapy on the management of mental disorders among people with HIV.

Interesting Fact: Kiana has a passion for sports and is a certified Yoga Instructor. Moreover, she takes pleasure in assisting newcomers to Canada in pursuit of achieving their immigration objectives.


Felipe Duailibe

MSc Student – Experimental Medicine Program

About Felipe Dualiabe: Born and raised in Brazil, Felipe Tavares Duailibe moved to Canada to pursue his Master’s in experimental medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is currently a graduate research assistant at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. Prior to pursuing his masters degree, he worked as a nurse with the Brazilian Ministry of Health; in this role, he supported the surveillance of communicable diseases focused on spatial analysis. For his thesis, he hopes to further explore syndemic theory in relation to sexually transmitted infections.

Interesting Fact: Ever since he was a child, Felipe has been very passionate about videogames. He considers himself a gamer, but not a good one.



Sara Shayegi-Nik, BSc

MSc Student – Experimental Medicine Program

About Sara Shayegi-Nik: Sara is a Masters student, studying experimental medicine at the University of British Columbia. She is currently a graduate research assistant at the BC Center of Excellence in HIV. She holds a bachelor in general science with a minor in mathematics and a minor in kinesiology. Her current research interests include mental health and substance use issues among people who are aging with HIV and other chronic illnesses. She is specifically interested in access to mental health and addiction services.
Interesting Fact: Sara has a passion for adventure and she spends her free time hiking, climbing, backpacking and travelling.