On July 25, 2014, the UBC Faculty of Medicine completed an update to its donor wall in the Life Sciences Centre, commemorating its wide range of generous supporters. The vibrant and colourful display of names honours individuals, families, organizations, and foundations who have contributed $25,000 or more to the students and life-enhancing research of the Faculty.
Thanks to these truly inspirational donors, vital discoveries and innovations in health—from critical cancer research to cures for rare eye diseases—have been possible.
Novel advancements in brain health, for example, are now more within reach since the opening of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH) on the UBC Vancouver campus in February 2014. This Centre facilitates interdisciplinary and collaborative brain research and health care delivery by bringing together experts in Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and mood disorders. Here, Dr. Matthew Farrer, Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and Canada Excellence Research Chair in Neurogenetics and Translational Neurosciences, has identified a novel mutation liked to typical late-onset Lewy body Parkinson’s disease. This discovery is the second protein involved in the Parkinson’s disease pathway and is considered the “missing link” that helps unify past discoveries in the disease. Through the generosity of our donors, Dr. Mowafaghian’s vision for a centre in which great collaborations spark great ideas is now being realized.
Encouragement for the next generation of physicians and scientists has also been a priority for the Faculty’s generous donors. In 2013, nearly$3.5 million was awarded in MD student prizes and bursaries to facilitate learning and foster new ideas. Philanthropists like the late Judith Jardine, railway heiress and triple UBC alumnus, have financially supported aspiring physicians in their academic goals, easing the worry that is often associated with the high cost of education.
Philanthropic funding has saved countless lives and continues to inspire our dedicated researchers and physicians. Support for a wide range of research initiatives and projects has contributed to UBC’s standing as #1 on the University Global Health Impact Report Card, #2 on RE$EARCH Infosource Inc.’s list of Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities 2012, and #1 in Canada in the Life Sciences. The University is proud to share its accomplishments with the donors who have helped initiate and direct our activities.
Since 2012, the Faculty of Medicine donor wall has highlighted a strong tradition of giving to UBC. As the list of donors is updated every few years, the wall stands as a tribute to the donors who have supported students and sustained critical research at UBC which will shape the future of health care in British Columbia and beyond.