April 2014

cheery cherry blossom-560-newsletter


Lean Launch Pad Alumni Spotlight

This month we are introducing a new feature – the Lean Launch Pad Alumni Spotlight – to keep you up-to-date with the progress of new ventures from the Lean Launch Pad for Genomics program. For our first feature interview, we would like to introduce Cameron Strachan, co-founder and CEO of MetaMixis, who shares his story of how he was able to apply his experiences at the LLP session in his work outside the lab. To read Cameron’s interview, click here.

Genomics 101 “Crash Course”- May 14, 2014

On May 14th, we will be offering our Genomics 101 “Crash Course” – a one-day version of our popular Genomics 101 workshop with facilitator Dr. David Ng from Michael Smith Laboratories. This course demystifies the terminology as well as the fundamentals of genomics, and is appropriate for participants without a grounding in molecular biology. GREAT program interns will participate, and we invite stakeholders from our partner projects who may benefit from a short-course refresher. As much as possible, we will rely on examples from our Genome BC partner projects, with discussion exploring what kinds of questions can be asked and answered with this science. If you would like more information, please contact Andrea Lloyd.

Genomics in the News

Genomic Tools Offer Vision of a Cleaner Mining Industry

“Bacteria may be small, but they do heavy lifting in remediation and extraction”

UBC Engineering professor Susan Baldwin is featured on an article by the Vancouver Sun as she explains the impacts of her research on anaerobic bacteria that have the ability to consume or remove heavy metals from mine tailings. See the full article here.

Dr. Baldwin’s project: The Development of Genomic Tools for Monitoring and Improving Passive Mitigation of Mine Drainage

Partner Project News

Bee IPM: Next-Generation Integrated Pest Management Tools for Beekeeping

Dr. Marta Guarna participated in the semi-annual BC Honey Producers Association meeting ‘Know Your Colony: Advanced Beekeeping Tips & Techniques’, where she talked about natural defenses of bees against infection. She employed an animation video produced by g.e@ubc intern Katia Truong, which received positive feedback as a tool that will greatly improve communication efforts with end-users.

The Science Behind the Bee IPM Project (short version) from UBC UILO on Vimeo. Animation by Intern Katia Truong

Bringing Genomics Home: What’s the Buzz in Bee Biology?

On April 8thm, Genome British Columbia took their community engagement program, “Bringing Genomics Home” on the road to Vernon. Community members were invited to join UBC’s Dr. Leonard Foster, Project Leader at Bee IPM: Next-Generation Integrated Pest Management Tools for Beekeeping, for a lively and engaging presentation: “What’s the Buzz in Bee Biology?” Presented in conjunction with Okanagan College and the Okanagan Science Centre. Attendees learned about genomics and some of the most interesting aspects of bee biology, what threats bees are currently facing and the current research that is striving to improve bee health. More info here .

New AdapTree Lab Updates

Dr. Sally Aitken, one of AdapTree’s Project Leaders, delves into the process of Lodgepine DNA extractions with a cool ‘lab robot’. Read her lab notes and recommendations on her blog, The Modern Forest.

Sally lab

SMarTForests to Host Second Conifer Genome Summit

Drs. Joerg Bohlmann and John MacKay’s SMarTForests project, in collaboration with the Sweden’s Norway Spruce Genome Project, is hosting the second Conifer Genome Summit, set to take place June 16th to 18th, 2014, in Forêt Montmorency, Québec, Canada. This event will facilitate updates on the most advanced approaches in genome sequencing, assembly and annotation, as well as updated on the interpretation and practical application of the information gleaned from conifer genomes. Visit the SMarTForests website for more information.

Do you have any news on your research project that you’d like to share? Please let us know so we can feature it in our upcoming newsletters.


 Introducing Our New Interns 2014 

genomics.entrepreneurship@UBC team is happy to welcome our 2014 interns. Full profiles coming soon.

Katie Verigin, Lean Launch Pad Program Intern Katie's pic

Katie has been volunteering with the LLP program at UBC since January 2014. This summer, Katie will be teaming up with videographer, Bahar Salehpour, to track LLP participants and alumni progress via video storytelling. She enjoys supporting participants in the roller coaster ride that is entrepreneurship. She finds the process of witnessing the LLP participant teams start their businesses from just an idea and blossom into a new venture particularly exciting. Read More 

Bahar Salehpour, Video Intern Bahar-Salehpour-Picture

Bahar’s focus this summer will be documenting partner project stories through visual media. Bahar became interested in film and TV production during high school after taking an introductory course in film/TV. She learned the basics of editing, lighting, sound and cinematography and had the opportunity to make her own 10-minute movie from scratch. Read More

Tamara Sommer, Project Development Intern Tamara bio pic

Tamara will be working on a project to explore the feasibility of a potentially commercially significant compound derived from balsam, in collaboration with the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition and the Bohlmann lab. Tamara was born in Surrey, BC and was raised in Williams Lake. She is pursuing a joint major BSc in psychology and international business at the University of Northern British Columbia. She is interested in program evaluation within rural communities. Read More Funding is still available for summer internships. For more information on our Internship Program, please visit the Internships page or contact us.       

Recent Events

 LSI Start-Up 101

“It’s not about those that don’t believe in you; it is about those who believe in you”, Ali Tehrani, President & CEO of Zymeworks “Canada is a great place to start a company”, Andre Marziali, Founder & Chief Scientific Officer of Boreal Genomics On April 10, 2014, the Life Sciences Institute presented Start-up 101, a half-day panel discussion for LSI members to get a better picture of what is involved in spinning off their own life sciences company. Founders of successful UBC spinoffs talked about how they got started, what difficulties they faced and how they made it. Attendees also heard about resources available to entrepreneurs at UBC and in Vancouver: from IP protection and incorporation to entrepreneurship training and translational research funding. The impressive line-up of panelists featured our own Angus Livingstone and LLP alumni Cameron Strachan. It was a stimulating event! Follow the links for more information about the panelists and access to the presentation slides


Upcoming Events


Lean Launch Pad for Genomics

Our third Lean Launch Pad for Genomics program cohort begins May 2014! The Lean Launch Pad (LLP) program is not a traditional class or workshop. It is more like a “science laboratory” coupled with a series of “What did we learn in the lab?” and “What should we do next?” classroom session. LLP is designed to engage you in moving potential products out of the lab and into the market through talking to customers, partners and competitors, and encountering the challenges and uncertainty of creating successful innovations. Read More

More Events

GPS/Mitacs Step Workshop: Discovering the Entrepreneur Within: April 29th, 2014 Managing Effective Collaborative Research Teams: May 7th, 2014 GPS/LCC workshop: Leading with Emotional Intelligence: May 8th, 2014 Genome BC Genomics Forum 2014: May 9th, 2014 GPS Workshop: Management Essentials for Leadership: May 13th, 2014 Genomics 101 ‘Crash Course: May 14th, 2014  View our calendar for more upcoming events.

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