Meet the WACH Program Co-Directors!

We are thrilled to have Dr. Beristain and Dr. Devlin as the first Program Co-Directors for the Women+ and Children’s Health Sciences graduate program.

Dr. Alexander Beristain

Dr. Beristain is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and scientist at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, where he is a member of the Healthy Starts research theme.

Dr. Beristain grew up on Vancouver Island and completed his PhD at UBC in the Reproductive and Developmental Sciences graduate program. His research interests in development and stem cell biology led him to the University of Toronto to postdoc in Rama Khokha’s lab, after which he moved back to UBC in 2012 to start his independent lab.  His current research focus is on placental development, which a specific interest in human trophoblast stem cell biology and trophoblast differentiation. He loves the outdoors, especially ski touring and hiking in the mountains.


Dr. Angela Devlin

Dr. Devlin is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and scientist at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, where she is a member of the Childhood Diabetes Laboratories and co-leads the Origins of Child Health and Disease Research Group.

Dr. Devlin’s research program encompasses discovery and clinical studies focused on determining roles for prenatal and childhood dietary and metabolic factors on the development of diabetes and cardiovascular complications. A particular focus is on identifying targets to prevent cardiometabolic complications in high-risk children, such as those with mental health conditions and type 1 diabetes. Her research program is supported by funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the Canucks for Kids Fund.

The Program Co-Directors can be reached at