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Investigators will showcase creativity and problem solving -- symbolized by the astrolab, an ancient astronomical computer - photo by Martin Dee
Investigators will showcase creativity and problem solving -- symbolized by the astrolab, an ancient astronomical computer - photo by Martin Dee

UBC Reports | Vol. 52 | No. 3 | Mar. 2, 2006

Weeklong Activities Reflect Scope of UBC Research

by Hilary Thomson

From martini-mixing robots to strategies for squashing super bugs, research to be showcased during UBC’s Celebrate Research Week ranges from the amusing to the extraordinary.

This year’s celebration is themed Our Place in the World and will held March 4-11 at UBC’s Vancouver, Okanagan, and UBC Robson Square campuses as well as partner hospital sites.

“UBC has a global reputation for research and this week allows us to showcase just how we have earned our place in the world,” says John Hepburn, UBC Vice-president, Research. “It is also an opportunity to invite the public, who funds much of our research, to celebrate our accomplishments with us.”

Communicating the scope and impact of UBC research is the goal of this year’s Celebrate Research Week, says Sid Katz, Executive Director, Community Affairs and Celebrate Research founder.

“With Vancouver hosting the UN World Urban Forum on Sustainable Cities in June, it really seemed appropriate this year to highlight the many accomplishments of UBC researchers at the international level,” says Katz.

How to battle global infectious diseases will be explored by Chief Medical Health Officer John Blatherwick, Janet McElhaney, influenza expert and head of geriatric medicine at UBC and Providence Health Care, and UBC Prof. of Infectious Diseases William Bowie. SARS, bird flu, mad cow and other communicable diseases will be discussed on March 7 from 7 - 8:30 p.m. at the VGH education centre. Audience members will be able to ask questions of the speakers. The session is jointly presented by Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Providence Health Care Research Institute.

At Engineering’s Open House March 10 and 11, students will demonstrate a variety of projects, including an automatic martini-making robotic bartender that senses when glasses need filling. Neither shaken nor stirred, martinis mixed by the robot are gravity-integrated using a device like an IV drip. There will be more than 30 lab tours and hands-on activities such as a mini-shake table to simulate earthquakes and a demonstration of an ultrasound-based sensor system to detect blood clots. For the full schedule of Open House events, visit www.apsc.ubc.ca.

It could be the greenest building in Canada. On Sat. March 11, John Robinson, director of UBC’s Sustainable Development Research Initiative will introduce the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS). Described as a living laboratory of sustainable technologies and services, CIRS is heralded as the most innovative and high performance building in North America. The Excellence in Research lecture will be held at 8:15 p.m. at the Woodward Instructional Resources Centre on the Vancouver campus.

On March 6, a UBC Okanagan interdisciplinary, multi-media project examines responses to how the 2003 forest fires affected the lives of Kelowna residents. On March 7, the university opens the Species at Risk and Habitat Studies (SARAHS) centre in the Science Bldg.

On March 8, UBC Okanagan and Genome BC will host Dr. Bruce McManus for a public talk, titled Me and My Transplanted Heart -- From a Stormy Love Affair to a State of Bliss. McManus is co-director of the iCAPTURE Centre, a partnership of Providence Health Care and UBC, that seeks solutions to heart, lung and blood vessel disease. The presentation will be held 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m. at the Coast Capri Hotel, Kelowna.

How to fix Vancouver’s traffic congestion is the focus of UBC’s Sauder School of Business faculty members Yossi Berechman, CN Chair in Professor in Transportation and International Logistics; and David Gillen, YVR Professor of Transportation Policy and director of Sauder School of Business Centre for Transportation. Along with Clive Rock of Translink, they will look at lessons and cautions from abroad as well as considers solutions that will work in an environment of aging baby boomers. The presentation will take place March 6 from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at Robson Square.

A highlight of the week is the March 9 Celebrate Research Gala, where UBC honours its outstanding investigators. The accomplishments of more than 200 UBC research award winners will be celebrated with video vignettes and performances by members of the UBC School of Music. A partial list of researchers who will be recognized can be found in the Kudos section of the Feb. 2 issue of UBC Reports.

For a complete listing of Celebrate Research Week events, visit www.research.ubc.ca and click on the information box. For invitations to the gala, contact kally.basra@ubc.ca.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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