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University of British Columbia - A Place of Mind

UBC This Week


UBC This Week is a weekly summary of UBC people in the news, recent media releases and upcoming event highlights. UBC This Week past issues are also available on-line.

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Recent UBC Media Releases

Mar. 6 Drugs targeting blood vessels may be candidates for treating Alzheimer’s
Mar. 5 UBC members recognized in Life Sciences BC awards

Upcoming Event Highlights

Mar. 7-10 Western Canadian University and Colleges Tennis Championship
Mar. 8 ICICS-ECE-IEEE Workshop on Future Communications and Multimedia Systems
Mar. 9 Local to Global: Weaving Your Own Web
Mar. 10 Learning Music with a Learning Disability: Gifts and Challenges
Mar. 11 Second Wave of Globalization: Political Economy of India’s IT Outsourcing Industry
Mar. 11 Violin masterclass with Vadim Gluzman
Mar. 12 Below-grade Vancouverism: Rents and work in the livable city
Mar. 12 A Tale of Two Cultures: The Western Classics in Modern China
Mar. 13 Artist's Talk - Garry Neill Kennedy
Mar. 13 First Nations Youth Councils of British Columbia Association Presents "Sharing Your Wisdom"
Mar. 14 ISGP & IS Lecture Series: Recent research on HIV/AIDS: Scientific and social policy issues
Mar. 14 Navigating "a wasting world": Perspectives on environmentalism and sustainability in Canada
Mar. 28 The 4th Annual Dean of Arts Prize for the Best Essay in Visual Literacy - deadline for submissions
Find out what else is happening at UBC this week. For sports events, visit the UBC Athletics site at

UBC People

UBC People

UBC 31st in global reputation rankings

UBC ranks 31st among the world’s top universities in the 2013 Times Higher Education Reputation Rankings, one of only three Canadian institutions to make the top 100 list.

This is the third year that Times Higher Education has published its reputational rankings. In 2012, UBC was ranked 25th in the world and in 2011, UBC was ranked 31st.

The 2013 rankings are based on a survey of academic opinion, featuring 16,639 responses from 144 countries. The reputational results complement the Times Higher Education’s annual World University Rankings, which came out last fall and ranked UBC 30th.

UBC consistently ranks among the top 40 universities in the world. For more information about UBC’s place among the world’s best, click here. To view the rankings, click here.

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UBC members recognized in Life Sciences BC awards

Members of the UBC community are recognized in the 2013 LifeSciences British Columbia Awards. LifeSciences B.C. is a not-for-profit industry association that supports and represents the greater life sciences community of British Columbia through leadership, advocacy and promotion of world-class science and industry.

• Dr. Joseph M. Connors, UBC Clinical Professor and Clinical Director of the B.C. Cancer Agency Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, will receive the Dr. Don Rix Award for Lifetime Achievement.

• Dr. B. Brett Finlay, UBC Peter Wall Distinguished Professor, Michael Smith Laboratories and the Departments of Microbiology and Biochemistry, UBC, will receive the Genome British Columbia Award for Scientific Excellence.

• Dr. Richard Harrigan, UBC Associate Professor, Director, Laboratory Program, British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS will receive the Innovation and Achievement Award.

• Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc., a UBC spin-off company founded on discoveries made by Dr. Michael Hayden, will receive the Life Sciences Company of the Year award.

• Zymeworks Inc., founded by UBC PhD alumnus Ali Tehrani, will receive the Emerging Life Sciences Company of the Year award.

The awards will be presented at the Faces of Innovation gala on April 4, a celebration of 15 years of the LifeSciences British Columbia Awards recognizing leaders in the community who have transformed the life sciences sector. For more information, click here.

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Davis Cup tennis tickets on sale

Tickets to the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas quarter-finals between Canada and Italy are on sale now. This is the first time Team Canada will play in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup, the largest annual international team tennis competition.

Held April 5-7, the tournament will return to UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, the site of Canada’s historic victory in the first-round tie against Spain.

Date:  April 5 – 7, 2013
Place:  Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, 2555 Wesbrook Mall
Info: Purchase tickets here.

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UBC engineers honoured by the Engineering Institute of Canada

UBC Materials Engineering professor and associate dean of research and graduate studies Akram Alfantazi and Civil Engineering professor Jonathan Fannin will be inducted as Fellows of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) for their contributions to engineering.

Alfantazi leads the largest academic research group in the area of corrosion in Canada and one of the largest in the world. Fannin has compiled a body of experimental findings and related field observations that have contributed significantly to the state-of-the-art in geotechnical engineering as it relates to landslide risk management, designing with geosynthetics and seepage-induced erosion in earth dams.

Eighteen fellows will be recognized at the EIC annual awards gala in Montreal on May 28, 2013. For more information, click here.

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UBC researcher receives national innovation award

UBC Mechanical Engineering professor Yusuf Altintas and industry partner Pratt & Whitney Canada have won a Synergy Award for Innovation from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in recognition of their long-standing and successful university-industry partnership, which has resulted in numerous innovations and breakthroughs over the years to benefit Canada’s manufacturing industry. For more information, click here.

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Know Your Birth Control Rights video premieres at Pharmaceutical Sciences Celebrate Research event

On March 4, 2013, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences debuted Know Your Birth Control Rights, a video project led by Dr. Judith Soon, assistant professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Jean Shoveller, professor, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, with the assistance of fourth-year Pharmaceutical Sciences student Lauren Bissonnette. The video is a research dissemination initiative funded by Canadian Institute of Health Research. To view the video, click here.

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Refurbished Learning Centre space opens

The expanded Learning Commons is now open on the third floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre with pavilions for learning support programs including the Writing Centre, AMS Tutoring and Peer Academic Coaching. Access to UBC Library is now also available via the third level entrance with a new multi-service desk which offers checkout and reference services, IT support and self-checkout machines.

A Tutoring/Coaching Pavilion open house will take place on March 13, on the third level of the Learning Centre. UBC students, faculty and staff are invited to attend and discover more about the suite of learning support services available at the Chapman Learning Commons.

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UBC’s Three-Minute Thesis Competition, Semi-Final and Final Rounds

UBC’s third annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition has kicked off with more than 80 graduate students competing in faculty and department organized heats over four weeks of competition.

Next week’s semi-final and final rounds will showcase heat winners articulating their research into a 3-minute oration to a general audience.

Date:  March 12, 2013
1 – 2:30 p.m. (semi-final 1)
3 – 4:30 p.m. (semi-final 2)

March 14, 2013 12 – 1:30 p.m. (final)
Place: Graduate Student Centre Ballroom, Thea Koerner House, 6371 Crescent Road
Info: Click here.

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Robson Reading Series: Andrew Kaufman, Barry Webster and Camille Martin

The Robson Reading Series presents three writers at its upcoming event featuring novelists Andrew Kaufman and Barry Webster, and poet Camille Martin. These authors will read from their latest works Born Weird, The Lava in My Bones and Looms. The Robson Reading Series is hosted by UBC Bookstore and UBC Library.

Date:  March 14
Time:  7 p.m.
Place: UBC Bookstore at Robson Square, 400 Robson St.
Free and open to the public. Click here for more info.

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Wyman Lecture and Killam Conversation 2013: Rethinking Relationships between Teaching, Learning and Art

At the Wyman Lecture and Killam Conversation for 2013 titled Rethinking Relationships between Teaching, Learning and Art, Professor Rita L. Irwin and Associate Professor Donal O’Donoghue of Art Education will focus on an artist residency at UBC that brought together artists, pedagogues and researchers to explore and invent relations between art, learning and teaching.

Date: March 14
Time: 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Place: Lillooet Room (#301), Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall
Free and open to the public. Click here for more info.

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