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UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 12 | Dec. 4, 2003


Two UBC Professors Emeriti have been Awarded France’s Highest Honour

Dr. Chuni Roy, clinical professor emeritus of psychiatry, and Dr. Victor Gomel, professor emeritus, obstetrics and gynecology, have been named Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur.

Created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Legion of Honour is the highest award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France.

Roy, who joined UBC in 1972, pioneered the treatment of psychiatrically ill prisoners in Canada. He served as medical director of a maximum-security psychiatric prison hospital in Abbotsford, B.C., where medical graduates were trained in a postgraduate diploma course in penitentiary medicine that Roy developed in collaboration with the University of Paris.

Founder of the International Council of Prison Medical Services based in Paris, Roy launched an international campaign for the ethical treatment of prisoners. Roy is also honorary consul of the French-speaking West African nation of Burkina Faso.

Gomel is an expert in gynecologic surgery and reproductive medicine. He has trained French gynecologists for more than 20 years and is planning a French national education and research centre on birthing.

Gomel joined UBC in 1964 and introduced many surgical techniques to Canada such as laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. Described as an international superstar of microsurgery, he has offered international workshops in microsurgical techniques in gynecology for almost 30 years. He has also contributed significantly to knowledge of female reproductive physiology.

He developed an in vitro fertilization (IVF) program in UBC’s Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology that in 1983 was successful in delivering Canada’s first IVF baby.

The awards will be presented in Paris.

UBC Professor Emeritus Awarded Order of the Rising Sun of Japan

John F. Howes, UBC professor emeritus of Asian Studies, has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan in recognition of his service and dedication to facilitate understanding between Canada and Japan. The award is one Japan’s most prestigious honours.

According to the Consulate General of Japan, Howes -- who first studied and worked in Japan in the 1940s -- actively found ways to connect with local communities and academic organizations bridging Japan and the West. His practical approach to teaching and enthusiasm influenced generations of students.

Howes specializes in Christianity in Japan, the modernization of Japan and the study of two influential thinkers of the modern era, Uchimura Kanzo and Nitobe Inazo.

New Head for Island Medical Program

Dr. Oscar Casiro has been appointed associate dean of the Island Medical Program (IMP), part of UBC’s Faculty of Medicine expansion.

Educated in Argentina, Casiro immigrated to Canada in 1980 and completed training in pediatrics and neonatology at the University of Manitoba. He has worked at the Health Sciences Centre there since 1985 and has been associate dean of undergraduate medical education at the University of Manitoba since 1999.

His research interests include the long-term outcomes of high-risk premature infants and the effects of substance abuse during pregnancy.

Casiro will be based at the University of Victoria and will also serve as head of the division of medical sciences. He will assume his responsibilities in January, 2004.

The IMP, along with the Northern Medical Program at the University of Northern B.C., are partner programs in the Faculty of Medicine’s expansion that will double the number of undergraduate medical student spaces by 2010.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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