June 2013


 Partner Project News

As a follow-up to the “Fundamentals of Intellectual Property” presentation in April, the Watershed team invited Angus Livingstone to speak to their colleagues at the BC Centre for Disease Control’s “Grand Rounds” presentation series on June 14th.

The BCCDC Grand Rounds are a forum for state of the art research or review provided by faculty or invited lecturers, and are broadcast throughout the province via webinar. Intellectual property and issues of access are pertinent topics for the BCCDC, and Angus’ presentation was well-received by the 30 people in attendance. Following the presentation, Angus and Joshua Eades, Senior Technology Transfer Officer from the UBC-UILO, met with the Watershed team for an informal strategy session to consider key questions related to IP, commercialization and knowledge mobilization specific to their research project.

Thank you to Angus and Joshua for making themselves available to consult with the Watershed team, and to Jennifer Law for the opportunity to introduce us to her colleagues from the BCCDC!

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.




Julia Suen, Animation Intern

Julia is an animator and illustrator born in Vancouver, BC, and is a graduate from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a BFA in animation. In 2012, she collaborated with CityStudio in producing a 30-second film to promote Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 goals. She has recently completed Penpals, a 3-minute animated short, as her graduation thesis. Julia’s goal is to continue to create and contribute to projects that breathe life into amazing characters and narratives.

As her first project in our program, Julia will be using animation as a communication tool to help Grape and Wine Genomics researcher Carlo Vargas explain the product he is developing to potential customers in the wine industry.

You can view more of Julia’s work at her online portfolio.

michaelMichael Chen, Commercialization Analyst Intern

Michael is currently a MBA student from Simon Fraser University in the Management of Technology program. This summer he will be working on Dr. Lindsay Eltis and Dr. William Mohn’s Harnessing Microbial Diversity for Sustainable Use of Forest Biomass Resources (Lignin) project with our intern Fraser Larock. The primary focus will be developing the commercialization strategy plan for lignin-based products such as vanillin that would potentially benefit Canadian economy.

Prior to this position, Michael had worked in Bio-technology industry for 3 years developing biomedical device and implementing the manufacturing process. He has a Master’s degree from UBC studying micro-devices for cancer drug study. He is interested in connecting the engineering and science development with commercialization.

For leisure, Michael enjoys baking pastry and reading. He is learning golf right now.

What Are Our Interns Up To?

Katia Truong, Animation Intern

Katia is working with researchers from Dr. Leonard Foster’s Bee IPM project and producing a short animation video to tell the story of how the nasty varroa mite infects a bee larva and what the adult bees do to protect the health of the colony. Stay tuned for the final product!


Fraser Larock, Commercialization Analyst Intern

Fraser has been actively involved in our Lean Launch Pad workshops on behalf of the Lignin project. As part of his analysis, Fraser recently created this nifty diagram to make an extremely complex industry ecosystem, and where Lignin’s contribution may fit into this system, comprehensible. Bravo!

fraserdiagram2For more information on our Internship Program, please visit the Internships page or contact us.

Recent Events


Our Lean Launch Pad Adventure Has Concluded! (Well, it is only the beginning…)

May to June 2013

The final session of the Lean Launch Pad for Genomics program was June 21st. All five teams completed the accelerated 8-week program of testing business hypotheses through “getting out of the building” (lab) and talking to potential customers. Over this short period, the teams interviewed 143 people to help them discover who their customers are and what they need to do to serve them. As instructor Iain Verigin concluded: “It was demanding, practical, and maybe a little fun.”

Big thanks to all involved for making it a success!

Special thanks to:

  • Iain Verigin, our fantastic instructor, for all his hard work and dedication in the classroom and responding to team blogs
  • Andy Talbot, Blair Simonite, Sean Lumb, Andre Marziali and Dylan Gunn for generously sharing their experience and wisdom as team Mentors
  • Andrew Stuart of Isowater, Tom Dorazio of Superna Life Sciences, and Don Enns of LifeSciences BC for taking calls with the teams

We will continue to follow each team’s progress and share more news in upcoming newsletters. If you are interested in participating in future Lean Launch Pad for Genomics sessions, please let us know.

Upcoming Events

Tools for Scientific Storytelling: Social Media workshop

Jul 4th, 2013, 12:00pm-1:30pm, Michael Smith Laboratories, Multipurpose Room 101

genomics.entrepreneurship@UBC is pleased to present a Social Media workshop with passionate science communicator Ben Paylor to explore the benefits of using Twitter and other platforms to communicate scientific research.

Ben (@BenPaylor) is a  2011 graduate of the acclaimed Banff Centre’s Science Communication program. Ben utilizes a wide variety of media to engage and educate the public about topics such as genomics and stem cell research. He has written & directed several award-winning short films, is the director of the scientific animation studio InfoShots, and currently blogs at the Stem Cell Network’s “Signals” blog. He also currently serves as the co-chair of outreach at the Canadian Science Policy Centre and was one of seventeen Canadians selected for a 2012/12 Action Canada Fellowship.

For more information on the workshop or to register, please visit the event page.

You can view all upcoming events on our Events calendar.

Top Tweets

@cswa_news 5 Reasons to Blog Science: http://wp.me/p29J6Z-gW ~cm
@guardianscience The pleasure of talking about science http://gu.com/p/3gahm/tf
@m_m_campbell Increasing reach. Plain language summaries of research papers are crucial for outreach. Superb: http://arthropodecology.com/2012/11/08/science-outreach-plain-language-summaries-for-all-research-papers/ … #SciComm by @CMBuddle
@seanmulvany Serial lifesci entrepreneur and academic, Robert Langer, weighs in on how to commercialise research. http://www.nature.com/bioent/2013/130601/full/bioe.2013.6.html …. @NatureNews

Follow genomics.entrepreneurship@UBC on Twitter.

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