April 2015

GREAT Partner Project News

Watershed Metagenomics Video

The Watershed team, in collaboration with the GREAT Program Creative Team, has recently released an animated video for its stakeholders to highlight their groundbreaking research. Learn how our Watershed Metagenomics partner project uses genomics tools to ensure the safety of your drinking water and identify the sources of pollution in this short animation video, below, and in this infographic (produced by our interns Katia Truong and Julia Suen).

Want to find out what else is new with the Watershed Metagenomics project? Check out the following updates: March 22, 2015 for watershed sampling and sequencing news, and April 23, 2015 for a feature on GE3Ls research.

Restoring Forests

Dr. Sally Aitken, AdapTree project leader, and Dr. Suzanne Simard, TerreWEB program leader, have written a paper in Alternatives Journal regarding the current state of Canada’s forests and forest-management practices that provincial policies should encourage in order to increase the resilience of Canadian forests. Read more about it in Alternatives Journal.

Climate Change – Science, Policy and Politics

On March 27, 2015, Dr. Sally Aitken, along with other UBC professors and politicians, debated and discussed the policies required by Canada to address climate change. This successful event marked the BC launch of the Sustainable Canada Dialogues. So far Sustainable Canada Dialogues has mobilized over 60 Canadian scholars from every province, representing climate change expertise in areas from engineering to sociology.

Talk and Tour – UBC Wine Library

Talk and Tours has produced a beautiful and informative guided tour of UBC’s very special Wine Library with Dr. Hennie van Vuuren. Wines donated by wineries are used to train UBC graduate students. The Talk and Tours series looks inside the UBC spaces used by students, staff and faculty to work, study, research and explore, and together form the day-to-day culture of the university.

Entrepreneurship News

Upcoming Lean Launch Pad Accelerator Program

If you have a venture idea that you would like to develop but missed the Lean Launch Pad for Genomics and Life Sciences this March, e@UBC is currently accepting applications for the Q2 2015 session starting May 25th. For more information about the program and how to apply, visit here.

Hacking Medicine

The GREAT program sponsored Ameen Amanian, a Genome BC intern from summer 2014 and Genomics 101 alumnus, to travel to Boston this April and participate in MIT’s Grand Hack 2015, one of the largest health hackathons in the world. Health hackathons are weekend-long events where clinicians, engineers, designers, developers, and business people get together to tackle real healthcare challenges. Over 400 innovators, all from different disciplines and parts of the world, came together to exchange ideas, form teams around shared interests, and build solutions to various health challenges.

Ameen, who has a degree in biomedical engineering and is currently a medical student at UBC, plans to use the knowledge gained from the MIT Grand Hack to think about ways to implement a similar event at UBC. More news from Ameen on this exciting project coming soon!

Intern Updates


Thank You Creative Team!

Creative TeamOur brilliant Creative Team is wrapping up their internships! The GREAT program and our partner projects have been fortunate to collaborate with this talented team on numerous science communication and engagement pieces. Katie Verigin is putting the finishing touches on an infographic for the Adaptree project. Katia Truong is finalizing an animation for the Lignin project, and Danie Easton has produced videos for TAIGA and a feature of LLP Launch Pad for Genomics and Life Sciences entrepreneurs and mentors. All of these will be revealed in our next newsletter!

We wish Katie, Katia and Danie all the best on their next career steps. Thank you!

Current Opening: Apicultural Specialist Intern

The GREAT program is seeking an intern to work with the Bee IPM research team on an international collaboration researching honey bee health. This research project will evaluate factors affecting colony level defense behaviors of honey bees against brood pathogens. We are seeking an enthusiastic and flexible student or recent graduate who has basic beekeeping experience. Click here for full job posting.

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

Recent Events

Policy Entrepreneurship Program

Over the past month, the GREAT team has been hosting the Policy Entrepreneurship program, which consists of both a Speaker Series and Workshops.

The program kicked off with the talk Nurturing Innovation Across Boundaries by author and social entrepreneur Al Etmanski. Al’s talk discussed pathways to change, including six key patterns that can increase your chances of making an impact, changing your industry, and scaling your innovation. Our second speaker, Dr. Evert Lindquist, focused on making it count – how policy-relevant science-based research can have an impact on the policy-making process.

In conjunction with the speaker series, we also offered a series of workshops. The first workshop, Diagnose Your Policy Problem & Refine Your Value Proposition, provided tools to diagnose the specific policy problem or institutional hurdle by understanding how change happens, situating your research within a broader ecosystem, and by refining your value proposition. The second workshop enabled participants to map their stakeholder landscape by understanding how decisions are made, what type of information decision-makers prefer, who act as allies and gatekeepers, and which channels of connection are available.

If you missed these sessions, we have captured the course content from both the speakers and workshops using video and sketchnotes. Feel free to review, share and attend our final sessions on May 12th and 14th.

Date Session Information
March 31, 2015 Nurturing Innovation Across Boundaries with Al Etmanski
April 7, 2015 Workshop #1: Diagnose Your Policy Problem & Refine Your Value Proposition
April 14, 2015 Making It Count with Dr. Evert Lindquist
 April 21, 2015 Workshop #2: Map Your Stakeholder Landscape


Upcoming Events

Please join us for the final sessions in the Policy Entrepreneurship Program on measuring change and building your strategy. Attendance at previous sessions is not a prerequisite! This program aims to provide tools that will enable researchers to develop responsive strategies to address the policy and regulatory challenges involved in conducting research, securing funding, and mobilizing research outside of the lab.

More Events

Visit our events calendar to see all upcoming events and workshops.

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genomics.entrepreneurship@UBC is in partnership with Genome BC and Genome Canada.

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