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Virtual Postdoc Halloween Social

This year we are gathering virtually for a spooktacular evening full of scary (and fun!) surprises. Meet new postdocs in a spooky setting and show off your best Halloween Zoom background. Share your spookiest story and join in on some Halloween online group games. There will also be a costume contest with prizes for the winners!

This is an inclusive event, so friends/roommates/partners/pets/Halloween-loving kids/… are welcome!

Costumes are encouraged but not required to attend.

Register Here!

PDA Covid-19 Survey

Dear UBC Postdoc Community,

In order to identify and resolve any COVID19 response-associated issues you might be currently facing, the UBC Postdoc Association (PDA) would like to assess the impact of the state of emergency on UBC’s postdoc community.

Therefore, we have prepared an anonymous survey inquiring about the impact of the lock-down and research curtailments on UBC postdoc’s health, safety, work and research, immigration status, career paths, and financial situation.

Please take 5 to 10 minutes to give us your feedback and help us to identify situations that need immediate attention (University-wide or Department-specific), which we can then actively follow up on and present to the responsible authorities. If you are especially satisfied with how UBC or your Department responded to the pandemic, you can also take this opportunity to highlight what you appreciated.

Please follow this link to the (mobile-friendly!) survey and feel free to pass it on to other UBC- and affiliated postdocs:

https://bit.ly/ubcpda-covid-survey

Parts of the anonymous data collected in this survey will be incorporated in the national CAPS survey report on the COVID19 pandemic impacts on postdoc’s, which will provide the basis of national science policy discussions and negotiations (https://sciencepolicy.ca/news/limiting-negative-impact-covid-19-pandemic-canadian-postdoctoral-scholars).

Thank you for your cooperation!

Your UBC PDA team

COVID-19: A message from the UBC PDA

COVID-19: A message from the UBC PDA

Dear fellow postdocs,

Considering the circumstances, the UBC PDA has made the decision not to host any in-person gathering in the near future. We have cancelled our upcoming ski trip and will not be planning any socials and events until the COVID-19 situation has resolved in an effort to help to #flattenthecurve.

We are currently making plans on how to serve and strengthen the postdoc community during this time of isolation. Please stay tuned for updates. We are looking forward to welcoming you to online get-togethers!

We are aware that a lot of you will be dealing with different problems, such as ramping down research, finding a routine while working from home, travel bans – and being worried about your own health as well as about friends and family in Canada and abroad.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you are struggling – or if you just need someone to talk to. Supporting each other in this difficult time is the least we can do. Stay safe and healthy and take care of yourself and others!

 

Yours sincerely,

UBC Postdoctoral Association

 

We would like to share the following resources with you:

Regulations at UBC:

For the latest updates please visit https://covid19.ubc.ca

For those of you working in labs, all research activities have been curtailed until April 15th. Talk to your supervisor and department head about applying for an exemption to continue critical research and to maintain critical reagents/animal husbandry – but ONLY when absolutely necessary. For those of you who still have to come to campus, there’s free parking available. Stay safe!

 

COVID-19 update from the Postdoctoral Fellows Office:

https://www.postdocs.ubc.ca/covid-19

 

General information about COVID-19:

Latest information about COVID-19 in the World and in Canada

Stay informed, but please check the mental health resources below, as it is very easy to get overwhelmed by the news about the outbreak.

 

Getting involved as volunteer:

  • UBC Faculty of Medicine Educational Technology is urgently looking for volunteers to help translate informational videos about COVID-19 to as many languages as possible. More information on Twitter and Youtube.
  • Crowdfight Covid19 is looking for volunteers who assist in various (mostly administrative) tasks to fight against COVID-19. Scientists from all areas of research welcome. It takes one minute to sign up and you decide about your level of commitment. For questions contact crowdfightcovid19+contact@gmail.com.

 

Travel bans and advisories:

 

Funding insecurities:

 

Information regarding immigration:

  • Special regulations from the Canadian government for immigrants affected by COVID-19
  • If you have any questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 on your current application for a work permit/PR, reach out to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) via the contact form in your online application portal. They get back to you within a week.

 

Managing Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Outbreak:

Amidst the current outbreak of COVID-19, you may be developing feelings of fear, stress, worry and isolation – these feelings are natural when facing threats that are beyond our control. Everyone reacts differently to these feelings and they can be overwhelming for some. It is important to understand that if you need help in coping with these feelings, there are resources available. Below are articles and resources that will guide you in managing your mental health.

 

Fun activities from home:

Other resources available online or on the phone to support your mental health

 

UBC Counselling Services Counselling Services will be offering appointments by phone during the COVID-19 outbreak: 604 822 3811

  • MindhealthBC – Take a quick online assessment on your mental health and get resources for a variety of related concerns.
  • Here to Help – help you find quality information, learn new skills, and connect with key resources in BC
  • HealthlinkBC – If you still have questions call 811 to speak with a registered nurse, or access online resources for health-related questions.
  • CrisiscentreBC – If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or at risk of harm, call or chat online with a crisis responder any time
  • TAO – Manage your well-being with tools on stress, relationship problems, substance use, and more. Register with a UBC email.

Webinar: Professional Development and Career Planning – Getting You Back in the Driver’s Seat

This is a joint event by us and the SFU PDA.

When? Feb 25, 11:30 am – 1 pm

Where? This webinar will be broadcast at

MSL (Michael Smith Laboratories) Room 237
(https://tinyurl.com/MSLRoom237)

Register now to secure your spot!

Light snacks will be provided!

Topics of the webinar include

  • Developing self awareness (Skills and personality assessment)
  • Personal branding
  • Getting out there (Online presence, networking)

The webinar is facilitated by Justine Salam. Justine is a Professional Skills Program Specialist at the University of Waterloo where she guides graduate students to assess their skills, identify their talents and interests, and succeed in their post-graduate work transition, both in academic and non-academic careers. She also coaches students one-on-one to better their resumes, CVs, cover letters and enhance their interview skills.

Justine Salam

 

Canadian National Postdoc Survey

Have your say in the fourth edition of the Canadian National Postdoctoral Scholars Survey!
The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS) invites all current and former Canadian postdocs, including international postdocs working in Canada and Canadian postdocs working abroad, to complete the fourth edition of the Canadian National Postdoctoral Scholars Survey. It is the largest and most comprehensive assessment of Canadian postdocs in all fields of study, and its findings are used by funders, universities, and others.

The survey covers a wide range of topics, including demographics, salary and benefits, training needs, and career goals of current or former Canadian postdocs. In addition to collecting valuable longitudinal data, this edition of the survey tackles issues such as discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and working remotely.

Please complete the survey by 14 February, 2020.
The results of the survey will be published later this year.

Postdoc Research Day 2019

Postdoc Research Day on Monday, December 2nd

sponsored by STEMCELL Technologies

Our biggest event of the year is coming up! Postdoc Research Day is a full day of interdisciplinary talks by postdocs at UBC in a fantastic venue at a large capacity.

Register here: https://bit.ly/2MXleOJ

Everyone is welcome to attend, but only UBC affiliated postdocs can present.

Abstract submission has closed now, but we are still accepting registrations until Nov 30 at noon!

Find the abstract book here: https://bit.ly/35JGb6e

Where? Pharmaceutical Sciences Building, UBC Campus

When? Monday, December 2nd

Research Day: 9 am – 5.30 pm

Evening reception from 5:30 pm onwards (networking + dinner)

This year’s speaker line-up is showcasing the diversity of research by postdocs at UBC!

08:30 – 09:00 Registration (Atrium)

09:00-09:15 Welcome & Introduction, Dr. Daniel Anstett, President UBC PDA  (Lecture Theatre)

09:15 – 10:30 Research Session 1 (Lecture Theatre)

Full talks: 

09:15-09:30 Dr. Victoria Hemming, Forestry
Who to trust? How to derive improved quantitative judgements from experts for models and decisions

09:30-09:45 Dr. Rohan Abraham, BC Cancer Research Centre
Machine Learning CADx process for classification of sub-cm Lung nodules in the PanCan study

09:45-10:00 Dr. Jesse Chao, Cell & Physiological Sciences
A premalignant cell-based model for functionalization and classification of PTEN variants

Lightning Talks:

10:00-10:05 Dr. Marita Rodriguez, Engineering
3D Bioprinted human cardiac tissues for toxicity screening applications

10:05-10:10 Dr. Doris Chow, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Eyes as a window to global motion perception: A validation of an oculomotor tracking task to assess motion sensitivity in depth

10:10-10:15 Dr. Angelica Araujo de Melo Maia, Education
What does it take to be (come) an inclusive teacher?

10:15-10:20 Dr. Kiran Pawar, Department of Medicine, ICORD
Non-invasive chronic spinal stimulation as multi-session therapy to improve cardiovascular function after spinal cord injury

10:20-10:25 Dr. Dustin Heeney, Food Science
The green wave of medicine: Exploring the anti-inflammatory potential of Canadian hemp to treat irritable bowel disease

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break (Atrium)

11:00-12:15 Research Session 2 (Lecture Theatre)

Full talks:

11:00-11:15 Dr. Antonin Machac, Biodiversity
Diversity dynamics across scales

11:15-11:30 Dr. Omid Haji-Ghassemi, Biochemistry
Modification of heart channel proteins via stress signalling

11:30-11:45 Dr. Peifan Wu, Vancouver School of Economics
Firm demographics and the Great Recession

Lightning talks:

11:45-11:50 Dr. Chelsea Little, Zoology
Animals link ecosystems through resource movement

11:50-11:55 Dr. Christina Gray, Architecture
Architectural clients in the era of consumer empowerment

11:55-12:00 Dr. Sarah Grasedieck, Michael Smith Laboratories
Vitamin C-induced epigenomic remodelling as a preventive therapy for leukemic transformation

12:00-12:05 Dr. Lisanne de Vries, Wood Science
Plants are alternative for fossil fuels

12:05-12:10 Dr. Jon Breen, Occupational Science & Therapy
Measuring workplace attitude towards disabled employees

12:15-13:30 Lunch (Atrium)

12:45-13:30 Townhall (Lecture Theatre)

13:30-14:15 Research Session 3 (Lecture Theatre)

13:30-13:45 Dr. Elvin Ong, Public policy & Global affairs
Is it worth it? Building opposition alliances in electoral autocracies

13:45-14:00 Dr. Rohan Khadilkar, Cell & Physiological Sciences
Stem cell-niche interactions regulate signalling micro environment and innate immune response in Drosophila

14:00-14:15 Dr. Emanuel Serban, Engineering
New solar power conservation architecture for renewable energy systems

14:15-14:30 Short break

14:30-15:30 Keynote Lecture by Dr. Josef Penninger, From haploid stem cells to blood vessel engineering (Lecture Theatre)

15:30-16:00 Coffee Break (Atrium)

16:00-17:15 Postdoc Careers Panel Discussion (Lecture Theatre)

17:15-17:30 Prizes & Wrap-up (Lecture Theatre), Dr. Daniel Anstett, President UBC PDA

17:30 onwards Evening Reception Drinks & light supper

 

In addition to the interdisciplinary talks by postdocs, there will be a keynote lecture by Dr. Josef Penninger about his research “From Haploid stem cells to blood vessel engineering” and about experience in academia and industry and his path to becoming the director of the Life Sciences Institute at UBC.

Josef Martin Penninger, born in Gurten, Austria, is an Austrian geneticist and the Canada 150 Research Chair in Functional Genetics. Dr. Penninger is currently the Director of the Life Sciences Institute (LSI) at the University of British Columbia. He studied medicine at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. From 1990 to 1994 he worked as post-doctoral fellow at the Ontario Cancer Institute, thereafter until 2002 at the Department of Immunology and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. As Principal Investigator of Amgen, his independent lab contributed to the development of the antibody Denosumab for bone loss and also found the first connection for RANKL to mammary gland development in pregnancy and breast cancer. In 2002, he moved to Vienna, Austria to start and develop the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, which is now the largest and most successful institute of the Academy based on high impact publications and the number of European Research Council grants received. 

Dr. Penninger envisions to recreate this environment at the LSI to nurture and train the best and brightest young minds of UBC scholars. His major accomplishments include pioneering insights into the molecular basis of osteoporosis, breast cancer and metastasis, and he has published extensively in several multidisciplinary scientific journals, with over 60 publications in Cell, Nature, and Science. He has received numerous awards including the Wittgenstein Prize of the Austrian Federal Government. the Descartes Prize for Research, the Ernst Jung Prize for Medical Excellence, the Innovator Award of the US Department of Defense, and most recently the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art First Class. 

During lunch, we will hold our first ever Postdoc Townhall Meeting

The UBC PDA wants to hear from you! As the independent organization working to represent all UBC postdoctoral fellows and advocate on their behalf, the PDA would love to hear about your life postdoc-ing! Should we have more coffee parties or pub crawls? Are you satisfied with your professional development opportunities? How about that extended benefits package? Come chat with the PDA exec team and help us prepare an advocacy agenda that represents you!

An industry focused career panel in the afternoon will feature representatives from local companies that are employing PhDs (to be announced). This year’s line-up for the career panel includes:

Dr. Theresa Grieco, STEMCELL technologies 

Dr. Ellen Schelew, Lumerical Inc.

Dr. Conny Lin, College of Pharmacists BC

Dr. Friderike Moon, Science World

Dr. Stefanie Vogt, AbCellera

Dr. Sherry Wang, Genome Sciences Centre

 

We are looking forward to seeing you at Postdoc Research Day 2019!

Registration: https://bit.ly/2MXleOJ

 

 

Mount Strachan Hike and Dinner on August 24th

 

(Photo: Vancouvertrails.com)

Get your hiking boots ready, because we are planning to hike Mount Strachan on August 24th, followed by dinner.

What? Mount Strachan Hike
When? Aug 24th, 9 am
Where? Cypress Mountain Ski Resort parking lot

We are meeting at the Cypress Mountain Ski Resort parking lot at 9 am. Registration is required so that we can organise carpooling.
This will be a joint event co-hosted by us and the SFU PDA.

You can find more information about the trail here.
It’s a 10.5km loop with 550 m elevation gain that’s rated as intermediate.
Mount Strachan is one of the three mountains in the Cypress Mountain Ski Resort area and the challenging terrain on the hike  is rewarded on a clear day with views of Howe Sound and backcountry mountains as far north as Garibaldi Provincial Park. Another point of interest along the trail is the historical crash site of a Royal Canadian Navy T-33 Jet where several pieces of the aircraft still rest today.

What to bring:

After this strenuous day, you are more than welcome to join us for dinner. Also feel free to come just for dinner if hiking isn’t your thing or you aren’t able to join for the first part of the day due to time or physical limitations. Dinner will be be tentatively set for StormCrow on Commercial Drive at 6 pm, but there’s a slight chance the venue might change – we will keep you posted. The first round of appetizers is on us!

What? Dinner – for hikers and non-hikers 🙂
When? Aug 24th, 6 pm
Where? StormCrow on Commercial Drive (we will let you know in case this changes)

If you want to join for the hike, dinner or both, please
Register HERE: https://bit.ly/2MNvMQM

The registration is necessary so that we can organise car pooling and can estimate how many people will join for dinner.

The hike will be weather permitting and we will contact all participants via e-mail a day before the hike to confirm.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions!

Welcome to the new PDA executive team 2019-2020

Spring has finally arrived in Vancouver – and the new PDA executive team 2019-2020 has taken over. Meet the new officers who were elected at the AGM on March 11th:

  • President: Daniel Anstett, Department of Botany
  • Vice President Operations: Mriga Das, Department of Zoology
  • Vice President External: Helen Neuert, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences
  • Vice President Communications: Yanina-Yasmin Pesch, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences
  • Vice President Finances: Deborah Jehu, Physical Therapy
  • Vice President Social: Ryan Sweeney, Chemistry

The new PDA executive team is looking forward to planning a lot of events including events highlighting the awesome research by postdocs at UBC, professional development events, and – of course! – fun socials. We want to help everyone make the best of their postdoc experience at UBC.

We are looking back to a very productive year 2018-2019 in which the PDA could grow as an organisation. Highlights of the year 2018-2019 include:

We are just about to embark on our Whistler trip. Stay tuned for upcoming PDA news and events! Subscribe to our newsletter and follow the PDA on social media. If you want to get involved in the executive team, please contact us.

Postdoc Research Day 2018 Abstract Book

It’s less than a week till this year’s Postdoc Research Day!

Thank you very much for those who submitted the abstracts. As usual, it was a tough choice for us to select the final competitors from so many excellent submissions across UBC. Here is the abstract book this year, which includes all the participating abstracts (both oral and poster presentations) as well as in-depth details for Keynote Lecture and Career Panel Discussion.

RD2018_Abstract_Book

In order to minimize our carbon footprint, we do not have a physical abstract book. So please feel free to download the Abstract book linked above on your device for quick reference.

In case you have not signed up for our event yet, please go ahead and register here.

Hope to see you on December 3rd!