B.C. supports research to protect coastal ecosystem (flickr.com)

Media Contacts

Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation

Media Relations
778 587-4521

Jennifer Kwan

University of Victoria
250 721-7641

Thandi Fletcher

Senior Media Strategist
University of British Columbia
604 822-2234

Braden McMillan

Director, Media Relations and Public Affairs
Simon Fraser University
236 880-3459

Darren McDonald

Acting Director, Communications
University of the Fraser Valley
604 302-1266

Bob Hall

Communications Director
Selkirk College
250 551-4185


Universities get research funding

University of British Columbia – Vancouver campus:
BCKDF funding amounts and research project descriptions - $3,715,669

  • Mental Health and Intersectionality Research Lab for Data Analytics and Digital Therapy $174,772 (researcher: Lianne Tomfohr-Madsen)

This project has the potential to improve mental health of parents and children in B.C., particularly in cases where mental health has suffered due to the pandemic. Preventing intergenerational mental-health issues likely may reduce health spending and have economic benefits for the province, and can contribute to B.C.’s commitment to help with recovery of the effects of the pandemic on mental health.

  • RNA Biology in Hematological Malignancies $125,000 (researcher: Ly Vu)

Benefits will include the training of highly qualified personnel in skills that are in high demand in B.C, increased opportunities for commercial developments and job creation, and new scientific discoveries that have the potential to benefit pediatric and adult patients suffering from deadly blood cancers in B.C. The project also supports targets of the B.C. Cancer Plan.

  • Indigenous Fisheries Conservation in a Changing World $125,000 (researcher: Andrea Reid)

The project could play an important role to protect fish as a food source, and for the economic and cultural well-being of British Columbians. It could further help to resolve resource-based disputes to enable improved co-management of fisheries in B.C. The project is in line with B.C. priorities to promote Indigenous knowledge, contribute toward reconciliation and adapt to the changing climate.

  • Canada Research Chair in Spinal Cord Injury $200,000 (SCI) (researcher: Brian Kwon)

This project could result in treatments that improve the quality of life of SCI patients and reduce the immense direct and indirect economic costs associated with SCI, while helping to reduce barriers for people with disabilities. Use of a pig model in the research plan is a unique approach and will contribute to B.C.’s position as a world leader in this field of research.

  • The Use of Human Stem Cells to Understand Mechanisms and Develop Treatments for Neurological Disorders $200,000 (researcher: Mahmoud Pouladi)

In the long term, researchers hope to gain the necessary knowledge to advance therapeutic development for neurodevelopmental disorders that cause life-long disabilities and are associated with high economic costs.

  • Metabolic Caging for the Assessment of Energy Balance and Substrate Utilization in Mice $125,000 (researcher: David Wright)

Over the long-term, this project has the potential to improve public health and reduce health expenditures associated with obesity and diabetes through the development of new treatments and strategies.

  • Infrastructure for Advanced Spine Mechanics Research $184,580 (researcher: Kayla Fewster)

Low back injuries are among the most common workplace injuries in British Columbia and account for 23% of all worker injury claims in B.C. In the long term, the research has the potential to lead to the development of lumbar spine-injury prevention programs, which will improve the quality of life of working British Columbians and lower the associated economic burden. The project has a plan in place to translate the research with WorkSafeBC and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

  • BRAvE at BCCH $700,000 (researcher: Gregor Reid)

This research has the potential to improve pediatric precision oncology and yield new biological insights that will improve the next generation of therapies, while training people in a high-demand field. By achieving the goals of less toxic treatment, fewer serious side effects and control of relapsed disease, this research has potential to improve the lives of British Columbians.

  • Delineating Aggressive B-cell Lymphomas Heterogeneity and Pathogenic Trajectories to Optimize Cell-based Immunotherapies $250,000 (researcher: Laura Evgin)

The project has the potential to improve immune therapy treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in people whose cancers do not respond to chemotherapy. The proposed research further could improve the understanding of the biology of the condition, which would help develop earlier screening and better prognostication tools. The project will train people in a high-demand field.

  • UBC Food and Beverage Innovation Centre (FBIC) $700,000 (researcher: David Kitts)

The lab will serve as the research and development centre for the BC Food Hub Network, comprised of UBC-FBIC and 12 B.C. regional food-processing hubs throughout the province. The proposed research has the potential to reduce food waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve food safety and nutritional value, and strengthen B.C.'s food and agricultural industries. The plan is to train more than 100 highly qualified personnel over the next five years.

  • The Personality and Geographical Ambiance – PANGEA Lab: A Locally Rooted Globally-Connected Big-Data Research Hub $36,317 (researcher: Friedrich Götz)

The research focuses on regional political, economic, social and health outcomes of immediate societal significance. Amongst others, the type of research that will be done has previously shed new light on outcomes, such as opioid overdoses, income inequality, suicide, and the foundation and survival of small businesses.

  • Advanced Laser Ablation Spectroscopy: A Green Path to Canada’s Critical Minerals $ $520,000 (researcher: David Jones)

This project has the potential to reduce the environmental footprint of mining operations, including a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and fewer negative effects on First Nations communities and Indigenous Peoples. Increasing the sustainability of mining operations is crucial in obtaining minerals that are needed for green technologies.

  • Cyclic Direct Simple Shear Equipment for Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering Testing $125,000 (researcher: Trevor Carey)

This project is a high priority for B.C. with the potential to improve earthquake preparedness, provide valuable information for B.C.'s Seismic Mitigation Program, and save lives.

  • 3D-MARVIN: 3D Microstructural Analysis, Reconstruction, Visualization & Inspection $250,000 (researcher: Ben Britton)

This project has the potential to improve material characteristics of metals used for the energy and transport economies, could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance a greener economy. Talent that is knowledgeable in the areas of material sciences and modern manufacturing technologies is in high demand in B.C. This project will help close that gap.

University of British Columbia – Okanagan campus:
BCKDF funding amounts and research project descriptions - $988,276

  • Human Nutrition and Energy Balance in Chronic Disease Laboratory $145,000 (researcher: Sarah Purcell)

Benefits to British Columbians include enhanced capacity to measure nutrition and energy balance in people with chronic diseases (e.g., obesity, diabetes, heart disease), formation of new collaborations with research, industry and community partners (e.g., Curatio, primary care networks), and training the next generation of health researchers and practitioners.

  • Improving Literacy Outcomes for Language-Diverse Students and their Families in the Reading, Language, and Mathematics (ReaLM) Lab $106,943 (researcher: Jessica Chan)

This research has the potential to inform early literacy instruction, assessment and programming across educational contexts in B.C.

  • Emerging Technologies for Optical Wireless Communications $399,338 (researcher: Jonathan Holzman)

By bridging the gap between radio frequency and optical fibre technologies, the researchers want to develop a technology that could provide fast internet over long distances and at lower costs than optical fibre. This could be of great benefit for remote B.C. and First Nation communities. There could be additional benefits for B.C. as the technology holds the potential for many future applications.

  • Infrastructure for Exploring In-Situ User Interfaces $225,000 (researcher: Pourang Irani)

This project will support knowledge creation and accelerate the technological growth and training of experts and researchers in an in-demand field. By improving the usability of wearables, software and hardware tools, the project could bring a variety of benefits for British Columbians who use those devices.

  • Smart Analytics Lab for Modelling Advanced and Livable Infrastructure Systems –(SALMALIS) $111,995 (researcher: Suliman Gargoum)

In the long-term, this project could result in reduced costs for B.C. to maintain and improve a safe and resilient transportation network and infrastructure for British Columbians.

Simon Fraser University:

BCKDF funding amounts and research project descriptions - $700,000

  • Synthesized and Structured Mid-Infrared Fields as Probes for Quantum Materials and Molecules $125,000 (researcher: Shawn Sederberg)

Benefits of this research could be vast and significant, reaching from medical applications, CO2 reduction technology, computer technology and many more applications.

  • Infrastructure for the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology $350,000 (researcher: Dustin King)

This research could enable new antimicrobial therapies to improve the health and lives of British Columbians, prevent antibiotic resistance and potentially engineer bacteria to support greenhouse-gas reduction and a greener, more sustainable economy. The project will train personnel in the high-demand life sciences and biotechnology sector.

  • Medium Voltage Direct Current – (MVDC) Research Infrastructure $125,000 (researcher: Zheng John Shen)

This research could result in a more efficient energy grid that has a higher capacity to support B.C. greenhouse gas reduction goals. There is the potential for the technology to be commercialized via licencing to energy providers.

  • Studying Alternative Transportation Decarbonization Pathways in Canadian Climate $100,000 (researcher: Vahid Hosseini)

This research could help reduce traffic-related air pollution, greenhouse-gas emissions and health impacts.

University of Victoria:

BCKDF funding amounts and research project descriptions - $555,000

  • State-of-the-Art Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Mass Spectrometry Laboratory for Earth, Ocean and Climate Science $380,000 (researcher: Anne-Sofie Ahm and Blake Dyer)

This research will help create more accurate predictive models for local environmental change and could lead to better mitigation plans to address future climate-related challenges in B.C. Being able to better predict and understand changes in rainfall and drought could help improve food and water security in B.C., and provide better projections of flooding and wildfire hazards. The BCKDF-funded infrastructure will also help improve B.C.'s earthquake preparedness.

  • Experimental Ocean Climate Change Lab – EXCEL $175,000 (researcher: Amanda Bates)

This research could help build strategies to protect and restore vulnerable coastal ecosystems and marine species, and help build resilience into fisheries and aquaculture.

University of the Fraser Valley:

BCKDF funding amounts and research project descriptions - $208,557

  • Centre for High-Pressure Research: CHPR $208,557 (researcher: Jacob Spooner)

This research could lead to the development of new kinds of electronic devices that are smaller, faster and more energy efficient than current technologies, as well as new processes for food preservation to increase shelf life and eliminate pathogens. In the pharmaceutical industry, this research could result in innovation for B.C.'s life-sciences sector.

Selkirk College: BCKDF funding amounts and research project descriptions - $261,256

  • Selkirk Technology Access Centre – Advanced Manufacturing Industry Collaboration $261,256 (researcher: Terri MacDonald)

The centre will support regional economic development by providing local companies with access to hard-to-come-by technology to help them become more innovative and competitive. The centre will increase rapid prototyping capacity for the region’s pool of designers, engineers and entrepreneurs, reducing the volume of items travelling by freight to the West Kootenay, the associated greenhouse gas emissions and time required.