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  • December 2, 2016
    Congratulations to Dr. Cara Haney on being awarded a ‘Canada Research Chair-Tier 2 chair-2016’ award in Molecular Mechanisms of Host-Microbiome Interactions. This award is held in her home department of Microbiology & Immunology.The Canada Research Chairs Program invests approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds. This program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top countries in research and development.Tier 2 CRC awards are given to emerging world-class researchers who have...
  • November 10, 2016
    The Michael Smith Lab congratulates four Faculty members who received Foundation Grants in the 2015-2016 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) competition. Investigators Steve Withers ($1,495,089) and Phil Hieter ($2,526,307) receive funds for 7 years and were part of the 87 successful applications out of 645 total for the mid-career/senior investigator cohort. Also, Nobu Tokuriki ($1,057,965) and Christian Kastrup ($1,377,460) receive funds for 5 years, they were among the 33 of 265 submitted applications who were funded in the new/early career investigators cohort, defined as...
  • September 26, 2016
    UBC researchers have discovered how cancer cells become invisible to the body’s immune system, a crucial step that allows tumours to metastasize and spread throughout the body.“The immune system is efficient at identifying and halting the emergence and spread of primary tumours but when metastatic tumours appear, the immune system is no longer able to recognize the cancer cells and stop them,” said Wilfred Jefferies, senior author of the study working in the Michael Smith Laboratories and a professor of Medical Genetics and Microbiology and Immunology at UBC.“We discovered a new mechanism...
  • September 10, 2016
    At his past post as president at the University of Cincinnati, the popular school administrator was once picked up by football fans and crowd-surfed through the stands. Another time, he was the top person of a cheerleaders’ pyramid at a basketball game.But underneath Santa Ono’s quirks and informality lies a no-nonsense leader.Ono, 53, was born at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver while his father worked as a UBC professor. He left the city when he was about a year old and grew up in Baltimore.At the University of Cincinnati, many were dismayed to hear he planned to leave. After a career as a...
  • July 29, 2016
    What if scientists don’t really know what’s in their vials and lab dishes? A research team has analyzed dozens of data sets from human genomics studies and found that nearly half of them have a sexual identity problem—they’re labeled as coming from a male but the data suggest they must be from a female, or vice versa. These mix-ups, likely due to accidental mislabeling of the data at some point, but possibly also from cell contamination in the original samples, could have untold effects on the validity of comparisons in genomics experiments conducted worldwide, according to the group, which...
  • August 3, 2016
    Jacquelynn Burke, Senior Publicist with Algonquin Books writes:In some of the most exciting scientific developments of our time, researchers have recently discovered the myriad ways our tiny microbes (aka “the stuff in our gut”) have a powerful impact on our health. Among the most important but little-known revelations in this paradigm-shifting field are the ways a child’s gut-health can affect their well-being for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, researchers like B. Brett Finlay, PhD and Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD—both parents and scientists at the forefront of the field—have found...
  • July 1, 2016
    Tropical sandalwood produces one of the world's most highly prized fragrances in the perfume industry. Due to over-exploitation, sandalwood populations are threatened in some of their native locations. The Bohlmann Lab applied an integrated metabolomics and transcriptomics approach to sandalwood samples collected in a remote plantation in Northern Australia, which led to the discovery of the complete metabolic pathway of sandalwood oil biosynthesis. They then showed that the sandalwood genes can be used for bioengineering in yeast, enabling the development of alternative and sustainable...
  • June 14, 2016
    Paul Pavlidis, professor at UBC’s Michael Smith Laboratories, recently received two grants; one from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund and the other from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support his research program on the integration of meta-analysis of functional genomics data to study gene networks and their involvement in human neuropsychiatric diseases.The CFI funding will provide the Pavlidis group with new computational hardware and infrastructure needed to support his laboratory at UBC. The hardware will be hosted by Compute Canada and...
  • May 9, 2016
    Christian Kastrup, assistant professor at the Michael Smith Laboratories, is among fifteen exceptional BC-based investigator recipients of Scholar Awards through the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research 2016 Scholar Program competition.Award recipients represent a bright future for health research in British Columbia. Their innovative projects span a broad range of disciplines and will help to address important health challenges for the benefit of all British Columbians.With a maximum term of five years, MSFHR Scholar Awards help British Columbia create and sustain a base of...
  • May 23, 2016
    Recently, NAPS (which stands for Nucleic Acid Protein Service unit), located on the 4th floor of the Networks of Centres of Excellence building, celebrated its 25th anniversary. Jenny Chik, from the MSL Science Communications Team interviewed the Director of Operations, Debbie Adam, to share her experiences and perspectives for this significant milestone.What does NAPS do? The original mandate, dated February, 1991 was to offer DNA sequencing, oligo synthesis, amino acid analysis, protein sequencing and peptide synthesis to the members of the UBC community. Over the years, there have been...
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