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Faculty of Science

News and Events for
UBC Science Alumni | Issue 5, 2016

No more abracadabra

UBC’s first computational thinking course is showing students that it doesn’t take a coding wizard to understand and use technology. Even though we may think young people are ‘auto-magically’ savvy in all things digital, professor Rachel Pottinger explains why the class is necessary.

Simple test could detect early cancer

The BC Cancer Agency will use UBC cancer detecting technology in a pilot study to determine if a blood test can pinpoint early signs of cancer. The technology can detect 96 common mutations found in eight cancer types, and could improve treatment


What Can We Learn from the Demise of Bees?

Mark Winston explains what bees can teach humans about interacting with one another and with nature.
December 3

Annual Faraday Science Show

Bring the family to a fun-filled science lecture. Remember to drop off a non-perishable item for the Vancouver Food Bank!
December 11

Night at the UBC Museum

Can’t visit the Beaty Biodiversity Museum during the daytime? Stop by for a family-friendly evening.
December 15

TB researchers find new uses for old antibiotic
TB researchers try new uses for old antibiotic

Cephalosporins, first introduced as a treatment against bacterial infections in 1963, could be used to treat tuberculosis, the most deadly infectious disease in the world. New treatments for TB are desperately needed, and because cephalosporins are already clinically approved, they could be deployed more quickly.

Researchers find new way to battle bacterial infections

UBC microbiologists have successfully prevented drug-resistant bacteria from forming abscesses using a peptide, or mini-protein. Antibiotics seldom work on these lesions and the infected tissue is either cut or drained. The peptide provides a new alternative for treatment.

Siri, play ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’

Computer scientist Joanna McGrenere discusses how the field of human-computer interaction has changed as new devices are adopted by a wider range of people, including much older and younger users.

  • Robert Hancock, a pioneer in several critical areas of microbiology, has been awarded a University Killam Professorship. Hancock helped establish UBC’s Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research and Centre for Drug Research and Development.
  • Biologist Sally Otto, fisheries expert Daniel Pauly and botanist Loren Rieseberg were also recognized with University Killam Professorships.
  • Microbiologist Karen Smith was awarded UBC’s highest recognition for teaching excellence and achievements, a Killam Teaching Prize.
  • Maclean’s 2017 university rankings placed UBC Science first in environmental science and biology, and runner up in math and computer science in Canada.
Do wild BC salmon have a future?

If you weren’t able to make it to our chat on salmon ecology in Victoria, you can listen to the podcast and peruse pictures from the event.


Love of tech and life sciences earns grad Microsoft award

Lisa Wong (BSc 2013) initially studied the life sciences at UBC, then added a second degree in computer science to combine her interests in health and technology. The combination paid off. Wong won the 2016 Microsoft Student Partner of the Year award this summer. She likes attending meetups and hackathons, and wants to inspire more girls to consider a career in computer science.

Alumni Field Notes
  • Welcome to the UBC Science alumni community! Kudos to all Fall 2016 Science graduates.
  • Four UBC Science alumni made this year’s Business in Vancouver 40 Under 40. Congratulations to Ric Leong (BSc 2000), Kim Lucas (BSc 1999), Anne Stevens (BSc 2006) and David G Wong (BSc 2001).
  • Kudos to Colin Levings (BSc 1965, MSc Zoology 1967) for the release of his latest book Ecology of Salmonids in Estuaries Around the World.

Do you have fun and exciting news? Write us a note and we’ll share it on our website.

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