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UBC Reports Nov 6, 2008

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Array THE  UNIVERSITY   OF   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
VOL   54   I   NO   11   I   NOVEMBER   6,   2008
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3      No ordinary chickens 4     Beetles in the city
5      Finding the lost
6      New antibiotics
7     UBC spinoffs
Lest we forget...those who do return
Prof. Westwood initiated the Veterans Transition Program, designed to help soldeirs transition back to civilian life.
BY M ARVIN WESTWOOD
Professor, Deptartment of
Educational and Counselling
Psychology and Special
Education
On the 11th hour of the
11th day of the 11th month,
Canadians will pause for two
minutes of silent tribute to
remember the thousands of men
and women who lost their lives
in wars in Europe, Korea, and
more recently in Afghanistan.
We should also take the time
to remember and care for our
soldiers who do return from war.
These are the soldiers that carry
the lifelong physical and mental
scars of war. It is estimated
that 30 per cent of returning
soldiers are traumatized in
active combat and experience
symptoms such as nightmares,
sleeplessness, confusion, an
inability to concentrate, isolation
and overuse of alcohol and
drugs. Veteran soldiers are twice
as likely to commit suicide as
non-veteran civilians. We have
a responsibility as members of
a civil society to help soldiers
transition successfully back into
continued on page 3
Find More UBC Reports Stories Onli
| Sauder students score in Google challenge | Running afoul of composting |
w.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/ubcreports
Smart wheelchair
remembers daily schedules
BY BRI AN LIN
To Pooja Viswanathan,
artificial intelligence is about
people creating smart tools that
maximize human potential.
That's why, while some
researchers are developing
robotic wheelchairs that simply
transport users from one location
to another, she's adamant about
giving humans the final say.
"It's counterproductive to give
people who are already suffering
from physical and cognitive
impairments wheelchairs that
further erode their capacity to
make decisions," says the UBC
Computer Science PhD student,
"when the goal is to give them
back their independence."
Currently, elderly people
suffering from both physical
disability and degenerative
diseases such as Alzheimer's are
not granted access to powered
wheelchairs due to safety
concerns.
"It's heartbreaking to see, in
many long term care homes,
elders slumped over a manual
wheelchair because they are
too weak or too confused to
power their own way to where
they want to be. It's frustrating
for them and often causes
isolation and depression," says
Viswanathan, whose brother
worked at a nursing home.
Viswanathan has developed
a prototype smart wheelchair
that could give users better
quality of life and free up some
healthcare resources at the same
time. Named Navigation and
Obstacle Avoidance Help, or
NOAH, the system incorporates
a stereo-vision camera that can
easily be retrofitted onto any
commercially available powered
wheelchair, as well as software
that learns the behaviour and
decision-making patterns of its
users.
"The twin cameras work
similarly to human eyes," says
Viswanathan. "They memorize
landmarks to create maps and
calibrate distance to avoid
collisions - which is the only
time the wheelchair takes over
control."
Designed to operate on
a laptop that fits under the
wheelchair, and interact with the
user through audio suggestions,
NOAH is also capable of
incorporating the user's daily
schedules.
"For navigation and for
people suffering from cognitive
impairments, audio prompts
have been found to be more
effective than visual cues," says
Viswanathan. "People with
cognitive impairments often
need extra time to process
new information, so it's
important that NOAH doesn't
harangue them but rather offers
suggestions at the right time."
NOAH - and data it collects
from the user - can easily
be transferred to another
wheelchair in case of a move.
The prototype is expected to be
tested in a partient care facility
next year. 13
Pooja Viswanathan has developed a smart wheelchair for elderly people
suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. 2     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     NOVEMBER    6,    200!
INTHE NEWS
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Religion and prosocial
behaviour
A new UBC scientific review
suggests religion fosters
cooperation and trust.
UBC psychologist Ara
Norenzayan and his assistant
Azim Shariff reviewed dozens
of studies on the emergence of
religions, sifting through three
decades of accumulated scientific
evidence in fields as diverse as
anthropology, psychology and
economics.
"One explanation for why
religions have had such a
staying power throughout
human history is that they play
a role in promoting altruistic
tendencies in very large groups"
Norenzayan said.
The Science article, titled
"The Origin and Evolution of
Religious Prosociality," argues
that religions were historically
key to creating large-scale
cohesion in communities.
The study's findings were
covered by USA Today, The
Vancouver Sun, The Telegraph,
The Guardian, The Toronto Star,
The Calcutta Telegraph, The
Daily Mail, and The Globe and
Mail.
Aspirin, ibuprofen may cut
breast cancer risk
According to UBC researchers,
routine use of Aspirin or
ibuprofen could cut the
likelihood of developing breast
cancer.
In a story covered by CNN,
BBC News, Global TV, CTV,
and CBC News, and reported
in The Daily Mail, The West
Australian, The Globe and
Mail, The Vancouver Sun, and
The Edmonton Journal, Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory
Drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and
ibuprofen work by inhibiting
two immune proteins in the
body that have been connected
to driving the growth of cancer
tumors.
The review, published in the
Journal of the National Cancer
Institute in America, suggests
that using NSAIDs reduces the
influence of the proteins.
Mahyar Etminan, who led
the research, calls the results
encouraging. "Results from an
ongoing trial will be available in
2009."
UBC tops academics and
sustainability rankings
In the Times Higher
Education-QS World University
2008 Rankings, UBC held
on to its place in the Top 35,
second in Canada to McGill and
ranking ahead of the University
of Toronto, the only other
Canadian school to break into
the Top 50.
The story was covered by The
Globe and Mail, The Edmonton
Journal, The Montreal Gazette
and The Canadian Press.
UBC was also the only
Canadian school to earn top
marks in this year's College
Sustainability Report Card
released by the Sustainable
Endowments Institute (SEI).
As reported in The Calgary
Herald, The Times Colonist,
Sustainable Business News, and
GreenBiz, only 15 of the 300
participating schools qualified
for the distinction of College
Sustainability Leader, with UBC
heralded alongside Ivy League
heavyweights like Harvard,
Brown and Dartmouth.
Getting lost
As told by The Vancouver
Sun, The Province, The
Denver Post, FOXNews
and MSNBC, researchers at
UBC and Vancouver Coastal
Health Research Institute have
documented the first cases of
developmental topographical
disorder.
The study, published in the
journal Neuropsychologia,
focuses on Sharon Roseman,
a Colorado resident who,
without any brain damage, gets
lost in any environment. UBC
postdoctoral fellow Giuseppe
1
War Memorial Gym
dedication 1951
INFORMATION COURTESY
OF UBC ARCHIVES
The end of the Second
World War and the resulting
influx of returned soldiers to
campus sparked discussion
about the establishment of a
"living" memorial dedicated
to the memory of those who
died during the war.
Following a fundraising
campaign spearheaded by
students and alumni, the new
War Memorial Gymnasium
was dedicated during the
university's fall congregation
ceremonies on Oct. 26, 1951.
The event was marked by a
bugler sounding The Last
Post and the unveiling of the
wall memorial inscription.
Just over two weeks later,
the new venue played host
to the university's November
11th Remembrance Day
ceremony, a ritual since
repeated in an almost
unbroken chain. 13
Iaria said people typically
navigate their way through
the world looking at specific
landmarks and relying on
distances.
"If you don't have an ability to
create this [mental] map and use
the map then you are lost."
In Roseman's case, the
sensation of being lost stems
from a malfunction in her brain's
hippocampus.
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I     3
No ordinary chickens
BY BRI AN LIN
They may look and walk like
chickens, but the two-legged
fowls at the Avian Genetic
Resource Centre (AGRC) are no
ordinary birds.
The AGRC is a partnership
between UBC's Faculty of
Land and Food Systems and
Agriculture and Agri-Foods
Canada, based in the Pacific
Agricultural Research Centre in
Agassiz, B.C.
The nine lines of chickens and
nine lines of Japanese quail at
the AGRC represent a collection
of unique genetic variations
and may hold the key to a
safer poultry supply and higher
economic potentials. Each of the
more than 3,500 chickens and
quail at the facility is carefully
bred and pedigreed. Collectively,
they build a living genetic library
consisting of a wide variety of
genetic mutations. In addition,
genetic materials from most
of the major chicken breeds in
Canada are kept in the deep
freeze for preservation. The
treasure trove of avian genetics
makes B.C. a key resource in the
global industry.
"There are currently only two
international chicken breeding
companies supplying commercial
breeding stocks to the whole
world," says UBC Avian Genetics
Prof. Kim Cheng. "While flock
uniformity is convenient for
production and processing, the
lack of genetic variation also
leaves the door wide open for
large-scale disease outbreaks.
"A flock could become
susceptible to a new strain of
virus such as Avian Flu and be
completely wiped out," says
Cheng.
Poultry stocks today are
Prof. Kim Cheng works with chickens and quail that hold the key to a safer poultry supply.
"While flock uniformity is convenient for production and
processing, the lack of genetic variation also leaves the door
wide open for large-scale disease outbreaks."
exposed to more diseases
than ever and chronic use of
antibiotics has also slowed
down the process of new genetic
variations that could resist new
pathogens.
"The genetic resources at
AGRC allow scientists from all
over the world to study how
genome affects size and meat
quality, disease resistance, how
well particular breeds could
adapt to farm facilities and how
we can help industry improve
housing environments and
breeding practices," says Cheng,
who is also an expert on exotic
birds.
Poultry and its allied feed and
processing sectors are a major
industry in Canada. The value of
poultry products totalled $2.6
billion in 2004 and there's a
new industry blooming abroad
promising significant economic
opportunities.
"Specialty birds such as
Japanese quail, Partridge
tinamou and Emu are gaining
popularity in Asia and Europe
for their oil, meat and eggs,"
says Cheng. "The expertise being
cultivated at AGRC puts B.C. in
an ideal position to become a
leading exporter of these highly
specialized products while
diversifying existing operations."
Genome research on birds may
also lead to advances in human
health, says Cheng, whose
work almost three decades ago
recently helped successfully
reverse congenital blindness in a
clinical trial.
In 1980, Cheng discovered a
gene mutation in a line of Rhode
Island Red (RIR) chickens that
produced blindness at hatching.
The blind chickens were passed
onto the Dept. of Neuroscience
at the University of Florida for
further analysis and the gene was
later sequenced.
"The research group at the
U of F found that the gene in
the blind chicken had the same
sequence as a human gene that
caused a form of congenital
blindness called Leber's
Congenital Amaurosis," says
Cheng.
Using the blind chicken in
their study, the U of F team
further developed a gene therapy
that restored vision to the blind
chicken in 2006 and last April,
a team of researchers from
the University of Pennsylvania
furthered the method to partially
restore sight to three human
patients.
Both the RIR and the blind
chicken lines are housed at
AGRC. 13
LEST WE FORGET
continued from page 1
civilian life.
How can we do we do this?
Ten years ago, in my role as a
counselling psychologist at the
Faculty of Education at UBC,
I brought together veterans
from the Korean and Second
World Wars to talk to other
soldiers about their experiences.
These older veterans reported
benefits from sharing their
experiences with one another
for the first time in their lives.
They recommended that similar
programs needed to be offered
soon after veterans return from
war. This provided the impetus
for initiating the Veterans
Transition Program (VTP), a
group-based program designed
to assist former members of
the Canadian military in their
transition back to civilian life.
The program is supported by
funds from the Royal Canadian
Legion and has been running
over the past nine years. More
than 160 people have completed
the program. This is the only
program of its kind in Canada.
The VTP groups are co-
facilitated by professionally
trained group leaders who
have extensive experience and
understanding working within
a military context. In this
supportive and confidential
group environment, the VTP
provides information, skill
acquisition and counseling
interventions to help participants
better understand their military
experience and its impact on
their lives. It also provides
participants with the opportunity
to re-enact critical events they
experienced on the battlefield as
a way dealing with and letting
go of the trauma reactions they
carry arising from their tours of
duty and their readjustment to
civilian life. Soldiers refer to this
process as "dropping baggage'
so that they can get on with their
lives more successfully.
I remember the case of a
soldier who was able to tell the
group about his feelings of guilt
after he had decided not to go
in the field because he had a bad
hangover. His buddy covered
for him. That day his buddy was
killed in a landmine explosion.
By expressing his intense feelings
of remorse and guilt he released
the haunted memories and
regrets that followed him home
from the former Yugoslavia.
My research demonstrates
that participants in the VTP
have fewer trauma symptoms,
gain personal confidence and
have improved relationships
with spouses, partners, children
and families. Additionally,
they develop a close working
relationship with other soldiers
in the group. This results in
a strong and enduring sense
of community and serves as
a network of support among
the participants following the
program.
But you don't have to be a
counseling psychologist to show
support for these soldiers. There
are three key ways we can all
do our part for these returning
soldiers. First of all, if you meet
a soldier let him or her know
that you appreciate what he or
she did for this country. Second,
try to be informed about the
invisible wounds that occur,
and how they are manifested,
in order to be sensitive to how
these returning veterans may be
struggling. In particular, support
them if they are considering
seeking professional help by
suggesting it is a normal part of
recovery from the exposure of
serving in the war. Finally, lobby
your member of Parliament for
more support and resources for
those soldiers who return from
war.
As we take the time to
remember the many lives that
were lost during the First and
Second World Wars and the
Annual UBC Remembrance Day Ceremony Nov. n
UBC's annual Remembrance Day ceremony will be held
on Tuesday, November 11, in the War Memorial Gym. With
doors open at 10 a.m., all are welcome to attend to honour and
remember all those who served in times of war, military conflict
and peace. This year's event will commemorate in particular the
90th anniversary of the end of the First World War and the 60th
anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The ceremony, which often draws more than 1,000 people,
will include music provided by the UBC School of Music, short
readings and remarks. UBC Vice President, External, Legal and
Community Relations, Stephen Owen, AMS President, Michael
Duncan and Dr. John Blatherwick, former Chief Medical
Health Officer for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and
Honorary Colonel with the Canadian Forces Reserves, will be
among this year's speakers.
For more information, visit:
www.ceremonies.ubc.ca/ceremonies/memorial/remembrance.html
Korean War, let us not forget our
commitment to our modern day
soldiers who return traumatized
by their hidden wounds.
In March 2008, Prof. Marvin
Westwood was awarded the
Royal Canadian Legion's Highest
Service Merit Award for a
Civilian for Development of the
Canadian Military and Veterans'
Transition Program. This is
the highest recognition award
given to a non-military person.
In June, the UB C Department
of Counselling Psychology and
Special Education received an
award from the Royal Canadian
Foundation in recognition of
their support and contribution
towards veterans through Prof.
Westwood's Veteran's Transition
Program. 13 4     I     UBC    REPORTS     |     NOVEMBER    6,    200!
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Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
ppucaiion
Deadlines
JANUARY 30,2009
2009-2010 Early Career Scholars Program
The Early Career Scholars Program is for full-time UBC
faculty who are in the professorial ranks and at the
early stage of their academic careers at UBC. Beginning
with the 2009-2010 cohort, the Institute will appoint a
single cohort of up to fourteen untenured Assistant and
recently tenured Associate Professors each year. Assistant
Professors within two years of their appointment as
Assistant Professor at UBC and Associate Professors within
two years of tenure and promotion at UBC are eligible.
Each participant will receive an infrastructure budget of
$6,000 and has access to a Project Fund of up to $1,000.
MARCH 1,2009
Exploratory Workshop Grant
Exploratory Workshops provide funding for bringing
together researchers from different disciplines at UBC
with distinguished external experts to work jointly
toward assessing the research possibilities in a new area.
Typically, Exploratory Workshops will take place over a
period of several days and have a mix of open and closed
sessions. The amount ofthe award is up to $20,000.
For more information, please visit our website at
www.pwias.ubc.ca or call us at (604) 822-4782.
UBC Okanagan researchers Bob Lalonde and Rebecca Tyson are trapping mountain pine beetles to better
understand how they move through urban areas.
Pine beetles: out ofthe
forest, into the city
BYJODYJACOB
Mountain pine beetles are
sweeping through British
Columbia's vast forests with
highly destructive results, but
their mass attacks don't stop at
the edge of town.
Working in one of B.C.'s latest
beetle battlegrounds - the city
of Kelowna - UBC Okanagan
biologist Bob Lalonde and
mathematician Rebecca Tyson
are combining their expertise
to track how the mountain
pine beetle spreads through an
urban landscape during a mass
infestation. Although extensive
research has been done on
the mountain pine beetle in a
forest setting, there is very little
information on how they work
their way through a city, says
Lalonde, Associate Professor of
Biology and Physical Geography.
"Essentially, 	
in the centre of the city.
"Basically we are trying to
determine how the bark beetle
enters the city, what direction
they are entering the city from
and how they move while in
an urban environment," says
Lalonde. "In addition, we plan
to study the beetles themselves
and look at factors such as how
much energy is being burned in
their flight path."
Checked every week until
their removal in mid-August,
the pheromone traps contained
anywhere from zero to 200
mountain pine beetles, depending
on location, as well as pine beetle
predators, providing data that
can help determine how quickly
predators follow the bark beetles
into the city.
The next step in the research
is to analyze samples and data
collected over the summer and
we have an
empty playing
field to conduct
our research,"
says Lalonde.
"This summer,
a mammoth
infestation of
mountain pine
beetles arrived
in the City of
Kelowna, creating
an interesting
opportunity to
pursue the beetle's movements
in an urban landscape from the
beginning of an infestation. As
you can imagine, many people,
organizations and municipalities
are interested in the project."
In May, Lalonde and Tyson,
with the help of two summer
students, strategically placed 44
pheromone traps - which attract
and capture beetles - around the
outskirts of Kelowna, as well as
"One thing we can say with
confidence though is that, based on
early results, it looks as though bark
beetles enter a city from the outskirts
inward, as opposed to dropping
randomly from above, as some people
had originally suggested."
use the information to create
a mathematical model that
identifies dispersal patterns of
the beetle. A number of variables
will be considered, such as
location of the traps, number
of beetles trapped, number and
concentration of pine trees in
the general area, biology of the
beetles, and weather conditions.
"Mathematical modeling often
reveals interesting behaviors
that aren't anticipated," says
Tyson, Assistant Professor of
Mathematics, Statistics and
Physics. "We are using beetle
biology, spatial data and math
in an attempt to understand in
greater detail how the beetle
is moving through an urban
landscape, which may help us
gain insight into the risk of
infection for pine trees in certain
areas of the city. This could
result in possible solutions or
preventative measures."
Although the mountain pine
beetle infestation reached the
city of Kelowna this summer, it
will take a few months before
the severity of the damage to the
city's trees is known. Lalonde
and Tyson are working with the
City of Kelowna to identify the
areas most affected, and will use
that information as a variable in
the mathematical model. Next
     year, they plan
another summer
of data collection,
which may focus
on determining
how many beetles
are originating
from areas within
Kelowna as a
result of this year's
infestation, as
opposed to how
many are still
moving into the
     city.
"We are really just at the
beginning stages of the project,"
says Tyson. "There is still a
lot of data to be collected and
analyzed. One thing we can say
with confidence though is that,
based on early results, it looks
as though bark beetles enter a
city from the outskirts inward, as
opposed to dropping randomly
from above, as some people had
originally suggested." 13 UBC    REPORTS     |     NOVEMBER    6,
I    S
Finding the Lost: Ground penetrating radar
helps First Nations honour ancestors
BY BASIL WAUGH
It may look like a lawnmower,
but a new ground-penetrating
radar (GPR) device is helping
UBC researchers to find what is
hiding deep underground.
Construction companies
use the technology to find
underground pipes and cables,
but UBC archaeologists and B.C.
First Nations recently used it
to locate something much more
sacred: missing loved ones.
At the Metro Vancouver-
area Musqueam First Nation,
numerous burials from the early
1900s, whose grave markers
had been removed or lost due to
weathering, were located using
the GPR and several burials
with questionable markers were
confirmed.
Thanks to the GPR, there are
now also more than 70 new
markers at the Kwantlen First
Nation's cemetery in Maple
Ridge, B.C. Each one honours
an ancestor whose headstone
or metal cross had gone missing
from theft, vandalism and car
accidents from a nearby highway.
The GPR burial surveys are
the first of their kind in North
America, says UBC archaeology
professor Andrew Martindale.
What's more, the technology
helped researchers locate
these First Nations' ancestors
without lifting a shovel. GPR
uses software to generate visual
representations of underground
objects based on radio signals
that it sends and receives.
"Knowing where our loved
ones are means a great deal for
our people," says Kwantlen Chief
Marilyn Gabriel. "It was a very
powerful moment when we first
saw all those new markers above
where are our ancestors lay."
Chief Gabriel says the
Kwantlen plan to replace the
temporary markers with a
permanent monument and are
consulting with spiritual and
cultural advisors. "In my heart,
that will complete the work,"
says Chief Gabriel.
"This was very important
research," said Delbert Guerin,
Musqueam Councillor and Elder.
"It is an opportunity to teach
our youth about the history of
our people and our land."
In 2007, UBC and the
Musqueam received $70,000
from UBC's Teaching and
Learning Enhancement Fund
(TLEF) to purchase the GPR
device. It was piloted this past
summer at an undergraduate
field school created by UBC and
the Musqueam.
"The field school enables
UBC and the Musqueam to
develop research projects
that give students practical
fieldwork experience and
address the research interests
of the Musqueam people," says
Martindale.
Martindale says the GPR
burial surveys were made
possible through the unique
strengths of the Musqueam, the
Kwantlen and UBC's Laboratory
of Archaeology in the Dept. of
Anthropology.
"Archaeologists don't typically
work with contemporary burial
sites, so this reminded us of the
sacredness of our ties to the
past," says Martindale. "Having
Musqueam and Kwantlen elders
there to guide our work was as
important as our archaeological
expertise."
UBC has an ongoing
relationship with the Musqueam
that goes back to the 1940s,
Martindale adds. That was when
UBC's first archaeologist Charles
Borden and a young Musqueum
band member, Andrew Charles,
initiated collaborative research
on
CATERING   BY
wescadia
PRESENTS
between the two communities.
Steve Daniel, a UBC
archaeology graduate student
and head statistician for the
Canadian Football League,
says he "learned more in six
weeks than in any book" during
his fieldwork experience on
Kwantlen territory.
Daniel says GPR, which
has a subterranean range of
five metres, is an important
archaeological tool, especially
in urban areas. "It allows you to
see what's down there, because
you can't go around digging up
city streets," he says, noting that
archaeological digs are expensive
and destructive. "And if you do
excavate, this helps you to be
exact as possible, saving time
and money."
Daniel, who recently
completed his undergraduate
studies at UBC, credits the
GPR, his professors and his
experiences with the Musqueam
and Kwantlen for his decision to
pursue graduate research.
"I grew up in South Vancouver
and that's what I want to
investigate - that's where my
passion is," he says. "The area
is rich in 'European settler
history' and 'First Nations time
immemorial history.' Trying
to match them up is pretty
interesting to me."
For Musqueam Richard
Sparrow, who helped conduct
the GPR surveys, the projects
had special meaning.
"As a Musqueam myself,
finding unmarked graves was
very important to me," said
the 27-year-old, who trained
students on how to use GPR
technology. "I also think our
ancestors would have really
appreciated our efforts. That is
what I kept thinking while we
did the work." 13
The Annual Dickens Buffet
The UBC Holiday Feast at Cecil Green Park House
Enjoy the tradition ofthe UBC Holiday Dickens Buffet
with friends, family and colleagues.
December 3, A &. 5
1 1 :OOam to 1 :ODpm & 1 :3Qpm to 3:30pm
$40.00 /person+GST
[Groups of 1 C or more, S3B/person]
We accept Visa, MasterCard and Journal Vouchera.
Gvirk
for goodness sake
For reservations or more information,
phone* 604-B22-201 B
Presented by Wescadia.
Book your holiday party on campus now.
www.catering.ubc.ca
UA
Lkristmas iDakesnop
2008
lis the beason for bwirls Christmas Ireats
Available from JNovember 18tn - December 22nd
Place uour order now.
Steve Daniel, a UBC archaeology graduate student, used radar
technology to locate burials in B.C. First Nation cemeteries.
THE   UBC   STAFF   PENSION   PLAN   is
currently holding an election for two directors,
who upon election, will serve four-year terms
on the Pension Board. Election packages were
sent to members on Friday, October 31,2008.
The deadline for casting ballots is Thursday, November 27,
2008. If you have not yet received your election package,
you may contact the Pension Office at (604)-822-8100.
Election results will be announced on the SPP website:
www.pensions.ubc.ca/staff on Friday, December 5, 2008.
West Coast Suites
at The University of British Columbia
Your Home
Away from Home
Whether your next visit to the UBC campus
in Vancouver is for business or pleasure, we invite you
to experience our warm and welcoming suites with all
the conveniences at home. All new. Right here.
book online www.ubcconferences.com
TOLL FREE 888 822 IO3O      RESERVATIONS 604 822 IOOO
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Open 7 Days     Mon-Fri  8am-9pm     Sat-Sun   10am-6pm I     UBC    REPORTS     |     NOVEMBER
THE  UNIVERSITY OF  BRITISH  COLUMBIA
Do you remember an inspiring teacher from your past?
Why not recognize that teacher with a nomination for a:
FACULTY OF APPLIED SCIENCE
UBC KILLAM TEACHING PRIZE
The University is again recognizing excellence in teaching through the
awarding of teaching prizes to faculty members.Three prize winners from the
Faculty of Applied Science will be selected for 2009.
Eligibility:  Open to full-time tenure-track faculty or a sessional lecturer
with at least half-time teaching in Architecture, Engineering or Nursing who
have five or more years of teaching experience at UBC.
Criteria:  Sustained teaching accomplishments at all levels at UBC,
focusing on faculty members who have demonstrated that they are able to
motivate students and are responsive to students' intellectual needs, or have
developed innovative course materials for laboratory or classroom delivery.
Nomination Process: Students, alumni or faculty members may nominate
candidates. Student nomination letters should include at least five student
signatures. Letters of nomination and supporting documents should be sent
directly to:
Dean's Office, Faculty of Applied Science
The University of British Columbia
5000-2332 Main Mall.Vancouver, BC,V6T IZ4
Attention: Laura Vigorito
Nomination Deadline: November 28,2008
For further information, please contact the Dean's Office, Faculty of Applied
Sdence (Laura Vigorito, e-mail lv'tgorito@apsc.ubc.ca; tel: 604-822-6776), your
Department or School office, or the Killam Teaching Prize Committee Chair,
Luis Linares.
THE  UNIVERSITY OF
BRITISH   COLUMBIA
FACULTY OF ARTS
UBC KILLAM TEACH ING PRIZES
Once again the University is recognizing excellence in teaching through
the awarding of prizes to faculty members. Up to six (6) prize winners
will be selected in the Faculty of Arts for 2009.
Eligibility: Eligibility is open to faculty who have three or more years
of teaching at UBC.The three years include 2008 - 2009.
Criteria: The awards will recognize distinguished teaching at all levels;
introductory, advanced, graduate courses, graduate supervision, and any
combination of levels.
Nomination Process:   Members of faculty, students, or alumni may
suggest candidates to the Head of the Department, the Director of the
School, or Chair of the Program in which the nominee teaches.These
suggestions should be in writing and signed by one or more students,
alumni or faculty, and they should include a very brief statement of the
basis for the nomination.You may write a letter of nomination or pick up
a form from the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Arts in Buchanan A201.
Deadline: 4:00 p.m. on January IS, 2009.Submit nominations to the
Department, School or Program Office in which the nominee teaches.
Winners will be announced in the Spring, and they will be identified
during Spring convocation in May.
For further information about these awards contact either your Department,
School or Program office, or Dr. Dominic Mclver Lopes,Associate Dean of
Arts at (604) 822-6703.
Live on or near campus? Curious about new
and innovative life science research at UBC?
LIFE   SCIENCES   INSTITUTE
Open House
Featuring posters and educational talks about:
Cancer research
Cardiovascular health
Environmental health
Infectious diseases
Childhood diseases
Brain & spinal cord research
r
Monday, December 1, 2008
6:00- 9:30 p.m.
UBC LIFE SCIENCES CENTRE
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Free Admission. To attend, please register at
www.research.ubc.ca by Nov. 24
Questions? Call (604)822-6050
Presented by:
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty of Science
Office of the Vice President Research
Health Research Resource Office (HeRRO)
Indel Therapeutics CEO Malcome Kendall and Prof. Neil Reiner have a big idea for a new class of
antimicrobial drugs.
New antibiotics outsmart
evolving bacteria
BY CATHERINE LOIACONO
It started with the discovery
of a hairpin loop in an essential
protein found in both humans
and parasites.
Now a research team at the
University of British Columbia,
in collaboration with a recently
launched UBC spinoff company,
Indel Therapeutics Inc., is
developing new classes of
antimicrobial drugs for difficult-
to-treat and hospital-acquired
infections. The spinoff is one of
three overseen this year by UBC's
University-Industry Liaison
Office.
Historically, antimicrobial
drug development, which
includes antibiotics, antifungal,
and antiviral therapies, targeted
the proteins in pathogens that
are not found in humans,
allowing humans to combat
these disease-causing bugs.
Indel Therapeutics' approach,
on the other hand, targets
essential proteins that are found
in pathogen and in humans.
These proteins perform critical
housekeeping chores that keep
cells in all species alive and
functioning.
"The high percentage of
similarities between essential
proteins in humans and
pathogens has historically left
this type of research off-limits,"
says Dr. Neil Reiner, professor
and head of UBC's Division of
Infectious Diseases in the Faculty
of Medicine. "We discovered that
while these proteins are found in
both the pathogen and humans,
there are subtle differences
called insertions or deletions or
"indels" that allow targeting
the bug version of the protein,
without affecting the human
counterpart protein," says
Reiner. "For example, a critical
protein in the pathogen that
causes Leishmaniasis (a disease
prevalent in the developing
world) is missing a hairpin loop
sequence that is present in the
same essential human protein,
creating a pocket we can target
with a small molecule drug."
The new classes of
antimicrobials that Indel
Therapeutics is developing will
selectively bind in the deleted
region but cannot bind in the
corresponding human protein.
In doing so, the pathogen dies
because the essential protein
is blocked. Targeting essential
proteins in this way is a new
mechanism for attacking these
disease-causing bugs.
"One of the significant
benefits of this new class of
antimicrobials is it will be
difficult for microbial resistance
to evolve," says Reiner. "The
explosion in antibiotic-resistant
bacteria continues to drain our
medical chest of antibiotics.
These pathogens can undergo as
many as 500, 000 generations
for every one of ours. This
gives them a great evolutionary
advantage to mutate and become
resistant to antibiotics. As a
result, a third of all deaths are
because of infection."
Indel Therapeutics'
antimicrobials drugs will target
a wide range of important
pathogens including; methicillin-
resistant Staphylococcus
aureus (MRSA), Streptococcus,
E.coli, Salmonella, Malaria,
Leishmaniasis, African Sleeping
Sickness and others.
The company anticipates that
it will take three years before
the discovery is introduced into
human clinical trials.
"The rapid evolution of
drug-resistant pathogens will
continue to drive the need for
new antibiotics with novel
mechanism of action," says
Malcolm Kendall, CEO, Indel
Therapeutics. "Our approach is
unique in that it targets - with
great specificity - critically
essential protein within
pathogens, and this targeting
strategy should confer an
advantage against the emergence
of resistance."
According to Kendall, the
number of new antibiotics
approved by the Food and Drug
Administration (F.D.A.) has
declined 75 per cent over the last
24 years with only 4 antibiotics
being approved in the last few
years and only three novel classes
of antibiotics being introduced
in more than 40 years. The cost
of hospital-acquired infections
is as much as $27.5 billion in
additional hospital costs to the
U.S. healthcare system. 13
Sauder students score in
Google challenge | Running
afoul of composting UBC    REPORTS     |     NOVEMBER    6,    2008     |     7
UBC Spins
Off New
Companies
The UBC University-
Industry Liaison Office
has overseen the creation
of a three new spinoff
companies so far this year.
In addition to Indel,
Vida Therapeutics has
been established around
the work of Dr. David
Granville to focus
on the discovery and
development of first-
in-class drugs for the
treatment of age-related
degenerative processes,
cardiovascular disease
and other inflammatory
conditions.
Boreal Genomics,
based on the discoveries
of Drs. Andre Marziali
and Lome Whitehead,
has a novel mechanism
that purifies DNA so that
it is possible to analyze
samples that would
previously have been
deemed contaminated.
This technology has a
wide range of potential
applications as a medical
device, and as a research
tool in areas such as
forensics and archaeology.
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