The University of British Columbia has created its largest ever endowed scholarship, thanks to a $6-million donation from the Faculty of Medicine’s first two members — Constance Livingstone-Friedman and Sydney Friedman.
The Constance Livingstone-Friedman and Sydney Friedman Foundation’s most recent gift more than triples the size of the endowment for the Friedman Award for Scholars in Health, which provides opportunities for graduate students and medical residents studying health sciences to learn from global experts in their respective fields.
This donation is in addition to $3 million donated earlier this year by the foundation to establish this scholarship fund. In total, the Friedman family has donated more than $11 million to UBC.
Sydney and Constance Friedman were the first faculty members of the Faculty of Medicine, and established the Department of Anatomy, of which Sydney was Head from 1950 to 1981. Together, they published more than 200 papers on salt and hypertension. Constance died in 2011 and Sydney in 2015.
The scholarship, created in 2013 with a pledge from the Friedman’s charitable foundation, enables graduate students and UBC medical resident trainees to travel outside Western Canada for at least six months in the course of their studies. The Friedmans believed a well-rounded education requires students to learn from different perspectives and cultures.
“These scholarships will provide recipients incredible opportunities to expand their research internationally and bring that knowledge back to UBC,” said Prof. Santa J. Ono, UBC’s President and Vice-chancellor. “Constance and Sydney Friedman were pioneers that helped propel UBC into the research university it is today. I want to thank the Friedman Foundation for ensuring that legacy will be preserved and enhanced in perpetuity.”
Kaylee Byers, 31, is one of five Friedman Scholars in Health named in 2017 who will receive between $25,000 and $50,000 to advance their work. Byers, who is pursuing a PhD through the interdisciplinary studies program, will use her $25,000 award to travel to Sri Lanka for six months and assist researchers in that country in establishing a wildlife health surveillance program to better anticipate potential transmission of diseases from animals to humans.
Byers says that experience will translate well to elements of her research here in B.C., where she looks at disease transmission among rats and the potential risks to humans in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
“Any research that can help prevent disease outbreaks elsewhere can help prevent them here in Canada,” she said. “The Friedman Scholarship will help me ask better questions and have access to collaborations to better answer those questions now and into the future.”