All posts by Andy

2nd Annual Postdoc Research Day, Friday September 14 at the Life Sciences Centre

Thanks to everyone who submitted an abstract. Unfortunately we have limited time on the day, so we’ve had to select eight talks, chosen to give a feeling of the exciting and broad research at UBC. We will also have a number of posters at the reception at 4pm; we still have space, so even if you have not registered for a poster, feel free to bring one along.

1.00pm – John Whitlock, Oral Health Sciences “Rapid tooth replacement in sauropod dinosaurs: applying molecular biology to questions in palaeontology”

1.20pm – Marjorie Gonzalez, Physics and Astronomy/Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre “Novel Analysis Method for Positron Emission Tomography: Applications to Parkinson’s Disease”

1.40pm – Nina Maeshima, Microbiology and Immunology. “Identifying regions of human TLR4 important for recognition of Bordetella pertussis lipid A”

2.00pm – Wendy Adams, Psychiatry/Psychology “Chronic lithium treatment reduces motor impulsivity in rats: Potential role of cytokines” Coffee

2.40pm Ariane Noel de Tilly, Art History, Visual Art & Theory “On the Early Exhibitions of Video Art in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom: Different attempts to disseminate a new medium”

3.00pm – Wei Wei, Medical Genetics “Genome-wide microRNA and mRNA profiling in mouse liver development implicates mir302b and mir20a in repressing TGFbeta signaling”

3.20pm – Junaed Sattar, Computer Science “From the deep seas to our homes – towards a seamless interface for human-machine interaction.”

3.40pm – Michael Yuchi, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology” “Disease Mutations in the Ryanodine Receptor Central Region: Crystal Structures of a Phosphorylation Hot Spot Domain”

4pm – Posters, Wine, Cheese.

PDA election next week

Whether on vacation or working hard over the last several weeks, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and new year!

Nominations for the 2011 PDA executive officer positions are still open and will remain so until Monday – if you are interested in running for a position (or in simply joining the executive committee), please send an email to You can nominate yourself, or anyone you feel would do a good job!

By being involved with the PDA-exec, you can help make positive things happen in the postdoc community, and it’s also a great experience to have in your CV. All the positions are described in more detail in our constitution, which you can read by clicking on the “Constitution” tab near the top of the page.

Throughout next week (January 10th-14th) we’ll circulate a ballot and hold the election by online poll, so keep an eye out for that and please take the time to vote! New officers will begin their term on February 1st, and most of the existing officers will continue to be involved throughout the year to ensure a smooth transition. Here’s looking forward to an exciting 2011 –

All the best,

Open call for Reseach Week speakers

Research Week 2011 is coming up in early March, and the PDA is looking for UBC postdocs to present their amazing work!

The PDA would like to showcase the quality and diversity of postdoc research at UBC, and will be putting together a 2-hour seminar session during Research Week 2011, to be held March 4-11th (the specific time and day that week to be determined). This session will likely consist of five or six 15-minute talks from a wide variety of disciplines, and will be a great opportunity to present your work to the UBC community at large. We are also hoping to run a concurrent session at CFRI to highlight clinical work being done by postdocs off-campus.

If you are interested in participating, please send an email to by Friday December 17th. Please include a brief description of your project and any other information that you feel would be useful. The PDA executive will selecting the final group and submitting the list to the VP Research office on Dec 23rd.

Let’s show the world that the really outstanding research is done by postdocs!

PDA constitution and open nominations for officers

Our 2010 Annual General Meeting was a great success – many thanks to everyone who came out and made it possible. The PDA constitution was unanimously voted into being, and is now up on the site under the “constitution” tab. In it, we’ve outlined our mission statement, defined the roles of the PDA officer positions, and laid the framework for future meetings and amendments.

We also began taking nominations for next year’s officer positions – these will be open for the remainder of 2010, so if you are interested in running for a position (or in simply joining the executive committee), please send an email to You can nominate yourself, or anyone you feel would do a good job! Remember, being involved with the PDA-exec isn’t a time-consuming commitment, so think about it… not only is it an opportunity to make good things happen in the postdoc community, it’s also a fantastic experience to have in your CV!

Early next year we’ll compile a ballot with the candidates and a brief statement of intent for each, and hold the election by online poll the week of January 10th-14th. New officers will begin their term on February 1st, and most of the existing officers will continue to be involved throughout the year to ensure a smooth transition.

This has been the culmination of a great year for UBC postdocs, and we’ll head into 2011 stronger than ever. Of course, we certainly could not have done it with out the considerable support we’ve received from the postdoc community – thank you!!!

PDA summer wrap-up

Hi folks – With the new academic year looming, most of us are surely wondering how another summer slipped by so quickly. But time flies when you’re having fun, right? This has been a great year for UBC postdocs, who will be heading into the fall with expanded benefits for fellowship holders and the full support of the recently established Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO) and Work-Life Centre. The PDA has spent this summer working closely with the PDFO to put together some exciting new initiatives for the coming year, including a world-class professional development series, postdoctoral orientation events, and travel awards, just to name a few. We’ve also hosted a number of social gatherings around the city that have given both on- and off-campus postdocs a chance to meet and get to know each other. Of course, summer isn’t over yet! If you haven’t been able to join us, don’t worry – we’re planning new events for the upcoming weeks, including a day hike, a campus lunch, and (maybe) a beach BBQ.

This fall, the PDA will be having its Annual General Meeting, where we’ll ratify our constitution and nominate new executive members. We’ll also be organizing a series of formal networking events at St. John’s College, at which postdocs can present their work, share career advice and nominate guest speakers for future events. These sessions will culminate in a “Postdoc Research Day” to be held early next year, which will feature some nice awards for the best presentations. Altogether, the upcoming year is shaping up to be an amazing one for UBC postdocs. So keep an eye out for details, and be sure to spread the word among the postdoc community – the more of us that get involved, the more we can do to make UBC a great place to postdoc!