The Life Sciences Institute (LSI), a UBC Senate recognized Institute in the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Science, is dedicated to discovering the fundamental biological mechanisms underlying health and disease and translating this knowledge into new therapies. Our environment is designed to catalyze collaborative research ideas and interests. Officially opened in 2005, it is the largest UBC research unit to be jointly governed by the Faculties of Medicine and Science. The interdisciplinarity of the LSI is reflected in the mandate of its Research Groups, which foster the sharing of research ideas, expertise, resources, and joint efforts in the programs that train graduate and undergraduate students. These groups include the Centre for Blood Research (CBR), newly emerged groups like the Centre for Tuberculosis Research (CTBR), and established research facilities like the C. elegans Knockout Facility. Our goal is to facilitate partnerships and innovative initiatives that individual labs and departments cannot achieve alone.
Within the LSI there are over 84 faculty members’ labs, from 10 life sciences departments in Medicine and Science, conducting vibrant, biomedical-based research on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, immune responses, infectious disease, cancer biology, developmental disorders, bacterial regulation, neuroscience, structural biology, and molecular epigenetics. In addition to specific disease-oriented research, the LSI focuses on fundamental basic research in the biomedical sciences aimed at identifying, characterizing, and understanding the molecular mechanisms that govern gene expression, protein structure-function, environmental microbiology, and how key cellular and developmental processes go awry in human disease.
The LSI also provides an exceptional and unique environment for graduate and undergraduate student training (http://grad.lsi.ubc.ca/), being home to over 250 graduate students in 12 different graduate programs in the Faculties of Science, Medicine, and CFIS. The LSI is home to the interdisciplinary graduate program in Cell and Developmental Biology, as well as the departmental graduate programs in Microbiology and Immunology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In addition, over 100 undergraduate students are provided with “enriched educational experiences (E3)” doing independent research projects in LSI labs that are supported by over 50 permanent research staff.
The LSI sponsors a number of innovate initiatives including the Café Scientifique, CSI@the LSI, Graduate Recruiting Initiative, LSI-Graduate Student Association and Postdoc Research Day, Special Seminars/Workshops/Symposia, Visiting Scientist Award, Visiting Trainee Award, and Student awards, as well as supporting topical research events and programs that enhance our research environment.
The LSI partners with other UBC facilities to provide state-of-the-art Imaging, Tissue Processing, TEM and Flow Cytometry. An important member of the LSI is the Centre for Blood Research and the shared facilities that they support. The LSI supports a multiuser Stores and Shop located within the Life Sciences Centre (LSC) and is establishing other key infrastructure to support life sciences research at UBC.