An R&D Enthusiast Invests in Urologic Sciences

Jason Ko, president of Richmond-based Viva Pharmaceutical Inc., knows the value of research and development. He has also come to appreciate, as a patient, the expertise of UBC’s Department of Urologic Sciences.

So when he decided to direct some of the profits from his natural health products company to philanthropy, it wasn’t difficult for him to identify the department’s research activities as a worthy cause.

His company donated $1 million to the Faculty of Medicine for three key areas: robotic research, bladder cancer and stones.

“Our company is firmly committed to research and development to make sure we meet the needs of our customers,” Ko says.

“I personally benefitted from British Columbia’s high-quality urology care, and wanted to show my appreciation by giving back to the research enterprise that was there for me when I needed it.”

Donation of $1 Million to UBC Urologic Sciences

Dr. Peter Black. PHOTO COURTESY OF VCH RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Assistant Professors Chris Nguan, Peter Black and Dirk Lange are among the clinical and research scientists whose work will benefit from this boost in funding. Dr. Nguan, working in the clinic, is developing novel robotic technologies to improve kidney surgery. In the laboratory, Dr. Black is investigating gene expression and signalling pathways in bladder cancer, while Dr. Lange is exploring the role of bacteria in causing and treating urologic disease, particularly recurrent kidney stone disease.

“External funding is critical to our success,” says Larry Goldenberg, Professor and Head of the Department of Urologic Sciences. “It fuels our research, builds B.C.’s vibrant biotechnology sector, and most importantly, ensures our community receives the very best care for urological disorders.”

To support urologic sciences, please contact Sarah Roth at 604.827.0569.