Recipients 2012

Since its launch in 2011, the PDF Travel Awards have helped many UBC PDFs attend conferences to present their work, enriching their PDF experience and helping anchor them within the academic world. Please read below to find out more about past award recipients.

PDFO Travel Awards awarded in 2012:

Name Department, Faculty Conference - Date Attended Location
Quarter 4:      
Tony Kiang Pharmaceutical Sciences American College of Clinical Pharmacy Annual Meeting, October 2012 Hollywood, FL, USA
Doris Baltruschat Theatre and Film, Arts 18th Inuit Studies Conference, October 2012 Washington, DC, USA
Elizabeth Wolkovich Zoology, Science American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 2012 San Francisco, CA, USA
Matthew Walker Physics and Astronomy, Science IEEE Medical Imaging Conference, November 2012 Anaheim, CA, USA
Rana Sarfraz Zoology, Science Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society, November 2012 Calgary, Alberta
Ian Hewitt Mathematics, Science Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, December 2012 San Francisco, CA, USA
Michael Borich Physical Therapy, Medicine Neuroscience 2012, October 2012 New Orleans, LA, USA
Angela Fearon Physical Therapy, Medicine International Federation of Orthopaedic Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, October 2012 Quebec, QC
Mineko Wada Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Medicine 2012 Society for the Study of Occupation, October 2012 Portland, OR, USA
Quarter 3:      
Armin Bebamzadeh Civil Engineering, Applied Science 15th World Conference in Earthquake Engineering - September 2012 Lisbon, Portugal
Iain Stewart Geography, Arts International Conference on Urban Climate - August 2012 Dublin, Ireland
Klaske Van Heusden Electrical & Computer Engineering, Applied Science 16th IFAC Symposium on System Identification - July 2012 Brussels, Belgium
Fabien Burki Centre for Microbial Diversity and Evolution, Science PROTIST 2012, July 2012  Oslo, Norway
Angelica Gonzalez Zoology, Science Gordon Research Conference, July 2012 Maine, USA
Ruther Webster Chemistry, Science 18th International Symposium on Homogenous Catalysis, July 2012 Toulouse, France
Brent Chamberlain Insitute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, Science 3rd International Conference on Computational Sustainability, July 2012 Copenhagen, Denmark
Stephan Pless Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Medicine Gordon Research Conference: Ion Channel, July 2012 South Hadley, MA, USA
Quarter 2:      
Cormac Flynn Electrical & Computer Engineering, Applied Science Congress of European Society of Biomechanics - June 2012 Lisbon, Portugal
Rishi Somvanshi Pharmaceutical Sciences Endocrine Society Conference - June 2012 Houston, TX, USa
Xiu Mei Kang Mechanical Engineering, Applied Science International Society for Computer Assisted Orthapaedic Surgery - June 2012 Seoul, Korea
Allan Craigie Political Science, Arts Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference - June 2012 Edmonton, AB
Michael Baker Theatre and Film, Arts Music and Moving Image- June 2012 New York, NY, USA
Sophia Woodman Institute of Asian Research Modes of Activism and Engagement in the Chinese Public Sphere- April 2012 Singapore
Katja Anttila Zoology, Science Society of Experimental Biology (SEB) Annual Meeting, June 2012 Salzburg, Austria
Jie Fang Chemsitry, Science Gordon Research Conference, June 2012 Davidson, NC, USA
Tristan Van Leeuwen Earth and Ocean Science, Science European Association of Geoscientists, June 2012 Copenhagen, Denmark
Setareh Ghahari Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Medicine Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis, May 2012 San Diego, CA, USA
Christine Voss Orthopaedics, Medicine American College of Sports Medicine, May 2012 San Francisco, CA, USA
Quarter 1:      
Leslie Wang Sociology, Arts Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting - March 2012 Toronto, ON
James Welker Asian Studies, Arts Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting - March 2012 Toronto, On
Andrea Vodermaier Psychology, Arts American Psychosomatic Society Conference - March 2012 Athens, Greece
Ching-Chiu Lin Curriculum and Pedagogy, Education National Art Education Association Conference New York, NY, USA
Mohamed Zaki Hussein Civil Engineering, Applied Science Transportation Research Board Conference - January 2012 Washington, DC, USA
Cedric Gaspoz Management Information Systems, Sauder Business Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - January 2012 Maui, HI, USA
Valentina Radic Earth and Ocean Sciences, Science ISSI Workshop on the Earth's Hydrological Cycle, February 2012 Bern, Switzerland
David Whitehurst School of Population and Public Health, Medicine Scientific Conference of the Canadian Spine Society, February, 2012 Denver, CO, USA
Kai Yu Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medicine American Chemistry Society National Meeting San Diego, CA, USA

2012 Quarter 4 Recipients:

Dr. Tony Kiang

American College of Clinical Pharmacy Annual Meeting - October 2012

The travel award provided by the UBC Post Doctoral Fellows office allowed me to present my research findings, in platform and poster formats, at an internationally recognized meeting for clinical pharmacists and research scientists (American College of Clinical Pharmacy Annual General Meeting).  Two oral presentations were provided based on data collected in our basic research (Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in Interstitial Fluid: a Feasibility Study Using a Comprehensive Panel of Drugs) and the poster presentation focused on findings obtained in our clinical research (Multiple Regression Analysis of Factors Predicting Mycophenolic Acid Free Fraction in 91 Adult Organ Transplant Recipients).  Overall, the feedbacks for these presentations were positive and the discussions generated invaluable.  The opportunity to speak in front of an international audience also helped improved my presentation style.  The meeting itself was of high quality and consisted of lectures / seminars / small group discussions on various topics ranging from career advancement, basic research, clinical research, administration, and clinical practice.  Well known researchers/clinicians in the field were brought in to chair or host each session. The opportunity to network with individuals at the forefront of research in my field was unparalleled.  Thank you very much for providing this travel award.

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Dr. Doris Baltruschat

18th Inuit Studies Conference - October 2012

Doris Baltruschat’s presentation on ‘Inuit Storytelling in Film and Multimedia’ at the 18th Inuit Studies conference at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC provided an opportunity to collaborate with a group of international researchers on the topic of “Inuit and Dialogues of Knowing”. Focal points for this scholarly exchange included digital communication technologies, and new pathways to produce and communicate historical and contemporary insights about circumpolar Inuit societies, especially in the Canadian North and Greenland. Digital media, in particular, allow for the intersection of Inuit storytelling traditions and independent filmmaking, while making these accessible to the wider public through on-line distribution and social media channels. Furthermore, this decentralization of media practices connects at various points with mainstream media to re-direct nation-wide foci and international debates, particularly when films and multi-media projects are exhibited at venues such as film festivals, museums and educational forums.  As interest in Northern communities, its lands and peoples, intensifies—especially in view of Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council commencing in 2013—the creative application of digital media plays a key role in contributing to the vital international, intercultural dialogue about climate change, sustainability, education, cultural identity and globalization.

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Dr. Elizabeth Wolkovich

American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting - December 2012

In December 2012 I attended the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting in San Francisco, a dynamic and cross-disciplinary meeting of over 20 000 researchers, educations and other leaders in the earth and space sciences. While the meeting included great highlights from diverse fields- including accounts from recent visits to the Mariana Trench and Mars - my interest lied in its role as the cutting-edge venue for climate change research. I gave an invited talk in the 'Phenology Responses and Feedbacks to Biogeophysics, Disturbance, and Climate Change' section on my continuing work to better  understand and thus predict how plant species respond to global warming. The session (spanning the whole day inclusing talks and posters) was well-attended and included many excellent presentations on predicting plant, soil and insect phenology with increasing temperatures, and shifts in precipitation regimes and extreme events. Throughout the week I had the opportunity to connect with colleagues new and old and learn about further excellent work on climate change; these included state of the art predictions for future cliamte regimes and biotic responses to these shifts, best practices for communicating climate change and intriguing lectures on the intersection of climate change research and freedom of speech and information.

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Dr. Matthew Walker

IEEE Medical Imaging Conference - November 2012

The 2012 IEEE Medical Imaging Conference (MIC) was hugely intersting and provided a wealth of networking opportunities. The conference occurs alongside the Nuclear Science Symposium (NSS) and workshop on 'Room Temperature Semi-conductor x-ray and gamma-ray Detectors (RTSD), with several joint sessions between these inter-related disciplines. These sessions were indeed of interest, providing me (as an end-user) a glimpse into the most recent advances in detector technologies. The oral presentations at MIC were of high quality, with several novel and important papers being presented. Perhaps the most intriguing of these was the demonstration that emissions data from time-of-flight positron emission tomography (PET) includes sufficient information about photon attentuation to enable estimation of both the radiotracer distribution and the u-map (image of linear attentuation coefficients). Such methods could be of use in simultaneous time-of-flight PET and magnetic resonance (MR) sequence. The attentuation coefficients are critical for accurate quantification of the radiotracer distributions in PET, and are usually derived from computed tomography (CT). In addition to the many excellent oral presentations, there were a large number of posters with time set aside for viewing these and discussing the work with the authors. The conference was certainly a success and I was most grateful to particpate in the scientific program, to meet old colleagues, and to establish new collaborations; all this in a great location - Disneyland.

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Dr. Rana Sarfraz

Joint Annual Conference on the Entomological Society of Canada and Entomological Society of Alberta - November 2012

I both contributed to and gained from the academic and social interactions at this meeting. I presented two talks, as well as moderated a session. The conference addressed critical issues related to several "hot" topics, including invasive pest species, cliamte warming, efficiency of biocontrol agents, insecticide residues in food and food products, and the development of resistance to insecticides in relation to sustainable pest management. The meeting provided a great opportunity to learn about the advances made in the science of entomology and related disciplines in the recent past, and will promote dialogue and establish collaboration between the scientists across Canada and the globe. The edliberations during the conference, comprising of invited lectures by the leading scientists in diverse disciplines and numerous concurrent sessions offered a great opportunity to listen to, and interact with the pioneers from different branches of science, and a platform for interaction between the young and the experienced scientists. I was able to meet those who are considered legends in the entomological science. The meeting created an awareness of the challenges that we need to adress for sustainability for the environment and food security, as well as pest management. There were also opportunities for interaction between the scientists from public and private institutions, which will accelerate the pace of translating innovations into action for the welfare of mankind. In short, it was an exciting experience for me to be at this meeting.

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Dr. Ian Hewitt

Meeting of the American Geophysical Union - December 2012

The Fall Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union took place in December 2012 in San Francisco. This is the largest meeting of geoscientists in the world, attracting over 20 000 attendees. All through the week there were around 50 concurrent talks, each lasting only 15 minutes, and over 10 000 posters on topics ranging from Earth's deep interior, to the latest findings from Mars Rover mission. With such a large range of presentations it was hard to know where to go when - there was an interest in every direction. I presented a poster explaining recent results from computer models of the Greenland, exploring how fast the ice is likely to retreat in the current cliamte. There was lots of interest in this issue and a great opportunity to hear of the latest observations with which we calibrate the models. I co-chaired a successful session on the modeling of ice sheets; again, a great chance to hear of the exciting research being conducted around the world in this area. The large attendance meant that the conference provided a welcome opportunity to renew acquaintances, meet new ones, and to quiz the authors of the papers I have been reading.

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Dr. Michael Borich

Neuroscience 2012 - October 2012

At Neuroscience 2012, I was provided the opportunity to present our current research study investigating changes in myelin within brain matter following stroke in humans during a hour-hour poster session. During this session, I was interacted with numerous neuroscientists with varying levels of experience and expertise. These conversations improved the interpretation of the data that will significantly improve the clarity of the journal manuscript currently in preparation. In addition to presenting work from our lab, I had the opportunity to view >100 posters related to the neuroscience of stroke recovery and motor learning and to establish connections with researchers with similar research interests. These connections will benefit futire research activities by providing domestic and international collaborative opportunities. When I was not viewing posters, I was attending curated symposia from internationally acclaimed experts in their respective fields. These formal oral presentations provided a comprehensive overview of state of the art neuroimaging techniques from in vitro cellular models to rodent models and work in human subjects. Overall, this meeting offered unparalleled opportunities to disseminate our research and learn from other neuroscientists; both of which will uniquely benefit my future neuroscientific research activities.

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Dr. Angela Fearon

International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapists - October 2012

The International federation of orthopaedic manipulative physiotherapists (IFOMPT) held their four yearly international congress in October 2012, in Quebec. The congress attracted internationally renowned researchers in orthopaedic, activity, sports and knowledge translation (KT) sciences as key- note, focused symposium and open papers speakers. Less well-known researchers with high quality research were selected from peer-reviewed abstracts to present orally or via posters. I presented two papers orally.

The first paper was on Monday, October 2nd. It dealt with the gene expression of MMP7 and ITGAV in tendinopathy. This paper provided me the opportunity to explain to clinicians where basic science fits into the research continuum (KT1), and how these finding translate to clinical practice (KT2). My second paper (on Friday) explained the risk factors for developing recalcitrant greater trochanteric pain syndrome. This research translates directly into practice by providing a clinical measure identifying these women.

The IFOMPT congress provided me with insights into the level of knowledge translation practiced internationally. My evaluation of KT internationally, based on this congress, is that Canada is leading the world in this discipline. One result of my UBC experience and the IFOMPT congress is that I am now highly motivated to embrace and further this discipline.

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Dr. Mineko Wada

2012 Society for the Study of Occupation, USA - October 2012

My overall experience of the conference was quite intense in networking, delivering my research to scholars, and learning. Occupational science (OS)—study of occupation—is my research area, and although I participated in the Canadian OS conference several times, I had never attended the American one. Most of the attendees were therefore unfamiliar to me this time. Taking advantage of that, I pushed myself to actively network particularly with the presenters whose research areas were similar to mine and discussed with them about theoretical frameworks in relation to gender, parenting, co-occupation, and methodologies, which certainly broadened the horizon of my knowledge. Regarding delivering my study to scholars through my presentation, in a preparation phase, I struggled with narrowing down the content from my PhD research and making my presentation interesting and useful to those, albeit few, who had come to my presentations at the Canadian conference. I received several questions from the audience after my presentation, some of which required me to reframe what I had presented to help them better understand my study. Given that I speak English as a second language and obtained early education in Asia, I have to say that a podium presentation in English-speaking Western academic culture requires me enormous courage. However, at this conference I consciously learned what is considered as professional and competent performance by observing other scholars’ presentations, tried my best to conform to an ideal model, and reflected my performance afterwards. I realized that I should not heavily rely on a script during my presentation, and that to that end I need to create more opportunities on daily basis to talk about my research with different people at various levels, so that I would become more comfortable standing and explaining it next time. Further, the conference provided me with a lectureship and a pre- conference institute, both of which were theoretically and practically informative and inspired me to further advance my research skills in the OS field. I greatly appreciate the UBC Faculty of Medicine for their financial support for my attendance at the conference. Had I not had the travel award from them, I would not have had the meaningful learning experience that will aid me in becoming an independent scholar.

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2012 Quarter 3 Recipients:

Dr. Armin Bebamzadeh

15th World Conference in Earthquake Engineering - September 2012

Since 1956 the World Conference on Earthquake Engineering has served as an authoritative platform of information exchange among diverse professionals who deal with earthquake loss mitigation. These include practitioners and researchers among engineers (civil, structural, mechanical, and geotechnical), architects and urban planners, earth scientists (geologists, seismologists), public officials, and social scientists. In 2004, the 13th WCEE was held in Vancouver, Canada and UBC, being the organizing university, received a lot of attention and praise from international delegates on its presentations and on its recently built Earthquake Engineering Research Facility (EERF).  Among those presentations were many studies to update the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC 2005).

15WCEE was held from 24 to 28 of September in Lisbon, Portugal, itself the victim of a terrible earthquake in 1755.  Delegates from 87 countries presented their advances in this interdisciplinary field. The topics ranged from seismology, structural engineering, lifeline systems, seismic risk assessment, to social and economic issues. This wide range of topics made this conference a valuable gathering place for all parties involved in earthquake engineering related problems. All UBC faculty members of the civil engineering department in the specialization of earthquake engineering also attended in this event.

As a post-doctoral fellow during the past three years, I have closely collaborated with researchers at UBC under supervision of Professor Carlos Ventura to develop the Seismic Retrofit Gridlines. These guidelines are developed for seismic assessment and retrofit design of over 750 provincial schools under contract with the Ministry of Education through a cooperative agreement between the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) and the Department of Civil Engineering of UBC. I was very fortunate to contribute in 15WCEE by presenting 5 papers on the research topics that gets carried out at UBC and by discussing them with other delegates who have conducted similar research.

In addition to the conference, I attended Lisbon in Motion workshop organized by 15WCEE from 20 to 24 of September. This workshop was a 4-day innovative case-study where the participants were challenged to plan and implement a team project, to bring awareness to a seismic risk problem facing the city of Lisbon. One of my goals in participating in this workshop was to present and promote our knowledge and experience in developing Seismic Retrofit Gridlines of low-rise buildings in BC.

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Dr. Iain Stewart

International Conference on Urban Climate - August 2012

The 8th International Conference on Urban Climate was held at University College Dublin (UCD) from August 6 - 10, 2012.  Nearly 500 participants from 40 different countries attended the conference, including a delegation of 8 students and faculty from UBC.  This was the largest gathering of urban climatologists to date--an indication of the growth in climate studies.

On day 1 of the conference we were welcomed by the president of the International Association for Urban Climate at a formal reception in UCD's O'Reilly Hall.  For the next five days we were busy attending oral presentations in four concurrent sessions, from early morning to late afternoon.  Throughout the week many interesting poster presentations were on display.  Topics for presentation and discussion included carbon dioxide fluxes in cities, urban heat island effects, climate-sensitive urban design, air pollution modelling, and local climatic mapping.  On day 3 we were taken on a fascinating field trip to the UCD observatory in the city centre, where various atmospheric variables are measured with sophisticated instruments atop a 6-story building.  This was a good oportunity to see the centrepiece of the climate science program in Dublin.  The conference concluded with a formal dinner and banquet, where the president called upon all participants to attend the next meeting in three years time.

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Dr. Klaske Van Heusden

16th IFAC Symposium on System Identification - July 2012

With the support from the PDFO, I attended the 16th IFAC Symposium on System Identification (Sysid), held in Brussels, Belgium, July 11-13, 2012. This conference covers topics on system identification, experimental modeling, signal processing and adaptive control. The program included six plenary sessions on diverse topics, of which the following particularly caught my attention: M. Campi discussed his work on an alternative approach to model certification. This approach is a great example of out of the box thinking. M. Steinbuch, D.E. Rivera and M. Sznaier presented on the potential and the challenges in system identification in very different application areas. The program also included two sessions dedicated to system identification in healthcare and medicine, presenting topics closely related to my research at UBC.

I presented the results of my work with co-author Guy Dumont on adaptive control entitled "Analysis of L1 Adaptive Output Feedback Control; Equivalent LTI Controllers’’. Our contribution shows that L1 adaptive output feedback control does not provide adaptation and does not meet the characteristics that are claimed for this technique. This Sysid conference provided a great opportunity to present our work and I would like to thank the PDFO for their financial support.

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Dr. Fabien Burki

PROTIST 2012 - July 2012

I had a fantastic experience in Oslo. I have been extensively collaborating with the University of Oslo since my PhD so this occasion allowed me to meet with several long-term collaborators and new students and postdocs. This conference also permitted to establish new international collaborations and I am already working with data that I would not have in hand had I not gone to this conference. I also met with my PhD supervisor and we discussed in detail on strategies that would allow me to go back to Switzerland. The majority of the talks / posters were insteresting and stimulated new directions for my work. The comments and critics were very positive after my talk, and this will most certainly allow me to improve my presentation skills for the future.

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Dr. Angelica Gonzalez

Gordon Research Conference, July 2012

I acknowledge for the support of the UBC PDF Travel Award that enabled me to attend to the Gordon Research Conference 2012 Metabolic Basis of Ecology and Evolution in a Changing World, Biddeford, ME, USA. I feel very honored to have been the recipient for this award. As an attendee in this GRC, I had the opportunity to listen and interacting with scientists working in current fields in ecology and evolution. My participation helped me to improve my understanding and knowledge through the direct interaction with some of the most salient senior and youn researchers in this area. As an invited speaker, I had the best scenario to show and discuss my own research with graduate students, postdocs adn PI researchers from different fields of ecology. These interactions provided me with positive feedback to my research, incuding comments, suggestions, and new ideas to continue improving my work. Further, this experience provided me new potential collaborative research with another scientists from US, Canada, and Israel, which is very stimulating. I thank you for your confidence and willingness to help me improve my scientist formation with this kind of support.

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Dr. Ruth Webster

18th International Symposium on Homogenous Catalysis - July 2012

The ISHC conference series (operating once every two years in locations around the wolrd) is the leading conference for chemistry researchers operating in the field of catalysis. As a UK national, with a fellowship secured to allow my return to the UK to undertake my own independent research, this conference provided me with an excellent opportunity to reconnect and network with the European chemistry community.

My current research at UBC has taken a direction out of my area of expertise. Presenting a poster at this symposium allowed me to discuss and gain advice from leaders in the field of polymer synthesis in an informal environment. This has helped me to refocus and attenuate my research in order to prepare my work for publication. The conference was well attended by industry and my current research at UBC received interest from an international polyner manufacturer. Furthermore, I have made a useful contact with a leading pharmaceutical company in the UK, which I hope will generate a useful collaboration when I start my independent research at the University of Bath.

Finally, the high level of research presented at this conference, both orally (from Nobel Prize winnder Richard Schrock and other world -leading researchers) and in poster format (from academics, students and postdoctoral researchers) was truly inspirational and I hope to use this to generate some of my own new research ideas.

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Dr. Brent Chamberlain

3rd International Conference on Computational Sustainability - July 2012

The 3rd International Conference on Computational Sustainability, held in Copenhagen, was a unique opportunity to connect with researchers from around who are exploring how computational methods can be used to address globally-relevant issues in sustainability. The conference was relatively small (~150), which provided an opportunity to connect with individuals working in similar problems domains. On several occasions, I was able to meet and converse with some of the founders of the field of Computational Sustainability. colleagues and I from UBC submitted two extended abstracts to the conference and were accepted to present both orally and as posters. The conference format and size delivered numerous opportunities for networking. By the end of the conference I had connected with two research grouops and we will be discussing potential collaborative research. I am looking forward to the next conference and a bright future for this new field.

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Dr. Stephen Pless

Gordon Research Conference: Ion Channel - July, 2012

Being able to attend the Gordon Research Conference on Ion Channels was a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of recent work performed in the laboratory of my supervisor Dr. Christopher Ahern at UBC. While some of this work was featured in the invited talk given by Dr. Ahern, my main objective was to gather feedback on a project that is nearing completion, presented in poster form at this conference. Not only was the work very well received, I also obtained invaluable advice from leading researchers in the field of ion channels on how to improve the work. Further, and as part of the very positive response to the work presented, I was invited to present this work as part of departmental seminar series at prestigious institutes in the US and in Switzerland. In conclusion, attending the Gordon Research Conference on Ion Channels has greatly helped the dissemination of my latest research results as well as promoted my scientific career in general.

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2012 Quarter 2 Recipients:

Dr. Cormac Flynn

Congress of European Society of Biomechanics - June 2012

ESB2012 was an excellent experience. I presented on the morning of 2nd July in the Head, Eye, and Maxillofacial Track. The talk went well and there were several stimulating questions about my work afterwards. Interest was expressed in the Artisynth modelling platform, which my group in UBC develops. The three plenary talks at the conference were excellent.  On Monday, Gerhard Holzapfel gave a talk entitled “Multi-scale Modeling of Cardiovascular Tissues”. The following day Ton van den Bogert talked about his work analysing and simulating human movement. He did deflect a question on one of his sponsor’s, Adidas, practices in developing countries! On the final day of the conference, James Iatridis talked about his research work at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. It was about studying the mechanism of damage in invertebral discs. He initially used rat tails as models but has now progressed on to bovine tails. There was a broad range of topics discussed at ESB2012. I attended several sessions on the subject of soft tissue mechanics, animal movement, tendon and ligament, foot and ankle biomechanics, and knee biomechanics. I met several former colleagues and collaborators and made a few new contacts. Overall, the atmosphere was stimulating and I am very grateful for the travel grant, which covered a significant portion of my costs!

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Dr. Rishi Somvanshi

Endocrine Society Conference - June 2012

The annual Endocrine Society meeting (ENDO 2012), held in Houston Texas during 22-26 June, attracted around 9 000-10 000 delegates from the Endocrine community across the world. The conference focused on the full spectrum of recent advances in endocrinology and provided a venue for bridging the gaps between basic researchers and clinicians. The conference also provided a platform for policy makers, researchers and clinicians to discuss endocrine related issues specifically, cancer and diabetes and to make recommendations for the future.

ENDO 2012 featured clinical, basic and translational symposia sessions and workshops. Basic research symposia like "New Insights into Signaling by GPCRs," "Getting that GPCR to the cell surface," "Cancer Stem cells" were informative and provided innovative ideas. More than 2500 posters were displayed throughout the meeting. Poster sessions provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the research and network with other labs or groups working in the GPCR biology and signaling. Exhibits from pharmaceutical companies provided important information regarding the recent advancements in the field of clinical endocrinology. Career development workshops like "Setting up the lab" and "Careers in the industry" were informative for the trainees and fellows.

I presented a poster entitled “Somatostatin Receptor-2 Mediated Regulation of Hypertrophy and Adrenergic Receptor Functions in H9c2 Cells” attracted significant attention from the experts in the field of Somatostatin biology. The constructive feedback received for the work will greatly help me to improve my current research focus.I wish to thank the UBC Postdoctoral Office, my supervisor Dr. U. Kumar and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences for providing the financial support to attend the meeting.

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Dr. Xiu Mei Kang

International Society for Computer Assisted Orthapaedic Surgery - June 2012

I am very pleased to report my experience attending the 12th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Computer Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery held in Seoul, Korea from June 13 to 16, 2012. This meeting is a gathering of the world's leading experts in the field of navigation and robotics in orthopaedics and traumatology to promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas among engineering researchers and orthopaedic surgeons.

The scientific program includes pre-congress educational workshop, presentations, live surgeries, and industrial exhibitions on current controversies and most recent advances in computer-assisted orthopaedic surgeries and researches. In particular, the techniques, outcomes, and challenges in the surgeries for total hip arthroplasty, total knee arthroplasty, hip/spine fracture in terms of conventional, navigation, and robotic assisted surgeries were widely discussed. The live surgeries operated by local surgeons were very impressive to me.

I was appointed as the sessional chair of the Session VIII-Oncology and Tumors on June 14, 2012. It was my first time to be a chair, I am kind of nervous but excited to call out the presenter's name on the stage. It was a great experience for me. My presentation about detecting femoroacetabular impingement of the hip joint was on the last day. I made several friends and met some famous professors in this field by talking to them.

Seoul is a beautiful city with tall buildings, great palaces, and several markets to see. I feel like I was in China in some sense. I visited a quiet temple which is right beside the modern COEX Convention and Exhibition Center in Seoul.

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Dr. Allan Craigie

Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference - June 2012

CPSA 2012 was a very successful conference for me and I believe it will help advance my career in three ways. The first was with regards to professional contacts and the potential for collaboration. At the conference I entered into discussion with a colleague from the UK who shares similar interests to me with regards to majority nationalism. His interests are with the English in the UK, and mine is English-Canada here in Canada. We felt that we shared very similar interests and that a great deal of potential for collaboration and co-authoring articles existed. The second was the release of the latest Canadian Elections Study.  I attended the release with a colleague from here at UBC, and we quickly determined that the new questions on national defence and the war in Afghanistan would allow us to combine our research interests, his in international relations and mine in Canadian national identity. The third and final factor was the opportunity to present my own research. While the panel I was on was a very diverse panel exploring public policy, the feedback I received from the discussant was excellent, and will help me reframe the paper prior to submitting it for publication. 

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Dr. Michael Baker

Music and Moving Image - June 2012

The Music & Moving Image conference is unique in that it provides both scholars, practitioners, and industry professionals an occasion to meet and examine the many relationships between sound, music, and the moving image. After attending the inaugural conference many years ago in London, UK I was excited to return to the fold and catch-up with many of my colleagues from around the globe. The range of topics covered and methodologies undertaken were fascinating and inspired me (as conference participation always does) to re-commit to my own research. My time in New York was valuable as it provided me with the opportunity to meet with several publishers about their interest in monographs or edited collections addressing the subject of my research—I will now turn my attention to capitalizing on these publication opportunities during the remainder of my appointment at UBC. Of the many conference appearances I made over the last academic year, The Music & Moving Image event was the most stimulating and I hope to return to the event next year to present new work.

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Dr. Sophia Woodman

Modes of Activism and Engagement in the Chinese Public Sphere - April 2012

This conference was convened at the National University of Singapore by the Asia Research Institute. It was a small conference, with a stimulating level of discussion and exchange due to the commonalities of subject matter among the papers, and a wide disciplinary range in the approaches used. The event began with a keynote address by Gloria Davies, who has written extensively on Chinese intellectuals and the public sphere.

The conference was organized into a number of panels on distinct sub-topics within the overall subject matter, each of which had a discussant who brought out common themes and raised questions about the individual papers. Each paper writer was given 25 minutes to present their work.  Discussion around my conceptual framework of "segmented publics" was very stimulating and valuable for me in developing this idea and working towards a journal article on the subject. Participants suggested a number of useful modifications and clarifications.

I also learned a lot from the other papers presented, particularly those focusing on specific case studies of contentious politics in China. It was extremely valuable for me to meet these other researchers who are working on issues similar to those I am focusing on. The conference organizers are discussing producing a journal special issue or an edited volume based on the conference papers.

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Dr. Katja Antilla

Society of Experimental Biology Annual Meeting - June 2012

The conference at Salzburg began with general session about how science could impact on policy making as well as how researchers could influence on public opinion. Next day the scientific sessions started with Presidant Medallist's talk presented by Dr. Graham Scott, previous PhD of UBC, about physiological plasticity of animals living in high altitudes. The general presentations followed that with sessions divided to animal, cellular, and plant biology. As expected with current face of global warming there were lots of talks about climate change impacts on animals and how they are able to deal with this problem. My presentation was part of this session dealing with physiological factors explaining fishes' capability to tolerate increasing temperatures. Between the sessions there were coffee breaks and lunches provided to people could get together and form new connections. For me, besides presenting my research, the main issue was indeed to get to know other researchers and form new connections. I got to know lots of people all around from Europe as well as North America and all the way to Australia. All and all the conference was great success for me getting lots of great feedback of my talk and hopefully collaborators in the future.

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Dr. Jie Fang

Gordon Research Conference - June 2012

The Gordon Research Conference (Bioinspired Materials) is the most enlightening one that I have ever attended. In this interdisciplinary field, a lot of scientists are focusing on exploring fundamental issues on natural occuring materials and developing bioinspired materials with versatile applications in real life. All the speakers invited to this conference are the top scientists in this hot field. They introduced their most highlighted work within the previous five years to the audience. The most noteworthy part was that the ongoing and unpublished work was also mentioned a lot, which gave us a great opportunity to know the research frontier of this area. I enjoyed a lot listening to those. Besides, the poster session was very interactive and inspiring. All the poster presenters, including me, were willing to introduce their research work to any other who dropped by. New ideas were catalyzed during our talking. At last, my sincere appreciation goes to PDFO and faculty of Science for giving me great support to attend this prestigious conference and present my work there. This wonderful experience really broadens my horizon and inspires me a lot in my research.

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Dr. Tristan van Leeuwen

European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers - June 2012

The European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers organizes a yearly conference and exhibition covering geophysics, petroleum exploration, geology, reservoir engineering, mining and civil engineering, This conference is attended by researchers from both the oil and gas industry and academia. During the 5- day conference I attended a workshop and several sessions. I gave a presentation in two of the session and chaired one of the sessions.

The workshop "From Kinematic to Waveform Inversion - Where Are we and Where do we Want to Go? A Tribute to Patrick Lailly" gave an overview of seismic inversion techniques that have been developed over the past few decadeds. The workshop was well attendended and some of the top researchers in the field discussed open problems and hte road ahead.

Several sessions discussed new developments in seismic waveform inversion, ranging from practical solutions to tackle problems on large 3D problems as well as more theoretical developments. I presented some of my recent work in one of these sessions. I also gave a presentation in a session on seismic modeling which discussed computational techniques for modelling wave-propagation through the earth. Both presentations were well-received and led to several intersting discussions and ideas for possible collaborations. On the last day of the conference I chaired a session on seismic imaging. It was a very interesting session and some of the presentations led to lively discussion on seismic imaging.

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Dr. Setareh Ghahari

Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centres Annual Meeting - May 2012

The 26th Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centres (CMSC) is the largest North American meeting focusing on multiple sclerosis (MS) with over 1800 attendees. CSMC workshops, teaching courses and major symposia provided best available practices to enhance competence and performance in the MS diagnosis and management. This year's meeting provided attendees with information about the immunology, genetics, biomarkers, rehabilitation, epidemiology and pathophysiology  of the disease. Education symposia provided opportunities  to become aware of additional important and scientific data. Over 180 posters were displayed throughout the meeting with authors available to discuss their work. The meeting not only offered new and exciting data about MS but also provided opportunity for socializing and learning from other researchers/clinicians and familiarizing about new products and services for people with MS. Over the 4-day conference I attended sessions related to self-management  (a topic of my research focus), symptom management, health policy and its impact on MS, as well as forums on the latest in MRI development and disease modifying therapies. The international scope of these sessions' attendees with the diverse perspective were tremendously  valuable to my overall experience.

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Dr. Christine Voss

American College of Sports Medicine - May 2012

The Faculty of Medicine Postdoctoral Fellow Travel Award enabled me to attend the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Being one of the biggest meetings of its kind, ACSM brings together clinicians, basic scientists, applied scientists, and public health scientists. This meeting offered countless outstanding talks covering a wide variety of sports medicine topics, ranging from “Adiposity, Fitness and Cardiometabolic Health: The Tell of the Tape” to “Physiological Challenges to Astronaut Health and Safety During Spaceflight” to “I Cannot Believe They Said That! Statistical Bloopers in Reviewers Feedback”. Thus, my attendance at the meeting provided me with very useful learning opportunities specific to my research interest, as well as more general “foods for thought” to ensure I continue developing as a well-rounded scientist. This well attended meeting naturally offered an abundance of networking opportunities, particularly during the poster presentation sessions. These less formal presentations allowed for personal introductions to (leading) scientists in my research area and direct and stimulating interactions regarding our research and possible future directions. I was also able to reconnect with mentors from my graduate studies in the UK, and maintenance of such relationships may prove important for future research collaborations.

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2012 Quarter 1 Recipients:

Dr. Leslie Wang

Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting - March 2012

The Association for Asian Studies annual conference was held this year in Toronto.  For this conference I served as organizer and chair for a panel on the topic of “Issues Facing At-Risk and Institutionalized Children in Contemporary China.”  I presented a paper based on my dissertation, entitled “Beyond the ‘Dying Rooms’: Western NGO and Chinese State Collaborations Over the Care of Institutionalized Children in Contemporary China.”  Drawing on 15 months of ethnographic research that I conducted in two Chinese state orphanages, my paper examined the ways in which globalization is affecting—and even transforming—the care provided to institutionalized children who have been abandoned by their parents to state care due to gender or disability.  This paper connected micro-level practices of children’s daily lives to the larger context of Chinese economic modernization in a globalized era.   

This panel allowed me to make a number of significant connections with other scholars conducting exciting research on related topics.  I was invited by an audience member to contribute my work to a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal that focuses on issues related to contemporary Chinese society.  Overall, this was an extremely fruitful conference that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on my research.

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Dr. James Welker

Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting - March 2012

I presented a paper entitled “Feminist, Lesbian-Feminist, and Commercial Transfigurations of The Hite Report in Japan” as part of a panel I organized entitled “Performing Feminist Cultural Politics in Japan from the 1970s to the Present” at the Association for Asian Studies Annual meeting in Toronto. The panel brought together scholars from Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United States and is part of a series of panels I have been organizing since 2010 at AAS and the American Historical Association. These panels have become a springboard for a symposium my colleagues in the US and I are organizing on feminisms in Japan to be held at Emory in spring 2013. At this, as in the previous panels, the audience and respondents have noted the great diversity of feminist activities in Japan that recent scholarship has been bringing to light. These panels and the larger project hope to build on that, ultimately leading to an edited collection of new research on feminisms in modern and contemporary Japan. Aside from my own panel, I was able to attend a number of panels focused on gender and popular culture in modern and contemporary Japan, and learn more about research that will contribute both to my own work and to my teaching.

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Dr. Andrea Vodermaier

American Psychosomatic Society Conference - March 2012

The APS 2012 meeting was a very interesting conference where I also could learn about recent developments in other areas than my own research.  Specifically, I was attending two concurrent sessions on measurement issues of cortisol, which were highly useful to me given that I have a grant proposal currently under review which is using these types of methods.

Among the plenary sessions I mostly enjoyed the presentation of Suzanne Conzen who presented animal studies on the effects of social isolation on mortality in mice that were as a consequence of manipulation highly vulnerable to breast cancer. She found that mice that had a tumor that grew independent of hormones had faster tumor progression and a higher relapse rate when they were socially isolated compared to the mice that were reared in a group.  The effect was not evident in mice with a hormone responsive tumor. This result was explained by glucocorticoid-mediated cell signalling which is mostly relevant in estrogen receptor negative breast cancer.

In the concurrent session where I had my oral presentation three out of four presentations addressed the role of stress on immunological outcomes or in case of my own study on survival in patients with prostate cancer.    

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Dr. Ching-Chiu Lin

National Art Education Association Conference - March 2012

The National Art Education Association (NAEA) is an annual conference providing substantive professional development services that include the advancement of knowledge in all sessions, events, and activities for the purpose of improving visual arts instruction in education. This four-day convention (March 1-4, 2012) included over 1,000 sessions and attracted 7,000 attendants.
My research advisor, Dr. Kit Grauer and I presented on a topic of “Community New Media Arts in Dialogue and Action,” and I presented a 50 minutes session on “Youth and Community Development through Creative Practice.” The first presentation discussed how  community art educators respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by new media technologies, whereas the second one described my research on how the media arts foster visual literacy practices and promote community engagement among young people in community-based media arts centres. Both sessions were well received by a wide range of audience, including teachers, community workers, artists, researchers and scholars. These two sessions allowed me to have an enriched conversation with North American researchers who share a similar interest in working with urban youth through digital media. I would like to express my gratitude to the Postdoctoral Fellows Office for supporting my conference travel. I was able to network with other scholars, update my professional knowledge, and present my research to the professionals.

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Dr. Mohamed Zaki Hussein

Transportation Research Board Conference - January 2012

The Transportation Research Board Meeting is an annual conference organized under the US National Research Council. Its main goal is to gather researchers, practitioners and decision makers worldwide to present recent advances in the transportation domain. It is an important venue to discuss associated challenges and outline possible future directions and trends to make travel and transportation safer and more reliable. Even though I had the opportunity to publish at this conference in its previous edition, this year was my first time to attend and present my work. My research addresses the evaluation of safety in urban transportation networks using automated methods. The work was well received and one of my papers is recommended for the journal publication associated with the conference.  In general, the experience was fruitful as I had the opportunity to get feedback from experts in the domain. I also had several opportunities to attend research meetings related among others to sustainability and safety.  My future research direction is emphasizing travel safety for pedestrians and cyclists.    

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Dr. Cedric Gaspoz

Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - January 2012

UBC supported my participation in the 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), 4-7 January 2012. HICSS is one of the oldest and best rated of the Information Systems (IS) conferences. This participation allowed me to present and discuss my ongoing research with Yair Wand on “Using Ontologies and Soft Systems Methodology to Provide Multi-user Support in Problem Structuring”.

The conference gave me the opportunity to attend many of the 550 paper presentation sessions, resulting in numerous inspiring research ideas. Moreover, by covering the whole extent of IS research topics, HICSS attracts a diverse audience. This often led to productive exchanges with researchers from various backgrounds. My presentation was well received and many interesting discussions took place during and after the session. These discussions gave me useful pointers in pursuing my research, and as a result of a productive exchange about our strategy to aid decision support, I was further invited to organize a workshop at the Naval Postgraduate School in the spring.

In summary, the conference was of particular interest, with many networking opportunities that will last beyond the conference and might lead to further research collaborations.

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Dr. Valentina Radic

Conference report is unavailable.

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Dr. David Whitehurst

Scientific Conference of the Canadian Spine Society - February, 2012

The 38th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) provided a great opportunity to disseminate my research to a North American audience with a specific interest in spinal cord injury. Not only was it important for me to make clinicians and health care researchers aware of the economics-related research program that I am leading at UBC, attending this meeting was also beneficial in terms of making contacts for future collaborations. This latter benefit is particularly important given the scarcity of economists working in health; not only do I benefit from the greater number of opportunities for collaborative research, but the SCI research community also become aware of the on- going commitment and focus for economics research at the Rick Hansen Institute.

A third valuable experience was the ability to see the interaction between research and industry. Coming from a musculoskeletal/arthritis Research Centre in the UK, where there was a strict policy of no industry involvement, it has been interesting to see the close relationship that exists between clinicians, researchers and industry partners in the context of spinal injury.

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Dr. Kai Yu

American Chemistry Society National Meeting - March 2012

The 243rd American Society Meeting was held in San Diego on Mar.24-30, 2012. On Mar.25, I gave an oral presentation “Effect of spatial distribution of epitopes within glycopolymer brushes on the binding of Con A: From monovalent to multivalent interaction” in the Protein at Interface Section. I received lots of feedback and suggestion which is helping for elucidate the bacterial reception on the host cell currently we are working on.

Several keynote speeches I attended shows there are growing interests in peptide chemistry as peptide with specific sequence can be used for regenerative medicine and proliferation of stem cells. Prof. Kiessling, from University of Wisconsin-Madison, showed that synthetic substrates displaying peptides which recognize cell-surface glycans can facilitate the long-term culture of pluripotent stem cells. The effective substrates displayed heparin- binding peptides, which can interact with cell-surface glycosaminoglycans and could be used with a defined medium to culture hEScells for more than 3 months. Prof. Stupp, from Northwest University, discovered the material using self-assembly of a type of peptide amphiphile that forms nanofibres in biological environments. They achieved this combination, dubbed matrix nanotechnology, via molecular design using a family of smart molecules that self-assemble into a matrix as well as have the capacity to signal cells, which could lead to new treatments for spinal cord injury.

That's one promise from an emerging new field of chemistry - “bioorthogonal chemistry”, which opens the door to producing active ingredients for medicines within the diseases tissue inside a patient’s body, and to non-invasive in vivo molecular imaging. Prof. Bertozzi, from University of California at Berkeley, proposed that “bioorthogonal chemistry” can be utilized to visualize sugars on cancer cells and discriminate betwee n sugars on a normal cell. It might be able to detect cancers through imaging techniques or follow the progression of a course of drug therapy to see ho w the drug is affecting the cancer.Besides the scientific programs, I also attended the Career fair for identifying employment opportunities and expanding the network.

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