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  • 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...
  • 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 able...
  • 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.What kind of work goes on in your lab?We use genomics and biochemical tools to study the natural diversity of...
  • 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 organizations.Hieter is a Professor in...
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