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Dr. Irving Barber wins philanthropy award

Dr. Irving Barber has been awarded a 2009 Special Award for Philanthropy by the B.C. Museums Association (BCMA). The award recognizes his involvement with philanthropic activities in the province – most notably his gift for the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC.

The award was presented last week at the BCMA’s annual awards banquet in Osoyoos. 

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UBC moves forward on climate action

UBC’s Executive has given the green light on priority actions identified by the campus community during  preparation of the forthcoming UBC Climate Action Plan: Point Grey Campus. This move signals the university’s commitment to continue aggressive reduction of its green house gas emissions, and to demonstrate the ‘next generation’ of leadership focused on climate solutions. Further, the Executive endorsed a vision and four commitments also developed by the campus community. The vision is: 

Confronting the challenges of climate change, the University of British Columbia will advance solutions on campus that eliminate emissions, will accelerate efforts to respond to the impacts of climate change, and will partner locally and globally to demonstrate leadership and accountability to future generations. 

The commitments are:

  • Become a net positive energy producer by 2050
  • Partner for change
  • Use the campus as a living laboratory, and
  • Account for the full costs of our decisions.  

Over the course of the spring and summer of 2009, UBC led campus-wide consultations and working groups to develop targets and strategies for emissions reductions in six areas.  Key priorities resulting from these consultations include: setting specific targets for energy performance for all future building projects; developing a program for securing more energy reductions in core and ancillary buildings; selecting more sustainable-sized fleets and fueling options; and launching a program to encourage students, faculty and staff to take personal and organizational actions to achieve emissions reductions.

In addition, the Alternative Energy Sources Project (AESP) Study is underway, assessing low-carbon alternatives to the existing natural gas based steam district heating system which is the largest source of green house gas emissions at UBC Vancouver.  When the AESP Study is completed in January 2010, UBC will release the UBC Climate Action Plan which will establish emission reduction targets and timelines.

The UBC Sustainability Office will continue to work with the campus community in order to move ahead with key priorities.

For more information, contact the Campus Sustainability Office at www.sustain.ubc.ca.

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Brain Research Centre investigator receives lifetime achievement award

Dr. Janice Eng, a member of the Brain Research Centre, professor in the Dept. of Physical Therapy, and scientist/physical therapist at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, has received the 2009 Jonas Salk Award from the March of Dimes Canada. Eng has developed innovative and effective rehabilitation interventions to improve functional abilities in people with neurological conditions, such as stroke. 

This is a lifetime achievement award presented annually to a Canadian scientist, physician or researcher who has made a new and outstanding contribution in science or medicine to prevent, alleviate, or eliminate a physical disability. 

For more information, visit http://www.med.ubc.ca/about_us/Awards_and_Honours.htm#Eng%20awards

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Creative writing graduate short listed for Giller Prize

A graduate of UBC’s Creative Writing Program, Annabel Lyon, has been short listed for the $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize, the $25,000 Rogers Writers’ Fiction Trust Award, and the $25,000 Governor General’s Literary Awards.  She is the only writer shortlisted for all three awards.

Lyon currently teaches in the program’s Optional-Residency MFA Program, the online version of the UBC MFA degree.

Lyon follows in the footsteps of recent graduates including Steven Galloway, MFA 2001, who also teaches as a lecturer in the MFA program.  His international bestseller The Cellist of Sarajevo is published in 22 countries and in its seventh printing in Canada.  It was a finalist for the Richard and Judy Book Club this year (the UK’s version of Oprah).

For more information, visit http://www.creativewriting.ubc.ca/.

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James Hogg inducted into Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

Dr. James Hogg, a professor emeritus in the Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, was inducted Oct. 16 into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Hogg has helped with 40 years of experience in pathology, pulmonary physiology and molecular biology to enhance the world’s understanding of lung disease.

“Dr. Hogg has arguably had a greater influence on the medical community’s knowledge of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Asthma than any other individual worldwide” , the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame said.

Hogg was recruited to UBC and St. Paul’s Hospital in 1977 from McGill University, and went on to build a world-renowned centre for pulmonary and cardiovascular research, with 120 trainees and 30 principal investigators a year. The laboratory was named the James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research in 2003.

For more information, visit http://www.med.ubc.ca/about_us/Awards_and_Honours.htm#Hogg%20induction.

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Two UBC professors elected to the Royal Society of Canada

UBC professors Adele Diamond and Julio Montaner have been elected to the Royal Society of Canada.

Diamond, a member of the Brain Research Centre and a Professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry, was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Dr. Diamond’s contributions have significantly improved understanding and medical treatment of phenylketonuria, autism, and ADHD. Her unique combination of expertise in cognitive psychology and neuroscience led to the creation of an entirely new subfield of psychology called developmental cognitive neuroscience.

Montaner, a professor of Medicine and Director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, has done pioneering work on the use of combinations of anti-retrovirals to treat HIV/AIDS. His findings have led to a new standard of care for AIDS and the World Health Organization’s recommendation that the drugs be used as first-line therapy for treatment of AIDS in resource-limited settings.

For more information, visit http://www.med.ubc.ca/about_us/Awards_and_Honours.htm#Eng%20awards.

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CIHR Developing Team Grant given to team including UBC members

The Wheeled Mobility for Older Adults Team (WheeMOAT)was awarded a $1.5 million CIHR Developing Team Grant for a six-year mobility research project that involves scientists from a number of UBC faculties and other institutions.

The project, led by William Miller from the Dept. of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, addresses mobility issues for an aging population – specifically, users of powered wheelchairs. UBC participants include Alan Mackworth, Ian Mitchell and James Little from the Dept. of Computer Science; Gary Birch and Meeko Oishi from the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Laura Hurd Clark, Dept. of Human Kinetics and Bonita Sawatzky from Orthopaedics.

The multidisciplinary team will investigate how older adults are currently using powered wheelchairs, how they can be used better, and how the chairs themselves can be improved.

For more information, visit http://www.cihr.ca/e/40523.html.

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UBC scientists to help evaluate Canada's biodiversity research capacity

Two UBC scientists have been appointed to a national panel tasked with reviewing the state of biodiversity research in Canada.  Prof. Wayne Maddison and Prof. Sarah Otto will join 13 other biodiversity experts on a Council of Canadian Academies panel which will consider the supply of taxonomic expertise, the effect of changing technologies on the field, and Canada’s contribution to biodiversity research at the international level. 

The panel, chaired by Thomas Lovejoy, Biodiversity Chair at the Heinz Center in Washington DC, was requested by the Minister of Canadian Heritage on behalf of the Canadian Museum of Nature. 

“We’re being asked to report on the capacity of Canada to identify, monitor and document trends in biodiversity,” says Otto, Director of UBC’s Biodiversity Research Centre. “We’ll also attempt to identify key gaps in the Canadian infrastructure for biodiversity science and the associated risks of these gaps.” 

For more information, visit the Council of Canadian Academies website  at www.science.ubc.ca/news/324

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Engineering professor receives award for teaching excellence

Prof. David Pulfrey, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has received a President’s Award for Teaching Excellence from the The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC).

 For more information, visit http://www.apeg.bc.ca/resource/innovation/archive/2009/2009septoct.pdf.

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Engineer receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for Innovative Global Health Research

UBC Mechanical Engineering Prof. Hongshen Ma has been awarded a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation valued at US$100,000. The grant will support an innovative global health research project titled Microfluidic Isolation of Malaria-infected Red Cells.

For more information, visit http://www.engineering.ubc.ca/news/2009/oct20.html

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Chinese heritage site launched

The UBC Library and the City of Vancouver Archives has launched a new website that offers users a look at a century of local Chinese-Canadian heritage.  Entitled The Chinese Experience in British Columbia, the site features holdings from the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection at UBC, and the Yip family and Yip Sang Company collection at the City of Vancouver Archives.

Schools, teachers and students can use content on the site and the associated digital collections for non-commercial purposes.

For more information, visit the site at www.library.ubc.ca/chineseinbc

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ROBOstudio features student designed retrofits for UBC buildings

A collaboration between architecture, mechatronics (mechanical engineering) and engineering physics students from UBC, ROBOstudio will be on display on Oct. 27.

ROBOstudio features student designed retrofits for buildings on UBC campus. There will be models, videos and poster boards on display, and students will be available to speak about their designs. Posters will remain in the lobby for the remainder of the week.  The second project will be displayed at the end of term.

            Date:    Oct. 27
            Time:    9 – 5
            Place:   Kaiser Atrium, 2332 Main Mall
            Info:     AnnaLisa Meyboom, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture 

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Learning Centre exhibits

Three exhibits are on display in the gallery space of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre located on level two of the Learning Centre, to the left of the circulation desk. 

  • Presented by the Asian Library, Cantonese Music: Where East meets West is a collection of instruments including hammer dulcimers, two-stringed fiddles, three-stringed lutes and a zither as well as musical scores. The pieces were collected by Steven Lee, an active member in Vancouver’s Chinese community in the 1940s and 1950s.  The collection will be on display until Dec. 5.  For more information contact Phoebe Chow at phoebe.chow@ubc.ca or 604-822-2427.   
  • Taiwan Sublime, four series of photographs taken by four Taiwanese photographers who have crisscrossed Taiwan and its smaller sister islands. The exhibit is presented by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office and will be on display until Dec. 7.  A lecture featuring three Taiwanese authors – Chu T’ien-wen, Liu Ka-shiang and Ko Yu-fen – will be held from 4 – 6 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Learning Centre gallery. As part of this series, the film A Time To Live, And A Time To Die by director Hou Hsiao-hsien is scheduled for a 3 p.m. screening on Oct. 26 in the Fairmount Social Lounge at St. John’s College (2111 Lower Mall). A discussion with screenwriter Chu Tien-wen will be held after the screening.  
  • As Is, a collection of colour photographs of Vancouver’s distressed Downtown Eastside, is a series by Lincoln Clarkes, a student of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where he studied painting before switching to photography. His collection will be on display until Nov. 7.

 For more information, visit http://blogs.ubc.ca/ikblc/.

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