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Welcome to the UBC Okanagan research and innovation e-newsletter, published twice per year (fall and spring), to keep our research and campus community informed and connected.



Vice-Principal and Associate Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Phil Barker, provides an update for the 2020/21 academic year.


2019/20 highlights:

  • $32.1M funding (28% increase from 2018/19)
  • 1,067 funded projects
  • 300 research faculty
  • 1,065 graduate students


"The trajectory of our campus is really extraordinary."

- Phil Barker, Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation



Pandemic Perseverance

UBC researchers show resilience during global pandemic


"COVID-19 has disrupted everything we do but the campus research community has displayed remarkable resilience", according to Associate Vice-Principal, Research, Paul van Donkelaar, who has been central to ensuring UBCO researchers have swift and safe access to campus resources and remote support during the pandemic.

Faculty on the Front Line

UBCO researchers responding to COVID-19


UBC researchers across a range of domains are addressing the many aspects of COVID-19 and its impacts. Here are just a few examples of how UBC research expertise is being put to use to protect Canadians:

  1. Building Resilient Rural Communities: Understanding the Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 (Nelly Oelke, Nursing)
  2. Early Detection of COVID-19 through Artificial Intelligence (Philip Ainslie, Health and Exercise Sciences)
  3. Response to COVID-19 in the Homelessness Sector and Impact on Service Providers and Users (John Graham, Social Work)

Room to Grow

New Plant Growth Facility now open



A new 5,100 square-foot research greenhouse with capacity for more than 10,000 tropical and temperate (local) plants has just opened on the west campus lands. Sights are set high for it to become a national centre for plant biochemistry.



Learn more about what the Plant Growth Facility means for the campus research community in a Q&A with Professor Michael Deyholos, newly appointed scientific director of the shared research facility.


Research Spotlight

UBCO's newest Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholars



Thuy Dang

Assistant Professor, Biochemistry

Thuy Dang is a biochemist and co-inventor of patents on the production of a number of plant-derived anticancer compounds.



Jennifer Davis

Assistant Professor, Management

Jennifer Davis is assessing health system performance in chronic and acute conditions to improve the Canadian health care system.



Isaac Li

Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology

Isaac Li is designing molecular tools to monitor and control diseases ranging from cancer and chronic inflammation to neurodegeneration.



Katrina Plamondon

Assistant Professor, Nursing

Katrina Plamondon is advancing health equity by supporting the integraration of evidence-informed strategies and principles.


Space to Innovate

New research and collaboration space nearing completion


UBC’s Innovation Precinct is beginning to take shape with the dedication and imagination of researchers, students and staff. "Building One", located at 1540 Innovation Drive, is nearing completion and will soon be home to a vibrant mix of graduate students and research faculty from the School of Engineering and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.

Feature Stories



Empowering Entrepreneurs


For risk-takers and problem-solvers, entrepreneurship@UBCO helps transform creative classroom theory into real-world application.


Exposing Land Grabs


Global sociologist Jasmin Hristov describes how state and paramilitary violence has forced millions of Latin American people off their land.


Indigenous Research Support



Mitacs Indigenous Engagement


Candice Loring, director of business development and Indigenous community engagement at Mitacs, works with Indigenous-owned businesses, communities and economic development organizations to fund partner research projects and UBCO student internships.



Reconciliation in Engineering


Ian Foulds, principal's research chair in Indigenous reconciliation in engineering, is building a framework for engineers to engage with Indigenous communities, increase opportunities for Indigenous students, and Indigenize the engineering curriculum.



Cultural Safety Workshop


Sandra Fox, Indigenous community liaison in the Office of the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation, helped organize cultural safety training, delivered by Indigenous Elders, to provide researchers and trainees with insights on working with Indigenous people.


Research News & Events

The Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation (VPRI) portfolio helps guide and support the UBCO research community in pursuing research and creative scholarship that enriches our community and helps make the world a better place.




Office of the Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation

Okanagan Campus | Syilx Okanagan Nation Territory

ADM006 – 1138 Alumni Ave | Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7

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