Dustin King receives the 2016 Governor General’s Gold Medal Award


Dustin King, recent PhD graduate has been chosen as this year’s recipient for the 2016 Governor General’s Gold Medal Award (Doctoral). This prestigious award recognizes the best doctoral recipient within the graduating class at UBC.

The Governor General’s Gold Medal is awarded to the student who has achieved the most outstanding academic record as a doctoral student. A second gold medal is awarded to the graduate student who has achieved most outstanding academic record as a Master’s student completing a thesis. This is an opportunity to honour the best in the graduating class within the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, as there is only one award for approximately 1,000 Master’s graduates and one award for more than 300 doctoral graduates. Medals are presented on behalf of the Governor General of Canada by participating educational institutions, along with a personalized certificate signed by the Governor General. There is no monetary award associated with the medals.

Dustin graduates with a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His doctoral research project takes a multi-disciplinary approach towards understanding the molecular basis of beta-lactamase antibiotic resistance. His work, and collaborations stemming from it, has already led to numerous publications in prestigious journals such as Nature. In 2015, Dustin was also selected by the Faculty of Medicine to attend the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany. He says he was extremely impressed with the topics discussed at this year’s meeting. “I was inspired by how the Laureates shared a general interest in scientific areas that were outside their immediate field of study,” he explains. “A major topic of discussion at the meeting was climate change and the Laureates were active in advocating many different perspectives.”

Reflecting on this opportunity, Dustin is quick to express his gratitude. “This was a once in a lifetime experience,” he says. “I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to take part in such an inspiring meeting.”