2021 Virtual Graduation

 

Congratulations to the more than 1,700 master's and doctoral students who have earned the right to cross the virtual stage this year. We wish you all of the very best in your future endeavours, and hope that you continue to share your successes with us as you launch your career!

The 2021 virtual graduation will be held on June 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. To tune in, visit the UBCV graduation website.  

G+PS will also be sharing all citations through the G+PS Twitter channel on June 2, beginning at 9:30 a.m., with tweets published every three minutes. 

 

Indigenous Graduation Celebration Spring 2021

On Saturday, May 29, 2021, starting at 11 a.m., the First Nations House of Learning is hosting a virtual graduation celebration to honour and recognize the educational achievements of participating Indigenous graduates. Learn more

 

Doctoral graduates reflect

Our doctoral graduates reflect on what reaching graduation means to them, and what they will miss the most of their doctoral journey. The responses below reflect the experiences and opinions of each doctoral graduate, as per the attribution. 

What does reaching graduation mean to you?

“I believe the PhD also stands for perseverance, hard work and dedication.” – Shawna Abel, PhD in Experimental Medicine

“Closing the chapter on the last 8 years (and not being degree-less)! Graduation has also been a time for me to reflect on what's been important to me to structure my own career path. Above all, it gives me a chance to look back and thank my family, supervisors, and colleagues for all their help in getting to this point.” – Allen Zhang, MDPhD

“Sometimes it doesn't feel real to me that I have graduated. When I defended my dissertation, it was a bit anticlimactic – especially as it was over Zoom. Officially graduating feels celebratory and helps me realize that I did actually finish and have earned my PhD.” – Mariko Sakamoto, PhD in Nursing

“This moment is possible because of the incredible community of mentors, colleagues, friends, relatives and ancestors that I have been surrounded by. Graduating has enabled me to reflect on how important this support and engagement has been.  I'm grateful to the many generations of powerful, brilliant women who have helped create the space for me to walk this path. It is especially significant that I was able to share so much of this journey with Rosemary Georgeson, who was a research collaborator throughout the dissertation. I'm grateful that in the end, Rose was able to reconnect with her family, and I was able to graduate!” – Jessica Hallenback, PhD in Geography

“More autonomy, more funding opportunities, more avenues to showcase research.” – David Twa, MDPhD

“It means I have overcome all of the challenges I encountered and deserve this victory to open the doors for new opportunities in life. It means I did not disappoint the trust and did not waste the support that has been given to me by the people who believed in me and supported me.” – Abdelmalik Aljalai, PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering

“After eight years it is with a bittersweet taste that my MD/PhD journey at UBC comes to an end. My sincerest thank you to all of those who contributed to my success in science and medicine both directly and indirectly.

First and foremost, I owe particular thanks to my supervisor Dr. Timothy J Kieffer for his inspirational and supportive guidance. Whether in the form of a hallway chat, a 4-hour lab meeting, or a comment-peppered manuscript, I am grateful for your time to teach, challenge, and push me. Your mentorship has yielded lessons I will use for my entire career ahead.

I thank my supervisory committee members, past and present, Drs. Susanne Clee, Scott Covey, Jim Johnson, Bruce Verchere, and Garth Warnock for their support through challenging me, sharing their expertise, and guidance along the winding road to a PhD. A special thank you to Dr. Garth Warnock for sharing his guidance not only in committee meetings, but also for his generosity by taking the time to teach in the operating room. My gratitude to Dr. Jim Johnson for his consistent attention to detail and teaching the highest standards of scientific rigor.

Thank you to Dr. Scott Covey for always making the time to help and sharing his substantial experimental knowledge. My appreciation to Dr. Bruce Verchere for his expert guidance and consistent willingness to share resources, time, and support. Thank you to Dr. Susanne Clee for thinking outside the box and helping find unexpected solutions.

Thank you to all the members of the Kieffer lab for always asking the tough questions. I have been fortunate to work with many talented and kind graduate students, fellows, and technicians. To my fellow office-mates Chiara Toselli, Nelly Saber, Ursula Neumann, Anna D’Souza, and Blair Gage, thanks for always making time spent in the lab more fun and always taking the time to help. To Travis Webber, Ali Asadi, Robert Baker, Majid Mojibian, Maria Glavas, Cara Ellis, Sandra Pereira, and Shannon O’Dwyer, thanks for your teaching, guidance, assistance, and comradery. Thanks to Nazde Edeer for her hard work and thanks to the many others for their contributions to these studies.

Thank you to the UBC MD/PhD program for their professional and financial support, including the Vancouver Frasier Medical Program MD/PhD Scholarship. My gratitude to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for funding support (Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship) and the other research agencies including Diabetes Canada that made doing this work possible.

To my parents, thank you for teaching me how to work hard and be happy along the way. I am not sure where I’d be without your example on how to make priorities and live life with moderation, but I am thankful for where it has taken me. I also must give a special thanks to Uncle Rehim for being my friend and teacher. You have always been a source of laughter and been there anywhere, and anytime. Thank you to Matt for being the truest friend one could hope to have and thank you to my sister Miriam for always being someone I can count on. I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by friends and family that have supported me throughout this journey. Finally, a thank you that could never be put into words – thank you to my wife Jessie. No matter the circumstance, you have been the unwavering piece of my life that is kind, positive, and generous. It is because of you that these past five years have been both productive and a sincerely happy phase of life. As I wrote in my dissertation, “[this] is dedicated to Jessie, for maximizing all that is good in life.” – Adam Ramzy, MDPhD

“Persistence! During my PhD, I had to pass through many challenges; Some of which, I was not sure if I can overcome at all. The only thing that helped me during those tough times was that I always told myself "just not give up, and do your best, Mahyad". So, I kept going. This persistence brought me this graduation!” – Mahyad Aghigh, PhD in Chemistry

“End of an old journey and start of a new one with the same destination.” – Yangfan Zhang, PhD in Applied Animal Biology

“It means that I completed a goal that was like climbing a mountain or running a marathon.  I started slowly and there were a few injuries along the way but my team of supporters, namely my supervisor, Dr. Deirdre Kelly, committee, Dr. Andre Mazawi and Dr. Hartej Gill, family and friends helped and cheered me to the end.  Now I am spraying the bubbly in the winner's circle.” – Keith Dormond, PhD in Educational Studies

 

“Graduating from the Ph.D. programme is a celebration of the fact that I had the opportunity to take on an exciting and unique journey to learn and grow.” – Alireza Shafaei, PhD in Computer Science

“Graduation is the culmination of years of dedication, hard work, and so many challenges. Reaching graduation has given me confidence that I can reach long-term research goals I have set for myself. I'm also the first to earn a PhD in our family, which makes graduation a very special moment for us.” – Emily Acheson, PhD in Geography

“The culmination of 5.5 years of hard work. Defeating hopelessness, stress, burnout, chaos, intimidation, and procrastination!” – Pooyan Kheirkhah, PhD in Mechanical Engineering

“Reaching graduation is a testimony to the great communities I am part of. I am blessed to be supported and to support others. I wouldn't have made it here without them! Especially my parents - any chance I get I want to honour the ways that they have demonstrated to me love, servanthood, leadership, kindness, diligence.” – Laura Bulk, PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

“Although this graduation marks the end of a very special period, I believe this is also the beginning of a new era where I can use everything I learned at UBC to contribute to the understanding and development of my country Peru. Coming from a small town from the northern coast of Peru where very few have the same opportunities as I did, earning a PhD degree reaffirms my commitment to support international scholars and students, particularly from developing nations, so their voices can be heard and have a broader impact in the world. Finally, my mother Lucrecia did and sacrificed everything so I could access education; hence, this graduation is also a tribute to her effort and immense love.” – Zarai Toledo Orozco, PhD in Political Science

“It means a lot to me. The PhD journey prepared me for facing many kinds of struggles in the future.” – Tsenguun Enkhbaatar, PhD in Economics

“I am grateful to earn a PhD, which means that I successfully reached the highest academic level through years of research and study. This is a special recognition to my scholarly competence, but this is just the beginning toward a life long journey of continuous learning and contributing to the advancement of our society through science and technology.” – Philip Wijaya, PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering

“PhD journey is a very personal and isolating, especially when none of your projects are team projects. Apart from being a researcher, you are your own manager, planner and time-keeper, which is even harder than it sounds. Finally reaching graduation not only is very relieving, but has re-established the self-confidence that had probably been waning towards the end of my PhD.” – Vikas Menghwani, PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies

“PhD graduation is a prominent milestone: end of the decade-long era of academia. It is a sad joyful moment, filled with intertwined senses of achievement with hints of sorrow as you say farewell to your beloved society of scholars, graduate students, and that faculty position you longed for quite some time.

My story resembles that of many cohorts: racing through opportunities year after year, meeting challenges, meeting deadlines, hitting goals… until one day, after what must have felt like a century, you find yourself “there”, right on the target. Suddenly life plateaus. All slows down. You review your life crossings... What could or should you have done differently? Did you enjoy life to its fullest? What did it all mean? Did it all go according to the master plan? Were you happy while pacing? Are you happy today? What does future bring?

Hence, for me, PhD graduation is the beginning of a new era. The era of self-reflection and navigating through life in a slower and steadier pace.” – Amir Abdi, PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering

“I am looking forward to applying the skills I gained during my PhD to fresh challenges.” – Katharine Sedivy-Haley, PhD in Microbiology and Immunology

“It means successfully ending a long and tough journey. The end of this journey is unclear when you are in the middle of it. Many times, you are asking yourself why I am doing this. I love doing research but the stresses that are a part of PhD journey make the research less enjoyable.

So, given all these difficulties graduation means a lot!” – Maryam Mohtajeb, PhD in Biomedical Engineering

“The end of a long cycle of effort and sacrifice. It means my wife and family has been supporting me towards this huge accomplishment.” – Marcelo Mora, PhD in Zoology

“Graduation means a change of focus. Before defending my PhD and making the final revisions to my dissertation, I put all of my energy into just getting done.  That was in December.  Since then, I have had to find new things to focus on, such as my health, family responsibilities, short term job possibilities, and long-term career goals.” – Alice Palmer, PhD in Forestry

“I am proud and truly grateful to be graduating with my doctorate from UBC’s School of Kinesiology. I feel a sense of accomplishment that my research has highlighted the complexities of children’s independent mobility and provided supporting evidence for multi-level and multi-sectoral initiatives aimed at promoting childhood independent mobility. I look forward to the next step of my journey and giving back to the academic community – in terms of research, mentorship, support, and of course, free peer-reviewing!” – Negin Riazi, PhD in Kinesiology

“Reaching graduation will always remain a symbol of growth and hard work for me, no matter how far in the future I look back on it. It's a testament to being able to finish something I start, no matter how daunting.” – Riley Louie, PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

Looking back over the past several years, what will you miss most of your doctoral journey?

“My incredible team. We are a work family. They have made these the best years of my life.” – Shawna Abel, PhD in Experimental Medicine

“Definitely the friends, colleagues, and mentors that I worked with during the PhD portion of my degree. Despite the challenges along the way, doctoral studies were immensely rewarding. Sharing both my successes and failures with colleagues was what made my doctorate so memorable.” – Allen Zhang, MDPhD

“I was very fortunate to have an amazing supervisor! I'll really miss being her student. She will always be a mentor to me, although I am now excited to be her colleague and friend.” – Mariko Sakamoto, PhD in Nursing

“I'll miss having a curated list of which books and articles to read, I'll miss collaborating with other scholars, I'll miss the silence and joy of sitting and spending a whole day writing.” – Jessica Hallenback, PhD in Geography

“The relationship with my PI.” – David Twa, MDPhD

“I will miss being the same person who started his Ph.D. journey with the highest level of simplicity and spontaneity. I will miss the kind people who gave me support when I needed them. – Abdelmalik Aljalai, PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering

“The scientific chit chats I used to have with my colleagues in our lab.” – Mahyad Aghigh, PhD in Chemistry

“Metaphorically speaking.  The running of the race, which was the research phases in terms of talking to professionals throughout Canada and working through that knowledge with my committee.  It was like eating a delicious cake that no one else had made.” – Keith Dormond, PhD in Educational Studies

“What I will miss the most about my doctoral journey is the ability to attend classes outside of my department and learn from world-class researchers at UBC.” – Alireza Shafaei, PhD in Computer Science

“During 2016, when I went on a North America tour (:D) - Waterloo, Kitchener, Toronto, Portland, Seattle, Baltimore, Washington, New York, Boston, and back home to Vancouver.” – Pooyan Kheirkhah, PhD in Mechanical Engineering

“The communities I have been part of. Some of them I will be able to continue with, some not. Being a doctoral student was an incredible privilege!” – Laura Bulk, PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

“I will miss having the opportunity to talk and work on projects with scholars from different faculties. Also, I will miss having an extraordinary library with an amazing view at my disposal to read about all kinds of subjects.” – Zarai Toledo Orozco, PhD in Political Science

“I will miss the perseverance and never-give-up mentality needed. Finishing PhD is like running a marathon in some sense.” – Tsenguun Enkhbaatar, PhD in Economics

“I will miss my interactions with all my supervisors, through which we had a fruitful discussion and collaboration, resulting in three publications in a four year of study.” – Philip Wijaya, PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering

“I'll miss the everyday hustles, yet I don't miss it a bit! That's the beauty of nostalgia for a time well invested despite its challenges.” – Amir Abdi, PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering

“The UBC graduate student community - my colleagues in the lab, in the Graduate Student Society, and elsewhere on campus.” – Katharine Sedivy-Haley, PhD in Microbiology and Immunology

“I will really miss the camaraderie.  As grad students, sharing similar joys and struggles, we all supported one another.” – Alice Palmer, PhD in Forestry

“The doctoral journey has been a unique, challenging, and rewarding experience – one that I will not soon forget. What I will miss the most is the incredible support system at UBC in the School of Kinesiology. First and foremost, I will miss the Pop-PA Lab, my home for the past five years. I was fortunate to have an incredible and supportive supervisor and truly fantastic lab mates. Second, I will miss my mentors and colleagues at UBC who have been so generous with their time and their willingness to give advice and collaborate on projects. I will miss the other KIN grad students who made the ‘trials and tribulations’ of graduate school a shared experience; and who provided laughs, relief, advice, and camaraderie. And finally, I will miss the hardworking individuals in the School of KIN main office and Undergraduate Advising office who supported me during my time in the Kinesiology program.” – Negin Riazi, PhD in Kinesiology

“I will miss the easily accessible mentorship from colleagues, senior trainees, and principal investigators in one lab! And also, the flexible nature of being a graduate student will be missed as well.” – Riley Louie, PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

You are graduating in a difficult time. What gives you comfort or hope looking into the future?

“Amazing scientists, like the ones graduating this year, will continue to find solutions to the world's biggest problems.” – Shawna Abel, PhD in Experimental Medicine

“Seeing science drive such rapid innovation. Some incredible scientific advances have been made locally during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond that, the capacity for young scientists to drive change in the world is something I see in my colleagues every day through the ways they advocate for others.” – Allen Zhang, MDPhD

“I am heartened by the way we have all tried our best to adapt and find new ways to connect, work and live our lives during the pandemic. I am hopeful that some of the changes that the pandemic has forced to happen, will continue on afterwards - like people being able to work from home if that works well for them.” – Mariko Sakamoto, PhD in Nursing

“I got sick over the course of my degree and the support of my family and PI helped me through this. In this way, I have confidence knowing that I will be able to overcome obstacles in the future, in spite of my environment.” – David Twa, MDPhD

“My self-confidence and belief in the guidance of my God who was with me all of the difficult times. One of the bright lessons I have learned a new life gets birth and starts upon labor pains.” – Abdelmalik Aljalai, PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering

“The fact that I don't know what's waiting for me in the future is my motivation to look forward to the next days! I believe "easy" and "difficult" are simply our interpretation of what's happening around us! The life is what it is; let's just experience it and enjoy this journey with all its "ups" and "downs". This school of thought is what always gives me hope looking into the future.” – Mahyad Aghigh, PhD in Chemistry

“I am comforted by a sense of humanity that remains under all our different values, beliefs, and knowledge.   We saw this happen with the murder of George Floyd.  For one of the first times in history, we saw a sense of humanity shine through and police officers and citizens of all races and religions internationally join together in denouncing this crime.  I am hopeful that we will continue to come together to condemn and fight racial, religious, sexual injustice and other forms of oppression.   “– Keith Dormond, PhD in Educational Studies

“Life has been fun in school. Looking into the future, I'm excited about everything else life has to offer.” – Alireza Shafaei, PhD in Computer Science

 

“That Canada is going to be my home! That we are going to defeat COVID! That we are going to defeat racism! That we are going to defeat global warming! That we live in peace and harmony on Earth!” – Pooyan Kheirkhah, PhD in Mechanical Engineering

“I think that we have learned a lot during this time, and I have hope that we might not forget these lessons. In some ways, access and inclusion have increased for many folks during these times.” – Laura Bulk, PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

“During the last years of my PhD I have worked at UBC teaching. This job gave me a chance to interact daily with students and see how they approached the current context. It was also an opportunity to support each other regardless of where we were and be thankful for being able to continue studying. Seeing students' strength and drive despite the adversity has convinced me that humans have the capacity to achieve whatever they aim if they understand each other not as individuals but as a community where we look after the other. This gives me hope.” – Zarai Toledo Orozco, PhD in Political Science

“Humanity always faced difficult times like this, but somehow always managed to survive and go further. I think this pandemic prepared us for the future and humanity will keep prospering in my opinion.” – Tsenguun Enkhbaatar, PhD in Economics

“I trust that, while we are patient and keep doing our best, all things work together for our good. As long as we are alive, there is always hope for the brighter future.” – Philip Wijaya, PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering

“With the luxury of a roof above your head, access to hot/cold water, energy, food, and healthcare, calling it “difficult times” is an over-kill. The "difficulties" in life are all relative. It is relatively a challenging time for all of us, in and outside of the developed world; yet, compared to a single day life of a Palestinian living under occupation of an apartheid regime, the pandemic is nothing to worry about.” – Amir Abdi, PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering

“I hope politicians and organizations that are responsible for allocating budget in a country or society have learnt a lesson from this pandemic. I hope they learnt that science and research are so essential and the only way of rescuing/saving human kinds.  I hope they allocate more money to the research compare to the budget that they allocate to other things such as military and fuelling the war instead of peace and to save planet and all the species living in it.” – Maryam Mohtajeb, PhD in Biomedical Engineering

“This is not the first time I have been out of work in a recession.  I survived it the last time (2009), and I'll survive it this time.

My own experiences with cyclical layoffs have motivated me to study cyclicality as a factor influencing corporate turnaround strategies.  It is a topic largely ignored by the extant business management literature, so I hope to make it part of my life's work. 

I'll get there eventually.  One step at a time.” – Alice Palmer, PhD in Forestry

“These unprecedented times have been challenging to say the least: long-distances from family and friends, absence of that social support, and adjustment to life in a pandemic. COVID has taught us that life can change quickly, and not always for the better. But, it’s also taught us a lot of lessons: the importance of resiliency, flexibility, family/friends, and communities that support and value independent mobility and time outdoors. It’s one step in front of the other until we move forward and past the difficult times.” – Negin Riazi, PhD in Kinesiology

“The doctorate reminds me that dedication and perseverance are skills that I can rely on, even in difficult times. I am excited to explore and seek out opportunities that interest me, and I think that mindset is important regardless of external circumstances.” – Riley Louie, PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it. Pre-filtered lists of citations exist in each graduate degree program and Faculty profile.
Citation Program Faculty
Dr. Tran developed a simple, rapid, and inexpensive method for visualizing cancer cells that were labeled with various ultrabright fluorescent particles on a 3-D printed, smartphone-based imaging platform. His research demonstrates potential for applications in point-of-care diagnostic testing and personalized medicine. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD) Faculty of Science
Dr. Tran studied the microscopic assembly of cellulose nanocrystals derived from sustainable sources. He produced colourful materials ranging from thin films to stretchable elastomers for applications including optical sensors and filters. His findings contribute to the search for and development of sustainable and renewable alternative materials. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD) Faculty of Science
Dr. Twa characterized the pathobiology and sequelae, or consequences, of chromosomal rearrangements in lymphoid neoplasia, which arise from cancerous lymphoid cells. Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MDPhD) Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Vashishta demonstrated the trapping of polyatomic free radicals using solenoid coils and permanent magnets. This work showed for the first time the possibility of trapping polyatomic radicals, which can now be used to enhance our understanding of fundamental processes. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD) Faculty of Science
Dr. Verhaven studied the surface of DNA biosensors. She examined the relationship between applied electrical voltage and DNA melting. Her findings could contribute to the improved fabrication of future biosensors. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD) Faculty of Science
Dr. Wamer studied novel forms of quantum magnetism that correspond to physical systems with a larger number of symmetries. He classified the phases of matter of these systems and deepened our understanding of a large family of theoretical models, whose applicability spans from material science to mathematical physics. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD) Faculty of Science
Dr. Wang examined the security and privacy issues of artificial intelligence, or AI, for digital media. He studied four typical AI models from three dominant computer vision tasks, and designed novel algorithms to expose their threats individually. The findings provide insights for developing more secure and trustworthy artificial intelligence. Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering (PhD) Faculty of Applied Science
Dr. Wang studied mathematical solutions of nonlinear differential equations that model chiral magnetic skyrmions. She provided a rigorous mathematical proof of the existence of skyrmions within the co-rotational symmetric class, and also examined their spectral and dynamical stability. This research contributes to the mathematics of chiral magnetism. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD) Faculty of Science
Dr. Wang studied the technology of high pressure grinding rolls for improved energy efficiency in the mining industry. He developed models for sizing, circuit design and process simulation of this technology. His findings promote this technology and enable its evaluation with greater confidence and significantly lower sample and testing requirements. Doctor of Philosophy in Mining Engineering (PhD) Faculty of Applied Science
Dr. Wiebe studied whether China's economic growth can be explained by meritocratic promotion, where leaders with higher GDP growth are rewarded with promotion. Focusing on prefecture leaders, he found no evidence for meritocracy, and found that the evidence from the literature is not robust. This research improves our understanding of modern China. Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (PhD) Faculty of Arts
Dr. Wijaya studied a novel and mild approach for synthesis of industrially valuable chemicals from woody biomass using water and electricity. High conversion and efficiency can be obtained using an electrochemical reactor with stirred catalyst slurry. This research advances the impact of electrocatalysis on clean and sustainable energy production. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical and Biological Engineering (PhD) Faculty of Applied Science
Dr. Wong explored inquiry-based learning experiences of Grade 6 English Language Learners in a technology-enhanced classroom. Her results indicated that students were engaged in innovative learning tasks which encouraged them to move their competencies, such as effective internet use, and knowledge, such as grandparent stories, into the classroom. Doctor of Philosophy in Teaching English as a Second Language (PhD) Faculty of Education
Dr. Wong studied the maximum possible number of certain mathematical objects when specific restrictions are imposed. Her investigation assists the community in understanding a number of important mathematical problems in extremal combinatorics, a field of study focused on the limits of finite objects. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD) Faculty of Science
Dr. Wong studied the molecular interactions involved in the function of CIC, a gene important for suppressing cancer development and progression. He discovered a mechanism that cancers utilize to destabilize CIC, findings of which have implications for drug development and improving treatment options for patients. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD) Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Woodard developed two automated systems for assessing the behaviour of laboratory mice within their home-cage, allowing these animals to be tested in a high-throughput and low-stress manner. These systems were used to study mice carrying the genetic mutation that causes Huntington's disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD) Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Yaghmaiean uncovered a novel group of proteins called receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases, which function downstream of other proteins and have redundant functions of transducing immune signals in the model plant Arabidopsis. These results provide new insights on such proteins as common transducers in different plant immune signalling events. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD) Faculty of Science
Dr. Yang developed recommender systems to unveil binding preferences of experimentally unexplored RNA-binding proteins. He utilized cutting-edge deep learning techniques in the systems to improve the understanding of such proteins and to provide new opportunities to investigate the complex post-transcriptional regulations. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD) Faculty of Science
Dr. Yang researched fractals and decoupling in Euclidean harmonic analysis. Dr. Yang studied the size and geometric figures contained in fractals, or geometric objects possessing some self-similarity but highly rugged and oscillatory in nature. The decomposition of waves and their size properties in the physical space were studied using decoupling. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD) Faculty of Science
Dr. Yang studied a special four-stranded nucleic acid structure, called the G-quadruplex, through developing new tools and methods. His collection of works provide evidence for the biological relevance and existence of these structures in living human cells. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD) Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dr. Yang studied how bacterial enzymes have evolved the ability to degrade novel man-made pesticides. She identified the key mutations responsible for the acquirement of the new function, and uncovered how these mutations change protein structure and function. Her research contributes to our understanding of protein evolution. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD) Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Yanko created and investigated a novel approach for assessing arts learning experiences. He discovered how the arts can enable educators to illuminate the values and judgments of student creativity, imagination, and meaning-making. Findings show this practice to be inclusive, democratic, and tangible for all learners in a classroom community. Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum Studies (PhD) Faculty of Education
Dr. Ye studied the genetic architecture of strabismus, more commonly known as crossed eyes. She identified the likely causal gene in a large family with a history of strabismus, multiple biological pathways, and the involvement of the central nervous system. This research advanced the understanding of strabismus pathology and may improve patient care. Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MDPhD) Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Zaback studied how emotional factors influence balance control. He demonstrated that while there are many changes to balance control when individuals stand in dangerous situations, only some of these depend on the level of fear experienced. His findings may assist in the development of therapies to minimize fall-risk. Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology (PhD) Faculty of Education
Dr. Zhan studied the impact of genome doubling on the evolution of organisms. He found that genome doubling frequently coincides with the formation of new species but does not necessarily improve the evolutionary success of eukaryotic organisms. His work has helped to understand the role of genome doubling in shaping the biodiversity on Earth. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD) Faculty of Science
Dr. Zhang coined the Integrated Respiratory Assessment Paradigm for accurate, precise, repeatable and comprehensive respiratory phenotype characterization for individual fish. This high throughput method allows biologists to develop and integrate a metabolic model with a genomic-physiology-ecology axis, leading to a better understanding of evolution. Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Animal Biology (PhD) Faculty of Land and Food Systems

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