Dr. Julian Cheng, Dr. Jonathan Little, Dr. Eric Li and Michelle St. Pierre receive awards from UBCO for their innovative research. (UBCO/Contributed)

Dr. Julian Cheng, Dr. Jonathan Little, Dr. Eric Li and Michelle St. Pierre receive awards from UBCO for their innovative research. (UBCO/Contributed)

UBC Okanagan honours work of local researchers

Four local researchers are getting recognized by UBCO for their innovative work

The University of British Columbia Okanagan is honouring four local researchers for their groundbreaking work.

The awards recognize those who have made a significant contribution to research in natural sciences and engineering, social sciences and humanities, and health. A graduate student is also honoured annually at this event.

“This is one of my favourite times of the year when I have the pleasure of acknowledging some of our star researchers and highlighting their contributions,” Dr. Phil Barker, UBCO’s vice principal of research and innovation, said at the virtual award ceremony.

“UBC’s Okanagan campus is one of the most rapidly expanding campuses in Canada and we continue to attract top-notch scholars and researchers.”

Barker said the research highlighted — from wireless technology to psychedelic-drug assisted therapy to diabetes research and tackling social inequalities — demonstrates the breadth of UBCO researchers’ impact locally, nationally, and internationally.

This year, Dr. Julian Cheng was named the natural sciences and engineering researcher of the year. Dr. Cheng has many patents and recently invented an indoor optical wireless location technique that improves receiver accuracy and will allow precise control of robot movement. His research also includes an intra-body communication device using wireless technology that will benefit health-care systems.

The award for health researcher of the year went to Dr. Jonathan Little, who has been investigating improved treatments and possible prevention of Type 2 diabetes. Much of his work revolves around the impact of healthy eating and exercise to stave off metabolic disease. Dr. Little also leads the Airborne Disease Transmission Research Cluster, a cross-campus research team aiming to lessen the airborne transmission of COVID-19 and other airborne illnesses.

Dr. Eric Li, the winner of the social sciences and humanities award, is an expert on social trends and a champion for the underdog. His research focuses on interdisciplinary collaborations with non-profit organizations and local government to improve social inequities. His overreaching goal is to improve the lives of everyday people around the world. Through his community-based research, he has impacted food insecurity, poverty, urban densification and rural community building in our region.

Doctoral student Michelle St. Pierre has been honoured for her work in substance use and mental health, focusing on cannabis and psychedelic use and harm reduction. She has made significant research breakthroughs in how people cope with pain and pain sensitivity. St. Pierre has received international media attention for her research on cannabinoid-based analgesics and is a national expert on cannabis policy.

“The purpose of these awards is to highlight and honour the research excellence that makes UBC a top 40 global university,” added Dr. Barker.

“I am impressed with the calibre of all our researchers and am very proud of this year’s recipients. I look forward to their future successes.”

READ MORE: RCMP searching for suspect after armed robbery at Rutland gas station

READ MORE: Replica guns, drugs seized from Kelowna home


@amandalinasnews
amandalina.letterio@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

UBC

Just Posted

North Westside residents can dispose of their unwanted bulky items between June 30 and July 14, 2021. (File photo)
North Westside residents can soon get rid of unwanted bulky items

Large household items can be disposed of at North Westside Transfer Station June 30 to July 14

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D area. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control to Electoral Area D; director calls for respectful discussion

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read