Faculty of Science Life Science Innovation Fund

Claire and William Cupples are alumni of the University of Victoria (BSc 1974, Biology). They worked at UVic between 2003 and 2010. Claire was sequentially Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Science and Dean pro tem. Will was a researcher and teacher in the Biology Department and in the Island Medical Program, and both a member of and administrator in the Centre for Biomedical Research. They retired from Simon Fraser University as Professors Emeriti at the end of 2019. This gift grew out of their 60 years of combined professional experience as biomedical researchers in Canada and the United States.

Will’s graduate student and postdoctoral years were spent in the Faculties of Medicine at the University of Calgary, University of Toronto and the University of Southern California. He spent the first half of his career at the Lady Davis Institute, SMBD-Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, and the second half at UVic and SFU. This broad experience, combined with his years as an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Physiology, his extensive experience on grant review panels for Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the American NIH, and a reviewer of journal manuscripts too numerous to count gave him an appreciation of the funding challenges facing biomedical researchers in Canadian comprehensive universities.

Claire’s graduate student and postdoctoral years were spent at the University of Calgary, York University and the University of California at Los Angeles. She spent her career as a faculty member at Concordia University, UVic and SFU, teaching microbiology and doing research in DNA repair, funded by NSERC, CIHR and the National Cancer Institute of Canada. Her understanding of the challenges that researchers in Canadian comprehensive universities face in finding funds for the acquisition of research equipment stems from her extensive administrative experience as a Departmental Chair at Concordia and UVic, as Associate Dean and Dean pro tem in the Faculty of Science at UVic, and as Dean of Science at SFU.

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