We are diabetes research in British Columbia!

We are diabetes research in British Columbia!

Vancouver Diabetes Research Day 2019

Vancouver Diabetes Research Day (VDRD) was celebrated on November 14, 2019. This trainee-led scientific day is held annually to coincide with the World Health Organization’s “World Diabetes Day”. VDRD was founded in 2014 by a group of dedicated trainees from the BC Children’s Hospital Canucks for Kids Fund Childhood Diabetes Laboratories and the UBC Life Sciences Institute’s Diabetes Research Group. This year the event was held at the University of British Columbia’s Alma Mater Society’s NEST which provided a great setting for a full day of science & networking.

The Vancouver Diabetes Research Day meeting has grown into a provincial meeting for diabetes researchers from across British Columbia. This year the event comprised of over 150 attendees including 20 faculty and 75 trainees with the support of 10 sponsors and 4 community partners. Meeting delegates came from UBC Vancouver (including the Life Sciences Institute and BC Children’s Hospital) and the UBC Okanagan campus, SFU, University of Victoria and the UNBC. Research presentations ranged across the four BCDRN themes including; Islet Biology and Cell Therapy, Complications, Prevention and Patient-Oriented Research. 

In addition to oral and poster presentations from the academic diabetes research teams the event brought in two experts in their fields to deliver keynote addresses:

Dr. Christine Doucette, Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba in the department of Physiology & Pathophysiology and a Senior Scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM) presented, Youth-onset type 2 diabetes in Indigenous children from Central Canada: Exploring the role of an HNF-1a gene variant.

Dr. Brian Fife, Associate Professor of Medicine within the Division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases at the University of Minnesota Medical School presented, Identifying antigen-specific T cells in type 1 diabetes and therapeutic approaches for T cell tolerance or regulation.

Congratulations to our VDRD 2019 trainee award winners:

People’s Choice Best Oral Presentation

Cara Ellis, Kieffer Lab

Subcutaneous implant of differentiated human pluripotent stem cells in macroencapsulation devices in mice or rats

Faculty Choice Best Oral Presentation

Austin Taylor, Verchere Lab

Beta-cell Pcsk1 plays a larger role than beta-cell Pcsk2 in insulin biosynthesis and glucose homeostasis in mice

Best Poster Session A

Ji Soo (Samantha) Yoon, Lynn Lab

Single cell RNA-seq of human islets reveals heterogeneity in β-cell transcriptional states and calcium response

Best Poster Session B

Dominika Nackiewicz, Verchere Lab

Islet macrophages are a primary source of islet IGF-1 and skew to a wound repair state following pancreatic beta-cell death

In addition to our visiting faculty, Dr Randy Levinson (Senior Scientific Editor, Cell Metabolism) and communications consultant Krista Lamb joined VDRD 2019. Randy participated in Diabetes Research Career Night as a panelist. Krista Lamb hosted the Diabetes Trainee Career Night Panel and also recorded six podcasts for a new series launching in 2020 “Diabetes: from Beta Cells to Bicycles” for the BCDRN.

For the second year in a row a Diabetes Research Trainee Career Night was held as part of VDRD. On November 13th a gathering of over 60 attendees arrived at the Granville Island Hotel Dockside Lounge for a private networking function. The event brought together a panel of experts sharing a variety of views and experiences. The panel was moderated by Krista Lamb and included:

Career Panelists:

  • Dr. Pieter Cullis, Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at UBC
  • Dr. Cameron Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at UBC
  • Dr. Christine Doucette, Assistant Professor of Physiology at University of Manitoba
  • Dr. Sarah Linklater, Chief Scientific Officer at JDRF Canada
  • Dr. Randy Levinson, Senior Scientific Editor at Cell Metabolism

We are grateful for our trainee committee for their contributions to designing and delivering an extraordinary scientific day; Raelyn Gallant (Verchere Lab), Daniel Gamu (Gibson Lab), Queenie Hui (Kieffer Lab), Ei-Xia Mussai  (Devlin Lab), Dominika Nackiewicz (Verchere Lab), Austin Taylor (Verchere Lab), Peter Overby (Johnson Lab), Lindsay Pallo (Verchere Lab), Alejandra Wiedeman (Devlin Lab), and Samantha Yoon (Lynn Lab). We are also grateful to our emcee and event host, Cara Ellis (Kieffer Lab) for her gracious style and humor. Finally, a special thank you to Breanna Watson (BCDRN Research Projects Coordinator) and Meg Hughes (BCDRN Network Manager) for their incredible organizational abilities behind the scenes.

All attendees are encouraged to provide feedback to help improve Vancouver Diabetes Research Day 2020: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JQRRF3F

On behalf of the Vancouver Diabetes Research Day 2019 trainee committee thank you for joining us and we look forward to seeing you all at VDRD 2020.

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