August 2014


The GREAT Program Receives  ‘No Cost Extension’ Approval from Genome Canada

We are pleased to announce that the GREAT program, a 3-year pilot funded by Genome BC, Genome Canada and the UBC-Industry Liaison Office, received a ‘No Cost Extension’ from Genome Canada. The program will conclude on September 30, 2015.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who continues to make this program possible. We hope to continue to contribute to the field of genomics research and entrepreneurship.

Intern Jamie Lee Martin Brings Awareness on the Importance of Honey Bees to Farm Wonders Summer Camp Youth


Jamie Lee Martin is an Apicultural Specialist Intern for the Bee IPM project. On August 7th, Jamie led a workshop on the importance of honey bees to a group of FarmWonders participants at UBC Farm. The young participants were mesmerized by Jamie’s interactive presentation and by the curious honey bees that decided to take a break from their laborious work in the hive to eavesdrop the presentation.  We think that we might have more than one future beekeeper in the group! Read the story here.

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.

Genomics News

Canada’s Investment in Genomics is Paying OffScreen-Shot-2014-07-22-at-4_13_39-PM

By Pierre Meulien, President and CEO of Genome Canada.

A recent study from Thomson Reuters ranking the world’s most influential scientists for 2014 (based on peer citations) caught the attention of Canadian media. Among the 3,200-odd names on the global list were 89 Canadians. Even though the research areas spanned a large spectrum of specializations — from space science to social sciences, to economics, agriculture and clinical medicine — over 15 per cent of the scientists were prominent genomics-based researchers funded through Genome Canada and the six regional Genome Centers (among others, of course). There has been no small degree of debate on the supposed fragmentation of the Canadian research ecosystem. But the Thomson Reuters report is a testament to a very strong return on a highly focused, sustained, strategic investment over the past 14 years by the Government of Canada. Read iPolitics full article, here

GREAT Partner Project News

Leonard Foster, Bee IPM Project Leader, on the cover of August issue of Business in Vancouver

Leonard BIV

Photo credit: Business in Vancouver

Beekepers and scientists are weighing the merits of banning a class of pesticides to save bees from mass die-offs. Calls are growing for a ban on a widely used class of pesticides that has been linked to bee deaths, with the province of Ontario looking into how to move away from the use of neonicotinoids after complaints from beekeepers. The European Union introduced a ban this April. Neonicotinoids, developed in the 1990s as a safer alternative to pesticides like DDT, are widely used across North America. In British Columbia, they are used by fruit, berry, vegetable and flower growers. Read More.

Lean Launch Pad News

Blast-Seq Canada: Post-Lean Launch Pad Progress Report

Judith Bosire and Timothy Sexton are Lean Launch Pad for Genomics alumni. The objective of BLAST-Seq Canada during the LLP sessions was to explore the potential of commercializing the application of DNA fingerprinting technology in the Canadian forestry, aquaculture and agriculture sectors by setting up a genotyping service laboratory in Vancouver. Tim and Judith have been busy since the end of the Lean Launch Pad for Genomics sessions ended on June 20th. They sent us a brief update about what’s next for BLAST-Seq Canada. You can read it here.

Lean Launch Pad Mentor Profile Series: Peter Payne

In our Mentor Profile series, we profile genomics.entrepreneurship@UBC Lean Launch Pad mentors. Mentors play a key role in guiding our cohorts throughout the entrepreneurial process. Peter has established and run a variety of companies since 1978 – from the early days of electronic publishing, to medical devices successfully marketed in Canada, the USA, Europe and Asia. Read More.  Lean Launch Pad Mentor Profile: Peter Payne from UBC UILO on Vimeo.      

Lean Launch Pad: Lessons Learned Presented at iHub Nairobi by LLP for Genomics Instructor Iain Verigin

Iain Verigin, Lean Launch Pad for Genomics instructor, is participating in Sauder Social Entrepreneurship – Kenya this summer. He recently presented at iHub Nairobi about his experiences with the LLP approach at UBC. View the presentation slides here.

Intern Updates

Michael Chen, Commercialization Analyst Intern

Michael is back this summer. He is continuing his work with Prof. Jeremy Hall and Prof. Frank Ko’s group on lignin based carbon fibre. This project is part of Dr. Lindsay Eltis and Dr. William Mohn’s Harnessing Microbial Diversity for Sustainable Use of Forest Biomass Resources (Lignin) project. The primary focus is developing the commercialization strategy plan for lignin carbon fibre that would potentially benefit the Canadian economy. Michael’s findings will also be used as part of his final MBA graduation project. Read more about Michael’s background and experience in his profile page.

Bahar Salehpour, Video Intern Bahar

Bahar’s focus this summer has been documenting partner project stories through visual media. We interviewed Bahar about her internship experience. “I would really encourage students to get out there and try new things. Video editing and photography are my hobbies and I was grateful to be able to find an internship that would utilize the skills I already had, at a higher level”. Read Bahar’s interview here.

Tyler Dergousoff, AdapTree Research Assistant InternIMG_2699

Tyler is a research assistant intern at AdapTree. He is involved in the genomics side of the project, collecting and preparing samples in the lab. He is also working on the socioeconomic side with the ultimate goal of communicating results of research to end users and stakeholders. I have learned so much this summer. “Every day is different and new things are happening all the time. There has been a combination of lab, field and office work to do, which keep things interesting“. Read Tyler’s interview and watch his behind the scenes action video here!

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

Recent Events

Evaluating Science: A Response to Measuring Impact and ‘Benefits to Canada’ by Fraser Larock

fraser blog Inspired by the event Evaluating Genomic Science: A Conversation with Dr. Samantha Evans, Director of Evaluation, Genome Canada in May, g.e@ubc intern Fraser Larock reflects on the importance of storytelling to communicate impact in science research, and sets the tone for the Module we piloted in August titled Using Logic Models and Theory of Change to Demonstrate Impact in Genomics Research. Read more here.

Using Logic Models and Theory of Change to Demonstrate Impact in Genomics Research

The two-part pilot course took place on August 11 and 13th. It blended theory and practice to enable researchers and project managers to develop and use logic models as evaluation frameworks for their research. In the first workshop, they worked on developing a theory of change (research rationale) and sketched their own, working logic models, which identified intended outputs, outcomes and impact. Read more.

Logic module pic

Members of our Stakeholder Advisory Committee/Research Partner Project Managers participated in the pilot module and provided very positive feedback.

Upcoming Events

Lunch & Learn Series: Stakeholder Engagement

The Lunch & Learn Series is designed to provide you with a brief overview of hands-on-tools that will facilitate various aspects of communicating your work outside of the lab.  We are pleased to launch the first Learn & Lunch gathering this September, titled: Connecting with Your Stakeholders to Communicate Your Results, Deepen Your Impact and Mobilize Resources. Join us for this overview of some of the key tools you need to know to effectively engage with your stakeholders. Learn how to map your relationship network, how to visually communicate the social and economic impact of your research, how to frame your work in a way that resonates with the public and build closer relationships with funders. This interactive lunch and learn will cover these topics and provide an opportunity for you to share with us which areas you want to learn more about in future sessions. Read More

Date & Location: Will be announced shortly.

Genomics: the Power & the Promise

genomics the power and the promise

On November 24-26, 2014, Genome Canada and the Gairdner Foundation, in collaboration with Genome Alberta and the other five regional Genome Centres, will be hosting their next signature event entitled: Genomics: the Power & the Promise which will be held in Ottawa. The theme for this year’s conference will be “Genomics and the Environment”. Through keynote speakers, panel discussions, interactive presentations and dialogue, both the environmental impacts of genomics on human health (e.g., environmental influences on the genome, epigenome and human microbiome), as well as on our natural resources will be explored. As well, a look at the power and potential of genomics to transform how our resource sectors are leveraged (e.g., forestry, energy, mining), while protecting and preserving the environment. Register here.

INTERFACE 2014 Digital Health International Summit

September 29-30 – INTERFACE 2014 is SANOTRON’s third annual event. It is a two-day event designed to engage, inform, inspire and connect digital health innovators and other key stakeholders. SANOTRON is Canada’s Centre for Wireless and Digital Health Innovation. We are a not-for-profit organization, and are Canada’s 1st digital health accelerator. Events like INTERFACE are important because innovative digital solutions can make a huge difference in health, wellness and healthcare. More information here.

Other Events

September 9 – Commercialization Funding for SMEs — Vancouver Information Session, MITACS

September 21- October 25 SciFund Challenge Outreach Training – FREE online

September 25 – Professional and Business Effectiveness, Graduate Pathways to Success

View our calendar for more upcoming events.

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