What’s on your mind? UBC celebrates research

Aspiring athletes can get insider information on maximizing performance at a free March 10 public presentation called Peak Performance: The Path to Exceptional Athletic Achievement, as part of UBC’s Celebrate Research Week March 5–13.

“Celebrate Research showcases the outstanding work of UBC investigators and stimulates public discussion and learning about issues of the day,” says John Hepburn, Vice President Research and International. “Our research accomplishments have consistently placed us among the world’s 40 top universities and we’re excited to share that expertise with the communities that support us.”

Celebrate Research Week, co-ordinated by the Office of Community Affairs, offers a week of public events that highlight investigation and discovery. Most events are free and take place on UBC campuses and at public venues.

The Peak Performance event is co-moderated by André Picard, The Globe and Mail public health reporter, and takes place at SFU Harbour Centre, 12:30–5:30 p.m.

Picard’s co-moderator is Prof. Edward Coyle from the University of Texas, Austin, who will outline emerging science surrounding elite performance. Coyle helped train Lance Armstrong following the cyclist’s cancer treatments.

“The event is an unusual exploration of the science underpinning athletic superiority and will give new insights as to how the fabric of heart, lungs, muscle, sinew and spirit intersect when medals are won,” says Dr. Bruce McManus, director of the Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul’s Hospital which is hosting the event. McManus is also a professor in UBC’s Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Presenters include Dr. Tony Galea, who has worked with golfer Tiger Woods, who will discuss how to speed repair following injury. Gene-doping will be examined by Assoc. Prof. Jim Rupert of UBC’s School of Human Kinetics and the biology of performance and role of genetics in elite performance will be explored by UBC Human Kinetics Prof. Darren Warburton and Dr. Andrew Jones from the University of Exeter in the U.K.

Other presentations look at sports psychology and ethical issues in sport, such as how far can we push athletes, both amateur and professional, to perform.

Celebrate Research Week also offers a Café Scientifique that looks at marijuana and teens, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Journalist Ian Mulgrew, author of BC Bud Inc.: Inside Canada’s Marijuana Industry, hosts informal research presentations, outlines of local initiatives and public discussion at the March 11 Vancouver Café. CBC Radio’s Marion Barschel hosts the March 9 Café in Kelowna.

On March 5 and 6, the Crossroads Conference sees students from secondary schools across Metro Vancouver meeting with social, environmental and economic leaders to explore how they can bring about positive change to Vancouver.

UBC Okanagan

At UBC Okanagan keynote speaker Ujjayant Chakravorty, Canada Research Chair in Natural Resource Economics, and a panel of regional experts will explore how to “walk the talk” on sustainability. The March 8 event takes place at 7 p.m. at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

March 8-12 lunchtime feature presentations range from genocide research to examining benevolence and the desire to make a difference. There
will also be a March 11 , 7 p.m. screening and panel discussion at the Fipke Centre of 65_RedRoses, an acclaimed documentary about a young woman with cystic fibrosis who awaits a lung transplant.

Awards gala

A highlight of the week, the Celebrate Research Awards Reception at the Vancouver campus, is co-hosted by the Office of the Vice President Research and International. The reception honours the accomplishments of UBC’s award-winning faculty researchers as well as mentors of undergraduate research. At UBC Okanagan, there will be also be an evening of special presentations, film vignettes and awards featuring Researcher of the Year and Public Education through Media.

Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference

The annual Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference (MURC) will celebrate the contributions of undergraduate research at UBC. The March 6 conference provides an opportunity for students in any discipline to present their research.  Graduate students judge presentations and prizes will be awarded at the end of the conference day at a celebratory gala.
This year marks the first time that 13
undergrad investigators from UBC Okanagan will come to Vancouver to present their research at MURC.

UBC consistently ranks among the
top three Canadian universities by research funding. In 2008-09, UBC earned more than $475 million in research funding from all sources. UBC is also among North America’s leading universities in technology transfer and many of the more than 130 spin-off companies are based in B.C.

For more information on Celebrate Research, visit www.celebrateresearch.ubc.ca and http://web.ubc.ca/okanagan/celebrateresearch/welcome.html.