Educational Leadership Faculty


Associate Professor of Teaching


Joined department in 2014

B.Sc., University of British Columbia 1997; Ph.D., University of British Columbia 2005; Postdoctoral, Simon Fraser University 2009 (Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research).
Publications: UJEMI - The Undergraduate Journal of Experimental Microbiology and Immunology
Twitter: @ubc_dave447_421
Phone: 604-827-2496
Address: 3138 - 6270 University Blvd, Biological Sciences Building 


Associated Departments

Special Interests & Accomplishments in Teaching

Since 2014, I have led the course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) program in our department. Originally developed in 2001 by my predecessor Dr. William Ramey, our CUREs provide all upper-level students in our undergraduate programs with opportunities to do authentic scientific research. Students work on teams to develop a novel research question, draft a research proposal, execute experiments or workflows, and disseminate their findings in our online undergraduate research journal. Since 2014, I have formalized the structure of our CUREs and enhanced the student experience by introducing opportunities for the development of professional skills such as communication, project management, team work, documentation, and peer review. In 2019, Dr. Graves and I received a UBC grant to further expand the MBIM CURE program. To this end, the shift to remote teaching during the pandemic prompted the development of a new "dry lab" CURE focused on data science with emphasis on microbiomes. In winter term of 2022, we will roll out the first iteration of our fully realized, optimized, and expanded CURE lab program where students in our undergraduate program will do both a wet lab and a dry lab CURE. 

Awards and Distinctions

  • Killam Teaching Prize, 2017

Selected Publications

  • Sun E, Graves ML, Oliver DC. Propelling a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience Using an Open-Access Online Undergraduate Research Journal. Front Microbiol. 2020 Nov 23;11:589025. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.589025. PMID: 33329466; PMCID: PMC7719674.  Link to paper.
  • ​Sun E, Huggins JA, Brown KL, Boutin RCT, Ramey WD, Graves ML, Oliver DC. Development of a Peer-Reviewed Open-Access Undergraduate Research Journal. J Microbiol Biol Educ. 2020 Aug 31;21(2):21.2.62. doi: 10.1128/jmbe.v21i2.2151. PMID: 32913490; PMCID: PMC7452719. Link to paper.
  • Sun E, Graves ML, Oliver DC.  The Lay of the Land: An Overview of Canada’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities within the Life Sciences.   Scholarship and Practices in Undergraduate Research.  2020.  Link to paper.