About Us

Lab Director

Nancy L. Sin, PhD

Photo credit: Oliver Mann (UBC Faculty of Arts)

Dr. Nancy Sin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. She is a health psychologist interested in understanding how positive and stressful aspects of people’s day-to-day lives influence long-term health. Her research examines physiological mechanisms (e.g., inflammatory, neuroendocrine) and behavioural pathways (e.g., sleep) that link daily experiences to aging-related diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease. She is especially interested in the health benefits of positive experiences during times of stress. This research is conducted using ecological methods for capturing experiences and stress physiology as they unfold in their natural settings. By charting the daily lives of midlife and older adults, her work aims to identify ordinary circumstances that can be targeted in interventions to promote healthy aging.

Originally from California, Dr. Sin received her BA from UCLA and PhD from the University of California, Riverside. She was a National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco and in the Center for Healthy Aging at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Sin has been recognized with the Springer Early Career Achievement Award in Research on Adult Development and Aging from the American Psychological Association, as well as the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award. Her research has been supported by funding from the U.S. National Institute on Aging, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

Graduate Students

Jin Wen

Jin is a PhD student in the Health Psychology program. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Chapman University (Orange, California) in 2015. Jin is interested in examining individual differences and within-person fluctuations in responses to daily stressors. His research focuses on cognitive appraisals as potential mechanisms in the links between sleep (e.g., measured via wrist actigraphy) and next-day affective reactivity to daily stressors.

Patrick Klaiber

Patrick is a PhD student in the Health Psychology program. He graduated from the University of Freiburg with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2016) and from Freie Universität Berlin with a Master of Science in Clinical and Health Psychology (2019). Patrick is interested in studying positive events in daily life. In his research, he examines why some people experience more positive events than others and whether people differ in their responses to these positive events.

Lydia Ong

Lydia is a MA student in the Health Psychology program. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Chapman University in 2020. Her research interests lie in affect dynamics and affective reactivity in the context of daily positive events and stress. She is also interested in the nuances of positive events (e.g., type of event, timing) and their potential stress-buffering effects, particularly among socially disadvantaged groups.

Study Coordinator

Fei Ying

Fei is a 4th year student majoring in Behavioural Neuroscience. She is drawn to the integration of biological and psychosocial perspectives in health psychology, and is particularly interested in how variability in sleep relates to daily stress and positive affect. Outside the lab, Fei leads the UBC Pilates Club and enjoys birdwatching on weekends. She hopes to pursue a career in mental health.

Research Assistants

Juliane Henkel

Juliane is a 4th year Psychology undergraduate student minoring in Biology. With pursuing a minor in Biology, she is also fascinated by what evolutionary and social factors drive people to act in more health conscious ways. Outside of the lab, Juliane enjoys spending time outdoors, and being physically active. She hopes to pursue a career in health research.

Amy Lee

Amy is a 4th year Psychology student minoring in Health and Society. Since her interest focuses on Health Psychology, she intends to interpret the relationship between experiences of daily life and emotional well-being. By working as a Research Assistant, she wishes not only to enhance her knowledge in Psychology, but also to improve her laboratory skills. Outside of the lab, she works as a Pharmacy Assistant.

Sohrab Ghassemieh

Sohrab is a 4th year psychology student at UBC. He received his first Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from IAUM. He is interested in exploring social and biological factors that predispose people to experience more daily positive events and also how such factors influence people’s overall health. Outside of the lab, he is involved with community work and hopes to further his education in the field of Clinical Psychology.

Stephanie McCardle

Stephanie McCardle is pursuing a second undergraduate degree after a career in marketing and communications. She is interested in the impacts of social support on long-term health outcomes and aims to work in occupational therapy.