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SFU news and research

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Check out our selected highlights from SFU News. Read about the latest institutional announcements, research innovations, and accomplishments of people throughout the university and our community at large. 

University launches What’s Next, The SFU Strategy

Following months of consultation and approval from both Senate and Board of Governors, President Joy Johnson shared What’s Next: The SFU Strategy on March 8, 2023. The strategy establishes a shared vision, purpose and values for SFU, as well as four priorities that will form our framework for action moving forward: uphold truth and Reconciliation, engage in global challenges, make a difference for B.C. and transform the SFU experience. Learn more

SFU announces new 2023-28 Strategic Research Plan

As one of Canada’s fastest growing research institutions, SFU’s new Strategic Research Plan (SRP) identifies key areas of strength and focus for the future. Coinciding with What’s Next, the SRP embeds the core values of the university’s institutional plan into research practice, using six approaches and including five institutional research priority areas that demonstrate SFU’s commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more

Premier reveals first details of SFU medical school

In late November of 2022, B.C. Premier David Eby announced $4.9 million in start-up funding for SFU’s medical school, and SFU named Dr. Roger Strasser as the interim Dean. Since then, the university has been laying the foundations for the program by engaging with internal and external communities, and working with First Nations Health Authority and Fraser Health Authority to develop a medical school that is focused on educating primary care physicians and being accountable to the communities it serves. Learn more

City of Burnaby commits $5M to First Peoples’ Gathering House

The City of Burnaby is providing $5 million towards the completion of the First Peoples’ Gathering House, currently under construction on the traditional unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) nations on which SFU is located. Providing a culturally appropriate ceremonial space for Indigenous cultural events, the space will also enable the university and broader communities to gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous peoples through education and engagement. Its legacy will extend beyond current students, staff and visitors to provide a safe and welcoming space for future generations at SFU. Ron Johnston, director of SFU’s Office for Aboriginal Peoples, says the gathering house will be “the heart and soul of Indigeneity” at SFU. Learn more

Students create first Burnaby Mountain powwow in honour of Indigenous students at SFU

The SFU First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Association (FNMISA) hosted an inaugural powwow at Burnaby campus in April, celebrating the end of the school year and honouring the achievements of Indigenous students past and present. Open to the entire community, the event was co-led by siblings and SFU students, Kali King Stierle and her older sister, Raven King Stierle, who are of German, Métis and Cree descent, from Peepeekisis Cree Nation in Treaty 4 territory, Saskatchewan. For the pair, the ceremony’s purpose is not only to honour the journey undertaken by Indigenous students, but to share culture, build relationships and celebrate as one. Learn more

SFU partners with world’s top agritech university to spur innovation

Supporting food security and sustaining agriculture in the face of climate change are global challenges that require global solutions. During an Innovation Day event hosted by the B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation (BCCAI) in Surrey, SFU and Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate on future research programs, share knowledge and spark innovation in the agritech field. Learn more

Coast Capital Venture Prize winner creates seaweed solution to ocean plastics

PhyCo Technologies, a company co-founded by SFU alumnus and biology graduate student, Ranah Chavoshi, is winner of SFU’s 12th annual Coast Capital Venture Prize competition. Partnering with local Indigenous communities, Ranah and Dr. Stacey Goldberg (University of PEI) worked to develop bio-based plastic from seaweed, a product capable of breaking down in home compost in just four weeks. PhyCo will use a $10,000 cash award to further develop its product. Learn more

SFU researchers aid fight against treatment-resistant superbugs

Assistant professor Amy Lee of SFU's Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and her collaborators are studying the genes of superbugs to help develop new and effective treatments for drug-resistant bacterial infections. The initiative is a collaboration between the Lee Lab and Brinkman Lab, which are working together as part of the interdisciplinary SFU Omics Data Science Initiative (OSDI). Learn more

Engineering students net top prize at Canadian Engineering Competition

SFU students Aru Bhola and Erin Flood took first place at this year’s Canadian Engineering Competition. Outperforming 200 students across Canada, the duo was also one of just a few all-female teams at the competition. Aru and Erin developed a concept design for a self-sufficient, off-grid tiny home that used minimal power, recycled water, passive heating and biodegradable insulation. In their second challenge, they designed an accessible playground for children who have Sanfilippo Syndrome—a rare genetic neurodegenerative disease. Learn more

This is part of our summer 2023 edition of Engage, our magazine celebrating the impact of SFU’s donor community.
To read more stories, please visit the Engage landing page.