UBC Reproductive Infectious Diseases Fellowship

The Reproductive Infectious Diseases (RID) fellowship is hosted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and is made possible through highly valued partnerships with the Departments of Medicine (Infectious Diseases), Paediatrics (Infectious Diseases) and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (Medical Microbiology) and the Women’s Health Research Institute.

Dr. Chelsea Elwood is the current Clinical Fellow in the program. Dr. Elwood has been with us since September 2016.

Over the past five months Dr. Elwood has had the pleasure of working in this truly collaborative and cross-disciplinary field of Reproductive Infectious Diseases.  She has been amazed by how truly invested in improving women’s health care the adult and pediatric infectious disease physicians, as well as the medical microbiologist and public health physicians, she has worked with are. By connecting Obstetrics and Gynaecology with these teams and identifying the needs in the field, she truly believes we can improve reproductive care for women and their infants in ways that would not otherwise be possible.

On entering her RID fellowship she has been awarded two prestigious, highly competitive scholarships:

She received an Allen-Carey Scholarship in Women’s Health. The Allen-Carey award was established in 1998 and is designed to support unique physician training opportunities for specialized education in women’s health. The award is to support educational experiences for exceptional individuals in order to promote the development of future leaders in women’s health.

She has also been awarded a CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network Postdoctoral Fellowship award to study aspects of HIV in women, particularly studying the co-factors involved in contributing to the two-fold higher rates of preterm birth in HIV positive individuals as part of the CARMA (CIHR funded team grant to study HIV and cellular aging).

Dr. Elwood did a BMSc in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Western Ontario, followed by an MSc at University of Western Ontario supported by an NSERC scholarship studying the vaginal microbiome. She completed her MD at UBC and then her residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at UBC. Research conducted in her residency included a project funded by The Western Society of Pelvic Medicine Award in Female Pelvic Floor Research, a Pilot Grant ‘Back to basics: a novel approach for improving surgical outcomes with vaginal mesh’ which integrated an animal model and human studies to evaluate the role of the vaginal microbiome in surgical outcomes. Of note she has already published 11 peer-reviewed publications, and presented at national and international meetings.