Ryan Vander Werff, Manager BRC-Seq talks about BaseSpace Integrated Workflow

Ryan Vander Werff, Manager BRC-Seq talks about BaseSpace Integrated Workflow



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“Integrating multiple types of genomics data to disentangle meaningful associations”


“Integrating multiple types of genomics data to disentangle meaningful associations”

Dr. Sara Mostafavi, PhD
Assistant Professor, Dept of Medical Genetics and Dept of Statistics
Scientist, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
9:30am to 10:30am
The Biomedical Research Centre
2222 Health Sciences Mall

Host: Dr. Fabio Rossi (fabio@brc.ubc.ca)

Kelly McNagny’s Lab in collaboration with Calvin Roskelley’s Lab and CDRD led by John Babcook target protein to stop spread of aggressive tumours

A side-by-side comparison of lung metastases showing the control antibody on the left and the podocalyxin antibody on the right. Researchers developed the podocalyxin antibody and found that it slowed tumour growth and spread. UBC Media Release | April 9, 2015


Researchers target protein to stop spread of aggressive tumours

Inhibiting a specific protein associated with aggressive, hard-to-treat tumours slows down their ability to spread to other sites in the body, a team of UBC researchers has discovered.

In a study recently published in Breast Cancer Research, researchers describe how inhibiting podocalyxin, a protein marker found in many highly aggressive tumours, dramatically slowed the growth and metastasis of these tumours in mice. In collaboration with the Centre for Drug Research and Development, they also developed an antibody that targets podocalyxin, and found that it slows tumour growth and spread.

“It really, really knocks down the invasiveness of the cells and their ability to migrate and spread to other sites in the body, which is the hard thing to treat in metastatic cancer,” explains Dr. Kelly McNagny of UBC’s Biomedical Research Centre.

Podocalyxin is associated with about five percent of breast cancers, the majority of ovarian cancers, and subsets of colon, renal and bladder cancers. Earlier studies by the same group of researchers and others have shown that its presence in tumours correlates with disease progression and poor survival.

“In most cases, if you have this particular marker on your primary tumour, you’re much more likely to have a poor disease outcome later,” says McNagny. “Our data suggest that expression of this protein enhances the ability of a subset of tumour cells to spread to other sites in the body, and this new antibody inhibits that process.”

This latest discovery offers additional hope for those suffering from metastatic disease. McNagny’s team plans to do further testing of their results, including toxicology studies on the antibody they developed.


This research was supported by an operating grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and an Impact grant from the Stem Cell Network Centre of Excellence. It was the result of a strong collaboration between the UBC laboratories led by Kelly McNagny and Calvin Roskelley, and the Centre for Drug Research and Development led by John Babcook.

This research was honoured with a Distinguished Master’s Thesis STEM Award for the Biological Sciences from the Western Association of Graduate Studies (WAGS/UMI), awarded to UBC MSc graduate Kimberly Snyder, one of the lead authors of the study. Her thesis was selected from nominees representing 89 graduate schools in 13 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces in western North America.


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Sequencing Made Manageable: Application Seminar at the BRC

Sequencing Made Manageable

Applications Seminar at the BRC


Presentation on the virtues of Next Generation Sequencing

and information on services and workflow at BRC-Seq.

· Sequencing Applications

· Sequencing Experiment Design and Q/A

· Basic RNA Sequencing Analysis

○ Basespace (free)

○ Partek and Ingenuity (licensed)


Friday April 17th 1pm-5pm

Biomedical Research Centre

2222 Health Sciences Mall

Ryan Vander Werff

Email: BRCSeq@brc.ubc.ca

PhD Candidate, Ben Paylor (Rossi Lab) Animated Videos Are Recognized in International Competition

February 21, 2014

Dr. Ben Paylor was a fourth-year PhD candidate in Dr. Fabio Rossi’s lab (Biomedical Research Centre) at the time. He is now a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Biomedical Ethics.

A series of animations illustrating the science of stem cells by Canadian scientists has won honourable mention in the 2013 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.

Created by UBC PhD candidate Ben Paylor and University of Toronto post-doctoral fellow Michael Long, StemCellShorts, a series of short animated videos designed to explain stem cells to a mainstream audience, have been viewed more than 15,000 times on YouTube and Vimeo.

The three 60-second videos feature world-renowned stem cell scientists as narrators, including Canadian scientist Jim Till, whose experiments in the 1960s led to the discovery of stem cells.

Chosen by an expert panel from 227 international submissions, StemCellShorts was one of 18 projects recognized by the National Science Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and featured in a special issue of the journal Science.

The project was funded by a grant from the Stem Cell Network and Canadian Stem Cell Foundation and was the only Canadian winner in the international competition, now in its 11th year.

Related Links:

Animating a love of science

Introducing Next Generation Sequencing at The Biomedical Research Centre

Specializing in fast turnaround time, low sample input, and challenging experiments BRC-Seq is expanding services to accept more samples. From QC to analysis we hope to give sequencing access and new applications to more researchers.

For more information contact Ryan Vander Werff
at BRCSeq@brc.ubc.ca



After a successful lecture on the Brain here we go with more fun community work with Muscles & Bones

Thank you Robert Judson and Christine Eisner for your time, the lecture was absolutely brilliant!  It takes a village to raise a child and children in our community seem to be very Lucky to have a bunch of PostDoc and PhD students from the Biomedical Research Centre at UBC volunteering their precious time to teach in our local elementary schools. Feb 26, 2015

Fun Community Work by Lab Members

Thank you Coral for volunteering your time and for your genuine dedication to science. Coral Ann Lewis dedicated her time to teach grade 5 and grade 6 children from our local elementary school all about the Brain. The lecture was a success! Feb 12, 2015

“Seduced By False Promise”

In a commentary in the Feb. 5 Vancouver Sun, Faculty of Medicine Professors Judy Illes and Fabio Rossi express concerns about hockey legend Gordie Howe receiving stem cell treatment in Mexico in the hope of improving his recovery from a stroke.

Opinion: No miracle therapy for stroke

Gordie Howe’s pursuit of stem cell treatment abroad is an awakening for continued education and informed choice

BY JUDY ILLES AND FABIO ROSSI, SPECIAL TO THE VANCOUVER SUN FEBRUARY 12, 2015 http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Opinion+miracle+therapy+stroke/10787468/story.html#__federated=1

“If Canadians have the erroneous impression these therapies are easily accessible abroad, they will be unlikely to advocate for and support legitimate development and implementation in Canada.

We urge Canadians to speak with their physicians, to use reliable sources of information about stem cells such as those published by professional societies (www.ISSCR.org offers excellent resources for patients and families, for example; see also http://www.stemcellnetwork.ca for current news and progress about stem cell research), and reach out to researchers and scholars at medical centres across Canada for advice and consultation.

We reach out to the Howe family to support us in supporting other Canadians affected by neurologic disorders to pursue the excellent care our health system can provide. Help us continue to make discoveries and advance the knowledge we gain every day, and help us promote informed and educated choices by all Canadians that bring real brain health and well-being through prevention and science-based intervention.

Judy Illes Is Canada research chair in neuroethics, professor of neurology and director of the National Core for Neuroethics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia. Fabio Rossi is Canada research chair in regenerative medicine and professor of Medical Genetics Biomedical Research Centre, UBC. Both are investigators with the Stem Cell Network.”

Dr. Fabio Rossi CBC Interview: Why Should the Canadian Government Fund Basic Research?

Dr. Fabio Rossi: Stem Cell Researcher