Each year, the Faculty of Medicine recognizes faculty and staff members for excellence in teaching, research, administration, innovation and public service. This includes the Applegarth Staff Service award, the Bill and Marilyn Webber Lifetime Achievement Award, the Clinical Faculty Awards for Career Excellence in Teaching, Distinguished Teaching Awards, and Killam Teaching and Research Prizes.
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This week Conversations That Matter features the remarkable Dr. Allen Eaves, the founder, CEO and president of Stemcell Technologies, Canada’s most successful biotech company. It is is playing a pivotal role in fostering a community of biotech startups. “We’re very keen to support an ecosystem of biotechnology here and be closely related with the universities, especially UBC and SFU, and you know,…
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The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre cares for approximately 1,200 premature or ill infants annually. Many have underlying genetic disorders — the leading cause of infant mortality. Genome-wide sequencing (GWS) is a powerful technology that can test for thousands of genetic diseases at one time and has the potential to save lives. Although…
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While looking for a postdoctoral position, Michael Mitchell could have joined any number of small, intimate labs with a couple of colleagues and an ever-present lab leader. Instead, he decided to go big. In 2014, after earning a PhD in biomedical engineering, he accepted an offer from Robert Langer, also a biomedical engineer, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)…
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In this study we inserted lumbar drains in patients with acute SCI, and evaluated how monitoring of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure around the spinal cord could assist in optimizing the hemodynamic management of these patients.    By showing that the monitoring of CSF pressure (and subsequent calculation of spinal cord perfusion pressure) was a better predictor of neurologic improvement than our standard monitoring...
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Zymeworks Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of next-generation bispecific and multifunctional biotherapeutics, today announced that Merck (known as MSD outside the US and Canada) has provided formal notification of their plans to advance a bispecific drug candidate into preclinical development. The drug candidate was developed by Merck, through a subsidiary, in collaboration with…
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The bacterial flagellum is a complex multi-component structure including a whip-like appendage, the flagellar filament, which is composed of approx. 20,000 protein units (flagellins) that link up together and form a structure of about 10 micrometers in length. We discovered and characterized a new family of flagellins...
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Troy McDiarmid Worms into the Intricacies of Genetic Risk in ASD

To understand how gene mutations affect neurodevelopment and learning in people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), PhD candidate Troy McDiarmid is looking at microscopic worms. McDiarmid, a graduate student in Dr. Catharine Rankin’s lab, was recently awarded a Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award from the CIHR for his proposal to characterize ASD-associated gene mutations in worm models…
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First, we show that models of depression in mouse produce brain function changes resembling those observed in humans who are depressed. This, of course, opens up the possibility of testing questions that are prohibitive in humans. As such, we used a next generation fluorescent sensor that allowed us to look at a specific neurotransmitter system...
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