BIG 18



Workshop II


From 16:00 to 17:00 in rooms 2301 / 2311 / 2314

“2 model organisms, 1 process: Understanding cell development using worms and flies”

Room 2301, UBC Nest  |  The Wnt signaling pathway is an evolutionarily conserved pathway that regulates development, and has important implications in human diseases like cancer. The Verheyen lab uses D. melanogaster to understand how tissues grow and form distinct cellular patterns. The Hawkins lab uses C. elegans to understand what causes new cells to take on different fates after cell division. Spot a link yet? If not, come to the workshop to understand what the Wnt pathway does and why you should care about it. If yes, sign up to find out how independent research on these two model organisms comes together to provide a cohesive picture of the same set of essential developmental processes in worms, flies, and humans!

"Going from bench to business and how ECOSCOPE can help"

Room 2311, UBC Nest  |  Graduating soon and want to be your own employer? Got some cool ideas that you think will make you the next big Illumina or Roche? Attend this workshop to understand how your biological research can tie into industry.

Kim is an EDUCE teaching and learning fellow at ECOSCOPE. This workshop will be a mini-panel around translating academic research to industry impact, with a secondary focus on highlighting what an industry startup in biological research looks like. For this, Kim will be joined by two ECOSCOPE trainees, one with experience in starting their own company and another who completed an industry internship in a startup as part of their Masters degree.

  Kim Dill McFarland, PhD

Kim Dill McFarland, PhD

"Cancer discovery with patient-derived xenograft models"

Room 2314, UBC Nest  |  At the Living Tumor Laboratory (, we have developed a routine procedure for successfully grafting and serially transplanting primary human cancer tissues into immuno-deficient SCID mice. It is based on grafting patients’ biopsy or excised primary cancer tissue into the subrenal capsule graft site. The high vascularity of this site, compared to subcutaneous and orthotopic sites, allows more adequate supply of nutrients to the graft important for maintaining tumor heterogeneity. Using the effective xenografting methodology, the group has developed over 300 transplantable patient-derived “high fidelity” xenograft models. These xenografts retain all the salient features of the donor tumor.  These features include pathology, growth dynamics, global gene expression, genome structure, and response to therapy including the development of resistance.  Consequently, these high fidelity models can be used for gaining detailed knowledge of human cancer development, progression and metastasis. The xenografts are powerful tools for development of novel therapeutics, cancer discovery and personalized cancer therapy. In this workshop, foci will be on the properties of such next generation models and examples of their applications