UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 5 | Mar.
Vision researcher, historical scholar, among honorees
Northern lights the theme for Celebrate Research gala
UBC researchers will be honoured at a gala event with a
celestial theme to be held at the Chan Centre for the Performing
Arts on the evening of Thursday, March 14. Called Celebrate Research,
the evening includes a sound and light sculpture by Fine Arts Assoc.
Prof. Richard Prince called Aurora Borealis and musical entertainment
by pianist Music Prof. Rena Sharon with the Borealis String Quartet.
Those being honoured include Educational Studies and Women's Studies
Prof. Veronica Strong-Boag and Biochemistry and Ophthalmology Prof.
Robert Molday. Strong-Boag has spent more than 30 years devoted
to interdisciplinary historical scholarship.
Her publications have ranged from a consideration of class in
shaping working class women's employment to studies of Canada's
post-war suburbs and the nation's abused and dependent children.
"I've always been intrigued by what it means to be Canadian, especially
what it means for women, workers and First Nations peoples," says
Strong-Boag who headed up UBC's Centre for Research in Women's Studies
and Gender Relations until 1997.
The recipient of numerous honours for her work, Strong-Boag received
the Killam Research Prize at UBC and is a fellow of the Royal Society
Coming to UBC from Cal Tech in 1975, Molday is an expert on age-related
macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of legal blindness
in people over 50 years of age and a significant health concern
as huge numbers of baby boomers age.
The Canada Research Chair in Vision and Macular Degeneration,
Molday looks at how light interacts with photoreceptor cells in
vision and investigates how mutated genes cause inherited vision
disorders such as AMD.
Recent Canada Foundation for Innovation funding will help Molday
establish and direct a Centre for Macular Research at UBC.
"Canada is a leader in this type of science," he says. "We are
well-poised to be the prime research unit in the country."
Recently named a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Molday
is currently investigating the development and application of gene
therapy to correct inherited retinal degenerative diseases including
some forms of macular degeneration. There is reserved free seating
at the gala which is part of Research Awareness Week, March 9-16.