About

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Background

I did my undergraduate in Kinesiology at UBC and am now a PhD student in Experimental Medicine at UBC. I spent a decade as a hockey referee in minor through Junior A and have done various backcountry ski tours, mountain biking trips in Utah, and mountaineering trips throughout the Pacific Northwest. Outside of my studies I can generally be found on a road bike somewhere between Vancouver and Whistler, sampling the local craft beer, or volunteering at the Overdose Prevention Society.

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Research

My doctoral work is co-supervised by Drs. William J. Panenka and William G. Honer of the Department of Psychiatry. We work at the BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Research Institute, within the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute.


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Research

Current research

Characterizing how the health of homeless and precariously housed individuals is affected by traumatic brain injury. 

The first component of my thesis was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis that summarized findings from all previous studies that have looked at this topic (Stubbs et al. (2019). Lancet Public Health). We found that more than half of homeless and precariously housed individuals have a history of TBI, and approximately 25% have a history of moderate-to-severe brain injury. We also found that traumatic brain injury is broadly associated with poorer mental and physical health, suicidality, memory concerns, as well as criminal justice system involvement and health service use. 


The subsequent components of my thesis will be as part of the prospective longitudinal 'Hotel Study' which follows Vancouver Downtown Eastside residents who are homeless or live in single room occupancy hotel rooms. Hotel Study participants receive monthly and yearly assessments of health, including multimodal MRI scans. Initially I aim to use longitudinal data analysis to integrate >1,000 MRI scans with longitudinal assessments of health from the Hotel Study to evaluate risk factors for brain degeneration. I am specifically interested in modelling how traumatic brain injury interacts with factors such as substance use, and how altered MRI metrics of brain health over time are associated with functional outcomes.


Finally, I plan to use data from the prospective Hotel-TBI Study, where Hotel Study participants are have received ongoing screening for traumatic brain injury since 2017. I plan to use advanced longitudinal analysis techniques to model how incident traumatic brain injury (i.e., new injuries during the study) affect metrics of brain health, and how brain health is related to functional outcomes.

Past research

Isolating the type of somatic symptoms experienced by individuals with post-concussion syndrome 

In collaboration with the Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium we conducted a small study on the type of somatic symptoms reported by individuals with prolonged post-concussion syndrome (in review).


Evaluating the diagnostic utility of smooth pursuit eye movements in mild traumatic brain injury

In my undergraduate I led a pilot study assessing the performance of using smooth pursuit eye movement as a diagnostic indicator of mild traumatic brain injury (Stubbs et al. 2019. Scientific Reports). We found that integrating a working memory task into a smooth pursuit eye movement task resulted in significantly greater diagnostic utility than smooth pursuit eye movement alone.


Examining how working memory and attention interact with smooth pursuit eye movement

We evaluated how smooth pursuit eye movement is affected by working memory load. We showed that smooth pursuit eye movement variability improves with higher amounts of working memory load in health individuals (Stubbs et al. 2018. Experimental Brain Research).


Characterizing a novel association between prosopagnosia ('face blindness') and amusia ('tone deafness')

Following anecdotal reports from our prosopagnosic participants and amusic participants tested by our collaborators at Harvard Medical School, we formally tested musicality in participants with developmental prosopagnosia (Corrow et al. 2019. Neuropsychologia). We then tested musicality in participants with acquired prosopagnosia, yielding a strikingly similar finding (in review). This work fundamentally shifts our understanding of prosopagnosia from purely a visual disorder to a more broad developmental or connective disorder encompassing multiple perceptual systems.

Curriculum vitate

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Education

2018 - Present | PhD, Experimental Medicine, University of British Columbia


2014 - 2018 | Bachelor of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia

Research Experience

2018 - Present | PhD student (Experimental Medicine Program) and graduate research assistant, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia

Co-supervisors: Drs. William J. Panenka and William G. Honer


2017 - 2018 | Undergraduate research assistant, BC Mental Health and Addictions Research Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia

PI: Dr. William J. Panenka


2015 - 2018 | Undergraduate research volunteer, Human Vision and Eye Movement Laboratory, Departments of Neurology, Ophthalmology, and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia

PI: Dr. Jason J. Barton

Publications

Peer-reviewed primary research


Stubbs, J. L., Thornton, A. E., Sevick, J. M., Silverberg, N. D., Barr, A. M., Honer, W. G., Panenka, W. J. (2019). Traumatic brain injury in homeless and marginally housed individuals: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Public Health. DOI: 10.1016/S2468-2667(19)30188-4


Cherkasova, M. V., Corrow, J. C., Taylor, A., Yeung, S., Stubbs, J. L., Stoessl, J. A., McEwen, M. J., Cresswell, S.A., Barton, J.J.S. (in press). Dopamine replacement remediates risk aversion in Parkinson’s disease in a value-independent manner. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. DOI: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2019.08.014


Corrow, S. L., Stubbs, J. L., Li, C., Buss, S., Duchaine, B., Schlaug, G., Barton, J. J. S. (2019). Perception of musical pitch in developmental prosopagnosia. Neuropsychologia, 124(1), 87-97. DOI: 10/1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.12.022


Stubbs, J. L., Corrow, S. L., Kiang, B. R., Corrow J. C., Pearce, H. L., Cheng, A. Y., Barton, J. J. S., Panenka, W. J. (2019). Working memory load improves diagnostic performance of smooth pursuit eye movements in mild traumatic brain injury patients with protracted recovery. Scientific Reports,  9(291), 1-11. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-36286-3


Stubbs, J. L., Corrow, S. L., Kiang, B., Panenka, W. J., Barton, J. J. S. (2018). The effects of enhanced attention and working memory on smooth pursuit eye movement. Experimental Brain Research, 236(2), 485-495. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-017-5146-6


Peer-reviewed commentaries/other


Stubbs, J. L. (2019). Harm reduction throughout the opioid crisis: A community responds. British Columbia Medical Journal, 61(4), 172-175. [Special feature] https://www.bcmj.org/sites/default/files/public/BCMJ_Vol61_No4-opioid-crisis.pdf


Stubbs, J. L. (2018). Diagnosing pediatric mild traumatic brain injury: Current techniques in a vulnerable population. University of British Columbia Medical Journal, 9(2), 30-31. [Commentary] http://med-fom-ubcmj.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2018/02/Stubbs-PROOF.pdf


Pre-prints


Stubbs, J. L., Green, K.E., Silverberg, N. D., Howard, A., Dhariwal, A., Brubacher, J. R., Garraway, N., Heran, M. K. S., Sekhon, M. S., Torres, I. J., Aquino, A., Purcell, V., Hutchison, J. S., Panenka, W.J., on behalf of the National biobank and database of patients with traumatic brain injury (CanTBI) investigators and the Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium (CTRC). (2019). Atypical somatic symptoms in adults with prolonged mild traumatic brain injury recovery. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/19004622v1


Barton, J. J. S., Stubbs, J. L., Pacquette, S., Duchaine, B., Schlaug, G., Corrow, S. L. (2019). Music perception in acquired prosopagnosia: An anterior temporal syndrome for faces, voices, and music.  https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/640748v1 


Cherkasova, M. V., Corrow, J. C., Taylor, A., Yeung, S., Stubbs, J. L., Stoessl, J. A., McEwen, M. J., Cresswell, S. A., Barton, J. J. S. (2019). Decision making in un-medicated and medicated Parkinson’s disease.  https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/625467

Select scholarships and awards

Research funding


My research is generously supported by the UBC Institute of Mental Health Marshall Scholar Award in Mental Health (2019-2021) and the UBC Four-Year Doctoral Fellowship (and previously by a BC Children's Hospital Research Institute Graduate Scholarship [2018-2019]).


Select awards


2019 - 2021 UBC Institute of Mental Health Marshall Scholarship in Mental Health


2018 - 2022 UBC Four-Year Doctoral Fellowship


2018 - 2019 BCCHRI Graduate Scholarship


2016 - 2019 Top Presentation Awards at various departmental research days and undergraduate conferences


2018 CIHR Fredrick Banting and Charles Best Graduate Scholarship (Declined)


2018 UBC Faculty of Medicine Graduate Student Award


2018 Outstanding Achievement Award for an Undergraduate or Medical Student, BC Children's Hospital 

Research Institute


2018 UBC Faculty of Medicine Summer Student Research Project Award

Media

Our work looking at traumatic brain injury and the general health of homeless and marginally housed individuals on the Downtown Eastside was featured by the Ubyssey. https://www.ubyssey.ca/science/ubc-hotel-study/


Our eye-tracking work was featured in the January 2017 edition of the Vancouver Coast Health Research Institute ‘In It Together’ newsletter. http://www.vchri.ca/feature-stories/articles/2017/01/10/eyes-are-windows-soul…-and-accurate-concussion-diagnosis

Select activities

2019 - Present | Founding Director , Zero Block Society


2017 - Present | Editor, copy editor, Canadian Journal of Undergraduate Research


2013 - Present | Hiking volunteer, BC Mobilities Access Society


2018 - 2019 | Harm reduction and overdose response volunteer, Overdose Prevention Society


2008 - 2019 | Referee, BC Hockey and Hockey Canada 

                          (Hockey Canada Officiating Program of Excellence 2014 - 2018)