Professor Santa Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor, UBC

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
11:30 AM
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Keynote Speaker:Professor Santa Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor
Schedule:Registration:  11:30 a.m.
Lunch and Program:  12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
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Dr. Santa Ono
Photo: Paul Joseph/UBC


In his first winter as President of the University of British Columbia, Santa Ono has found Vancouver to be colder and snowier than he had been promised, yet warmer and more welcoming than he could ever have hoped. In his first address to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, Professor Ono will share insights and impressions of B.C. and UBC, concentrating especially on the innovation agenda that B.C. Premier Christy Clark has asked him to lead. It's the story of a university, a city and a province poised for another jump in international recognition and acclaim – a move from excellence to eminence.

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About the speaker:

Professor Santa Ono officially stepped into his role as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia on August 15, 2016.

As a professor of medicine and biology, Professor Ono has worked at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University College London, and Emory universities. Last year he was inducted by Johns Hopkins into its Society of Scholars, which honours former faculty who have gained distinction in their fields.

Ono's research encompasses the immune system, eye inflammation and age-related macular degeneration – a leading cause of blindness. He and his research team are working to develop a blood test that could identify biomarkers in people who are progressing towards the disease.

As a university administrator, Ono is also known for his vision beyond the laboratory. He was the first Asian-American president of the University of Cincinnati when he was appointed in 2012. Previously, he served as the University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Prior to his recruitment to the University of Cincinnati, Ono was Senior Vice Provost and Deputy to the Provost at Emory University. Ono is deeply committed to diversity and his achievements were recently recognized by the American Council on Education with an award that honours individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment on a national level to the advancement of racial and ethnic minorities in higher education. Inside Higher Education named him America's most notable university president in 2015.

An avid music lover, whose tastes range from Rihanna to Rachmaninoff, Ono studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore and remarkably still finds time to sing and play his cello – even taking to the concert stage to perform on occasion. His family also helps him stay grounded. Ono is an active father to his two daughters, Juliana, 18, and Sarah, 11, who are also musically talented. UBC is certain to enjoy the lively engagement of his wife Wendy Yip, who trained as an immunologist at McGill and as a lawyer at Boston University.

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