UBC Grad Students in the news, July 2016

Koerner Library at sunset, credit: Don Erhardt.

UBC graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have been making news this month. Here’s a roundup of some of the facinating research that they are engaged in:

July 27: Discussing the Democratic National Convention

Eric Merkley, PhD candidate in UBC’s department of political science, spoke on Roundhouse Radio about the Democratic National Convention.


July 25: Scientists develop painless and inexpensive microneedle system to monitor drugs

PhD student and Vanier scholar Sahan Ranamukhaarachchi has worked on a painless microneedle drug monitoring system along with researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) in Switzerland. This system could one day replace expensive and painful blood draws.


July 23: 'Disordered eating' rates troubling among young lesbians, bisexuals, gays: study

A new study, featured in the Vancouver Sun, shows that gay, lesbian and bisexual youth continue to purge, fast or take diet pills to loose weight, even though the rates of such behaviour are falling for heterosexual youth. Ryan Watson, the study’s lead author and a post doctoral fellow at the UBC school of nursing, says that the healthy eating and body-image programs that seem to be working for straight youth haven’t reached gay, lesbian and bisexual youth.


July 18: Hummingbird vision wired to avoid high-speed collisions

New research by Roslyn Dakin, a postdoctoral fellow in UBC’s department of zoology, is shedding light on how hummingbirds process visual information. Hummingbirds fly at speeds over 50 kilometres per hour and can stop on a dime. Their unique ways of processing visual information may be a key to their aerial acrobatics.


July 18: Are NYC rats disease ‘sponges’? Scientists want to track them to find out

Kaylee Byers and Michael Lee, UBC graduate students who study rats and public health, were interviewed for a PBS story. They explain that, “Effectively, rats can act as sponges, picking up microbes in the environment … though the role of rats in transmitting these microbes back to people is uncertain.”


July 15: UBC study looks at ways to support wild bees in Delta

A UBC research study is creating a lot of buzz within the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust's Hedgerow Stewardship Program.

Martina Clausen, a PhD student in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, leads a team of volunteers in investigating the wild bee species that live in Delta's farmlands and which habitat best supports bees.


July 15: UBC researchers invent a synthetic “glue” for blood clots

Christian Kastrup, an assistant professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, and graduate student Karen Chan have created a synthetic version of fibrin, a natural protein in our blood that helps wounds clot. The new polymer that they have created could help “glue” blood clots together, helping to stop bleeding and pull internal wounds together.

July 14: Half of patients with depression are inadequately treated

According to new UBC research, about 50 per cent of British Columbians with depression do not receive even the most basic level of care.

“In a country with a publicly-funded health care system, many people have untreated depression or do not get adequate care,” said Joseph Puyat, a PhD candidate in UBC’s school of population and public health. “Our findings highlight the need to keep the conversation going about how to close the gap in treating mental illness.”


July 13: Reducing racial bias possible in older children, finds UBC study

A new University of British Columbia study has found that it is possible to reduce racial prejudice in older kids, counteracting the racial biases that children can form from an early age.

“Institutional and systematic forms of racism continue to be a pressing social issue, especially with the recent high-profile police shootings of African-Americans,” said Antonya Gonzalez, the study’s lead author and a graduate student at UBC’s department of psychology. “This study suggests that if we want to start having a conversation about reducing implicit racial bias in adults, we need to intervene in the minds of children when prejudice first starts to take root.”


July 12: Vancouver airport introduces free yoga Fridays

The Vancouver International Airport is offering a space for passengers to practice self-guided yoga before boarding, thanks to Carleigh Oude-Reimerink, who researched the idea as part of her master's degree in planning at UBC.


June 29: EdD Alumna Amea Wilber featured in video

Here's a great video about master's and EdD alumna Amea Wilber: ow.ly/ihUm302dfJM

Did we miss anything?

Did we miss a great story about UBC graduate students or postdoctoral fellows in the news? Let us know! Email Melinda Johnston at Melinda.johnston@ubc.ca with the link, or tweet to us @UBCGradSchool.

Wednesday, 03 August 2016