MSL Welcomes new leadership team: Drs Martin Hirst, Freda Miller and David Ng

 The Michael Smith Laboratories (MSL) is pleased to welcome its new leadership team which includes Director Dr. Martin Hirst, Deputy Director Dr. Freda Miller and Associate Director Dr. David Ng. This experienced team includes a mixture of longstanding and newer members to the MSL, all seasoned experts in their own fields. The new leadership team begins their appointment July 1st, 2022, their term extending until 2027. 

Director Dr. Martin Hirst joined the MSL in 2015 as a faculty member when UBC’s Centre for High-Throughput Biology (CHiBi) merged with the MSL. Dr. Hirst’s research focuses on understanding the role of the epigenome in normal development and disease while aiming to improve health outcomes for Canadians. With cross appointments in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, Dr. Hirst brings a wealth of experience and a deep passion for genomic research and technology to his new role as Director. 

“I am humbled by the opportunity to work together with the leadership team and a community of dedicated researchers at the MSL to support scientific and outreach excellence making a global impact.” – Martin Hirst 

Deputy Director Dr. Freda Miller joined the MSL in the fall of 2020. A renowned expert in stem cell and developmental neurobiology, Dr. Miller is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Since joining the MSL from Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Dr. Miller has rebuilt her lab here in Vancouver and contributed greatly to outreach and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) efforts at UBC. These important aspects of her work will remain her focus in her role as Deputy Director. 

Associate Director Dr. David Ng is a longstanding member of the MSL, having joined its ranks as Professor of Teaching in 1998, under the organization’s previous title as UBC’s Biotechnology Laboratory. Head of the Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory (AMBL), the MSL’s educational and outreach arm, Dr. Ng designs and facilitates STEM learning experiences for the general public, high school students and workshops focused on gender equity in the field of STEM. In his role as Associate Director, he will focus on further development of these programs and new initiatives in partnership with Indigenous communities and stake holders.  

Outstanding scientists in their own right, Drs Hirst, Miller and Ng bring a wealth of scientific and educational expertise to their new leadership roles. We look forward to the shape the MSL will take with this team’s collaborative vision.