UBC President Martha Piper is one of the first six people named as members of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

The foundation was created in the 1997 federal budget as an independent organization to support innovation and research. It will provide financial support for the modernization of research infrastructure at Canadian post-secondary educational institutions and research hospitals in the areas of health, environment, science and engineering.

A federal investment of $800 million in CFI earlier this summer will allow the foundation to provide about $180 million annually over the next five years.

The organization will operate at arm's length from government with 15 members and 15 directors drawn from the research community and private sector.

Before coming to UBC, Piper was vice-president, Research and External Affairs, at the University of Alberta. Her teaching and research interests focus on the developmentally delayed infant.

The Holocaust Center of Northern California recently paid a special tribute to Rudolf Vrba, a professor emeritus in the Dept. of Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Vrba escaped Auschwitz in 1944 after two years in the camp and alerted the world to the atrocities there. His report, which became known as the Auschwitz Protocols, is considered by some to be one of the key documents of the 20th century.

Vrba also received accolades from U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, California Gov. Pete Wilson, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, the U.S. Congress and the California state assembly.

Vrba continues to draw attention to the holocaust. He has participated in the production of six documentary films, including Claude Lanzmann's Shoah. While in the Bay Area he lectured on the subject to students at Stanford and Berkeley.

English Prof. Ira Nadel's 1996 book Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen has earned him this year's UBC Medal for Canadian Biography.

Established in 1952 by former UBC President Norman MacKenzie, the national award honours a biography written either by or about a Canadian. The recipient is chosen by a panel of leading academics.

Nadel joins the ranks of previous UBC recipients including former History Prof. Margaret Prang for her study of N.W. Rowell and former English Prof. George Woodcock who won twice -- first for his study of Gandhi and later for his study of Gabriel Dumont.

A paperback version of Nadel's book and French and German translations are in the works.

PhD candidates Margaret Cargo and Mark Daniel from the Dept. of Health Care and Epidemiology, were two of only nine recipients of the prestigious post doctoral fellowships from the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC) this year.

Cargo, who has been studying the relationship between environmental conditions and youth empowerment in Vancouver's West End, plans to continue her research at the University of Montreal.

Daniel's MRC award will allow him to spend two years in Australia comparing his research on diabetes and its prevention and control in Canadian aboriginal populations, with similar studies of Australian aboriginal groups.