Today marks a significant milestone in the history of the UBC Faculty of Medicine: the official opening of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.
The centre, located on the UBC campus directly in front of and adjoining UBC Hospital, will integrate research, education, and patient care to revolutionize health care. Creating a dedicated space where clinicians and scientists in psychiatry, neurology, and basic neurosciences work side-by-side is an extraordinary achievement, one that will improve countless lives for years to come – starting today.
The centre’s creation is yet another example of the good that comes from the Faculty’s collaboration with other agencies and institutions to improve the health of the populations we serve. In this case, our partner is Vancouver Coastal Health, which is operating the clinics for people with multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and mood disorders. On the fourth and fifth floors, Faculty of Medicine scientists will be seeking answers to neurological and psychiatric questions – insights that will then be applied by the clinicians working on the floors below.
There were many people who had a significant role in the centre’s conception and planning, seeking the necessary funds, providing the necessary funds, and ensuring our vision was transformed into bricks, mortar and copious amounts of clinic and lab-friendly glass. In the Faculty of Medicine, those include Alison Buchan, the former Executive Associate Dean of Research; Howard Feldman, the current Executive Associate Dean of Research; Jon Stoessl, Professor and Head of the Division of Neurology; Lakshmi Yatham, Professor and Regional Head of Psychiatry for Vancouver Coastal Health; Trevor Young, the former Head of the Department of Psychiatry; and William Honer, Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry.
But no mention of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health would be complete without mentioning the contributions of Max Cynader, the founding Director of both this centre and its forerunner, the Brain Research Centre. His ability to unify scientists and clinicians from different fields was a crucial first step in formulating the vision, and his powers of persuasion undoubtedly played a major role in decisions by the federal government, the province and the philanthropist Djavad Mowafaghian to lend financial support to the centre. He is no doubt a dreamer, but one determined to make those dreams come true.
Please join me in celebrating the opening of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, and in contributing – through our own efforts, or just our good wishes – to the beginning of a new era in academic medicine.
Gavin C.E. Stuart, MD, FRCSC
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
Vice Provost Health, UBC