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Tillie Hackett



Dr. Tillie-Louise Hackett, PhD, ATSF, is a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Asthma and COPD Lung Pathobiology & Therapeutics, and Professor and Vice-Chair of Research in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Hackett is an internationally recognized leader in ultra-resolution biomedical imaging modalities and human in vitro models to investigate and treat the pathobiology of asthma and COPD, which daily affects the ability of over 4.5 million Canadians to breathe. Dr. Hackett’s research has been formally recognized by over 35 awards, including the Parker B. Francis Fellowship (2012), Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Award (2014), and the UBC Faculty of Medicine Distinguished Researcher Award (2018). In 2018, she was named an Inaugural American Thoracic Society Fellow (100 awarded), a mark of distinction and recognition for accomplishments and dedication to the society and field of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. Dr. Hackett has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and ranks in the top 0.2% of 157,339 published authors worldwide on obstructive lung diseases (

Since 2014, Dr. Hackett has served as the Director of the HLI James C. Hogg Lung Tissue Biobank. Established in 1977, it is one of the largest biobanks in the world, enabling researchers from academia, health authorities, and industry to access comprehensively phenotyped lung samples from over 3,000 patients. Between 2013 – 2018, Dr. Hackett served as the Associate Director of the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation.

Dr. Hackett has served as the primary supervisor for 3 MSc and 8 PhD students, 5 postdoctoral fellows, 4 co-op students, 9 summer students, 3 clinical fellows, and 4 BSc Honours students who have collectively won over 65 fellowships, travel awards, and best presentation awards. Since 2017, she has been recognized annually for Excellence in Student Teaching by the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences.

Education & Training

  • BSc, Biochemistry and Pharmacology, University of Southampton (2002)
  • PhD, Cellular and Biological Sciences, University of Southampton (2006)

Area of Interest

Dr. Hackett’s research program is focused on understanding the disruption of normal repair processes within the epithelial-mesenchymal trophic unit (EMTU) of the lung and how this propagates inflammation and tissue remodeling in patients with obstructive lung disease. Her laboratory uses an innovative and targeted approach to isolate cells from donor lungs guided by Computed Tomography imaging. This resource, The Human Lung Cell Repository, aims to provide highly characterized cells representative of a variety of lung disease states and healthy individuals for use in clinical bio-assays of disease. The goal of this research program is to further understand the airway microenvironment to determine therapeutic targets to prevent the initiation and perpetuation of pathological processes which contribute to obstructive airway diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Team Members

  • Gillian Goobie – Postdoctoral fellow
  • Kauna Usman – PhD student
  • Kingsley Nwozor – PhD student
  • Aileen Hsieh – PhD student
  • Fatemeh Aminazadeh – PhD student
  • Najmeh Assadinia – MSc student
  • May Fouadi – Lab manager
  • Yolanda Yang – Statistician
  • Darren Sutherland – Lung Registry Manager
  • Stacey Ledoux – Imaging Core Manager
  • Fanny Chu – Lab Technician
  • Dragos Vasilescu – Research Associate

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