B.C.’s innovation-driven biotech leaders are stepping on to the world stage and generating $14.4 billion a year in economic effect in the process. Vancouver-based Stemcell Technologies, for example, has emerged as a global presence with customer support and distribution hubs in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia, and annual revenues reportedly topping $150 million. But as impressive as that figure sounds — and…
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This past summer, the future of our postdoctoral association’s Science Policy Committee was uncertain. We were without purpose, our programming was sporadic—a seminar here, a blog post there—and overall interest seemed low. As a co-chair of the committee, which had dwindled to a grand total of two members, I struggled to identify ways to engage our postdoc community and to transform…
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On a drizzly mid-week evening downtown, beer glasses clink as a roomful of people sit, eyes fixed to a slideshow of complicated-looking graphs. The professor leading the presentation – on anything from prehistoric megafauna to advances in robotic engineering – speaks candidly, occasionally drawing a gasp from the awe-struck crowd. The popular science scene in Vancouver has been growing steadily…
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Dr. Corey Nislow is an associate professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. His research combines biotechnology and genomics to address fundamental questions about the link between environment and gene function. This includes a collaboration with NASA  examining the effects of microgravity and radiation on yeast cells by sending them to space. We sat down with Dr. Nislow…
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The Alzheimer Society of B.C. and UBC celebrated a decade-long partnership in maintaining the Ralph Fisher and Alzheimer Society of B.C. Professorship in Alzheimer Disease Research earlier this week and welcomed Dr. Robin Hsiung, who was recently awarded the Professorship. “We are so proud of our partnership with UBC and the role the Professorship has played in supporting world-class scientists…
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The initial stages of a PhD can be daunting. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can make the transition into productive doctoral study as smooth as possible. Whether you’re starting a PhD fresh out of undergrad or after many years of employment, the decision to begin a doctorate is a significant career move. When I started, 18 months ago,…
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Scientists at the University of B.C.have built a better mouse — one that is indifferent to cocaine. Unlike normal mice, the genetically engineered rodents did not show addictive behaviour even after repeated injections over days, suggesting that habitual drug use in humans may be a matter of genetics. While the finding is unlikely to yield a pill that cures addiction…
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Quirks and Quarks of Vancouver Biotech

Quark Venture, a venture capital (VC) fund launched in 2016, has followed through with its promise of investing in prominent Vancouver biotech companies. The US$500 million fund, the largest of its kind in Canada, is expected to have a significant impact in the biotech industry both locally and nationwide. With over two thirds of research funding at the University of…
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University of British Columbia microbiologists have found a yeast in the gut of new babies in Ecuador that appears to be a strong predictor that they will develop asthma in childhood. The new research furthers our understanding of the role microscopic organisms play in our overall health. “Children with this type of yeast called Pichia were much more at risk…
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