Lab Director


Bio_Lawrence_FrankDr. Lawrence D. Frank, PhD, AICP, ASLA, MCIP
Director | Health & Community Design Lab
Professor | Schools of Population and Public Health & Community and Regional Planning

Dr. Frank is the Bombardier Chairholder and Professor in Sustainable Transport and the Director of the Health and Community Design Lab at the University of British Columbia. He specializes in the interaction between land use, travel behavior, air quality, and health. He has been studying the effects of neighborhood walkability on travel patterns and sustainability for 25 years and has led over $20 million in funded research and lead or co-authored over 200 peer reviewed articles and reports, as well as two of the leading books Health and Community Design and Urban Sprawl and Public Health, on these topics. Dr. Frank’s work is highly cited. Thompson and Reuters placed him in the top 1% globally within all of the social sciences as a highly cited scholar in 2014 with over 11,000 citations of his work. He is amongst the most highly cited planning academics in the world- primarily for his ground breaking work on the links between the built environment and health. Dr. Frank works directly with local, regional, provincial or state, and federal agencies to help translate research into practice–based tools that provide direct feedback on the health and environmental impacts of alternative transportation and land development proposals. His position at UBC is split between the Schools of Community and Regional Planning in the Faculty of Applied Science and Population and Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine.

Dr. Frank is available to supervise new Masters and PhD students on 2019-2020

[Download: Curriculum Vitae (November 2018)]

Postdoctoral Scholars


Project Coordinators and Analysts


Avital Jarus-Hakak
MSc | Research Coordinator

Avital Jarus-Hakak (MSc, Epidemiology) is an Epidemiologist and the research coordinator of the Health and Community Design Lab at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health, Occupational and Environmental Health division. During the past seven years her work focused on occupational exposure assessments related to the health care sector. Previously, Avital has been involved with the International Agency for Research on Cancer projects that explored the association between exposure to non-ionizing radiation and brain tumor development, the INTERPHONE and the INTEROCC.

Victor Ngo
MAP  |  senior Research Assistant

Victor Ngo is an urban planner, researcher, and consultant. He is currently a Research Associate in the Health & Community Design Lab at the University of British Columbia (UBC)’s School of Population and Public Health. Victor’s work focuses on advancing sustainable development in cities and communities through evidence-based policy and design solutions. He has over five years of interdisciplinary and applied research experience specializing in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation, active transportation, healthy community design, and geospatial applications for planning, urban design, and real estate.



Bio_Binay_AdhikariBinay Adhikari (विनय अधिकारी)
PhD Student, MCRP | Research Assistant

Binay Adhikari is a PhD student at the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) at the University of British Columbia. Before coming to North America where he earned a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Arlington and is now pursuing a PhD degree in Planning, Binay was a practicing architect in Nepal. While working towards his master’s degree, Binay also completed a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Texas at Arlington. Binay’s research interests lie at the intersection of built environment and active travel behavior, and the resulting health consequences. While he acknowledges the significance of value-based approaches in research, Binay is more interested in using evidence-based approaches to explore causal association between built environment and health outcomes within the context of active travel behavior.






Bio_Nicole_Iroz_ElardoNicole Iroz Elardo
PhD | Collaborator

Nicole Iroz-Elardo received her PhD in Urban Studies from Portland State University in 2014 with a focus in urban health. Her doctoral research evaluated stakeholder participation Health Impact Assessments (HIA). She previously studied at University of Utah where she received a B.S. in Economics and completed post-baccalaureate coursework in Statistics with an emphasis in Econometrics. Dr. Iroz-Elardo has been working as an applied researcher on environmental health issues for over a decade including as Statistical Researcher in an environmental health unit at Battelle Memorial Institute (Columbus, Ohio) and as a Policy and Operations Analyst in the HIA program at Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division (Portland, Oregon). Dr. Iroz-Elardo is currently employed by Urban Design 4 Health, Inc. (UD4H) where she specializes in the development of practical tools to help planning professionals understand and embed the social determinants of health within public decision-making. At UD4H, much of her focus is on understanding how to extend land use and health modeling by monetizing and thus internalizing the health impacts of alternative modes.

Bio_Leia_MinakerLeia Minaker
PhD | Collaborator

Leia Minaker is a scientist at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Minaker earned her PhD from the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta and her thesis focused on characterizing food environments by examining associations between features of the food environment, food purchasing behaviour, dietary intake and anthropometric outcomes. She also holds a master’s degree in Health Promotion from the Centre for Health Promotion at the University of Alberta as well as a bachelor’s degree in Health Studies from the University of Waterloo.

Félicien Tournay
MSc | GIS Analyst

Félicien Tournay worked as a GIS specialist at the Health & Community Design Lab at the University of British Columbia. He obtained his master’s degree in geographical sciences at the “Université catholique de Louvain” (Belgium) in 2017 with a focus in climatology. His master’s thesis focused on the use of variable form drag coefficient over ice for global sea-ice modelling. Félicien Tournay is an interdisciplinary researcher who currently focuses on the interaction between built environment and public health through the Metro Vancouver Walkability Index and Walkability Surface.

Stuart Hamre
MCRP Student | Graduate Research Assistant

Stuart Hamre graduated from the Master’s program at the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) at the University of British Columbia. Before coming to SCARP, he attended the University of Toronto, obtaining an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Design, with a minor in Human Geography. Throughout and following his undergraduate degree, Stuart worked for the Government of the Northwest Territories in a variety of roles related to facility planning, capital planning, and policy research. Stuart’s research interests are in the relationship between urban design, transportation planning, and development; with particular attention paid to Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). Stuart uses his design and policy experience to perform data visualization and research at the Health & Community Design Lab.