Zymeworks Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of next-generation bispecific and multifunctional biotherapeutics, today announced that Merck (known as MSD outside the US and Canada) has provided formal notification of their plans to advance a bispecific drug candidate into preclinical development. The drug candidate was developed by Merck, through a subsidiary, in collaboration with…
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The bacterial flagellum is a complex multi-component structure including a whip-like appendage, the flagellar filament, which is composed of approx. 20,000 protein units (flagellins) that link up together and form a structure of about 10 micrometers in length. We discovered and characterized a new family of flagellins...
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Troy McDiarmid Worms into the Intricacies of Genetic Risk in ASD

To understand how gene mutations affect neurodevelopment and learning in people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), PhD candidate Troy McDiarmid is looking at microscopic worms. McDiarmid, a graduate student in Dr. Catharine Rankin’s lab, was recently awarded a Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award from the CIHR for his proposal to characterize ASD-associated gene mutations in worm models…
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First, we show that models of depression in mouse produce brain function changes resembling those observed in humans who are depressed. This, of course, opens up the possibility of testing questions that are prohibitive in humans. As such, we used a next generation fluorescent sensor that allowed us to look at a specific neurotransmitter system...
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On September 14, 2017, Dr. Michael Coughtrie, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC) was named a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS). Dr. Coughtrie, together with UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Santa J. Ono, and Drs. Jehannine Austin and Lara Boyd from UBC Faculty of Medicine, were…
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has selected Ottawa heart researcher Mona Nemer to be the country’s top scientist. Nemer leaves her position as the vice-president of research at the University of Ottawa after more than a decade to take on the title of Canada’s chief science adviser. The appointment fulfils an election promise and ticks off one of Science Minister Kirsty…
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In a partnership with Dr. Sue Baldwin at the University of British Columbia, and with funding from Genome BC, Teck Resources Limited (Teck) is exploring how to optimize the use of microbes in water treatment to reduce selenium. Selenium is a naturally-occurring substance that can be released through the mining process and impact aquatic health in high quantities. The research…
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UBC Researchers Promote the Fundamental Science Review on Parliament Hill

“Based on data from a survey we produced last year, 80 per cent of Canadian Principal Investigators (PIs) have indicated plans to slow their research programs,” says Dr. Liisa Galea. “They’re worried about how they’re going to support new trainees, and funding is their primary concern.” Dr. Galea recently travelled to Ottawa in support of the Fundamental Science Review as part of a…
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Engineered T-cell receptors (TCRs) have tremendous therapeutic potential for targeted, T-cell-mediated killing of infected or malignant cells. A key hurdle in realizing this vision is understanding and manipulating the interactions of TCRs with their cognate antigens. Rules for TCR engagement have been difficult to define owing to the complexity of the system, and platforms for de novo TCR design remain aspirational. A…
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