An investment from the Province of British Columbia will create 355 domestic undergraduate spaces in the new School of Biomedical Engineering, a joint effort between the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Applied Science. “UBC is the first university in Western Canada to recognize the importance of biomedical engineering with a school of its own,” said Dermot Kelleher, Dean…
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What Healthcare Can Learn From a Proud Data Parasite

Some might call him a data parasite, but Paul Pavlidis, PhD, doesn’t mind. “It’s a slur that we now embrace,” he tells Healthcare Analytics News™. “It’s a good thing.” He borrowed the title from a 2016 New England Journal of Medicine op-ed in which its editor-in-chief described the potential for “research parasites” to take advantage of an open data-sharing system, though forms of the…
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Potential New Diabetes Treatment Being Tested in Vancouver

The University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health are testing a possible diabetes cure that replaces a person’s damaged pancreatic cells with new ones grown in the lab. The replacement cells are grown from embryonic stem cells. Researchers believe that if the new cells mature, multiply, and behave as hoped, recipients would be able to lessen – or even…
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Annually, the Centre for Blood Research offers five travel awards to Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates to help make travel to conferences and academic events more feasible. Any Postdoctoral Fellow or Research Associate may apply, provided they have not received an award in the last year. Each award offers $1,000 to supplement other funding sources. Throughout past years, recipients have…
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Hyaluronan-Binding by CD44 Reduces the Memory Potential of Activated Murine CD8 T Cells

In this paper, we found that CD44 and its interaction with its ligand, the extracellular matrix component hyaluronan, negatively regulates CD8 T cell memory formation. The activated CD8 T cells that bind hyaluronan are more susceptible to death during contraction of the T cell response, and thus less likely to form memory cells. Discovering the factors that regulate CD8 T cell memory formation are of direct relevance for improving vaccine efficacy.
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Rapid population growth, a changing climate, and increasing constraints on land, water, and nutrients threaten global food security. Canada must dramatically expand agricultural production to meet increased demand and to offset predicted declines in crop yields in tropical and subtropical countries. This will require that plant breeding be accelerated in Canada, with the goal of developing high yielding, climate-adapted and…
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Research That’s More Than Skin Deep: Q&A with Paulina Piesik

On the surface, our skin is a barrier surrounding our bodies. But underneath those layers, our skin tells a bigger story — it plays a vital role in protecting us from diseases. Understanding the skin’s immune system is the main goal of Paulina Piesik, a UBC doctoral student working at BC Children’s Hospital with Dr. Jan Dutz. In particular, she’s studying…
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Read the Publication  This week we profile a recent publication in Bioinformatics from Dr. Inanc Birol  (fourth from left) and Hamza Khan (sixth from left) at the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre. Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus? We at the Bioinformatics Technology lab of BC Genome Sciences Centre, analyze high-throughput sequencing data to study genomes…
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CannaRoyalty Corp.  and Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced a collaboration (the “JV”) to advance a suite of cannabis-based therapies targeting neurological disorders into clinical trials in Canada, in collaboration with Canadian doctors and key opinion leaders. CannaRoyalty and Aequus have formed this collaboration to clinically advance a number of cannabis-based therapies in partnership with Canadian clinicians to create truly differentiated products supported by…
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REVIEW: Translational Control of Aberrant Stress Responses as a Novel Hallmark of Cancer

Altered mRNA translational control is emerging as a critical factor in cancer development and progression. Targeting specific elements of the translational machinery, such as mTORC1 or eIF4E, is emerging as a new strategy for innovative cancer therapy. While translation of most mRNAs takes place through cap-dependent mechanisms, a sub-population of cellular mRNA species, particularly stress-inducible mRNAs with highly structured 5′-UTR…
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