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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 programs.

The clinic will also offer preventive care and education programs.

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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 positions.

"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 across disciplines."

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 health.

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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 practitioners.

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.

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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 downtown Vancouver.

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.

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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 volunteered, were:

  • 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 Society
  • 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.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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