Four members of Faculty of Medicine elected to Royal Society of Canada

Two members of the UBC Faculty of Medicine have been named Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada – the highest honour a scholar can achieve in the arts, humanities and sciences in Canada — and two members have been elected to its College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Shoukat Dedhar, a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Thomas Oxland, a Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Mechanical Engineering, were named Fellows, and Lori Brotto, a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Teresa Liu-Ambrose, a Professor of Physical Therapy, were named members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, which provides the RSC with a multigenerational capacity to help Canada and the world address major challenges and seize new opportunities including those identified in emerging fields.

Dr. Shoukat Dedhar, a Distinguished Scientist at BC Cancer, has done pioneering work in the field of cell adhesion, uncovering the molecular basis for cell attachment to the surrounding matrix and how that regulates fundamental aspects of cellular physiology. His discovery of Integrin-Linked Kinase has generated a large body of work that has demonstrated fundamental roles of this protein in normal tissue function and pathologies, such as cardiovascular dysfunction, renal failure, and cancer.

Dr. Thomas Oxland, the Acting Director of ICORD (International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries) is an international authority in the biomechanical behaviour of the human spine. His seminal research work includes the biomechanics of the normal, degenerated, and injured spine, spinal cord injury, spinal and other orthopaedic implants and surgical techniques. He was a key research and development engineer for novel spinal implants that remain in clinical use today, more than twenty-five years after the initial surgeries.

Thomas Oxland

Dr. Lori Brotto, a Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health and Executive Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute, is internationally recognized as a leader in sexual health research. She has led teams to develop effective psychological interventions to improve sexual dysfunction and genital pain, which collectively affect up to a third of women. Her work has influenced international practice guidelines. In less than ten years since the start of her academic appointment (excluding parental leaves), and 15 years since her PhD, she has achieved over 130 peer reviewed publications, 61 grants, and her book “Better Sex Through Mindfulness”, a translation of her program of research on women’s sexual health, was published in 2018 by Greystone Publishing.

Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, a Canada Research Chair of Physical Activity, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience, is an international leader in healthy aging research. Using clinical trials, she has pioneered insights into various types of exercise programmes in preventing cognitive decline and falls in older adults. Her work has led to surprising and highly influential insights in an area of profound societal need. She has assumed leadership roles in major Canadian and international forums and projects, and translated her findings to directly benefit patients.

The 2018 Fellows and Members will be welcomed into the RSC this November, at a celebration in Halifax.