Part of the reason why researchers were able to successfully create COVID-19 mRNA vaccines so quickly was that the groundwork had begun decades before, and this included a major Canadian contribution. For foundational work that enabled the delivery of mRNA vaccines to cells, providing the instructions for viral proteins that could be produced to launch an immune response, Pieter Cullis is now a 2022 Canada…
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Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Zymeworks Inc entered into a $50 million licensing agreement over zanidatamab, Zymeworks’ bispecific antibody targeting HER2, the companies announced Wednesday. The deal will give Jazz exclusive commercialization and development rights over zanidatamab in the U.S., Europe, Japan and all other territories that aren’t yet covered by existing licenses. Aside from the $50 million upfront payment, Jazz is putting $325 million more…
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On Tuesday night at the Pan Pacific Hotel, biotech scientists, mentors, and ventures from across Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. came together to discuss The Future of Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative medicine — broadly defined as science, technology, and engineering-based approaches to replace or regenerate human cells, tissues, and organs — can also be seen as the “future of medicine,” said…
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Researchers from UBC and the BC Cancer Research Institute (BCCRI) have uncovered new insights into how a dangerous subset of breast and ovarian cancers evolve — insights that could help us better understand how to treat these aggressive cancers. By sequencing the genomes of individual cells from the biopsies of 158 BC Cancer patients, the researchers were able to observe…
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Queen bees with viral infections have smaller ovaries than their healthy counterparts, a recent UBC study has found, which could threaten the health and financial viability of their colonies. Viral infections in honey bees are becoming more intense and widespread. UBC researchers Abigail Chapman and Dr. Alison McAfee found that virus-infected queen bees in the field have shriveled ovaries compared with healthy ones.…
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Characterizing COVID-19-Associated Cardiac Injury

Though initially considered primarily a respiratory disease, as the pandemic has evolved, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been increasingly implicated in heart injury. Reports indicate cardiac damage in over 20% of patients, with evidence of direct viral injury, thromboembolism with ischemic complications (circulating clot that causes an obstruction in the blood vessels), and cytokine storm (excessive activation of the immune system).…
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BIOCAPS Spotlight: Dr. Wayne Vogl

The Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences is delighted to shine a spotlight on Dr. Wayne Vogl this month for our BIOCAPS Spotlight Series in honour of his 40 years of excellence in teaching, research and service. Dr. Wayne Vogl obtained his Ph.D. in Zoology at UBC in 1979 and was a Research Fellow at the Harvard Medical School from…
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New MATRIX-N Research Cluster Aims to Tackle Growing Mental Health Challenges

It is estimated that one in five Canadians experiences a mental illness in any given year. Recently, this has been exacerbated by the opioid overdose crisis, particularly in British Columbia where nearly 1500 lives were lost to illicit drugs in the first eight months of 2022 alone, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic with its far-reaching negative effects on mental…
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Going through an Undergraduate degree is no walk in the park. Many students enter their programs having never been exposed to the fast-paced academic environment of an institution like UBC. Add to the mix clubs, work, and social commitments, it can be hard to prioritize mental health and stay connected. Such was the case for third year Biomedical Engineering student Hannah…
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