The Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT) Registry and Biobank is an international multi-centre study led by Dr Shubhayan Sanatani at the Children’s Heart Centre at BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH). CPVT is a rare (1:10,000) genetic heart condition characterized by an abnormal heart rhythm triggered by emotional stress or exercise. This abnormal rhythm may lead to cardiac arrest and/or death in…
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The BCIC Ignite Awards on October 10, 2017 awarded a total of $735,000 to the top four BC research projects in natural resources and applied sciences. Dr. Stephanie Willerth, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UVIC, who is working with Aspect Biosystems to develop functional, 3D bio printed human nerve tissues, that can recreate the pathology of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s…
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Production of cancer-killing isotopes and creating more personalized treatments for respiratory diseases are among the eight projects receiving major grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The Faculty of Medicine received a total of $31.2 in this latest round of CFI funding, and the eight projects represent the majority of the 15 grants, totaling $52.2 million, awarded to UBC. “Hearing…
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For Celia Lau, the value of the research at B.C. Children’s Hospital is not hard to measure. She sees it every day in the face of her vibrantly healthy 10-year-old son, Justin. Without a personalized genetic treatment developed at the hospital’s research institute, Justin may not have survived his illness. Lau gave birth to her first child, Cameron, in 2004.…
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Selective Aggregation of the Splicing Factor Hsh155 Suppresses Splicing upon Genotoxic Stress

When a cell responds to DNA damage it must coordinate DNA repair with changes in both the transcriptome and proteome that together promote recovery and stress tolerance. Using a yeast model, this study identified a new way cells regulate gene expression under stress, namely, by disassembling a splicing complex called SF3B, and sequestering one of its core subunits in a nuclear protein aggregate…
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Five leading German scientists have resigned from their editorial positions at journals published by Elsevier, the latest step in a battle over open-access and subscription policies between the Dutch publishing giant and a consortium of German libraries, universities, and research institutes. The researchers want Elsevier to accept a new payment model that would make all papers authored by Germany-based researchers…
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Researchers from the University of British Columbia are retracting their scientific paper linking aluminum in vaccines to autism in mice, because one of the co-authors claims figures published in the study were deliberately altered before publication — an issue he says he realized after allegations of data manipulation surfaced online. The professor also told CBC News there’s no way to know “why” or “how” the figures were…
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ICORD PhD student Seth Tigchelaar is representing UBC in the international Universitas 21 3-Minute Thesiscompetition. The 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) challenges graduate students to explain their research to a non-scientific audience in three minutes or fewer. Seth, who is working on his PhD with Dr. Brian Kwon, is studying how biomarkers can help predict the severity of spinal cord injury. In February of this…
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Much of the published studies have focused on the Atg1 complex from budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae model organism and this complex consists of five core subunits (Atg1, Atg13, Atg17, Atg29, Atg31). Yet, the orthologous ULK complex from humans has a different subunit composition, and in particular contains a unique component called ATG101 in place of two Atg29 and Atg31. It is unclear…
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The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre, is pleased to announce the appointments of Dr. Francois Bénard and Ms. Nancy Harrison as Directors of the organization. Dr. Bénard is Vice President of Research at the BC Cancer Agency where he is responsible for setting and facilitating a comprehensive cancer research strategy and…
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