Awards and recognition

MSL Staff Ray Gopaul and Lijuan Sun join UBC 25 Year Club

Ray Gopaul

Please join us in congratulating Rayshad (Ray) Gopaul and Lijuan Sun for joining the UBC 25 Year Club. An accomplishment like this is a rare achievement and we are honoured to have these two dedicated staff members in our midst here at the Michael Smith Laboratories (MSL). Established at UBC in 1971 by then President Walter Gauge, the UBC 25 Year Club was created to recognize non-faculty staff with 25 years of uninterrupted or accumulated service to the University of British Columbia. A social event acknowledging this year’s inductees takes place on October 20th, 2022.  

Rayshad (Ray) Gopaul joined the MSL in 1999 as a full-time Research Technician after part-time employment in the Department of Zoology. Excelling in his work with rodent animal models of immunology disorders for 7 years, Ray then moved to UBC’s Animal Care Services Department’s Rederivation Facility from 2011 through 2014. Afterwards, Ray held positions at UBC’s Centre for Disease Modeling and at ICORD working on embryonic stems cells and spinal cord injury. In 2017 he returned to the MSL to continue working on animal models of brain diseases. 

An animal care expert, Ray has honed skills as a dedicated technician who ensures the well-being and safety of the animals are at the core of research models. While Ray has an easygoing demeanour and deadly sense of humour, he is appreciated most for the deep and quiet sense of kindness he brings to his work, both for animals and people. 

Lijuan Sun

Lijuan Sun has long been the anchor of the outreach and teaching arm of the MSL, the Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory (AMBL). Drawing on her botany background, Lijuan has helped to create a wide variety of educational and outreach STEM programming, garnering the program international attention. Through her years of dedicated service in STEM outreach, she has inspired students young and old to see the wonder and importance of the scientific process. 

Considered to be the literal “mother” of the teaching lab, Lijuan’s warm smile and good nature greet faculty, staff and students alike. Setting the tone for the experience of STEM education at the AMBL lab, we are grateful to Lijuan for helping to build such a well-respected and effective program here at the MSL. 

Please join us in congratulating Ray and Lijuan on achieving 25 years of impactful service at UBC.