The following research excellence clusters received funding prior to 2018.
We are a world-renowned centre widely recognized for work on questions fundamental to our understanding of biodiversity.
These four questions are:
- What is the genetic basis of adaptation, and how does this genetic basis shape evolution?
- How does the spatial array of individuals across landscapes affect adaptation?
- How do ecological communities change over time, especially as environmental change accelerates?
- How does biodiversity itself evolve?
Solutions to some of Canada’s greatest environmental challenges hinge on understanding the answers to these basic questions. Our team tackles these challenges through a variety of collaborative projects. By understanding the genetic basis of adaptation and how these genes are distributed across space in lodgepole pine and other conifers we are improving replanting strategies and increasing yield in the face of changing environments. By finding new ways to measure the genetic basis of important traits we are improving crop performance across environments. By determining the factors that promote and maintain biodiversity we are advising on strategies to better protect Canada’s natural heritage.
This cluster is focused on the development of breakthrough advanced manufacturing technologies with a special emphasis on the simulation of multi-scale material transformations – the “digital factory”.
Industry receptors include Tier 1 companies in strategic sectors of the Canadian economy: aerospace, automotive, maritime and pipelines.
The BioProducts Institute's (BPI) goal is to accelerate the extraction of high value products like bio-materials, bio-energy and bio-chemicals from bio-based resources.
FBP is an inter- and multi-disciplinary research team comprising of over 30 scientists, engineers, and market/policy experts that brings together the strengths of six of UBC’s strategic research centres (CAWP, MSL, PPC, AMPEL, BRDF, CERC) in support of advancing bio-economy research and education.
This research cluster gathers faculty and graduate students working issues affection concerning groups marginalized on the basis of indigenous, racial, sexual-gender, and other social categories.
The proposed activities consist in collaborations between critical theory and creative + performing arts designed to facilitate the elaboration of a program for transformative practices and theories of social justice.
The DASS cluster will create a systemic data analytics solution to harness the power of omics biomarkers in optimizing health and minimizing disease.
We will pursue such by creating a data linkage platform, setting up a translational laboratory for new omics test development, building data and network science capabilities, and hosting a omics – analytics workshop for the community. Funding will be used to build and expand strategic partnerships and to create new links for translating omics biomarker research that are robust and tangible.
The fundamental mission of Neuroscience is to take molecular and cellular information, together with mapping pathways in the brain, to understand behavior.
A central focus of this research at UBC is the study of brain connections and their dynamic changes during development, learning and how they are altered in disease. Mapping the brain’s vital wiring diagram called the “connectome” represents the structural and functional circuits between brain cells that underlies all brain function. Virtually all aspects of brain imaging from animal synapse work to human PET and MRI reflect activity within these connections.
The main goals of the Dynamic Brain Circuits in Health and Disease cluster are:
1) to understand brain circuit connections and their changes in diseases and the at-risk brain;
2) to model brain disease to establish mechanistic insights;
3) to exploit new knowledge to repair the brain with novel therapeutic approaches.
The cluster will bring together social scientists and ethicists alongside natural scientists to study the ethical, societal response and governance of what are known as gene-editing or gene-drive technologies (GEGD).
In theory, GEGD technologies have the power to transform species, ecosystems, and agricultural production and save millions of lives by eliminating disease vectors (e.g., mosquitoes). But they also present potentially catastrophic and irreversible environmental and security risks.
The research of the Forest and Plant Productivity cluster is relevant to: plant growth and development; plant response to environment; plant genomics; fundamental mechanisms underlying tree and crop development; bio-products derived from renewable resources.
The cluster is comprised of an internationally recognized interdisciplinary team of plant biologists who have outstanding records of obtaining funding for basic and applied research projects on forestry and plant biology.
The global sustainable development goals (SDGs) cannot be achieved without protecting forests, and forests cannot be adequately protected without engaging and supporting the millions of Indigenous and rural people living near them.
Our ForLives cluster aims to address the lack of data on the contribution that forests can and do make to the SDGs by engaging with partner organizations and Indigenous and local communities on targeted research that tackles multiple SDGs simultaneously.
The spread of democracy has been driven by a struggle for freedom and opportunities for human flourishing, yet democratic institutions based on full and inclusive citizenship face a variety of global challenges.
We analyze these through a cluster of collaborative, international and interdisciplinary workshops on:
- global rights and democracy;
- Indigenous rights and selfdetermination; and
- human development and the quality of democracy.
The Globalized Product and Labour Markets Cluster brings together 14 researchers from economics and business to better understand how globalization affects key economic outcomes such as standard of living, economic equality, innovation, and the environment. The 2016 GCRC funds enabled the group to host a workshop on international trade, which encouraged new partnerships and research directions. The funds also enabled collaborations with Statistics Canada and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, allowing the cluster to access key datasets which are crucial to the teams’ publications on the impact of immigration on labour markets in Canada.
The HCGSC research cluster involves an exceptional collaboration between top global governance scholars, leading jouranlists and major media organizations.
It is an interdisciplinary collaborativer partnership based at UBC that pools the skills and expertise of global reporting and supply chain governance scholars, with private sector journalism and media players in investigative reporting, digital production, documentary production and long-form written journalism.
The Implicit Gender Bias in STEM Cluster brings social and applied scientists together with community partners in education and industry to identify and remove gender bias in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Combining expertise in cognitive, developmental, social, educational, and organizational processes, these researchers used their 2016 GCRC funds to host workshops, develop funding applications, and hire a consortium liaison to further partnerships and collaborations. These funds also helped to launch a new Canada-wide consortium called Engendering Success in STEM (ESS), which was awarded a $2.5 million Partnership Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in March 2017. This grant has been matched by over $3 million in additional contributions from educational, industry, and non-profit organizations. More information about the ESS consortium can be found at SuccessinSTEM.ca.
Despite their life-sustaining activities within us and throughout the environment, microbial communities, or microbiomes, remain poorly understood.
The UBC Microbiome Research Network will build links between microbial ecology, evolution, and animal-associated microbiomes to change our understanding of the role of microbial communities in health, environmental balance, and parallels between them.
The NanoMedicines Research Centre Cluster consists of researchers from six faculties, working together to tackle complex, life-shortening diseases that require unconventional therapies. They collaborate with more than ten local companies, employ over 200 people, and have filed over 500 patents together in the nanomedicines arena. The 2016 GCRC funds enabled the NanoMedicines group to develop their impact as a global hub and strengthen partnerships, through community-building events such as their NanoMedicines Research Day, which brought together 230 faculty, staff, students, and industry professionals, and they are now continuing these collaborations. Learn more at https://nanomedicine.ubc.ca/
The ‘Cool Tools Warm World’ Research Cluster consists of 11 UBC scholars in education, psychology, digital media, and climate change, and 8 affiliated researchers across North America and the UK, promoting climate change action through a rare combination of visual media-based learning, behavioural science, and collaboration with communities. The 2016 GCRC funds supported the international Cool Tools Symposium, bringing together leading researchers, educators, industry game designers, NGOs, and community leaders to share the latest break-throughs on digital media for social change, and increase exposure for social mobilization and the cluster itself. The funds have led to new and deeper partnerships: for example, with the Vancouver School Board to promote the Citizens Coolkit on climate action in more schools; and collaborating with Natural Resources Canada on a national network for transition experiments toward low-carbon communities. Cluster members have leveraged funding to develop a new video game template for schools called Our Future Community; mobilize workshops for citizens and teachers, and impact policy eg. through advising City of Vancouver on its Renewable Cities Action Plan. Information on these ongoing social mobilization programs can be found through the above links and the CALP website.
Our cluster includes scholars in in Climate Change Engagement, Education, Psychology, Visualization & Gaming. Working with partners in government, education and the technology industry, we explore how communities can be mobilized through new technologies and social practices to foster climate literacy and action.
Screenshots of Future Delta 2.0 - Climate Change Video Game
The TCG cluster is involved in developing precision oncology approaches to individualize patient therapies, using imaging, genomics, proteogenomics and bioinformatics approaches.
The aim is to characterize drivers of treatment resistance and metastatic disease, to ultimately profile and predict high risk groups, identify combination targeting strategies, inform treatment, and contribute to individual and population prevention strategies, through testing of hypotheses related to cancer dynamics and evolution. These analyses will fuel clinically testable hypotheses and thus drive the creation of new results and treatment paradigms in cancer to reduce the burden of treatment resistance, and through national and international collaborations, translate these across BC, Canada and beyond.
The TCG leaders are pleased to be able to offer a funding program to support trainees in collaborative efforts in translational cancer genomics. PROGRAM DETAILS
We aim to transform medicine by discovering and translating advanced therapeutics based on engineered cells, molecules and materials.
We will foster convergent research aimed at accelerating options for devastating diseases such as heart failure, neural degeneration, diabetes and autoimmunity. Our initiative will serve as a catalyst for a new biotechnology sector important to the health and welfare of Canadians.
We wish to scale up a theatre project with Canadian veterans that looks at using the arts to address men’s mental health issues.
Building on the success of Contact!Unload we aim to mobilize what we learned across Canada. In collaboration with counselors and professional theatre artists in four other Canadian cities, we wish to expand the reach of the project to veterans across the country.
The Dis/ability Arts, Culture & Public Pedagogy Cluster is composed of and by the Wingspan Collaborative at UBC.
Wingspan is an intellectual ‘studio’ of interdisciplinary scholars in disability studies, arts, culture and public pedagogy across many disciplines who collaborate and establish research excellence on common projects regarding the rights of people with disabilities and who proactively promote the idea that while individual disabilities pose impairments, they should not be seen as deficits but instead as differences that enrich collective human experience and the arts. We identify variously as disabled, non-disabled or as artists who focus on disability aesthetics and linger in the liminal spaces between and among artist/researcher/teacher in the broadest sense of these terms, hence, we are Dis/A/R/Tographers in an unequal global world.