Ten years ago, when Toronto entrepreneur Brendan Frey wanted to start his company, he says, “conditions weren’t right.” But by 2015, he found, the local environment had become a lot more hospitable to start-ups. So he launched Deep Genomics, a genetic medicine company. It uses artificial intelligence to discover and advance therapies for rare genetic disorders. Frey, a professor of engineering…
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This Fall 2019, 17 researchers begin year-long placements in the federal government and two provincial governments, harnessing their research expertise for the development of policy-based decisions on key issues across Canada. With robust expertise ranging from environmental protection to mental health, the 2019-2020 cohort of the Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowship will be instrumental in the continued implementation of innovative…
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Allogene Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALLO), a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of allogeneic CAR T (AlloCAR T™) therapies for cancer, and Notch Therapeutics Inc., an immune cell therapy company creating universally compatible, allogeneic T cell therapies for the treatment of diseases of high unmet need, today announced an exclusive worldwide collaboration and license agreement to research and develop induced…
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CBR Member Feature: Maria-Elizabeth Baeva, BSc

People who change your opinions about life come in all forms. For me, these forms usually entail lab coats and nitrile gloves. One of these PPE-endowed people is a Master of Science candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Wilfred Jeffries named Maria-Elizabeth Baeva. Before I met Maria, I was convinced that all successful graduate students devoted the majority of their…
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Outcomes for metastatic Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma are dismal and have not changed for decades. Oxidative stress attenuates melanoma metastasis, and melanoma cells must reduce oxidative stress to metastasize. We explored this in sarcomas by screening for oxidative stress sensitizers, which identified the class I HDAC inhibitor MS‐275 as enhancing vulnerability to reactive oxygen species (ROS) in sarcoma cells. Mechanistically,…
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Another election has come and, mercifully, gone. During the recent federal campaign, the subject of climate change was front and centre, yet, as I watched the debates and read what candidates had to say about the issue, it struck me that most politicians in Canada (aspiring or elected) lack any kind of scientific background. With the exception of climate change…
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Although breast cancer treatment has made great strides, around 5,000 Canadian women are still expected to succumb to the disease in 2019 alone. And it’s not the breast tumour that will kill them; it’s the spread of the cancer cells to other sites—a process called metastasis. Karla Williams, a professor in the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences at UBC and the…
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Vienna Lam, Lab Manager at SFU, Featured on Best of the WWEST Podcast

In this episode, we hear from Vienna Lam, the Lab Manager at the SFU Centre for Forensic Research and School of Criminology. She tells host Danniele about her love for learning, which took her from a bachelor degree to a second bachelor degree to a master’s degree. You’ll hear about her passion for the whole research cycle as well as…
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The University of British Columbia will host the first Canadian concert bringing leading musical talents of Vienna together with dramatic narratives from science and medicine. “Sounds and Science: Vienna Vancouver” is part of the President’s Concert Series, to be held Nov. 30, 2019 on UBC campus. The event is modeled on a successful concert series launched in Austria in 2014, in cooperation with…
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Characterizing the adaptive landscapes that encompass the emergence of novel enzyme functions can provide molecular insights into both enzymatic and evolutionary mechanisms. Here, we combine ancestral protein reconstruction with biochemical, structural and mutational analyses to characterize the functional evolution of methyl-parathion hydrolase (MPH), an organophosphate-degrading enzyme. We identify five mutations that are necessary and sufficient for the evolution of MPH…
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