An industry association says it’s reaching out to biotechnology companies across Canada to develop a strategy to contend with a labour shortage problem in the sector which has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s a highly competitive space. You’re trying to attract talent from around the world to Canada. You’re also trying to retain what you do have here because…
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World Sepsis Day: Raising Awareness of a Global Health Crisis

Sepsis is a global health crisis that affects 47 to 50 million people every year. At least 11 million of those people die – one death every 2.8 seconds. The UBC Action on Sepsis research cluster – a transdisciplinary group tackling the complex issue of sepsis prevention, diagnosis, and management across the human lifespan – works to further sepsis research and reduce the…
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Klebsiella pneumoniae has been implicated in wide-ranging nosocomial outbreaks, causing severe infections without effective treatments due to antibiotic resistance. Here, we performed genome sequencing of 70 extensively drug resistant clinical isolates, collected from Brasília’s hospitals (Brazil) between 2010 and 2014. The majority of strains (60 out of 70) belonged to a single clonal complex (CC), CC258, which has become distributed worldwide…
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Genes, Pain and Medication: Q&A with Dr. Catrina Loucks

For some children with cancer the most painful part of their journey is when they start receiving life-saving treatment. To improve care for these and other sick children, it’s essential to understand why pain can be more intense in some kids than others, and how pain medications can potentially cause harmful reactions. To answer these questions, Dr. Catrina Loucks is studying genes…
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UBC faculty of medicine’s Drs. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, Gina Ogilvie and Anita Palepu are among 74 new Fellows elected into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) for 2021. Election to Fellowship in the CAHS is considered one of the highest honours for individuals in the Canadian health sciences community. “I would like to personally congratulate all the applicants that were elected…
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In land plants and algae, cellulose is important for strengthening cell walls and preventing breakage due to physical forces. Though our understanding of cellulose production by cellulose synthase enzymes (CESAs) has seen significant advances for several land plant and bacterial species, functional characterization of this fundamental protein is absent in red algae. Here we identify CESA gene candidates in the…
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or Research Associate Dr. Marine Theret, mentorship is all about giving and receiving good, constructive feedback. A long-time proponent of mentorship, Marine was awarded the Neil Mackenzie Mentorship Excellence Award during CBR-SBME Research Day 2021, to recognize her mentorship excellence and many contributions. The award is bestowed a Centre for Blood Research (CBR) member each year, and honours the memory of Dr. Neil Mackenzie, a…
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Determining whether a patient has a predisposition to cancers or other harmful conditions can be a game changer for clinicians considering the benefits and risks of invasive procedures. About a decade ago, clinical medical geneticist Dr. Cornelius Boerkoel met a patient with characteristics of a disorder that could predispose him to certain types of cancer. The patient’s features suggested, but did not…
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Xenon Pharmaceuticals, a neurology-focused biopharmaceutical company, today announced that its collaboration to develop treatments for epilepsy with Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. achieved a regulatory milestone with the approval of a clinical trial application (CTA) in Europe, triggering an aggregate payment of $10.0 million to Xenon. Mr. Ian Mortimer, Xenon’s President and Chief Executive Officer stated, “This $10 million regulatory milestone from…
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Diagnostics for detecting lung infection, reducing health inequities, diabetes prevention programs, and children’s health in rural and remote communities are just a few of the research areas that the talented 2021 MSFHR Scholar and Research Trainee awardees are investigating. The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) is providing much needed and timely funding for 86 researchers who are advancing…
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