UBC News Digest
The UBC News Digest is a weekly summary of news stories about UBC
people, research, learning, community, and internationalization
initiatives. News Digest past
issues are also available on-line.
Apr. 11, 2002
UBC starts dental residency program in Haida Gwaii
UBC's Faculty of Dentistry and Health Canada have launched a program
to give members of the community of Skidegate, Haida Gwaii (in the
Queen Charlotte Islands), greater access to dental care.
The only such program in B.C. and one of only a few in Canada,
the initiative sees dental residents treating patients in the town
of approximately 1,000 people as part of their general practice
and hospital residency training program.
Residents will treat patients at the two-chair clinic at the Skidegate
Health Centre for one week every month. Previously, many community
members had been travelling to Prince Rupert or Vancouver Island
for dental attention.
The new program introduces residents to dental health concerns
they might not encounter in the Lower Mainland and provides the
local community with much-needed service, says Chris Zed, Dentistry's
assistant dean, Strategic and External Affairs and director of General
Practice Residency and Hospital Programs and the faculty's post-graduate
The clinic will also offer preventive care and education programs.
UBC nets brain gains with latest research recruits
The brain drain tide continues to turn as the University of British
Columbia attracts three top researchers from the prestigious universities
of Princeton, Berkeley and Cambridge.
All three investigators have been named Canada Research Chairs
(CRC) in the latest distribution of the federally funded research
"These new additions demonstrate the value of this program
in attracting top investigators to UBC," says Indira Samarasekera,
vice-president, Research. "We are continuing to build our research
strength and capacity for generating new knowledge both within and
Improving clinical engineered material -- called biomaterials --
to replace or repair living tissues is the research focus for Asst.
Prof. Rizhi Wang, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Biomaterials.
Coming to UBC from Princeton University, Wang is inspired by natural
materials such as pearl oyster shells, and the teeth of cows, alligators
and sea urchins to develop materials that can be used for structures
such as heart valves, dental implants and artificial hips.
Faculty of Applied Science Prof. Roger Reed comes to UBC from the
University of Cambridge as the Canada Research Chair in Design and
Manufacturing of Smart Coating Systems for Improved Turbine Efficiency.
Reed aims to improve efficiency and fuel consumption of gas turbine
engines used in aerospace and marine transport systems by way of
new thermal barrier coating technologies. He will also be adapting
materials technologies developed for jet engines to the design of
industrial gas turbines to reduce cost of generating electricity
and will set up a virtual lab to study manufacturing processes.
Timothy Beatty, an assistant professor of Agricultural Sciences,
studies how changes in consumer income, food prices and preferences
affect nutrition. As Canada Research Chair in Food Market Analysis,
his work will help to inform public policy on food, nutrition and
UBC launches midwifery degree program
Maternal health-care services in B.C. will be expanded with the
launch of a midwifery degree program, offered through the Department
of Family Practice in the Faculty of Medicine at the University
of British Columbia.
"We are very excited to be able to educate midwives -- health
professionals who specialize in normal birth -- and to support women
and their families as they prepare for parenthood," says Elaine
Carty, director of the new program.
B.C. is the third province in Canada -- after Ontario and Quebec
-- to offer such a program. About 2000 births are attended by midwives
in B.C. each year.
The first 10 students in a four-year full-time program leading
to a Bachelor of Midwifery degree will be admitted this September,
with two years of program funding provided by B.C.'s Ministry of
Advanced Education Program. Space is limited by a shortage of supervised
training sites in B.C.
Curriculum is designed for students from a variety of educational
backgrounds who have no prior health-care education or experience.
It includes courses in anatomy, ethics, culture and psychology as
well as midwifery care and will be delivered by registered midwives
as well as UBC professors from departments across the campus.
The first two years of study will take place at UBC's Pt. Grey
campus and at sites around the Lower Mainland. The final two years
of clinical courses include two or three weeks of intensive classroom
and lab work followed by clinical practice placements with midwives
around the province. Learning will continue with problem-based tutorials
using both teleconference and web-based learning technologies.
Students will complete clinical placements throughout B.C. to gain
experience at both home and hospital births. It is recognized that
students trained locally are more likely to develop the skills and
relationships necessary to work in those communities as health-care
It is anticipated that midwifery graduates can relieve shortages
of doctors who deliver babies in rural and northern areas.For more
information on the program check the Web site at www.midwifery.ubc.ca.
UBC Women's Resources Centre welcomes new director
Pauline Greaves has been named as new director for UBC Women's
Resources Centre (WRC) located at UBC's Robson Square campus in
Greaves has experience in counseling and educational program development
as well as fundraising experience. She has served as an administrator
with the New Westminster School Board and as executive director
of the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre. She replaces former director
Ruth Sigal who retires this year after more than 25 years of service.
Trek Volunteers Receive Service Awards
UBC President Martha Piper and the director of UBC's Learning Exchange,
Margo Fryer, presented 13 Trek student volunteers with Chapman Service
Awards at a volunteer appreciation breakfast on April 9.
Four students received Chapman Summer Project Awards to fund projects
based on proposals they submitted to develop and implement community
projects in partnership with community organizations or agencies
that are part of the Trek Volunteer Program.
This year's recipients are Science student Kiley Cindrich, who
received $10,000 to work with the Triage Emergency Services and
Care Society to develop their first-ever volunteer program; Arts
student Alana Prochuk, who received $1,485 to run a summer tap dance
program for students in partnership with the Ray-Cam Community Centre;
and Arts students Mina Chung and Chris Fraser, who received $4,585
to start up several urban gardening projects involving students
from Lord Strathcona School and the Strathcona Community Centre.
Chris Fraser also received $5,516 to work with the Britannia Community
Services Centre to develop a summer photography project for teenagers.
In addition, 10 Chapman Distinguished Service Awards, worth $1000
each, were given to students who displayed exceptional leadership
and citizenship in their volunteer work. The recipients of these
awards, who were nominated by the organization or agency where they
- Adriana Butner, Arts - Admiral Seymour School
- Raymond Mai, Arts - Admiral Seymour School
- Jocelyn Wong, Arts - Ray-Cam Community Centre
- Dinesh Samarasekera, Applied Science - St. James Community Services
- Mina Chung, Arts - St. James Community Services Society
- Jason Chuang, Computer Science - UBC Learning Exchange
- Janet Kidd, Science - YWCA Crabtree Corner
- Lisa Ante, Music - Music Appreciation 101
- Sukhi Atti, Science - Strathcona Community Centre
- Chris White De Vries, Science - Living Room Drop-in Centre.
Biotechnology Researchers Honoured
Two UBC biotechnology researchers, Pieter Cullis and Julian Davies,
have been honoured by B.C. Biotech.
Cullis, a professor in the Dept. Of Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology, was given an Innovation and Achievement award. He is chief
scientific officer and senior vice-president, Research at Inex Pharmaceuticals
Corp., a UBC spin-off company that he co-founded in 1992. He studies
liposomes, or fat bubbles, as drug delivery vehicles with particular
emphasis on delivery of genetic drugs. The major application is
for treatment of cancer.
Davies, a professor emeritus in the Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology,
received a Lifetime Leadership and Achievement award. Davies studies
antibiotics, antibiotic resistance and microbial diversity. He is
also the executive vice-president of Technology for Cubist Pharmaceuticals,
Inc., a Vancouver company focused on the research, development and
commercialization of antimicrobial drugs to combat serious and life-threatening
bacterial and fungal infections.
Somerset, Black Award Winners Announced
Acclaimed violinist Andrew Dawes, and poet Carl Leggo are the recipients
of this year's Somerset and Black Awards recognizing excellence
in teaching performing and visual arts.
Dawes, a professor of the School of Music, receives the Dorothy
Somerset Award for Performance and Development in the Visual and
Performing Arts for his contributions to the field of chamber music
and music mentoring and teaching.
Leggo, an assoc. prof. in the Education Faculty's Language and
Literacy Dept. since 1990, receives the Sam Black Award for Education
and Development of the Visual and Performing Arts in recognition
of his accomplishments as a poet and his commitment to creative
and innovative education scholarship.