Each year the Killam Accelerator Research Fellowships (KARF) are awarded to six exceptional early career researchers whose proposed research has the potential for significant impact in their field of study.
This is the second of two special evenings of lectures on how the inaugural cohort of KARF recipients, funded in 2020, have advanced their research and scholarship. Lectures cover a diverse range of areas: from biblical studies to software engineering; from molecular construction to computer vision; and from forest restoration to understanding the role of chronic inflammation in health conditions and aging.
To learn more about this lecture series, and to register, visit the event homepage.
This event has been organized and sponsored by the Office of Research Prizes and Awards, UBC.
Jonathan Little is Professor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at UBC Okanagan. He has published over 150 peer- reviewed journal articles in the areas of exercise metabolism, nutrition, type 2 diabetes, obesity and immunology. His Killam Accelerator Research Fellowship has focused on understanding how chronic inflammation develops in conditions of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and aging — and how we can optimize diet and exercise interventions to reduce inflammation and improve overall health. His current work employs his state-of-the art analytical techniques to provide novel mechanistic insight into the pathogenesis of type-2 diabetes and then tests lifestyle changes (e.g., exercise, diet) for their potential to restore the molecular defects contributing to the progression of the disease. This research aims to identify molecular therapeutics as well as non-pharmaceutical interventions to safely improve the health of individuals with type-2 diabetes.
Katherine Ryan is a Professor of Chemistry at UBC. She received her PhD at MIT, where she carried out structural biology studies with Catherine Drennan. She then joined Bradley Moore's group as at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography as a Postdoctoral Fellow to study marine natural product biosynthesis. Her independent research group investigates biosynthetic routes to nitrogen-containing natural products, using protein X-ray crystallography as a major tool. Her research investigates how molecules are constructed in nature. She is a leading researcher in how enzymes catalyze challenging chemical reactions to give unique arrangements of specific atoms. Her work provides fundamental insights into chemistry, enzymology and biosynthesis, and has applications in biocatalysis, where enzymes replace traditional reagents used in chemical synthesis.
Leonid Sigal is a Professor at UBC. He was appointed CIFAR AI Chair at the Vector Institute in 2019 and an NSERC Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Computer Vision and Machine Learning in 2018. Prior to this, he was a Senior Research Scientist, and a group lead, at Disney Research. He completed his PhD at Brown University in 2008; received his BSc degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from Boston University in 1999, his MA from Boston University in 1999, and his MS from Brown University in 2003. He was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Toronto, between 2007-2009. Leonid's research interests lie in the areas of computer vision, machine learning and computer graphics; with the emphasis on approaches for visual and multi-modal representation learning, recognition, understanding and analytics. As a leader in Computer Vision — an interdisciplinary field that seeks to gain high-level understanding from digital imagery, his research focuses on building algorithms that can automatically and intelligently recognize, catalog, understand and analyze image and video content, as well as synthetically generate images.