Facility to honour leading scientist

Nobel prizewinner and UBC Prof. Emeritus Michael Smith will be honoured with a new research facility on campus that will bear his name. The Michael Smith Building will house UBC's Biotechnology Laboratory.

"We are delighted to recognize Michael's extraordinary achievements and contribution to this university and the scientific community as a whole," says UBC President Martha Piper. "His vision for the Biotechnology Lab has brought together a remarkable group of award-winning young scientists who are making contributions in many disciplines."

Smith won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1993 for his work in reprogramming segments of DNA, the genetic building blocks that he has been studying for 40 years.

Awarded the Order of Canada for his contributions to science, Smith is the founding director of the BC Cancer Agency's Genome Sequence Centre in Vancouver, the first genome sequence centre in Canada to be directly linked to a cancer treatment and research organization.

"I am honoured by this decision, especially since I really believe that I was doing the job I was paid to do," says Smith. "As founding director, I am enormously happy to see the faculty, post-doc students, and scientists getting the facility they desperately need and have earned."

The Biotechnology Laboratory provides research space for 17 full-time and associate faculty members and almost 100 post-doctoral fellows, research associates and graduate students. Its scientists have been recognized with numerous prestigious awards for research.