Faculty of Health Sciences: Best of 2011

Rhodes Scholar sets sights on bettering the world
Health sciences undergraduate Sarah St. John was selected as one of BC’s 2011 Rhodes Scholars. She is the fourth SFU student to date to receive the prestigious $100,000 scholarship to Oxford University.


SFU scientists to track South African HIV numbers
A team of SFU scientists joined with counterparts in South Africa in 2011 to investigate HIV/AIDS in adolescent populations in Durban and Soweto. The five-year, $3.5-million multidisciplinary research project will focus on social, biomedical and ethical issues faced by 15- to 24-year-olds, the source of an estimated 50 per cent of all new infections.


Merck Canada's gift
In a prelude to the 2011 winter holiday season, SFU health scientists received a $1.4-million gift of equipment from Merck Canada that will benefit their teaching and research programs.


Sterling winner fights to reduce lead
Bruce Lanphear, the 2011 winner of SFU’s Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy, has been fighting for decades to reduce lead in our environment in order to protect the world’s children from its devastating health effects. The Sterling prize honours work that challenges complacency and provokes controversy or contributes to its understanding.


Teacher’s free university idea wins 100k grant
Health sciences senior lecturer Kate Tairyan's pitch to develop the world's first free university won her a $100,000 grant and recognition as a “Rising Star” in Canada in 2011. Tairyan was one of 19 Canadian innovators chosen in late June by the new health-research organization Grand Challenges Canada in the first phase of its Canadian Rising Stars in Global Health initiative.


Study recommends reduced breast-cancer screening
Health sciences professor and physician Michel Joffres was part of a Public Health Agency of Canada taskforce in 2011 advising doctors not to prescribe mammograms for average-risk women aged 40-49. Its recommendations, based on a review of thousands of breast cancer screening-related studies, were published in the Nov. 22 Canadian Medical Association Journal.


New study shows effect of prenatal BPA
Health Sciences professor Bruce Lanphear was among a group of international researchers in 2011 who found that girls exposed to higher bisphenol (BPA) levels in their mothers’ womb face serious health effects.