The Ring

Around the ring


Advances in mouse proteomics

Proteomics—the study of proteins found in human cells and how they regulate their actions—is one of the most promising areas for developing new therapies for human diseases. Mouse models are the mainstay of most biomedical research, but researchers are limited by the small volumes of blood that can be sampled from live animals. Now, using $1.2 million in new funding from Genome BC and Genome Canada, the UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre and spinoff company MRM Proteomics Inc. will continue their work to develop new tools to help medical researchers measure the concentration of individual proteins in mouse plasma.

The project will develop assay kits for researchers that will offer “unparalleled accuracy and specificity in mouse models,” says Christoph Borchers, director of the UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre. “These kits will be delivered to customers complete with all necessary protocols, instrument settings, reagents, standards and data analysis software.” The global market for mouse proteomics kits is estimated to be at least $90 million.

Welcoming our largest class to date

September brought the largest incoming student class to date at UVic, with 21,255 students enrolled—up 2.4 per cent from last year. Most of the growth is among undergraduates, with notable increases in engineering and business programs. International enrolment also continues to rise. An official count will be conducted in November, along with full-time equivalent (FTE) numbers. Statistically, the year stands poised to record solid, sustainable growth for our campus community.

Research presentation on The UVic Difference project

A presentation on the key research findings from The UVic Difference project will be held for the university community Oct. 21 at 3:00–4:30 p.m. in the David Turpin Building, room A102

To ensure a firm fact-based foundation to the renewal and sharpening of the university's positioning with key audiences, UVic conducted a range of quantitative research last spring, in addition to the multiple focus groups, forums, interviews, meetings and commenting opportunities that were part of the project.

The response to the quantitative surveys was so enthusiastic that the university now has substantial data covering perceptions of UVic as well as views about post-secondary education from students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and business and public sector leaders in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, and co-op employers across the country.

During the presentation, Pam Ward from The Strategic Counsel research firm will take attendees through the key findings and answer questions.

More info on The UVic Difference site.

President's Campus Update

Join President Cassels on Oct. 7 for the President's Campus Update, where he'll review some of UVic's accomplishments of the past year and address some of the challenges, opportunities and plans for the years ahead.

Beyond the ring


Universities make cases for provincial and federal funding

On Sept. 19, the Research Universities' Council of BC (RUCBC) presented its submission to the BC legislature's Finance Committee (pdf), making the case for short term reinvestment and long term strategic funding for post-secondary education. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) also recently released its recommendations for the 2015 federal budget, focusing on enhanced funding for research and innovation, advocating for an opportunities strategy for young Canadians and new initiatives to support Indigenous post-secondary education.

Co-op and Career helps local small business hire students

UVic’s Co-operative Education Program and Career Services will help eight to 10 Vancouver Island businesses hire post-secondary students to grow their e-commerce strategies, thanks to a new partnership with Industry Canada’s Small Business Internship Program (SBIP). Through the agreement, UVic Co-op and Career will allocate $80,000 in SBIP funding to small- or medium-sized businesses wishing to hire students for a 12-week internship. Project details can be found at www.uvic.ca/coopandcareer/employerfunding.

University presidents say province should lower student loan interest

UVic President David Turpin has joined with his counterparts at BC's three other research-intensive universities in recommending that the BC government make changes in student financial assistance. BC has the nation's highest interest rate on student loans at 2.5 per cent above prime. The presidents point out that changes in student aid programs are necessary in order to reach out to groups of potential student that have traditionally been under-represented in post-secondary education. Vancouver Sun article

Academic burnout on the rise

Post-secondary teaching staff suffer burnout at levels approximating that of health professionals, according to an international literature review published in the journal Educational Research and reported in THE (Times Higher Education). Based on 12 peer-reviewed studies in the United States, Britain, Canada, South Africa, Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands, the authors found that those suffering from greater emotional exhaustion included younger staff and women.