Launch Symposium Sessions

 


The Challenges of Being a Modern Canadian Kid

The strength of Canada’s promise as a prosperous and just society is being questioned today by leading UBC research that cautions us that our country’s children are facing unprecedented challenges — and not just those kids we might assume are most vulnerable. The quiet decline in the standard of living in Canada for the Generation raising young kids has made it more difficult for dedicated parents to provide for their kids and meet their needs. At the same time, Canadian children are being targeted by sex traffickers at bus stops, shopping malls, youth shelters, walking home from school, and online through websites like Facebook. What can families and our society do to reclaim a healthy and happy childhood for all of our country’s children?

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Paul Kershaw
is one of Canada’s leading thinkers on caregiving and family policy who’s not afraid to be provocative about where we’re letting Canada’s families down. His research shows that policies that benefit families also pay off in terms of social justice, gender equality, population health, and economic growth. At UBC, he is the Human Early Learning Partnership Scholar of Social, Care, Citizenship, and the Determinants of Health in the College for Interdisciplinary Studies.


Benjamin Perrin
is the bestselling author of Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking. His work has had a direct impact on Canadian and international law. His academic articles deal with human trafficking, migrant smuggling, child sexual exploitation, war criminals, and private military and security companies. He is an Assistant Professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, and a Faculty Associate at the Liu Institute for Global Issues and Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.


Medicine for One: Personal Healthcare, Personal Responsibility

It’s a universal truth that no two human beings are the same. From the mapping of the human genome ten years ago to studies about diet and exercise, the idea of personalized medicine is increasingly becoming a research focus. How will that translate to your experience in the healthcare system, from your age, your gender, and your DNA sequence? And if you don’t do everything in your power to keep yourself well, what consequences could there be long term? What impact does this have on you, your family and society? What are the ethical considerations as researchers continue to explore personalized care?

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Dr. Michael Hayden is the Killam Professor of Medical Genetics at the UBC and Canada Research Chair in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine. He is also the Director of the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) and founder of three biotechnology companies: NeuroVir Therapeutics Inc., Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corp. Michael focuses his research primarily on genetic diseases, including genetics of lipoprotein disorders, Huntington disease, predictive and personalized medicine. Michael and his research group have identified 10 disease-causing genes which includes the identification of the major gene underlying high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in humans. Michael also identified the first mutations underlying Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL) Deficiency and developed gene therapy approaches to treat this condition.


Anita Ho
is Assistant Professor at the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics and Director of Ethics Services at Providence Health Care, specializing in bioethics and research ethics. She is also an associate chair for one of the university’s research ethics boards. She has written numerous articles on health-care access and disparity, physician-patient relationship, minority care experience, decision-making models, and various concepts of autonomy.


Green + Green: Environmental Entrepreneurship

The fight for sustainability has long been painted as a pitched battle of environmentalists versus capitalists. But it doesn’t have to be an either/or equation. From an innovative process to extract phosphorus from wastewater to the use of solar panels and remote sensing to track energy usage, going ‘green’ can be great business, benefiting society and the bottom line at the same time.

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Don Mavinic
’s latest awardwinning research focuses on the production of phosphorus-based fertilizer pellets, based on nutrient recovery from wastestreams. He has published more than 250 papers and technical reports, supervised or co-supervised 22 PhDs, and acted as a consultant to more than 80 companies and government agencies. He currently serves as a Professor and Associate Head (Research and Faculty Relations) within the Civil Engineering department at UBC.

What’s the best way to manage our resources ? A key place to start is from space ! UBC is a world leader in remote sensing technology, which allows individual trees, building rooftops and whole continents to be monitored every day. Using lasers in aeroplanes Nicholas Coops can show you that Greater Vancouver’s rainy climate is a excellent candidate for solar energy collection; and measure the height of a tree more accurately than standing on the ground ! Coops is the Canada Research Chair in remote sensing, and a Professor within the Department of Forest Resources Management at UBC.

UBC: Innovation Starts Here

Innovation starts with a spark of an idea. Then it takes talented people, access to resources, funding, and perfect timing to make it grow into an entrepreneurial venture. What are we doing to feed the flame of creativity already? How do we know when something is ready to stand on its own merit, and how important ultimately is commercial success to society?

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Sauder School of Business alumnus (BCom 2009) and C100 member Brian Wong just turned 20 and is already on his second company startup. With his latest venture, a mobile advertising platform called Kiip (pronounced “keep”), Wong broke the record set by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg as the youngest entrepreneur to raise venture capital, securing $4 million in financing.Brian on Twitter: @brian_wong


Simon Neame
is the Director of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, where he provides leadership, vision and strategic direction for the UBC Library’s student and community engagement initiatives, library-wide teaching and learning programs and administration of the Centre. Prior to joining the Learning Centre Simon worked for the UBC Library where he was responsible for coordinating instructional programs and services.


Paul Cubbon
is an Instructor in the Sauder School of Business, teaching Marketing in the MBA and BCOM programs. Paul’s subject focus is brand communication and user experience, with a digital and social media emphasis. He is actively involved in co-teaching New Venture Design classes with Engineering colleagues, and in redesigning the MBA Innovation and Entrepreneurship track. Paul holds a BA Honours from Oxford University, England, and an MBA from Simon Fraser University. He is passionate about re-designing education for improved student engagement and learning effectiveness.


Fishless Future: What Are We Doing To Our Oceans?

The world’s oceans have probably never been in more peril. They are becoming more polluted and acidic, which means they’re becoming more and more inhospitable environments for fish. The biggest predators are not the sharks or whales – it’s the humans devouring their way down the food chain with their insatiable appetite for fish.

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Daniel Pauly
’s concepts and methodology for assessing the health of our oceans are used worldwide. Some of his specific research focuses on mapping certain populations – and showing how humans are eating their way down the food chain, to everyone’s detriment. His work has been profiled in publications such as Science, Nature, and The New York Times. He is a Zoology Professor within the UBC Fisheries Centre.


Villy Christensen
’s longtime research interest centres on using ecosystem modelling to understand the impact of human exploitation on marine environments. He played an integral role in the development of the Ecopath software, which takes snapshots of specific species. Christensen serves as Associate Director and Professor in the UBC Fisheries Centre.


UBC in the Community

Forget about that myth of academics being locked away in ivory towers; being involved directly in a community benefits everyone. Take for instance, a program to check the oral health of people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. It’s led to stunning results in research around how to catch oral cancers at an early phase. Then there’s a project changing how students look at the food they eat, the environment of their food, and what that means from a worldwide perspective. There is no “us and them”, only what we achieve together.

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Catherine Poh
is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry and Clinician Scientist in the Integrative Oncology and Cancer Control Research Program, British Columbia Cancer Research Centre. Her research focuses on early-stage detection of oral cancers as well as improving the outcomes of surgical intervention in oral cancer.


Alejandro Rojas
is an Associate Professor in the Applied Biology, Food and Environment Program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. His research interests include food system sustainability, food security and food sovereignty, as well as sustainability education and institutional adaptations to climate change. He is the principal investigator of the Think & Eat Green @ School project.


Margot Leigh Butler
is the Academic Director of UBC’s Humanities 101 Community Program, which offers free, university-level courses to low-income Downtown Eastside residents who experience barriers to education. UBC faculty members who volunteer as teachers often remark on how much they learn from these students. Butler’s research and artwork focuses on the politics of representation of DTES residents, and on figures which show how entangled and implicated we are, and how we can work from t/here.


Can’t Sustain Unsustainability

There is a lot of talk about sustainability these days – from calculating our ecological footprints through offsetting our carbon emissions to changes people can make in their daily lives. And what should governments be doing to support people’s sustainability efforts? How do we separate ‘greenwashing’ from sound environmental practices? These are questions we’re wrestling with even on campus, which we’ve turned into a living lab.

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James Tansey
is co-founder of a Canadian carbon offset company called Offsetters, an official Supplier to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. His research encompasses social enterprise, climate change, and the adoption of new technology. At the moment, he is focused on emerging international markets for carbon exchange, solutions to neglected diseases, and strategic corporate social responsibility. He is Executive Director of the ISIS Research Centre within UBC’s Sauder School of Business, and an Associate Professor at Sauder.


John Robinson
studies the intersection of sustainability, social and technological change, and community engagement processes. His interest in sustainable buildings and urban design is a perfect fit for UBC’s push to integrate academic and operational sustainability on the Point Grey campus. Robinson has been a Lead Author in the last three reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He is Executive Director of the UBC Sustainability Initiative, and a Professor in the Geography department.


Bill Rees
pioneered the idea of an ‘ecological footprint’. Much of his research centres on global environmental trends – especially from a public policy and planning perspective – and sustainable socioeconomic development. He has lectured extensively on the topic across the world, and has served in a number of related high profile posts, including President of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics. He is a longtime Professor within UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning.


Purposefully Designed Power Ballads

Research isn’t always about data crunching and filling beakers with different coloured liquids. Sometimes we look at the work of Barry Manilow, Celine Dion, and Guns N Roses too – to understand what songs say about our society. What does a power ballad allow us to express, and how do they define the kinds of emotional experiences that we’re looking for in popular music? What place do power ballads occupy in the context of music history?

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David Metzer
is a Professor of Musicology and Jazz Studies in the School of Music. He is a music historian whose research focuses on twentieth and twenty first-century classical and popular music. He is currently working on a book dealing with the history of the ballad in popular music from the 1950s to the present.


Triple A Brain: Aging, Alzheimer’s, and Autism

The brain is one of the most mysterious organs. Every day we are learning more about how it functions, but there is still much to be explored. What is happening during aging, Alzheimer’s, and autism? What can we do to protect and repair the brain? What mysteries are left to unravel?

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Dr. Max Cynader is Director of the Brain Research Centre, and the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Brain Development at UBC and is Professor of Ophthalmology. He studies the development and adaptability of the cerebral cortex, and how that portion of the brain processes seeing and hearing. He has also helped found companies that develop gene therapies to treat brain diseases, and noise reduction technology. He is a member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia.


Pat Mirenda
’s primary areas of interest are autism/developmental disabilities, inclusive education, and literacy development. In 2009, she became Director of The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism (CIRCA) at UBC, and is principal investigator of several projects housed in the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research Lab at UBC. She is a Professor in UBC’s Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education.


Cheryl Wellington
focuses on Alzheimer’s Disease, neuroscience, and aging in her research, particularly lipid and lipoprotein metabolism in the brain and how this relates to neurological disorders. Her group has made key contributions to understanding the role of a specific protein in Alzheimer’s and traumatic brain injury. She obtained her PhD in Microbiology at UBC, and is an Associate Professor at UBC in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory.


The Continuing Story of: Canada’s Cultures

There truly is no such thing as one quintessential Canadian story; it comes down to how all of our individual experiences weave together to form a whole. But what is the best way to tell those stories, and to make sure no one thread is being left out of the tapestry? When it comes to certain parts of our past, are we running out of time to capture those tales?

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Annabel Lyon
is an Adjunct Professor in the Creative Writing Program in the Faculty of Arts. She published her first book, Oxygen, a collection of stories, in 2000. The Best Thing for You, a collection of three novellas, followed in 2004 and was nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Her first novel, The Golden Mean, was published in 2009. It was the only book nominated that year for all three of Canada’s major fiction prizes: the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Of the three, she won the Rogers Prize. The book has been translated into 13 languages. Annabel is also the author of two books for young people: All Season Edie and Encore Edie.


Henry Yu
is involved in the collaborative effort to reimagine the history of Vancouver and of British Columbia through the concept of “Pacific Canada,” a perspective that focuses on how migrants from Asia, Europe, and other parts of the Americas engaged with each other and with First Nations peoples historically. Prof. Yu is currently the Principal of St. John’s Graduate College (UBC’s international graduate college), the Director of the Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies (INSTRCC), and the Project Lead for a project entitled “Chinese Canadian Stories: Uncommon Histories from a Common Past” which will create a one-stop web portal for the reinterpretation of Canadian history through the lens of Chinese Canadians.


Larry Grant
is an Adjunct Professor for the First Nations Language Program within UBC’s Faculty of Arts. He was a student himself within the program, enrolling after four decades as a heavy duty mechanic for the longshore industry. Larry is a Musqueam elder, who believes strongly in language as a key to self-identity, culture, and history.


UBC as a Global Citizen

The ripple effect of an idea originating at UBC spreads far and wide. In the case of the Neglected Global Disease Initiative, the pilot project is focusing on a lifesaving treatment for a disease in India that also has medical applications within North America. Then there’s the Accessible Science Initiative, which has the goal of making science education widely available. On their first mission, a group of UBC students taught nearly a thousand students in Colombia about the value of science as a means of fighting poverty. UBC’s work is borderless, benefiting many.

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Kishor Wasan
’s research centres on lipid-based drug delivery and the interactions between lipoproteins and drugs. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles in that subject area. He is a Professor and Associate Dean of Research in UBC’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is also the Director and Co-Founder of the Neglected Global Diseases Initiative at UBC, and holds the CIHR/iCo Therapeutics Research Chair in Drug Delivery for Neglected Global Diseases.


Olga Pena
is a Liu Scholar and PhD Candidate within UBC’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Her doctoral work focuses on sepsis, a blood infection which has been declared a global health emergency. She founded the Accessible Science Initiative and had their first successful project launched in less than a year.