Dr. Timothy O’Connor has returned as Director of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, a role he previously held from 2011-2017. He takes over in the interim from Dr. Liisa Galea, who is starting a new role at UBC as Health Research Advisor in the VP Research & Innovation Office.

The Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health is grateful for Dr. Galea’s leadership over the last three years, which has included many highlights, from spearheading the creation of an undergraduate Neuroscience degree at UBC, to establishing many new awards and funding opportunities for trainees. A key focus for her has been providing new opportunities for students and post-doctoral fellows to learn about science communication and jobs outside of academia, which has resulted in the creation of a student blog, and a series of events called “Thriving in Graduate School” and “Life After Graduate School.”

Dr. O’Connor is no stranger to the neuroscience community at UBC. He is a professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine, and also a researcher with the Centre, focused on researching neural development and regeneration.

He looks forward to returning to the Director role and providing support to prospective and current students, especially as they navigate the unique challenges of learning and working during a pandemic, whether on campus and remotely.

“Our students and trainees are our future,” says Dr. O’Connor, “My hope is that they are able to take advantage of the many opportunities to connect with the diverse group of researchers at the Centre to discover their interests and learn new skills.”

Building upon Dr. Galea’s initiatives, Dr. O’Connor will continue working towards the Centre’s goal to “inspire and enable trainee success” by creating a rich environment to provide high-quality research training for the next generation of talented researchers.