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UBC Postdocs recognized for research excellence with 2015 Killam award

UBC postdoctoral fellows Becca Franks and Aaron Phillips have received the 2015 Killam Postdoctoral Fellow Research Prize, an annual award for excellence in research. Franks’s research investigates whether fish—like mammals and birds—are motivated to use their cognitive skills, while Phillips seeks to understand cerebrovascular conditions, particularly in people who have suffered a spinal cord injury.

Both will receive an award of $5,000 for their outstanding research achievements.

(Kathryn) Becca Franks is a postdoctoral fellow in the Animal Welfare Program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Franks' research focuses on uncovering fundamental patterns of motivation and well being across species. She is currently working to determine whether fish, like mammals and birds, are driven to use their sophisticated cognitive skills—such as learning and problem solving—and whether engaging in such activities might improve their well-being and social relationships. In essence, she is asking: do fish get bored?

Aaron Phillips is a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine within the Faculty of Medicine. Based out of the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries, Phillips is dedicated to understanding, preventing, and managing strokes as well as other cerebrovascular conditions such as vascular-cognitive decline. He focuses particularly on those with spinal cord injuries. With his rare combination of preclinical and human research spanning the translational spectrum, Phillips has contributed greatly to cerebrovascular physiology, spinal cord medicine, and software development.

Congratulations to both talented researchers on receiving this award.

About Killam Postdoctoral Research Prizes

These $5,000 awards are given each spring for excellence in research over the previous year. Established in 2011, the Killam PDF Research Prize is in memory of Izaak Walton Killam and his wife, Dorothy Johnston Killam, who together created the Killam Trusts.

Postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to apply for this award. The next application deadline will be in fall 2016. Information on the application and adjudication processes can be found on the Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO) website.