The Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is an interdisciplinary research centre governed by a Steering Committee of Deans from the Faculties of Medicine, Science, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Graduate Studies together with the VP Research. Currently, it gathers together in one open laboratory, nine UBC faculty members, variously affiliated with the Departments of Medicine, Medical Genetics, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Cellular & Physiological Sciences, Chemistry, Zoology, and Microbiology and Immunology, in the Faculties of Medicine and of Science. These investigators and their undergraduate and post-graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and technicians work closely together alongside each other in open laboratory space, sharing their knowledge and techniques.
BRC research focuses on the cellular and molecular basis of “inflammation”, the response of the body to infection or damage, and “repair and regeneration” that restore function to damaged tissues. The goal is to generate new knowledge about stem cells and how they generate the cells that are required for inflammation, repair and regeneration and the molecular details of how these processes are regulated. Dysregulated inflammation, repair and regeneration underlie important diseases like arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, infectious disease and cancer. The aim is to translate this new knowledge about into innovative treatments and vaccines.
Technology development Advances in biological knowledge are increasingly driven by technological developments that offer new opportunities for discovery. BRC researchers have established a tradition of adapting and extending many of the key technologies of modern biology. These have included advances in mass-spectrometry and proteomics, molecular genetics, the generation of recombinant monoclonal antibodies, and multi-parameter fluorescence activated cell sorting. The BRC is the home of the UBC Multi-user Flow Cytometry (FACS) Facility directed by Dr Fabio Rossi and the UBC Transgenic Facility directed by Dr Wilfred Jefferies and also serves as the focus of proteomics at UBC, housing the Collaborative Facility for Proteomics, directed by Dr Juergen Kast and the Global Proteomics Machine Data Base run by Dr Ron Beavis, Canada Research Chair in Experimental Bioinformatics.
Translation and commercialization The diversity of technological approaches in which BRC investigators have expertise, the interactive environment and the common research focus on a better understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of inflammation, repair and regeneration, generates powerful synergies and has led to a series of discoveries that have proceeded to commercial development. A high proportion of BRC faculty have had experience with spin-off companies and their contacts and mentoring increases the likelihood that discoveries will be translated into practical benefits for the health of Canadians and their economy. BRC discoveries have led to the creation of many high-quality jobs for British Columbians.