Traffic Pollution Impairs Brain Function

A new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria has shown that common levels of traffic pollution can impair human brain function in only a matter of hours. The peer-reviewed findings, published in the journal Environmental Health, show that just two hours of exposure to diesel exhaust causes a decrease in the brain’s functional…
Read More
A drug originally designed to prevent osteoporosis is now expected to save and improve the lives of millions of people with breast cancer, thanks in part to decades of foundational research by Dr. Josef Penninger, a professor in UBC’s Faculty of Medicine and director of the Life Sciences Institute. The achievement highlights how UBC scientists are developing effective new treatments…
Read More
The LSI’s Dr. Tim Kieffer was recently awarded funding for a project, “Designing stem cell-derived islets for diabetes therapy” through the JDRF-CIHR Partnership to Defeat Diabetes, a joint investment by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Diabetes Canada, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Canada. The funding for Dr. Kieffer’s project, along with a second funded project by…
Read More
A breakthrough paper from the Zandstra lab has scientists excited about the potential impacts of their findings on personalized medicine. The research in the Stem Cell Reports publication showcases a new computational modelling technique that helps understand the relationship between genes, cells and their microenvironments (molecules, cells and structures that surround and support other cells and tissues). The team designed computer models to make predictions about cell…
Read More

A Day in the Life of a Platelet Scientist

Steven Jiang is a 2nd year Masters of Science student at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology and the Centre for Blood Research (CBR), under the supervision of Dr. Hugh Kim. Steven’s research focuses on the effect of platelets on rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory disease that causes joint pain in more than…
Read More
Researchers with the SFU Nanodevice Fabrication Group are developing a new biosensor that can be used to screen for Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases. An overview of their work has been recently published in the journal Nature Communications. Their sensor works by detecting a particular type of small protein, in this case a cytokine known as Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF…
Read More
“Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars” – while this is the start of a Frank Sinatra song, it’s also how University of British Columbia pharmaceutical sciences professor Dr. Corey Nislow may be feeling as he begins to analyze baker’s yeast and algae samples, which returned to Earth on December 11 after travelling around the moon…
Read More
Alpha-9 Theranostics, a UBC spin-off company founded by three university researchers, has raised $75 million to develop next-generation radiopharmaceuticals that promise to meaningfully improve treatment for people with cancer. Based on more than a decade of ground-breaking research at UBC and BC Cancer, the cancer drugs act like a homing device — seeking out tumours to deliver targeted radiation treatment,…
Read More

Synaptic Activity–Dependent Changes in the Hippocampal Palmitoylome

The primary focus of Dr. Shernaz Bamji's lab at present is to determine how the addition and removal of a fatty acid lipid molecule, in a process known as ‘protein palmitoylation’, alters the function of key proteins that are involved in signaling at the synapse. They hope to better understand the critical role of palmitoylation in synaptic remodeling, and how disrupted palmitoylation contributes to numerous brain disorders, including Schizophrenia and X-linked intellectual disability.
Read More
January is Alzheimer Awareness Month. Alzheimer disease (AD) is a progressive, chronic neurodegenerative disease that destroys brain cells, causing thinking ability and memory to deteriorate over time. As the brain ages, it is more susceptible to Alzheimer disease and related dementia. The process by which AD develops begins decades before even the first signs of disease are present. Interventions that…
Read More