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UBC Reports Feb 7, 2008

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VOL   54   I   NO   2   I   FEBRUARY   7,   2008
3 Death by degrees
4 Going paperless
6 Campus chemicals
7 Community research
What makes kids happy?
UBC researchers surprised at the role spirituality plays
What makes you happy?
Spirituality typically accounts for
four or five per cent of an adult's
happiness, but new research has
found a much stronger influence
of spirituality in children.
Mark Holder, Assoc. Prof, of
Psychology at UBC Okanagan,
and graduate student Judi
Wallace recently tested 315
children aged nine to 12,
measuring spirituality and other
factors such as temperament and
social relations that can affect an
individual's sense of happiness.
"Our goal was to see whether
there's a relation between
spirituality and happiness,"
Holder says. "We knew going
in that there was such a relation
in adults, so we took multiple
measures of spirituality and
happiness in children."
The results were a surprise -
6.5 to 16.5 per cent of children's
happiness can be accounted for
by spirituality.
"From our perspective, it's
a whopping big effect," says
Holder. "I expected it to be much
less - I thought their spirituality
would be too immature to
account for their well-being."
"Spirituality is easiest to
describe as having an inner belief
system," Wallace notes. Although
the terms are sometimes used
interchangeably, she cautions
that "spirituality is not
religiosity, which is often more
organized, and may be church-
To describe their daily spiritual
experiences, private religious
practices, and whether they think
of themselves as religious or
spiritual, children in the study
rated statements such as "I feel
a higher power's presence," and
answered questions including
"how often do you pray or
meditate privately outside
of church or other places
of worship?" Parents were
also asked to describe each
child's apparent happiness and
spirituality, and teachers rated
each child's happiness level.
While the connection between
spirituality and happiness in
adults has been established,
Holder says relatively little is
known about the connection
between spirituality and
happiness in children.
Factors such as gender or
money contribute very little
to happiness, says Holder. "In
fact, the contribution of money
to happiness explains less than
one per cent." They found that
whether children attend public
or private school has virtually no
impact on their happiness.
There are lots of new
questions to explore - such as
how to improve the well-being
of children by applying this
new understanding of what
contributes to happiness.
"This research represents the
first steps in that direction,"
Holder says. With funding
from UBC Okanagan and the
continued on page 3
Conquering AIDS — if we have a HAART
Dr. Julio Montaner:
helpless situations.
more aggressive AIDS treatment needed for those in
One ofthe world's leading
researchers in HIV/AIDS,
Dr. Julio Montaner, believes it is
possible to completely eliminate
the transmission of HIV in
Canada, starting in British
"We have come a long way in
two decades of treating HIV/
AIDS," says Montaner, Director
of the BC Centre for Excellence
in HIV/AIDS. "I really believe
by expanding HAART (highly
active anti-retroviral therapy), a
therapy proven to work, we can
finally control this epidemic."
There are 12,000 people
in British Columbia who are
HIV positive. The B.C. Centre
for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
estimates that 2,000 are not
receiving treatment even though
most have access to free therapy.
HAART treats HIV with a
combination of drugs (anti-
retrovirals) that blocks HIV
replication at different stages of
its life cycle. As a result, HAART
dramatically reduces the amount
of HIV in the blood, known
as viral load, and this in turn
helps to decrease the risk of HIV
"We have proven that among
those who engage in care, 90 per
cent show a vast improvement
and transmission almost
disappears," says Montaner.
"But this benefit is restricted to
those who initiate and adhere to
HAART treatment."
The benefits of HAART
are major and long lasting
- life expectancy increases and
quality of life improves. Further,
transmission is greatly reduced.
This means that HIV-infected
women can give birth without
transmitting the virus to their
babies, as long as they are on
"The reality for the more
vulnerable members of our
community is that seeking
treatment for HIV does not
rank high enough to make it a
priority," says Montaner. "This
creates completely unnecessary
pain and suffering for people
and generates futile health care
Most Canadians, if given a
HIV-positive verdict, would seek
treatment without delay. This
is not the case, however, for
many people who are homeless,
mentally ill, substance abusers or
all of the above.
Montaner believes that
it's possible to improve the
situation. He believes that it
requires rethinking the current
passive approach to treatment
and creating a more aggressive
method of providing care
for HIV sufferers in helpless
situations. Montaner calls this
approach "seek and treat."
"It is not unlike what we did
for tuberculosis in the past,"
says Montaner. "We need to go
out there, find the cases, and
engage them in comprehensive
education, prevention and care
programs. We need a dynamic
outreach program that will allow
continued on page 6 2     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     FEBRUARY   7,    200!
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Highlights of UBC media coverage in January 2008.  compiled by basil waugh
UBC Astronomer Produces
First Detailed Map of Dark
Matter in a Supercluster
UBC astronomer Catherine
Heymans has created the most
detailed map yet of dark matter,
the mysterious substance that
fills space between galaxies.
Heymans and her colleagues
used the Hubble Space Telescope
to map dark matter at a better
resolution than has ever been
achieved before.
Heymans is a postdoctoral
fellow in the Dept. of Physics
and Astronomy. USA Today,
BBC and Canadian Press
reported her findings.
Popular Osteoporosis Drugs
Triple Risk of Bone Necrosis
A UBC study has found
that popular osteoporosis
drugs nearly triple the risk
of developing bone necrosis,
a condition that can lead to
disfigurement and incapacitating
The research, reported by
United Press International,
Globe and Mail, Toronto Star,
CTV and CBC's 'The National;
is the largest epidemiological
study of bone necrosis and
bisphosphonates, a class of
drugs used by millions of women
worldwide to help prevent bone
fractures due to osteoporosis.
"Given the widespread use
of these drugs, it is important
that women and their doctors
know the risks," said principal
investigator Mahyar Etminan
of the Centre for Clinical
Epidemiology and Evaluation
at UBC and Vancouver Coastal
Health Research Institute.
Pop Culture Roundup: Starlet
in Distress and 'President
The National Posfs coverage
of January's two major pop
culture stories - Britney Spears'
hospitalization and French
President Nicolas Sarkozy's
supermodel romance - featured
media commentary by UBC
English professor Gisele Baxter.
Baxter said young stars like
Spears often suffer in making
the transition from adolescence
to adulthood in the glare of the
spotlight. She cited actress Drew
Barrymore, who weathered years
of drug addiction after her role
in E.T before finding success and
stability more recently.
In the case of Sarkozy, Baxter
said the President has quickly
chosen a partner likely to thrive
in the role his former wife
rejected. "I suppose romantics
might say they simply met
and fell in love, but that's too
convenient. It almost seems
Hollywood invented the couple."
Shad K: Canada's Best Rapper
UBC arts student Shadrach
Kabango is "Canada's best
rapper," according to a column
in the National Post, Vancouver
Sun and Montreal Gazette by
arts critic Ben Kaplan.
Known as Shad K, the
Kenyan-born MC said he is
closely following the elections
in Kenya and hoping to
communicate that with his
growing crowds.
CBC Radio 3 called 2007 "the
year of the Shad." In January,
the 25-year-old began a cross-
Canada tour with Halifax rapper
UBC astromer Catherine Heymans mapped dark matter in Supercluster
Abell 901/902.
The Dec. UBC Reports described the late Dr. Frank
Calder as "the first Status Indian elected to Canada's
Parliament." In fact, Calder - who became a B.C.
MLA in 1949 - was the first Aboriginal elected
to any parliament in Canada. The nation's first
Aboriginal MP was the Hon. Leonard Marchand, Sr.,
who served in the House of Commons from 1968 to
1979 and later as a senator from 1984 to 1998. Both
Calder and Marchand are UBC alumni.
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Executive Director S<    tt Macrae scott.macrae@ubc.ca
Editor Randy Schmidt randy. schmidt@ubc.ca
Designers  P ig Ki Chan ping.chan@ubc.ca
Ann Goncalve: ann.goncalves@ubc.ca
Principal Photography Martin Dee martin.dee@ubc.ca
Web Designer Michael Ko michael.ko@ubc.ca
Contributors J. Backhouse julie-ann.backhouse@ubc.ca
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Advertising Sarah Walker public.a££airs@ubc.ca
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Death by degrees
UBC fish researcher uses treadmill to test optimum temperatures for salmon
Just how hot is too hot for fish?
To find out, UBC researcher
Erika Eliason is using a "fish
treadmill" to put salmon through
their paces. At a research lab in
Cultus Lake, Eliason has fish
swim through a white tunnel
that measures 15' long, 8' high
and about 9" wide. She tests
different stocks using variables
of water speed and temperature,
from 15° to 22°C.
Her study probes possible
links between climate change
and the increasing number of fish
deaths in the Fraser River, which
in some years have been as high
as 70 per cent for some stocks.
"This is the first study of its
kind to look at the optimum
temperatures for the swimming
and cardiovascular performance
of Pacific sockeye salmon," says
Eliason, a PhD candidate in the
Dept. of Zoology.
Eliason monitors how hard
fish hearts are working using
a flow cuff around the heart.
She tests the oxygen levels in
the blood using catheters. She
also records oxygen levels in the
water to measure metabolism, all
within variables of temperature
and speed.
"This way, I'm hoping to look
at the mechanism of the collapse
in addition to characterizing the
thresholds and optimums for
swimming and cardiovascular
Eliason's preliminary results
show that swimming and
cardiovascular performance is
hindered above 18°C. At 20°-
22°C, the fish are visibly flagging.
"We think that the fish's
heart is no longer able to cope
with the high temperature and
oxygen becomes limited. The
high temperature makes it harder
for the heart to get oxygen to the
Her research encompasses
salmon physiology, ecology,
Erika Eliason: preliminary findings show that salmon perform best at temperature closest to those in their spawning grounds.
evolution and conservation and
is carried out jointly with the
Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans
(DFO), the Pacific Salmon Forum
and UBC colleagues working
with Tony Farrell, a professor in
the Dept. of Zoology and Faculty
of Land and Food Systems.
The Fraser River is a critical
watershed that supports more
than 100 distinct sockeye
species. Records show that since
the 1950s, temperatures in the
lower Fraser River are steadily
climbing. For example, the mean
temperature at Hells Gate on
August 6 has increased from
17°C in the 1950s to 18.2°C in
the 2000s.
"While that may seem like
a minor change, it can make a
big different to salmon," says
Eliason, explaining that unlike
mammals, fish cannot regulate
their body temperature.
"If the water is 15°C, the fish
is 15°C. If the water is 20°C, the
fish is 20°C."
During the past five years,
the mean temperatures in some
areas of the Fraser River have
exceeded 19°C.
"In 2004, an especially hot
year, the in-river mortality was
more than 70 per cent for some
Eliason says under normal
circumstances, about 20-30
per cent of adult salmon will
die before making it back to
their spawning grounds "due to
disease, fishing, seals, insufficient
energy stores and just plain
And given that some species
migrate as far as 1,000 km
upstream, higher temperatures
could be a factor in their
decreased resistance to disease
and their ability to make it
through difficult conditions
Eliason says DFO telemetry
shows that a percentage of adult
fish are entering the mouth of the
Fraser River, but they don't make
it to the spawning ground. Each
time, spikes in the Fraser River's
temperatures coincide with
missing fish.
"A whole bunch of fish aren't
showing up at DFO monitoring
check points after Mission."
The B.C. coast has about 300
Pacific salmon stocks, whose
life spans about four years.
On average, they spend three
years in the ocean. Once they
successfully reproduce, their
hatchlings remain in the river
or nearby lakes, which act as a
nursery during their first year of
Eliason's preliminary findings
support previous research that
suggests that salmon perform
best in temperatures that are
closest to the average found in
their natal spawning ground. 13
HAPPY continued from
Michael Smith Foundation for
Health Research, he has formed
a research group nicknamed
the Happy Lab to examine
the biology, psychology and
assessment of happiness.
The researchers have identified
several possible reasons why
spirituality and happiness are
linked. Spirituality produces a
sense of meaning, it stimulates
hope, reinforces positive social
norms, and can provide a social
support network - all things that
can improve a person's well-
Wallace, who conducted the
in-school testing, envisions a
day when activities that improve
happiness are built into the
school experience.
"We would love to have a way
to apply our research findings
in the schools," she says. "A
program in elementary schools
promoting positive psychology
might involve giving students
cameras to take pictures of
things they think are beautiful or
give meaning to their life."
"It creates a 'search image'
- an anticipation - to look for
beauty in the world," Holder
explains, adding that a number
of simple activities can go a
long way to promote student
"Rather than a child saying
'this is what I did today,' they
could be asked to come up with
three things they're thankful for
- different things each day. That
greatly increases happiness,"
he says. "Or students could list
daily activities that contributed
to the community, or teachers
could have them look at what
they do that makes a difference."
Happier people are more
tolerant, creative, and
productive, Holder says. "If
we could promote happiness
in children, it might come with
these attractive traits."
The team's findings were
presented at the World Congress
on Psychology and Spirituality
in India in January. "People from
Portugal, Australia and India
are interested in our research
and possibly trying to duplicate
it in their own countries," says
Wallace. But, she says, the
findings are also having an
impact much closer to home.
"What we're learning is useful
in our own lives," Wallace says.
"At the dinner table, we ask
our own children to list all the
good things that happened that
day. It's actually pretty easy to
increase the happiness of your
"We do take the research
personally," Holder agrees. "It's
not just academic to us."
The next phase of the study
will look at families, not just
the children. "We have collected
data on the parents' happiness
and spirituality," Holder says,
"so we will be able to look at
the relation and independence
of parents and their children's
spirituality." 13
'""sconce   fi?
Interested in Science Outreach for Youth?
Science with Impact
"The workshop gave me a good framework for
designing and polishing my presentation"
This is a free workshop, but space is limited.
Pre-registration is required.
Tuesday, February 19, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Technical Enterprise Facility 3, Boardroom,
University of British Columbia
To register or for more information contact:
Burdena Shea at burdena.shea@ubc.ca or (604) 822-9955 4     I     UBC    REPORTS     |     FEBRUARY    7,    200!
St. John's College
UBC Guest
St. John's College extends an
invitation to visitors to UBC to stay
in our quiet, comfortable, and
well-appointed guest rooms.
Available year-round, guest rooms
are furnished with a double or
queen bed, private washroom,
telephone, television, coffee
maker, bar fridge and internet
Dining with College residents in our
spacious Dining Hall is an integral part
of the life of the College, and meals
are included in the guest room fees.
For further information or to make a reservation, contact us by
phone at 604-822-6522, or by e-mail: sjc.reception@ubc.ca
Drug Policy
Public Health or
Criminal Justice Issue?
Join other interested citizens in learning more
about issues affecting our community. This three-part
public forum presents a wide range of perspectives
and research on the drug problem and considers
possible solutions.
February 13
Where Should Public Health End and
Criminal Justice Begin?
February 20
What Do We Tell the Kids?
February 27
How Should Public Money Be Spent?
12 noon-1:30 pm
UBC Robson Square
800 Robson Street, Vancouver
Call 604-822-1444 or visit
cstudies.ubc.ca/forum to register for
one or more of these FREE sessions.
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Student advisor Winnie Pang remembers her paper-filled past.
Going paperless:
here's how it's done
The world's loneliest printer
just might reside in the Faculty
of Land and Food Systems' (LFS)
undergraduate advising office.
Despite working in the
typically paper-heavy world of
academic advising, the unit has
weaned itself off paper, becoming
UBC's first paperless workplace.
It took two years, an
acceptance of online technologies
and an openness on the part
of employees to new ways of
working, says Lynn Newman-
Saunders, the faculty's Assistant
Dean, Students.
"The benefits of not
generating paper through our
routine advising practices have
been so clear and so immediate,"
says Newman-Saunders. "In
addition to the environmental
advisors Winnie Pang and Joshua
Robertson that made it a reality.
"Our staff really bought into the
system and deserve the credit
for the implementation and for
developing creative ways to cut
paper out."
Advisors now use reusable
laminated forms (using acetate
reclaimed from overheads) and
dry-erase markers to illustrate
course options for students. The
office photocopier is used, not to
make copies, but to create PDFs
of documents. Instead of sending
letters, they E-mail.
The changes have enabled
Newman-Saunders and her team
to do away with physical files
for the faculty's 1,200 students.
They now only use paper when
required by law or faculty policy,
such as confidential medical files
or failure notices.
able to telecommute to work one
day per week.
LFS students are noticing the
difference. "Before I came to
UBC, phoning advisors meant
getting an answering machine
and appointments, made a week
or more in advance, meant filling
out forms," LFS student Stephen
Ford says.
"If my experience is any
indication, less paper means
more human," adds Ford, who is
in the faculty's Food, Nutrition
and Health program. "The
advising staff are ultra-accessible
and there are no forms to fill out
or hide behind. My friends in
the faculty unanimously agree
that we are a part of something
Why has this office succeeded
in breaking its paper habit,
where others have failed?
If my experience is any indication, less paper means
more human - LFS student Stephen Ford
aspect, it has led to increased
job satisfaction and helped us to
serve students better."
Newman-Saunders says
the paperless path began in
2005, when UBC implemented
enhancements to its Student
Information System (SIS),
which gave advisors an online
repository to track interactions,
such as advising sessions, grades
and student-teacher evaluations.
"That was the crossroads for
us," says Newman-Saunders. "It
was time to start creating hard-
copy files for our new students
and we decided to really change
paths and explore the paperless
possibilities of the online
But first they had to ensure
the system was reliable
and confidential. "With all
information backed up hourly
and password protected,
we really felt the benefits
outweighed the risks," says
Newman-Saunders. "I have more
faith that a computer isn't going
to crash than I do about a piece
of paper not going missing."
While SIS made a paperless
workplace a possibility,
Newman-Saunders says it was
the ingenuity and energy of
"Managing files is incredibly
time consuming," says Newman-
Saunders. "Every time a student
came to us, we would have to
find their file, update it, and then
file it again. Now, we are actually
getting rid of our filing cabinets."
Newman-Saunders estimates
these changes have resulted in
savings of more than $4,000
per year in paper costs alone.
The office has also embraced
CourseEval, an online student-
teacher evaluation pilot program
that replaces labour-intensive
paper forms, which is saving the
office an additional $1,000 per
The three-person office
has also experienced marked
improvements in employee and
student satisfaction, Newman-
Saunders, says. "Let's be honest,
no one wants to push paper
around," she says. "It has freed
up our staff to spend more time
with students.
"Instead of filing paper,
our advisors are finding
innovative ways to increase
their accessibility to students,"
says Newman-Saunders, adding
that advisors communicate with
current and prospective students
on Facebook and will soon be
"It helps that we are a small
office, but I think this system
is adaptable to any size of
organization," says Newman-
"It's really a matter of
embracing change and
innovation," she adds. "A series
of small changes eventually leads
to a really significant one."
For more information on LFS,
visit www.landfood.ubc.ca. 13
Seven steps to a
paperless office
• Commit: Promote a
paperless workplace.
• Be creative: Solicit ideas
from front-line employees.
• E-mails: Don't print e-
mails. If you have trouble
reading, increase monitor
• Photocopies: Instead of
making copies, use the
photocopier to make PDFs
and email digital file to
• Trust: Back-up computer
files regularly.
• Innovate: Laminate forms
and use dry erase pens.
• Invest: Allocate resources
to paperless systems. UBC    REPORTS     |     FEBRUARY   7,    2008     |    5
How information gets to be free
Scholarly publishing is starting
to come full cIRcle at UBC
thanks to the development of an
online storehouse known as an
institutional repository (IR).
Dubbed cIRcle (circle.ubc.ca),
the site is designed to help store
the vast array of UBC's research
output. It's currently in pilot
mode but an official launch is
planned for spring 2008.
"It's a digital archive of a
university's intellectual output,"
including peer-reviewed research,
teaching and learning materials,
and administrative items,
explains Hilde Colenbrander,
UBC Library's IR Coordinator.
"I think it increases UBC's
contribution to the public sphere
of knowledge, to a greater
openness of knowledge, both
locally and globally," adds
John Willinsky from UBC's
Department of Language and
Literacy Education (he also has
an appointment at Stanford
Dean Giustini, a Reference
Librarian at UBC Library's
Biomedical Branch, has a similar
view. "It means that UBC can
begin to build its own free digital
resources that reflect research
excellence," he says.
cIRcle is based on an open
access model, which means the
site's contents are freely available
to users anywhere. Embargoes
Hilde Colenbrander: institutional repository increases UBC's contribution to the public sphere of knowledge.
may need to be placed on certain
types of material depending on
aspects such as publication dates
and publisher permissions, but
access for all remains a crucial
underlying concept.
Indeed, many studies have
shown that open access articles
are cited more frequently than
those in restricted journals.
Also, by making their work
openly accessible, authors
contribute to the world's
knowledge without copyright
or financial restrictions. Nor do
cIRcle contributors assign their
copyright to the IR. Instead,
they give cIRcle a non-exclusive
licence to make their work
openly available. Authors
retain the moral rights in their
works, so they must be properly
attributed and cited when used
by others.
Close to 1,000 IRs from
around the world are registered
with the Registry of Open Access
Repositories. The U.S. leads with
222; Canada features 42. Yet as
IRs have become more prevalent
in recent years, so too have
debates about access.
More than two decades ago,
technology sage Stewart Brand
wrote: "Information wants
to be free. Information also
wants to be expensive." Today,
these competing interests are
defining publishing and other
media sectors that have been
transformed by the Internet.
Subscription costs of scholarly
journals have surged, and so
have efforts to distribute such
information in more accessible,
affordable ways.
Some critics question the
economic feasibility of the open
access approach, and worry that
IRs will erode the quality of
scholarly publishing.
Willinsky acknowledges such
issues, but notes that during
the past decade, publishers
whose content has been heavily
archived in IRs have not seen a
corresponding decline in journal
However, he does have other
concerns, such as the difficulty
of convincing faculty members
to submit peer-reviewed material
to an IR. "They're so focused on
publishing, they think their job is
done when the work gets in the
journal," Willinsky says.
Currently, cIRcle features two
"communities" - the Faculty
of Graduate Studies and UBC
Library - that are submitting
work to the site. A content
recruitment group is busy
pitching cIRcle to departments
across campus. Although
Colenbrander says it's too early
to list adopters, she's encouraged
by the feedback. "I'm actually
overwhelmed by the amount of
interest," she says, adding that
many unsolicited inquiries have
come her way.
In the meantime, Willinsky
and Giustini - both long-time
advocates of using technology to
further education and research
- plan on submitting materials to
cIRcle. Q
Faculty of Medicine
\^PP/     Through knowledge, creating health
Internal/External Closing date: March 7, 2008
The Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia invites applications for the position of Associate Dean, Professional Development. This part-time
position with a 5 year term is available May 1, 2008 and will report to the Senior Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs.
The successful candidate will provide strategic leadership through a coordinated and innovative approach to career and professional development for all
faculty members in the integrated, province-wide Faculty of Medicine, establishing synergistic relationships with internal and external agencies to respond to
identified needs for skill development in different roles.
This position will create a clear linkage between professional development and the Centre for Health Educational Scholarship and will create a supportive
environment for modification and innovation of a provincial Faculty Educational Development program.
This position will oversee and explore synergies between the portfolios of Faculty Educational Development and Continuing Professional Development as well
as responding to the Faculty Development needs of researchers.
A demonstrated track record in leadership in an academic health environment and excellent communication skills are essential. Opportunities for skill
development related to the portfolio will be provided. Salary for this position will be determined by qualifications and experience. This position is open to all
SENIOR ASSOCIATE DEAN, CLINICAL AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS       Internal/External Closing date: February 29, 2008
Applications/nominations are invited for the position of Senior Associate Dean, Clinical and Community Partnerships. The position is open to all applicants and
is expected to be part-time (.5 FTE) with a five-year term, with an anticipated start date of April 1, 2008.
The incumbent will report to the Dean of Medicine as the leader of one of five key portfolios for the Faculty. He/She will be responsible for facilitating and
maintaining positive and constructive relationships on behalf of the Dean with provincial Health Authorities and those engaged in health care service delivery.
Additionally, it is expected that this person will assist the Dean in nurturing relationships with the University, Provincial government, other Universities,
agencies and other public sector institutions as appropriate related to clinical matters. The intent is to enhance and maintain positive and constructive
relationships with these partners in order to nurture the environment for high-quality education and research in health and life sciences.
Candidates must have a graduate degree preferably in a health-related discipline and also professional experience working in a complex environment. It is
expected that the incumbent will have at least 10 years of experience working in a health environment. Remuneration will be commensurate with experience
and qualifications. This position is open to all applicants.
A more detailed position description is available for review at the Point Grey Dean's Office.
Applications, accompanied by a detailed
curriculum vitae and names of three
references, should be directed to:
Gavin C.E. Stuart, MD, FRCS(C) Dean
Faculty of Medicine
c/o Joan Gray
University of British Columbia
Instructional Resources Centre
317, 2194 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
email: searches@medd.med.ubc.ca
with job title in subject line
UBC hires on the basis of merit and is
committed to employment equity.
We encourage all qualified applicants
to apply; however, Canadians and
permanent residents of Canada will
oe given priority.
The University of British Columbia is Canada's third
largest university and consistently ranks among the 40 best
universities in the world. Primarily situated in Vancouver,
UBC is a research-intensive university and has an
economic impact of $4 billion to the provincial economy.
The Faculty of Medicine at UBC, together with its partners
including B.C.'s Health Authorities, provides innovative
programs in the areas of health and life sciences through a
province-wide delivery model. The Faculty teaches
students at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate
levels and generates more than $200 million in research
funding each year. It is home to Canada's first distributed
MD undergraduate program.
www.ubc.ca & www.med.ubc.ca 6     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     FEBRUARY   7,    200!
1 Year of Celebration
FEB 13
Drug Policy: Public Health or Criminal Justice Issue?
Lecture Series
Speakers: Larry Campbell, Senator; Dr. Brian Emerson,
Medical Health Expert; Inspector Scott Thompson, Vancouver
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Facilitator: Stephen Owen, UBC Vice President, External, Legal
and Community Relations
UBC Robson Square Theatre
12-1:30pm | Admission Free | Register 604.822.1444
http ://reg.cstud ies. ubc.ca/course_info.cfm?courseid=UP461
World Premiere March 2nd
Based on the book PILGRIM by Timothy Findley
This premiere production features UBC Alumni Judith Forst,
Lloyd Burritt, and Don Mowatt with John Avey,
Roelof Oostwoud to collaborate with director Nancy
Hermiston and the UBC School of Music.
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
Tickets: $29-44 at www.ticketmaster.ca
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HAART continued from page I
us to find, through trial and
error, effective ways to engage
these hard to reach populations
in care. Only then we will be
able to stop HIV in BC."
As Professor of Medicine
and Chair of the AIDS
Research Division at UBC
and also President-Elect of the
International AIDS Society,
Dr. Montaner has worked on
treating HIV/AIDS since 1981.
He was the lead investigator
of a seminal clinical trial
that demonstrated that non-
nucleoside reverse transcriptase
inhibitor (NNRTI) - based
HAART could render HIV
plasma levels undetectable and
lead to full remission of the
disease. Montaner unveiled this
groundbreaking research at the
International AIDS Conference
held in Vancouver in 1996.
"Clearly HIV is readily
preventable," says Montaner.
Still, HIV/AIDS is ranked fourth
on the Top 20 Causes of Death
Worldwide list created by the
World Health Organization.
Traditional prevention
strategies (including safer sex,
harm reduction, etc) are the
number one priority. But when
prevention fails, treatment can be
lifesaving. HAART treatment of
those in medical need is the next
"When HAART was
introduced as a treatment, the
incidence of HIV was reduced by
50 per cent. But since 1998 these
figures have reached a plateau,"
explains Montaner. "When
you put all the facts together a
new model for prevention and
treatment is required." 13
Exchange makes campus
chemicals sustainable
Graduate student Jonathan Chong makes the Chemical Exchange Database his first stop when looking
for chemicals.
Jonathan Chong and Sally
Finora don't know each other,
but they swap fluids regularly
thanks to a new program at
They share research chemicals
through UBC's Chemical
Exchange Database (CED), an
online tool that is helping UBC
scientists reduce lab waste and
get more bang for their research
The site connects those
looking for research chemicals
with those who have too much
of a given substance. Think of it
as a Craigslist for scientists.
"It's the first place I go when
I'm looking for a chemical,"
says Chong, a graduate student
who is developing new materials
that will enable future cars to
store hydrogen more efficiently.
"It's faster than going through
an external supplier because
everything is already on
The substances have already
been paid for, so everything in
the database is available for free.
"That is obviously a major plus,"
says Finora, a lab technician
in UBC's Norman B. Keevil
Institute of Mining Engineering.
"It helps to make the most of
research funding."
Burdena Shea, senior manager
in UBC's Health Research
Resource Office (HeRRO), says
most major universities grapple
with how to deal with surplus
"An experiment may only need
10 milligrams, but the chemical
may only come from suppliers in
four-litre quantities," says Shea,
who created the database with
colleague Andre Liem. "Scientists
often need to buy more of a
substance than they require."
The initiative is a
collaboration between three UBC
units - HeRRO, the Dept. of
Health Safety and Environment
(HSE) and the Sustainability
"UBC is one of North
America's 'greenest' universities
- and the chemical exchange
allows researchers to play their
part," says Shea. "And this
is doubly important because
chemical disposal is very
The database, launched in
2004, processed 300 exchanges
(1,500 kilograms in chemicals)
last year alone and has helped
to save an estimated $74,500 in
disposal and purchasing costs. In
other waste minimization efforts,
UBC recycles more than 8,000
litres in solvents and 5,000 litres
in photographic waste annually.
"New science students, staff
and faculty hear about the
exchange during the extensive
lab orientations that they
receive," says Noga Levit of
HSE. "We think it's an important
program and are really working
to increase participation."
Levit notes that paper-based
chemical-sharing systems have
existed at universities since the
early 1990s. "Basically, you sent
in a request form, and heard
back a few days later whether
they had it or not. The database
moves us into real time."
The database, which can
be viewed at www.herro.ubc.
ca/ced.aspx, currently lists more
than 200 available chemicals,
from Ammonium hydroxide to
Zinc sulfide. To make a request,
researchers simply log on using
their Campus Wide Login (CWL)
and place an order online.
Within 1-2 days the materials
will be delivered.
To post a surplus chemical, a
researcher simply needs to log
on with their CWL and enter the
substance, amount and producer.
Within 1-2 days, the research
services staff will arrive to safely
store the materials - or to deliver
them to new owners if another
lab has already made a request.
For more information on
UBC sustainability initiatives,
including the university's 2007
Sustainability Report, visit www.
sustain.ubc.ca. 13 UBC    REPORTS     |     FEBRUARY   7,    2008     |     7
Ruth Martin's brainwave resulted in prison inmates using research to generate policy options.
Community research
gets a prison perspective
As a family physician to women
prisoners, Ruth Martin says she
longed to find a way to improve
health outcomes. Since 1994,
Martin has been making weekly
house calls to her patients in
a B.C. correctional centre for
In 2005, she had a brainwave:
why not ask women in prison
to conduct health research by
and for themselves? The results
have pointed to the enormous
potential these women have to
make change within themselves
and around them, says Martin,
a clinical professor in the Dept.
of Family Practice, Faculty of
"We had up to 15 women in
prison sign up for the research
team each day. They each wrote
a paragraph of passion, whatever
they wanted to research and
The Alouette Correctional
Centre for Women (ACCW) is
the province's main facility for
women serving sentences of
less than two years. Located in
Maple Ridge, ACCW houses 140
prisoners, 25 per cent of whom
are Aboriginal.
"Many are dealing with abuse
and violence, homelessness
and poverty," observes Martin,
adding that women in prison
experience a higher incidence of
cervical cancer, HIV, hepatitis C,
sexually transmitted diseases and
other infections.
As well, recidivism rates are
high, she says, with an estimated
40 per cent of women returning
to prison within one year and 70
per cent within two years.
Martin floated the idea of
community-based research to the
ACCW inmates who immediately
embraced the initiative as their
own. ACCW's then prison
warden gave the women the
go-ahead to count their research
as part of daily prison work, the
same as laundry, horticulture
or kitchen duty. With Martin's
help, the prison research team
submitted their proposal to the
UBC Research Ethics Board
for approval. The team set the
research agenda and proceeded
with orientation packages to
fellow inmates, followed by
surveys, interviews and forums.
Between 2005 and 2007, more
than 200 women at ACCW took
part in the project. Participants
listed their top concerns, among
them addiction, chronic illness,
living with disabilities, fetal
alcohol syndrome, methadone
use, the parole process and
parenting skills. The research
team as a whole and the majority
of study respondents emphasized
spirituality as an essential
component of healing.
The women generated useful
policy recommendations such
as the need to improve first and
second stage housing for prison
leavers, says Martin. Their data
showed that 78 per cent of their
survey respondents reported that
homelessness contributed to their
return to crime.
Another major finding was
the gap in resources for women
exiting prison. Without stable
housing or job training, many are
thrown back into the chaos and
environment that first led to drug
use or prostitution, says Martin.
Overall, the participants found
that peer research boosted their
self-esteem while honing their
life and job skills.
"Many reported that it
increased their hopes of
integrating into society," says
Martin, adding, "As far as I
For Jennifer McMillan, the
ACCW research project gave
her, "a hardcore addict for 15
years," the strength and courage
to get off drugs and stay clean.
McMillan has been in and out
of prison "eight to 11 times
- I can't remember exactly how
"Dr. Martin helped us break
the code of silence that's in the
prison and on the street," says
McMillan. "When you're just
released from prison, you're
Women are given the clothing
they were arrested in, a bus
ticket, and "a couple hundred
dollars welfare cheque if you're
lucky," says McMillan.
"You feel hopeless and
helpless, that you'll just end up
doing what you were before. But
if you see other women doing
well, it really helps."
Intent on community
development, McMillan
distributes clothing and
information about education
and housing to former inmates
and friends in Vancouver's
Downtown Eastside.
And although the prison
no longer runs participatory
research, McMillan, along
with 45 alumnae, maintains
frequent, if not daily, contact.
Their network spans the Lower
Mainland, northern and interior
For more information, visit:
know, this is the only women's
prison research project of its
kind in the world."
Although few had computer
skills at the start, by the end
many had gained enough
proficiency to discuss their
findings using PowerPoint.
Others gained confidence and
public speaking skills since
their forums often included
prison administrators, funders,
academics and provincial health
"We've seen amazing
transformations," says Martin.
"I feel very honoured and
privileged to be a witness and a
part of that in a small way."
B.C. and Vancouver Island. A
core group has set up an office
in Vancouver. They recently
launched a website, stating nine
goals that include safe and secure
housing, education, job skills,
support from family, friends and
community and contributing to
Martin is currently applying
for funding from the Canadian
Institute for Health Research
to follow the cohort of women
who designed the survey and
interview for the prison research.
She says the funding will allow
her to pay the women for their
work instead of relying on them
to do volunteer hours. 13
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2009 Distinguished Scholars in Residence
This year, up to six senior, tenure-track UBC faculty
members with distinguished research records and
commitment to interdisciplinarity will be chosen as Peter
Wall Distinguished Scholars in Residence. Beginning with
this cohort, appointments run April 1 until March 31.
For more information, please visit our website at
www.pwias.ubc.ca or call us at (604) 822-4782. I     UBC    REPORTS     |     FEBRUARY    7,    200!
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