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UBC professors receive Canada’s top health research honours

At an awards dinner in Ottawa on Nov. 16, two UBC researchers received Canada’s highest health research honours. 

Clyde Hertzman, director of the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) and a professor at the School of Population and Public Health at UBC, has been named Canada’s 2010 “Health Researcher of the Year” – the highest scientific honour from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). This award recognizes Hertzman’s work on the effects of the environment on the development of young children.  For more information, visit http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2010/11/16/ubc-professor-named-canada%e2%80%99s-health-researcher-of-the-year/.

Julio Montaner, director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Chair in AIDS Research and Head of Division of AIDS in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC, received the Prix Galien award, the top Canadian award for Canadian pharmaceutical research.  For more information, visit http://www.canada.com/health/Public+private+operation+health+advancement+says/3839157/story.html

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Law prof takes campaign against human trafficking to Parliament Hill

Earlier this month, UBC law professor Benjamin Perrin met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper as well as Attorney General and Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson to make the case for a national action plan to combat human trafficking in Canada.

The national action plan proposed by Perrin and MP Joy Smith includes the following key components:

  • Prosecute Traffickers: Identify, disrupt and prosecute human trafficking operations with integrated law enforcement Human Trafficking Task Forces to target the most prolific and violent criminal organizations and networks.
  • Protect Victims: Ensure victims of human trafficking can access needed governmental and non-governmental services wherever they are identified in Canada.
  • Prevent the Crime: Prevention efforts including outreach and education to ensure that the most vulnerable are resistant to tactics of traffickers; ensure temporary foreign workers who are victims benefit from “whistleblower” protection with alternative employment and recovery of unpaid wages.
  • Confront Demand: adopt the Nordic model of prostitution to criminalize the purchase of sex acts, but not those being sold who are instead offered support to exit exploitation; vigorously enforce Canada’s extraterritorial child sex crime offences and prevent convicted child sex offenders from freely travelling abroad.
  • Cooperation: Work collaboratively with the provinces, law enforcement, Aboriginal leaders, non-governmental organizations and survivors to implement this plan to end human trafficking in Canada.

For more information, visit http://www.law.ubc.ca/news/2010/nov/11_17_10_perrin.html

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Museum of Vancouver-UBC repatriation efforts

The repatriation of “The Sechelt image,” one of Canada’s best known prehistoric sculptures, to B.C.’s Sechelt Band, and a Maori cloak to New Zealand’s Wairoa Museum, was made possible by The Museum of Vancouver (MOV)’s new repatriation program and the efforts of a team from UBC.  Professor of anthropology and chair of MOV’s collections committee Bruce Miller and UBC graduate students Emily Birky, Chris Arnett and Peter Mechant have been instrumental to the new program’s creation and success.  Birky, under Miller’s supervision, worked on the historical and anthropological information of the Sechelt Image to prepare the report sent to the museum board and to City Council to gain approval for the repatriation.

 “The trend among progressive museums around the globe is to improve their relationships with First Nations and to better engage and reflect the communities they serve.  For First Nations, we are talking about the return of massively important cultural artifacts,” says Miller, who studies indigenous peoples, and their relationship with the state, including governments, the courts and museums.

“Many First Peoples see artifacts as living entities, so seeing them hidden away in the back room of a museum can cause great pain,” he said, noting that bands are more willing to donate pieces, request technical advice or partner with museums with repatriation programs.
For more on the Sechelt Image repatriation, visit http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/prehistoric-sculpture-returned-to-sechelt-band/article1760005/

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UBC alumna wins Governor General’s Award

Fishtailing, a teen novel by UBC alumna Wendy Phillips, has been awarded the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature – Text.  The novel was originally written as her creative writing thesis for the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature.  After completing her degree, Phillips was encouraged to submit it for publication by her thesis defense committee.

For more information, visit http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/librarian+untangles+tight+knot+teen+angst/3840876/story.html

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Government of Canada awards two UBC research projects

The Government of Canada has announced support for nine research projects on physical activity and childhood obesity, including two from UBC:

  • Mark Beauchamp, Dept. of Human Kinetics, will determine the effect of a unique intervention designed to increase physical activity among adolescents
  • Lara Boyd, Dept. of Physical Therapy and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, will study the effect of the combination of brain stimulation and arm exercises on arm function in rehabilitation after stroke

For more information, visit http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/42748.html

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UBC alumna / faculty member part of team to win CDA Oral Health Promotion Award

The Canadian Dental Association has presented the Oral Health Promotion Award to the B.C. Oral Cancer Prevention Program (BCOCPP) and to one of its founding pioneers, Michele Williams, UBC alumna (DMD 1988) and clinical professor at UBC Faculty of Dentistry.

Williams is part of a team of scientists and clinicians that has worked tirelessly to develop a program that has heightened the awareness of oral cancer, and the need for early oral cancer detection.

Williams is an oral medicine leader at the BCOCPP and the department of oral oncology at the B. C. Cancer Agency/Cancer Research Centre.

For more information, visit http://www.dentistry.ubc.ca/News/2010/CDA_award.asp

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International clinical trial on Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia underway in Vancouver

The UBC Hospital Clinic for Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders is participating in a large, international research study on Alzheimer’s Disease being funded by National Institutes of Health in the United States. The Clinic is one of five Canadian sites and 50 U.S. sites participating in the study.

The study—called the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) —is a groundbreaking study that will recruit hundreds of new volunteers to help define the subtle changes that may take place in the brains of older people many years before overt symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease appear. This study is the largest public-private partnership to date in Alzheimer’s disease research. Robin Hsiung, a member of the Brain Research Centre, assistant professor in the UBC Faculty of Medicine, and a Vancouver Coastal Health neurologist, is leading the local efforts.

For more information, visit www.brain.ubc.ca

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UBC engineering students receive Canadian Federation of University Women awards

Undergraduate engineering students Jasna Jankovic (Chemical), Yaxi (Wendy) Chang (Chemical), Maxime Chin (Mechanical) and Sarah Tahermaram (Mechanical) have received the 2010 Canadian Federation of University Women West Vancouver Education Award. The $1,000 awards are made possible by a Community Gaming Grant from the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch of the British Columbia Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

For more information, visit http://www.apsc.ubc.ca/news-events/index.php

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Principal of Saint Mark’s College to receive honorary doctorate

John J. Stapleton, Principal of Saint Mark’s College at UBC and President of Corpus Christi College in Vancouver, will receive the honorary Doctor of Sacred Letters degree from Regis College, the Jesuit Faculty of Theology at the University of Toronto. The degree will be conferred on Nov. 20 at Regis College’s Thirty-Fourth Convocation.  Stapleton is being recognized for his “contributions to society, culture and the church.” 

In 2006, Stapleton was appointed a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Benedict XVI. Other awards include an appointment as Dean Emeritus of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and the Distinguished Service Award of the Canadian Association for the Study of Educational Administration. 

For more information, visit www.corpuschristi.ca.

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UBC Robson Square Rodeo

UBC Robson Square presents the UBC Robson Square Rodeo, an event to help raise awareness and funds for The United Way.  Each ticket ($15) will include a buffet dinner, one drink, a ticket in the raffle for a 19” flatscreen TV and a chance to ride the mechanical bull.  Additional prizes will be available throughout the night.

Date: Nov. 25
Time: 5 – 7 p.m.
Place: The Bourbon Country Bar, 50 West Cordova Street, Vancouver
(15 minute walk from Robson Square, #4 bus from UBC Point Grey to the venue, available parking beside venue)
Info: For tickets, contact Janice Lee at 604.328.0913 or Janice.lee@ubc.ca

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UBC Staff Pension Plan: 2010 Directors election

The UBC Staff Pension Plan 2010 Directors Election is now underway and members can cast their vote at http://www.students.ubc.ca/facultystaff/staffpension.cfm.  The deadline for casting ballots is midnight, Nov. 25. Members are encouraged to take the time and vote in this year’s election.

For more information, visit www.pensions.ubc.ca/staff

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