Two UBC researchers receive Outstanding Innovation Awards from Mitacs

Two UBC researchers have been awarded Outstanding Innovation awards by Mitacs, a national organization that empowers Canadian innovation through effective partnerships that deliver solutions to our most pressing problems.

Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation — Postdoctoral: Stephen Choi

Stephen Choi, a postdoctoral cancer researcher in the Urologic Sciences Department at the University of British Columbia, has earned the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation — Postdoctoral for his work to develop a groundbreaking treatment for prostate cancers. Turning conventional wisdom on its head, Choi discovered that suppressing lactic acid, a byproduct generated by cancer cells, can prevent cancer from spreading. His work is now being used to develop an innovative, low-cost drug therapy.

Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation — Indigenous: Mateen Hessami

Mateen Hessami, a wildlife ecologist and former master’s student in the Biology Department at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus, has earned the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation — Indigenous for his work to help the Splatsin First Nation recover the endangered caribou population in their traditional territory and play a leadership role in Canada’s conservation efforts. Hessami was instrumental in facilitating co-learning between Western scientists and Indigenous community members so that Indigenous knowledge, perspectives, and value systems are heard.

“The Mitacs Awards are an incredible opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements of some of the best and brightest researchers and innovators from across Canada. The winners of the 12th annual Mitacs Awards showcase that Canada’s future is bright with these young innovators leading the way.”
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

The Mitacs Awards celebrate the tremendous achievement of top students, professors, and industry partners and recognize the infinite potential for innovation made possible when bold leaders work together. To learn more about the awards and view additional award winners, please visit the Mitacs announcement.