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  • 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,...

  • May 30, 2016

    In May of 2016, the research groups of Prof. Harry Brumer and Prof. Joerg Bohlmann hosted students as part of the Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Program. The students came from Salt Spring Island, Lake Country, Maple Ridge and Chilliwack communities. During their week-long mentorship program, these students were able to experience active research in their respective labs, learning procedures in cloning, protein expression/purification, enzymatic reaction kinetics, product analysis, PCR and site directed mutagenesis. This was a rewarding experience for the labs to be...

  • April 25, 2016

    Harry Brumer’s focus is the development of better forest products. The UBC biochemist recently received funding from NSERC to support his enzyme genomic research, which will advance the development of new technology for cellulose-fibre modification. Brumer’s lab is also celebrating the arrival of new biomolecule analysis equipment provided by Waters Ltd.

    Harry Brumer (center), posing next to new biomolecule analyses equipment provided by Waters Ltd. Source: Brumer Lab, UBC Science

    Harry Brumer (center), posing...

  • May 3, 2016

    University Professor Phil Hieter has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Hieter is one of only 84 new members being recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. 

    Membership in the academy is one of the highest possible honors for scientists in the US. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and with the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Medicine provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other...

  • April 26, 2016

    Leonard Foster, a professor at UBC’s Michael Smith Laboratories, is co-leading the BeeOMICS project that will develop protein biomarkers to selectively breed honeybees for twelve economically valuable traits. Beekeepers across Canada will benefit by gaining useful tools to select improved bee colonies that are pest-free, disease-resistant and produce more honey.

    Around the world there has been an alarming decrease of the honeybee population which directly impacts humans on many levels. Even the great modern scientist, Albert Einstein, once prophetically said “mankind will not survive...

  • March 23, 2016


    The most common polymer on earth is cellulose, the major structural component of plant cell walls. However we have very little knowledge, at the molecular level, of how cellulose is synthesised. In a collaboration with the group of Jochen Zimmer at the University of Virginia, the Withers laboratory has provided "snapshots" of the process of synthesis. To get these insights the Withers laboratory synthesised a series analogues of the natural building blocks used by the enzyme responsible for cellulose assembly -cellulose synthase- that had been designed to "freeze-frame" the synthetic...

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