Nemy Banthia, Dominic McIver Lopes and Natalie Strynadka

Diversity and Resilience in the Mind, the Body and the Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2023
6:30 – 8:00pm (with reception to follow)
In person at Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre, 6163 University Blvd.
Public event – open to everyone

A celebratory evening with UBC’s newest University Killam Professors

Join UBC’s three newest University Killam Professors to investigate how diversity and resilience inform research spanning philosophy, engineering and bacterial resistance, and explore the roles these concepts can play in ensuring the health of our minds, our bodies and our environment.

Recognized for their outstanding research and teaching careers to date with the highest honour that UBC can bestow on its faculty, the University Killam Professors will address compelling questions, including:

  • How can we embrace and even celebrate value differences at a time when argument, dissent and opposition abound?
  • How can atomic-level imaging allow us to selectively target bugs that acquire and optimize antibiotic resistance, while maintaining other bugs that promote everyday health?
  • How does civil infrastructure relate to social justice and equity?

Event details

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

In-person event
6:30 – 8:00pm – Program
8:00 – 9:00pm – Reception
Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre, 6163 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Public event – open to everyone

Tickets are free of charge.


Hosted by:
Prof. Gail C. Murphy, Vice-President, Research & Innovation
Prof. Gage Averill, Provost and Vice-President Academic for UBC Vancouver

Tickets and registration:

Speaker information and presentation details

Photo credit: IC-IMPACTS

Nemy Banthia, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science

Professor Nemy Banthia’s research has advanced our understanding of how concrete structures perform during extreme events such as earthquakes, and how these structures can be strengthened using carbon-neutral materials.  His work integrates sensors into structures and uses data analytics to design cost-effective rehabilitation strategies. Prof. Banthia is the Scientific Director of the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence, IC-IMPACTS, which has developed and installed numerous advanced technologies with remote and rural communities in Canada and India. Recognized for his mentorship and research, he has received numerous prestigious international awards and the Alumni UBC Global Citizenship Award. Prof. Banthia is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

The core question that Prof. Banthia will address in his presentation is: What does civil infrastructure have to do with social justice and equity?

Photo credit: Paul Joseph/UBC

Dominic McIver Lopes, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts
Professor Dominic McIver Lopes is the author of 12 highly cited books in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. These works focus on new technologies in the arts, on aesthetic value, and on the values of artworks — both in terms of their beauty and also how they contribute to knowledge and understanding. A winner of multiple research and teaching prizes, Prof. Lopes has been recognized for his service to philosophy with the American Philosophical Association’s Quinn Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Guggenheim Fellow, a Canada Council Killam Research Fellow, and a Fellow of the National Humanities Center.

Homo sapiens is Homo disputans. Argument, dissent, and opposition abound, especially when it comes to differences in value. In face of this, some tolerate. Others erect silos. But can we embrace and even celebrate value differences? We should if we can: Prof. Lopes explains how we sometimes can.

Photo credit: The Royal Society

Natalie Strynadka, Department Biochemisty & Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine
Professor Natalie Strynadka’s research addresses the critical global health problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Her research is focused on understanding, at an atomic level, how antibiotic resistance mechanisms work in bacteria, and on characterizing and designing novel treatments and ways to inhibit disease-causing bacteria. Prof. Strynadka is a visionary leader in the atomic analysis of membrane protein assemblies underlying infection and one of the first in her field to use cryogenic electron microscopy for this work. She has received ongoing national and international recognition for her research, including as a Fellow of the Biophysical Society of Canada; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; and Fellow of the Royal Society, London.

The resilience of microbes to survive in diverse environments is both a blessing (the human bodies niche microbiomes that are a major purveryor of everyday health for example), and a curse (disease causing microbes that acquire and optimize resistance to antibiotic drugs). Prof. Strynadka will show how atomic resolution structures of underlying mechanisms of drug resistance can help us selectively target the bad bugs whilst maintaining the health-promoting good bugs.

About the Killam Trusts: Since 1965, the Killam Trusts have awarded scholarships, fellowships, prizes and other funding to 7,800 Killam Laureates around the world. In Canada, the Killam name is synonymous with financial support for advanced studies. The Killam Trusts, established by Dorothy Johnston Killam and Izaak Walton Killam, benefit the University of British Columbia, the Canada Council for the Arts, Dalhousie University, The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital), University of Alberta and the University of Calgary.  More than 2,000 UBC professors, fellows, students and scholars have received Killam support for their research and scholarship. Every Killam scholar makes a unique contribution, creating and disseminating knowledge that has global impact.