Scientist in the Spotlight: Benjamin Martin

Ben Martin is a PhD candidate in The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of British Columbia. In addition to his time spent working under the supervision of Dr. LeAnn Howe, Ben also spent the majority of his graduate studies training as part of the Canadian men’s field hockey team. This has included his participation in the…
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A vote in Canada’s Parliament to approve a genetic privacy bill is creating a self-inflicted political headache for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government—and could result in a relatively rare and unusual court case. The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, originally introduced in 2013 by now-retired Liberal Senator James Cowan, is aimed at preventing the use of information generated by genetic tests…
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After spending nearly 15 years in biomedical science laboratories in two different countries with publicly funded health systems, I finally feel able to write down some thoughts on the explosion of physician scientists being trained across the world. I think we have been on a very dangerous path for some time now and need some bold moves at the level…
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Stem cell science belongs to Canada and it is powering regenerative medicine. Today, leaders from across this emerging sector have joined forces to advance the field, through the newly created Regenerative Medicine Alliance of Canada (RMAC). The global market for regenerative medicine is expected to exceed US$49 billion by 2021. Canada is well positioned to compete by moving its innovative…
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ABSTRACT: Nonsense mutations underlie about 10% of rare genetic disease cases. They introduce a premature termination codon (PTC) and prevent the formation of full-length protein. Pharmaceutical gentamicin, a mixture of several related aminoglycosides, is a frequently used antibiotic in humans that can induce PTC readthrough and suppress nonsense mutations at high concentrations. However, testing of gentamicin in clinical trials has shown…
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This week’s #BCTECH Summit commenced with several noteworthy announcements for the BC tech sector. The government has moved a long way towards the things we believe will be important to growing our sector, ensuring a strong pipeline of talent and bolstering the provincial economy.  Many of the announcements in the government’s update to the #BCTECH Strategy are aligned with recommendations…
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CRISPR Technology: Officially Off-Limits?

CRISPR, a technique that allows for precise gene editing, is taking the research world by storm. It has three components: a Cas9 enzyme that snips the DNA, a guide RNA that tells Cas9 where to snip, and the CRISPR sequence on the DNA that is recognized by the guide RNA. Because of its simplicity and remarkable precision, it has broad…
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Dr. Evgeniy Panzhinskiy is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. James Johnson at the University of British Columbia. Originally from Khabarovk, Russia, Dr. Panzhinskiy studied the molecular mechanisms of obesity-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle during his PhD in Dr. Sreejayan Nair’s lab at the University of Wyoming. We sat down with Dr. Panzhinskiy to talk to him…
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