UBC Reports
October 16, 1997


UBC scientists have received $5.5 million in grants from the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC)--the fourth largest MRC funding award in Canada and the largest in Western Canada this year.

The funding includes 25 operating grants which support individual research over a one to five year period.

Investigations funded by the grants range from studies of posture and movement in Parkinson's disease to research on the effects of anesthetic on neurons in the front of the brain and include researchers in biochemistry, pharmaceutical sciences and rehabilitation sciences.

A five-year award totalling $152,950 was given to the Faculty of Medicine for a graduate student working on an MRC-funded research project.

Four fellowship awards of $90,000 each over three years have also been given to cancer researcher Carolina Abramovich, medical geneticist Abigail Hackam, zoologist Gordon W. Hiebert and biochemist Mark W. Paetzel.

The grants UBC scientists received were surpassed only by the universities of Toronto and Montreal and McGill University.

UBC research has created 71 spin-off companies during the last 12 years employing close to 1,500 people and attracting almost $634 million in private investment.

The MRC is the major federal agency funding health research and training at Canadian universities, research institutes and teaching hospitals.

UBC alumnus and Chancellor Emeritus Donovan Francis Miller died Sept. 30. He was 80.

Miller, who served as chancellor from 1975 to 1978, had a long record of involvement with the university.

He attended UBC after serving with the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteers Reserve during the Second World War and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Commerce and Business Administration in 1947.

He joined the Canadian Fishing Company Ltd. the same year as manager of personnel and industrial relations and progressed through the company's ranks, becoming president and general manager in 1966 and vice-chairman of the board in 1974.

At UBC, he served as chair of the UBC Alumni Annual Giving Committee in 1958, president of the Alumni Association in 1960, and as a member of Senate from 1962 to 1970. He was a member of the Board of Governors from 1963-72.

He was awarded the Order of Canada and an honorary doctor of laws from UBC. He is survived by his wife Katherine Mary Miller, their four children and other family members.