UBC This Week | Jan. 15, 2009

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UBC This Week is a weekly summary of UBC people in the news, recent media releases and upcoming event highlights. UBC This Week past issues are also available on-line.

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UBC People

UBC People

Head of neurology part of Parkinson’s-related discovery

Prof. Jon Stoessl, UBC Director of Neurology and colleagues at the Pacific Parkinsons Research Centre have played an instrumental role in a recent Mayo Clinic-led discovery of a genetic defect causing a rare Parkinson’s-related disorder called Perry Syndrome.

The syndrome, named after the late UBC professor Thomas Perry who first described it in the 1970s, results in early-onset parkinsonism, depression, and difficulty breathing. Stoessl and colleagues provided a substantial number of the DNA samples that led to the discovery.

The findings will be published in the February 2009 issue of Nature Genetics, and is available in the online edition.

For more information visit www.brain.ubc.ca/updates.php

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Green College welcomes Simon Conway Morris as Visiting Professor

Simon Conway Morris, renowned British paleobiologist and evolutionary theorist, will be in residence at UBC’s Green College as a Cecil H. and Ida Green Visiting Professor from January 20-23.

Morris holds an ad hominem chair in Evolutionary Paleobiology at the University of Cambridge, and is a leading authority on the Cambrian explosion and the Burgess Shale. In his recent book Life’s Solution, Morris narrows the gap between scientific and religious accounts of the origins and order of life in the universe by emphasizing the phenomenon of ‘evolutionary convergence’, arguing that evolution has surprisingly little choice on where it can go.

Morris will deliver a series of free presentations that are open to all at various locations on campus.

For more information, contact gc.programs@ubc.ca or 604-822-0676, or visit www.greencollege.ubc.ca.