Juan Antonio Avina-Zubieta

Rheumatology - Med
Degrees / Designations 

MD, PhD, MSc

Mailing Address 
5591 No. 3 Road Richmond, BC V6X 2C7


Born in Mexico, Dr. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta graduated as a Medical Doctor from the University of Guadalajara in 1989. He did his Internal Medicine training from 1990 to 1991 at the University of Guadalajara, and from 1991 to 1993 he pursued a rheumatology fellowship at the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM). He has been a National Scientist in Mexico since 1998.

After his formal training in Mexico, Dr. Aviña did a Clinical Research Fellowship at the University of Alberta from 1993 to 1995, and subsequently completed a Master's Degree in Experimental Medicine at the same university in 1997. In 2010, Dr. Aviña received his PhD in Experimental Medicine/Epidemiology from the University of British Columbia and began a faculty appointment as a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Medicine at the same university on July 1st of that year.

To start his career as a New Investigator, Dr. Aviña was granted a Network Scholar research training award from the Canadian Arthritis Network and The Arthritis Society. He was also named the first ever BC Lupus Society Scholar. Dr. Aviña has co-authored more than 50 publications in refereed journals, book chapters and peer reviewed published abstracts, and has given presentations at a number of national and international conferences, including a podium presentation at a Plenary Session of the 2013 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting.

Dr. Aviña's current research focuses on the economic burden and cardiovascular complications associated with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs), which include systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, Sjögren’s syndrome, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, and the systemic vasculitides. In the future, Dr. Aviña plans to examine other complications associated with SARDs, including cancer, infections, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He will also look at potential risk factors for SARDs, such as exposure to certain medications and smoking. His research is currently funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

In order to conduct his research, Dr. Aviña has put together an administrative data cohort that includes all individuals in British Columbia with SARDs. This data includes all hospital and outpatient physician billing claims for BC, all prescription medications filled in BC, and vital statistics information. It also includes laboratory test results data, a unique feature of Dr. Aviña’s cohort that is not found in any other similar cohort across the world. He has also established a Community Advisory Committee (CAC), who are a group of patients with SARDs that work with Dr. Aviña to ensure that the direction of his research is relevant to those living with SARDs and that the results of his research are disseminated in a timely and appropriate manner. In 2011, Dr. Aviña was the recipient of the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada’s Outstanding Consumer Inclusion Award.

Academic Appointment 
Clinical Assistant Professor
Other Areas of Research