On the Move: From Global Migration to Molecular Impacts

  • Annie Ciernia, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Friedrich Martin Götz, Psychology; and Daniel Vigo, Psychiatry | Population and Public Health
    Coach House, Green College, UBC, and livestreamed

    Wednesday, October 26, 5-6:30pm, with reception to follow
    in the series
    Moving On: New Research on Migration, Borders and Health
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    In this second event in the Moving On series, three Green College Leading Scholars will explore how the story of migration is fundamentally the story of all of us. Annie Ciernia (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology),  Friedrich Martin Götz (Psychology) and Daniel Vigo (Psychiatry, and Population and Public Health) will begin by discussing personal stories about moving to Canada, highlighting unique and shared experiences. Among the questions they will interrogate, they will ask: What makes people move? What makes them stay? How does moving or staying influence their life and identity?

    From this personalized reflection, these three Leading Scholars will go on to tie these personal stories to current empirical findings on how individual differences influence how people adapt to their new environments. In particular, they will consider how these types of environmental changes influence our behaviour and brains, down to the molecular level.

    Annie Ciernia is an Assistant Professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Her research focuses on understanding the molecules and processes that control how our brains develop during childhood and what goes wrong in the cases of brain disorders such as Autism. She specifically focuses on immune cells in the brain and how they interact with the rest of our body and environment. She uses mouse models to test how genetics combine with early life experience to shape brain function and our behaviour. The ultimate goal of her research is to understand these mechanisms and leverage them to develop new therapeutics for brain disorders.


    Friedrich Martin Götz is an Assistant Professor in Psychology. He is a social-personality and geographical psychologist, pursuing an interdisciplinary Big Data approach to investigate the causes and consequences of spatial differences in psychological characteristics (e.g., personality traits and values). Applying classic interactionist theories from social and personality psychology to real-world settings, Friedrich adopts two integrated streams of research: On the micro-level, he studies how distinct regional psychological profiles emerge and shape individual cognitions, behaviours and emotions (e.g., personal spending and well-being). On the macro-level, he researches how regional psychological profiles shape an area’s social, political and economic climate and affect relevant macro-level outcomes (e.g., suicide prevalence, election results and start-up rates).

    Daniel Vigo is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, and in Population and Public Health. He is a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist and public health specialist originally from Argentina. In addition to his role at UBC, he is a Lecturer at Harvard Medical School, an Advisor to the PAHO and the WHO, as well as the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Mental Health Systems. he has worked in clinical, research, teaching and leadership positions across the public and private sector, in Buenos Aires, Boston and Vancouver. His expertise is in public health, health systems, global mental health, psychiatric epidemiology, psychopharmacology, psychotherapy and e-mental health. He currently works closely with Health Authorities, the BC Ministry of Health and Health Canada to deliver evidence-based mental health and substance use services, with a focus on the most severely ill population with concurrent disorders.

    Humanity has never been more mobile than it is today. Migration comes in many different shapes and forms, and it impacts those who move and those who stay put in multiple ways. Across roundtable and panel discussions, keynote talks and an edited book presentation, this Green College Leading Scholars Event Series adopts diverse multidisciplinary perspectives from cultural studies, medicine, history, linguistics, neuroscience, psychology, political science and bioengineering to dissect and explore the meaning of fast-moving people in a fast-moving world and its implications for our personal and societal physical and mental well-being.

    Series Conveners: Anna Blakney, Biomedical Engineering; Benjamin Bryce, History; Annie Ciernia, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Megan Daniels, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies; Friedrich Götz, Psychology; Manu Madhav, Biomedical Engineering; Matias Margulis, Public Policy and Global Affairs; Elise Stickles, English Language and Literatures; Daniel Vigo, Psychiatry, and Population and Public Health; Lydia Wytenbroek, Nursing; and Ayaka Yoshimizu, Asian Studies.

  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.

October 26th, 2022 from  5:00 PM to  6:30 PM
Coach House
6201 Cecil Green Park Rd
Green College, UBC
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
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Speaker Series Moving On: New Research on Migration, Borders and Health
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Speaker (new) Annie Ciernia, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Friedrich Martin Götz, Psychology; and Daniel Vigo, Psychiatry | Population and Public Health
Short Speaker Annie Ciernia, Friedrich Martin Götz and Daniel Vigo
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