By Amarpreet Grewal
Congratulations to Dr. Jay N Kizhakkedathu for his promotion to a Full Professor of Medicine in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
Dr. Kizhakkedathu’s remarkable achievements started early in his career; in the all-India entrance exam for higher degree positions in science and engineering, he ranked in the top 20 of the many thousands of applicants. There, he completed his PhD studies with a group well-known for polymer research, and in 1999, UBC was fortunate to recruit him as a post-doctoral fellow to Dr. Don Brook’s laboratory. It didn’t take long for Dr. Kizhakkedathu to demonstrate his skills, as he has rapidly devised solutions for long-standing problems in biomaterial compatibility, and along the way, created several new technologies for clinical use in the fields of hemostasis-thrombosis, vascular biology and nephrology, to name just a few.
In 2005, Dr. Kizhakkedathu was appointed to be an Assistant Professor after obtaining the CIHR New Investigator Award for his work on developing universal red blood cells by modifying their chemical structure. This led to his work on hPG, which serves to effectively mask antigens on the red blood cell surface, thereby creating cells that could escape detection by the immune system. In 2011, after a rigorous process of evaluation of his many accomplishments, he was promoted to Associate Professor.
Now, Dr. Jay N Kizhakkedathu has been appointed to the rank of Full Professor by the Senior Appointments Committee and the UBC President. The process of being promoted to Professor is not automatic nor is it based on years of service. Being appointed to the rank of a Professor is reserved for those whose contributions are considered outstanding in teaching, scholarly activity and service to the community and university. They have met the standards of excellence and have attained distinction in their discipline. In addition, they have achieved excellence in teaching and educational leadership roles.
Dr. Kizhakkedathu’s research is focused on understanding molecular interactions of synthetic polymers with biological systems in order to design novel biomaterials. He takes an interdisciplinary approach by integrating polymer synthesis with well-designed biological assays and animal models to create novel polymers and technologies to address unmet clinical needs. His recent publication on heparin reversal has received international media attention: UBC News, Chemical and Engineering News, Red Orbit, News Everyday, and other news sources.