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Three faculty members win Terry Fox Foundation grants

 The Terry Fox Foundation (TFF) has given New Investigator Awards to three members of UBC’s Faculty of Medicine to further their quest to unravel the complexities of cancer.

Ryan Brinkman, an associate professor in the Dept. of Medical Genetics and a senior scientist with the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA)’s Terry Fox Laboratory, will receive $435,252 over the next three years to examine flow informatics approaches for the identification of normal and malignant breast cancer stem cells. His work will aid in speeding up the diagnosis and prognosis of blood cancers. Mentoring Brinkman will be principal investigator Keith Humphries, professor in the Dept. of Medicine and a senior scientist at the BCCA, whose project “Cell fate and control of normal and malignant stem cells” has received a $5.1 million grant from TFF.

Cathie Garnis, an assistant professor with the Division of Otolaryngology in UBC Faculty of Medicine and a senior scientist with the BC Cancer Agency, will receive $450,000 over three years to identify and evaluate lung cancer markers that can be detected in the bloodstream and may be useful in early detection of lung cancer. The project is designed to develop simple, cost-effective blood tests for early diagnosis of lung cancer.  Garnis’ project supports co-principal investigator and mentor Stephen Lam’s study “Early Detection of Lung Cancer: A Pan-Canadian Study,” which will receive almost $7 million in funding over five years from Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Lam is a professor in the Dept. of Medicine and Chair, Provincial Lung Tumor Group in the BCCA.

Amina Zoubeidi, an assistant professor at the Dept. of Urologic Sciences at UBC and research scientist with the Vancouver Prostate Centre, will be awarded $449,964 over the next three years for her project designed to determine if the expression of a protein – Lyn kinase – promotes prostate cancer progression.  Mentoring Zoubeidi will be principal investigator Paul Rennie, a professor of urologic sciences at UBC and director of laboratory research, Vancouver Prostate Centre, whose prostate cancer progression project has received a TFF New Frontiers Program Grant for nearly $6.8 million.

For more information about the awards, visit http://www.med.ubc.ca/media/201012/Three_faculty_members_win_Terry_Fox_Foundation_grants.htm

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UBC materials engineering prof to receive TMS award

Asst. Prof. Edouard Asselin in the Dept. of Materials Engineering has been chosen to receive a 2011 Young Leader Professional Development Award by The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS).  The Young Leader program aims to foster the development of future leaders in the society.  Winners become more involved in the organization’s activities, benefiting from networking and mentoring opportunities and taking a role in meetings and committees.

TMS is headquartered in the United States but is international in both its membership and activities. It encompasses the entire range of materials and engineering, from minerals processing and primary metals production to basic research and the advanced applications of materials.

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

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UBC Library awards round-up

Charlotte Beck, a reference librarian at the UBC Woodward Library, won one of the top three prizes at the 2010 ALPS LINK awards (ALPS LINK is a partnership between the Academic Librarians for Public Service and the British Columbia Electronic Library Network). Bernadette Duffy – a UBC Library co-op student – received an Honourable Mention. A complete list of ALPS LINK winners is available at http://www.eln.bc.ca/link/prizes2010.html.

Bailey Diers is the recipient of the 2010/11 Internship Award from the Art Libraries Society of North America. Diers is a student in the Master of Library and Information Studies degree program UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies and is also a graduate academic assistant in UBC Library’s Assessment Office.  This prestigious award grants $2,500 to support a period of internship for a student preparing for a career in art librarianship or visual resources curatorship.

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UBC engineering researchers win international best paper award

UBC electrical and computer engineering former postdoc Jan Mietzner and professors Lutz Lampe and Robert Schober have received the 2010 Best Paper Award by the German Technology Society (ITG) for their paper “Distributed Transmit Power Allocation for Multihop Cognitive-Systems” published in the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications in 2009.

The award is given annually for outstanding scientific publications in information technology and comes with an honorarium of $3,000 Euros.

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B.C. aboriginal students receive scholarship awards

Eighty-seven B.C. Aboriginal students including 12 from UBC received awards totaling $259,000 for study in B.C. this year.  The awards were announced by Hugh Gordon, chair of the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society. The Society works in partnership with the Victoria Foundation to provide scholarships awards of $1,000 – $3,500 annually to Aboriginal students attending public post-secondary institutions throughout the province and internationally.

The B.C. Aboriginal Student Award is funded from the returns on a $10 million endowment fund established by the Province in 2007 as part of its strategy to improve Aboriginal access and achievement. To ensure that there are more opportunities for people to benefit from this award, the Province provided an additional one-time grant of $500,000 that was used to fund awards last year and this year.

To view the list of UBC recipients and for more information, visit http://www.bcscholarship.ca/web/files/bcasa_2010.pdf

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UBC engineering alumnus to be inducted as business laureate

UBC engineering alumnus Ken Spencer will be inducted as a business laureate of the British Columbia Hall of Fame in May 2011. Spencer graduated from UBC in 1967 with a BASc degree in electrical engineering and a PhD in 1972.

The business laureate recognition recognizes Spencer’s business acumen and social responsibility. A retired CEO and co-founder of Creo Products, he has served on several not-for-profit boards, including UBC’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Committee and the advisory board to the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science.

The Business Hall of Fame was created in 2006 to honour the outstanding contributions of BC business leaders to free enterprise and their society in the province and in Canada

For more information visit: www.businesslaureatesbc.org/ken_spencer.html

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Ceremony to honour engineering alumnus Thomas Bennett (1983-2010)

A plaque unveiling ceremony and reception will be held this Friday in memory of UBC alumnus Thomas Edward James (TJ) Bennett (BASc ’07). He died on Mount Shasta in Northern California on April 1, 2010 at age 26.

Bennett’s family, friends and colleagues have established the Thomas Bennett Student Enrichment Memorial Fund in Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC in his honour. The fund will enable an undergraduate student or group of students within the Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science to receive $1,000 in support of student enrichment activities. Preference will be given to students who demonstrate high academic achievement, leadership, and social and environmental concern.

Date:    Dec. 10
Time:   1:30 p.m.
Place:  Chemical and Biological Engineering Building, 2360 East Mall
Info:      Informal gathering at Mahoney & Sons Irish Pub to follow.

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