Awards for Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarly Activity
Each year, we recognize the achievements of faculty and student researchers who have made significant contributions to research and creative scholarly activity at UBC Okanagan. Please join me in congratulating this year’s outstanding awardees, who were honoured at a special virtual awards celebration on Thursday, May 6, 2021.
2021 Faculty Researchers of the Year
JULIAN CHENG | NATURAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING
Professor Julian Cheng is an expert in digital communications and signal processing. He is a global leader in optical and radio frequency (RF) wireless communication and optical technology research. Dr. Cheng invented a new indoor optical wireless location technique that substantially improves receiver accuracy and will have significant applications in refined control of robot movement. His research has advanced multiple access techniques and beyond 5G wireless technologies and has applications in machine and deep learning, quantum communications and blockchain technology.
ERIC LI | Social Sciences and Humanities
Associate Professor Eric Li is a catalyst for social innovation and knowledge translation. His research focuses on interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers, non-profit organizations and local government to address complex social issues. Dr. Li’s community-based research has resulted in regional impacts in food insecurity, poverty, urban densification, rural community building, and rural health promotion. He was recently awarded Principal’s Research Chair (Tier 2) in Social Innovation for Health Equity and Food Security and is co-lead of the Rural Health Equity Cluster.
JONATHAN LITTLE | Health
Associate Professor Jonathan Little is a leading researcher in nutrition and targeted exercise interventions for type 2 diabetes with a focus on reducing and reversing the disease. He collaborates closely with community and healthcare partners and his broad spectrum of research techniques includes metabolic measurement and advanced cellular and molecular analyses. Dr. Little co-leads the Airborne Disease Transmission Research Cluster, a cross-campus research team working to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 and other airborne illnesses in healthcare settings.
2021 Student Researcher of the Year
michelle st. pierre | PhD candidate
Michelle St. Pierre has made significant research breakthroughs in substance use and mental health with a focus on cannabis and psychedelic use and harm reduction. She has received international media attention for her research on cannabinoid-based analgesics and pain sensitivity and has been featured as a national expert on cannabis policy. She has published in leading pharmacology, complimentary medicine, psychiatry, and psychology journals and founded the UBC Okanagan chapter of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
Vice-Principal and Associate Vice-President, Research and Innovation
University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus