Community News June 2023

Research shows e-bikes help reduce greenhouse gases, congestion

Researchers at UBC’s Active Transportation Lab (REACT) are studying a pilot e-bike rebate program launched by the District of Saanich in the Greater Victoria area in 2021. The program provided 380 Saanich residents incentives to purchase e-bikes in three income tiers, with $1,600 available for the lowest income.

Although all of the results are not in, interim findings show there is a public benefit, which is consistent with the existing research on e-bike adoption.

“It basically says there is a positive net impact on GHG reduction, on congestion and also helps physical activity,” said Amir Hassanpour, a PhD student in transportation engineering at UBC and a research assistant at REACT. 

Read more from the Vancouver Sun article


A safer way to stop blood clots from forming may be on the horizon

Safer and more effective blood thinners could be on the way following a groundbreaking discovery by researchers at UBC and the University of Michigan, published in Nature Communications.

By combining their expertise in blood clotting systems and chemical synthesis, the researchers have designed a new compound called MPI 8 that offers the potential to prevent blood clots without any increased risk of bleeding—a common side effect of existing blood thinners.

“The new drug shows promise as a safer and more effective option for patients, but the design platform we used to create MPI 8 is flexible, potentially allowing for the development of additional compounds with similar properties and efficacy,” said Dr. Chanel La, who worked on the project as a chemistry PhD student in the Kizhakkedathu lab. “Assuming our work continues to produce positive results, I would be very excited to get MPI 8 into an approved clinical trial and bring this drug closer to becoming a reality for patients in need.”

Read more


Unlocking the potential of peer support to improve men’s mental health

Approximately one of every five men in Canada will experience a mental health challenge this year. Many will avoid or delay seeking support, which can lead to devastating results.

Dr. Paul Sharp, a postdoctoral fellow with UBC’s Men’s Health Research Program and member of the Reducing Male Suicide Research Cluster, would like to help men find ways to tackle their mental health challenges through social connections.

Working with Dr. John Oliffe, Dr. Sharp is leading a SSHRC-funded study that will explore ways peer support can impact men’s mental health. The study will take place over the next two years and is currently recruiting participants.

UBC News spoke with Dr. Sharp about the study.