Distinguished biomedical innovator to lead research at UBC Okanagan

Molecular biologist Philip Barker from McGill University appointed Vice-Principal Research

Molecular biologist and biochemist Philip Barker has been appointed Vice-Principal Research at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus.

A professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery and Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill University, Barker will lead UBC’s Okanagan research portfolio beginning August 1.

Raised in the Okanagan and a graduate of Kelowna Secondary School, Barker earned a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology from Simon Fraser University, completed his PhD in anatomy and cell biology at the University of Alberta, and performed postdoctoral studies in neurobiology at Stanford University. He is currently a James McGill Scholar and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Molecular Neuroscience at McGill University.

“We’re absolutely delighted to welcome such a distinguished researcher and experienced administrator to UBC Okanagan’s leadership team this summer,” says Deborah Buszard, UBC’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Okanagan campus.

“Over a span of just 10 years, UBC Okanagan has established the foundations of a tremendous research program. Phil Barker’s leadership will be key to building on our successes, setting and achieving ambitious new research goals, and ensuring we advance truly excellent research that puts our students and the communities we serve at the cutting edge of new knowledge and discovery.”

“It is clear that the Okanagan is emerging as an important innovation hub and that UBC Okanagan is playing a significant role in the economic development of the region,” says Barker. “I am excited to be joining the team at UBC Okanagan and of course, to be returning to Kelowna. The campus and the city are on an exciting trajectory and I am looking forward to working with students and faculty to help facilitate the next phase of development.”

Barker’s research lab has published more than 100 scientific papers on signals that regulate life and death decisions in neurons and cancer cells. He co-founded a biotechnology company, holds several patents, and has developed and licensed several technologies.

From 2007 to 2011, Barker was the Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and Chair of the MNI Centre for Commercialization and Research – a $15-million fund designed to facilitate rapid translation of research into commercial ventures and clinical practice. Barker is currently scientific director of the MNI and is the inaugural chair of McGill University’s Innovation Steering Committee.

Established in 2005, UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC, has more than 8,200 undergraduate and graduate students in eight faculties and schools. An intensive and growing program of research currently includes more than 600 research projects supported by $18 million in annual funding.

Just Posted

Missing Kelowna woman found

Christine Olsen-Meissnitzer has been located

More than $270,000 raised for Kelowna-based hospice

10th Swinging with the Stars fundraiser for the Central Okanagan Hospice Assoc. is a big success

Former Kelowna councillor and radio talk show host Barrie Clark dies

Clark remembered as a fair-minded ‘statesman’ who saw the big picture when it came to Kelowna

Getting into the swing of spring

Kelowna garden shop is busy now that spring has finally arrived

Axe the tax says Kelowna city council

City says it wants B.C.’s Speculation Tax dumped because it could have a significant impact here

Old timbers grace new Timmy’s

The newest Tim Hortons just outside of Oliver was officially opened Saturday

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

New anti-radicalization centre in the works for B.C.

Centre aims to help ‘vulnerable individuals of the path to radicalization’ before they turn to crime

B.C. bravery, public service honoured by Governor General Julie Payette

UVic basketball coach Kathryn Shields inducted into Order of Canada

Sea lion with rope wrapped around neck saved by Vancouver Aquarium

Steller sea lions are a species of special concern and some populations are endangered in parts of Alaska

50-million-year-old fossil found in B.C. town makes history

Paleontologist Dr. Bruce Archibald says Princeton, B.C. is becoming famous for giving up rare fossils

Shephard to don Maple Leaf Down Under

Former KSS Owl and current UBC Thunderbird to play for Canada at Commonwealth Games

VIDEO: Dashcam records near-miss by bad driver

Speeding pickup truck shown illegally passing on highway shoulder

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read