Four years ago Rebecca Gordon (BSc, Microbiology and Immunology, 2011) had set her sights on a career in contemporary ballet. Little did she know that four years later she would have a very different passion—international public health.
As part of her degree, Gordon worked with a small, student-run non-profit, Global Initiative for Village Empowerment in Kenya, on their HIV/AIDS education and prevention project.
Gordon taught life skills workshops to children in grades six through eight on topics such as condom use, HIV and voluntary counselling and testing, with the goal of increasing awareness, demolishing misconceptions and eliminating stigma.
"I came home from Kenya with a new appreciation for the severity of the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa and the logistical and cultural barriers to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV/ AIDS," says Gordon. "I'm now the co-team leader of the GIVE HIV/AIDS Education Team and, together with new volunteers, am continuing to expand our projects in the Ojola School Zone. We're very excited about the expansions of the project that are now underway, including an after-school Girl’s Club Project."
Now back from Kenya, Gordon is working as a research assistant with UBC PRE-EMPT, an international maternal health research project. The work allows her to learn the logistics involved in planning, coordinating and executing an international public health research project. She plans to continue her education with a master’s degree in international public health as well as medical school.
Julian Davies, professor emeritus with Microbiology and Immunology, has been awarded the Society for General Microbiology Prize Medal. The honour recognizes a microbiologist of international standing whose work has had a far-reaching impact beyond microbiology. Early in his career, Davies and colleagues identified how major classes of antibiotics kill bacteria. His more recent work has focused on isolating antibiotics from natural sources, understanding the functions of antibiotics in nature, and studying antibiotic resistance.
Botany, Zoology Researchers Named to Royal Society
Patrick Keeling and Wayne Maddison were among seven UBC researchers elected Fellows by the Royal Society of Canada this November. Maddison, Canada Research Chair in Biodiversity, was cited for contributing to the conceptual and analytical framework for extracting insights about evolution from life's genetic history. Keeling's work combines exploration of natural diversity with molecular biology and genomics to understand metabolism, symbiosis and gene exchange.
Math Rising Star Recognized
UBC mathematician Young-Heon Kim has been awarded the 2012 André-Aisenstadt Prize by the Centre de recherches mathématiques. The prize, which recognizes outstanding young Canadian researchers in pure or applied math, consists of $3,000 and a medal.
Chemistry Head Earns Killam for Graduate Mentorship
Michael Fryzuk, head of the Department of Chemistry, has received UBC's premier mentoring award. Students praise his sensitivity and commitment to fostering their creativity, scholarly rigour, scientific integrity and professional growth. One referred to his time in Fryzuk’s group as 'life-altering'.