Life Sciences Institute

The Life Sciences Institute (LSI) became a designated GREx Institute in May 2022.

The research mission of the LSI is to perform innovative, interdisciplinary science focused on discovering the fundamental biological mechanisms underlying health and disease, and to propel this knowledge towards translation into new therapies and environmentally sustainable solutions.

As a designated GREx Institute, the LSI, housed in the UBC Life Sciences Centre, will pursue the Biological Resilience Initiative (BRI), integrating foundational, cross-disciplinary and collaborative research, across multiple scales to elucidate the mechanisms of resilience in biological systems.

As the first initiative in Canada to study life science questions through the lens of innate resilience, the BRI will be a generative hub, focusing innovative, interdisciplinary collaborations on the grand challenges that face human health—and the health of our planet—including but not limited to:

  • The race against antimicrobial resistance
  • Cancer as a failure of biological resilience across scales - from molecules and cells to the whole organism
  • Cellular plasticity in immune resilience
  • Metabolic stability and resilience in healthy aging
  • Harnessing microbial resilience for sustainability

Through 4 billion years of evolution, all living organisms, from single-celled microorganisms to humans, have developed mechanisms of resilience to protect them from both internal and external threats. Deploying collective expertise across scales and across research focus teams, this initiative will increase understanding of the mechanisms underlying this resilience at molecular, genetic, and cellular levels, as well as within organisms and ecosystems as a whole.