Faculty of Medicine

Message from the Dean

Dermot Kelleher

start an evolution Campaign Reflections

Although I began my role as Dean of the UBC Faculty of Medicine during the final months of the start an evolution campaign, I have witnessed—and continue to witness—the transformative influence of its message and mission reverberating through the hallways of our research facilities, the conversations among our students, as well as in medical collaborations forming across the province and the world. Most importantly, this evolution has built and strengthened relationships between our scientific minds and a global community of engaged donors.

Through partnerships with generous donors like the family of Dr. Chew Wei, Charles Fipke, and John Gilbert, UBC’s dedicated investigators are expanding our knowledge in critical fields including cancer research, Alzheimer’s disease, and occupational therapy. Indeed, the start an evolution campaign has ushered in new standards of generosity and scientific achievement though which we have been able to re-engineer T-cell receptor genes to target and kill certain cancers, and through which we have begun testing a drug that promises to halt the decline in metabolic activity associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

These medical breakthroughs are a small sample of the Faculty’s accomplishments. Since the campaign began in 2008, we have created 104 new student awards worth $12 million, established 6 chairs and 16 professorships to encourage innovative discoveries among leading researchers, and engaged 8,232 alumni in University events and initiatives. In the realm of student support, the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health was established to expanding opportunities for Aboriginal students interested in the health professions. With this centre and the increase in student awards, more students from a greater diversity of backgrounds are able to pursue medical training in communities across the province. In research, we have built a collaborative and multidisciplinary environment of discovery through new centres like the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, a state-of-the-art facility combining multidisciplinary clinical care and research under one roof. For alumni, we completed construction of a new Medical Student and Alumni Centre on Vancouver Island, giving a social and recreational home to more students across our distributed training sites. Together, these developments have strengthened the Faculty’s ability to educate, discover, and engage now and into the future.

As we celebrate the exceptional accomplishments of the start an evolution campaign, we will maintain the forward momentum we have created together. The campaign has helped us identify the critical intersections where the Faculty’s strengths and priorities meet the community’s needs, so that our efforts have maximum impact across Canada and the world.

 

Dermot Kelleher
Dean
Faculty of Medicine