BC Government investment funds expansion of MBIM undergrad program
Lisa Beare with people from MBIM in the new lab space
Apr 3, 2024

On Thursday March 21, we were excited to host the Honourable Lisa Beare (BC’s Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills) to highlight the expansion of our undergraduate Microbiology and Immunology program in the Biological Sciences building.


Lisa Beare with student Fares BurwagMinister Beare was given a tour by members of the UBC Department of Microbiology and Immunology, including Michael Murphy (Department Head), Dave Oliver (Associate Professor of Teaching), and Evelyn Sun (Assistant Professor of Teaching).


During her visit, Minister Beare spoke with Fares Burwag, a student in the MICB 471 lab course, and Jade Muileboom, a Research Technician. MICB 471 is a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) in microbiology and immunology where teams of Minister Beare with Lab Technician, Jade Muileboomstudents gain valuable technical, problem solving and professional skills in demand by the BC biotech industry. They have the unique opportunity to produce articles that are published in an open-access online undergraduate research journal titled the Undergraduate Journal of Experimental Microbiology (UJEMI). 


The expansion of our undergraduate program was made possible by the B.C. Government Tech seat funding, which plans to provide students more access to in-demand programs through technology-relevant spaces in the public post-secondary education system. In the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, it will allow the MBIM majors BSc program to grow by 40 domestic students per year.


Post-secondary education and skills training plays an invaluable role in closing the skills gap, and supporting the economic sustainability and growth of the province. By supporting lab spaces such as the ones in our Biological Sciences Building, students will be better prepared for future jobs in local biotech, public health research, academia, and more.


We are grateful to the Government of British Columbia for supporting life sciences through this investment and making education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant.