UBC Reports
October 31, 1996

Centres to target vein and lung research

Two new Faculty of Medicine research centres -- one in vascular biology and the other in respiratory disease--have been approved by Senate.

The centres are an integral part of the Medicine 2000 program, which aims to encourage academic collaboration and enhance biomedical research and education by creating partnerships that span institutions and cross disciplinary boundaries.

Other Medicine 2000 centres that have already been approved are the Brain and Spinal Cord Research Centre, the B.C. Institute for Child and Family Health, and the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics. Another initiative, the B.C. Cancer Research Centre, will come up for approval next year.

The Vancouver Vascular Biology Research Centre will work to create new treatments and technologies for disorders of blood vessels and other surfaces that come in contact with the blood.

Heart disease and blood vessel disorders are the leading causes of death and disability in Western society, although recent medical advances have created new opportunities for the prevention and cure for these diseases.

The centre will bridge the gap between basic research and its clinical applications by creating a synergy among UBC, St. Paul's Hospital, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C., the B.C. Transplant Society and potential partners in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. It will also enhance graduate programs in the field.

The Respiratory Disease Centre will be a centre without walls within the university and its affiliated hospitals that aims to solve some of the many problems that threaten respiratory health around the world, which are among the leading causes of premature death and disability in our society.

The centre's initial efforts will focus on six established research strengths: inflammatory diseases of the lung, such as asthma; pulmonary infectious disease with special reference to the effects of AIDS; occupational and environmental lung disease; sleep disordered breathing; thoracic imaging; and clinical trials.

The centre will use the latest telecommunications networks to link researchers at different sites, allowing real-time sharing of images, video, voice and other data.

Directors for both centres will be appointed at a later date.