UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page UBC Home Page -
News Events Directories Search UBC myUBC Login
- -
UBC Public Affairs
UBC Reports
UBC Reports Extras
Goal / Circulation / Deadlines
Letters to the Editor & Opinion Pieces / Feedback
UBC Reports Archives
Media Releases
Services for Media
Services for the Community
Services for UBC Faculty & Staff
Find UBC Experts
Search Site

UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 7 | May 2, 2002

Pharmacist has Prescription for Success

Researcher applies investigative solutions.

By Hilary Thomson

When colleagues say they can almost see Evan Kwong's wheels turning they're not talking about his mountain bike. They're talking about his work as a researcher.

Kwong, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy this month, has already shown himself to be a skilled investigator with an impressive list of publications and research awards to his credit.

"Evan is a perfect match for research," says Assoc. Prof. Kishor Wasan who directs the faculty's summer student research program. "He is an intellectual with an ability to examine a problem from all angles and think it through. As a researcher, that's what it's all about."

Kwong's interest in research was sparked in high school, while completing co-op work experience programs at UBC's Zoology Dept. and at Kinetek Pharmaceuticals Inc., a UBC spin-off company.

"I like research because the work is all new and exciting, plus I can explore by myself."

After studying with Wasan as a student research scientist during first- and second-year Pharmacy, Kwong spent a summer at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire working in the lab of one of Wasan's colleagues, who mistook the then 19-year-old for a talented grad student.

A lecture on pharmacogenetics -- the study of how individual genetic differences affect the body's ability to accept and process drugs -- got him interested in clinical research being done by faculty members Prof. Marc Levine and Assoc. Prof. Thomas Chang. They are looking at how children's genetic differences affect the pain-killing capacity of codeine prescribed for dental pain.

Kwong has been developing genotyping assays to identify different gene types among participants in the clinical study. His affinity for bench science is matched by a desire to counsel patients and do clinical research. As a student pharmacist at a Vancouver Island hospital, he was included in an interprofessional team that provided comprehensive patient care.

"Working in pharmacies has given me a chance to develop my skills," he says. "Getting familiar with the drugs and having contact with patients has tested and built my knowledge."

Although research projects are his passion, Kwong points to an engineering feat as one of the highlights of his undergraduate years. He worked with students from a variety of faculties to create UBC's first solar car -- the Raven -- and drove the vehicle in a preliminary qualifying event in Michigan.

Under his own power, he is a mountain-biker and has served as treasurer of the Alma Mater Society Bike Co-op and as a volunteer, building and fixing bicycles.

Kwong is the recipient of many awards for scholarship and research and recently earned a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Masters Trainee Award. He returns to UBC this fall to continue his research work toward a master's degree.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

to top | UBC.ca » UBC Public Affairs

UBC Public Affairs
310 - 6251 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1
tel 604.822.3131 | fax 604.822.2684 | e-mail public.affairs@ubc.ca

© Copyright The University of British Columbia, all rights reserved.