2017 Michael John Page Postdoctoral Fellow Award


Jurgen Niesser

Dr. Ross MacGillivray (L) with Jürgen (centre) and Roger Page (R)

On Thursday, October 26th, the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, along with the Centre for Blood Research (CBR), presented the fifth annual Michael John Page Postdoctoral Award to Dr. Jürgen Niesser, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Natalie Strynadka’s lab. The Michael John Page Postdoctoral Fellow Award, established in 2013, honours the memory of UBC alumnus, Dr. Michael John Page. This award recognizes a Postdoctoral Fellow who reflects Dr. Page’s academic excellence and his passion for life.

Dr. Ross MacGillivray and Roger Page (Michael Page’s father) presented this year’s award at a ceremony where Jürgen gave a lively and humorous talk to a receptive audience, followed by an award reception. Jürgen’s talk was entitled, “Blurring the Lines between Fun and Science,” highlighting his academic journey thus far (complete with many stories of lab member camaraderie and antics). Jürgen earned his PhD in Biochemistry and Structural Biology with Patrick Cramer at the University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany. Currently, Jürgen’s work in the Strynadka lab focuses on multiple novel target-inhibitor complexes related to cancer and neurological disorders. (To view photos of the award event, visit the CBR Facebook page.)


Michael PageAbout Dr. Michael John Page:

Michael John Page was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where he graduated from Port Arthur Collegiate in 1994. He attended Carleton University in Ottawa, graduating with his B.Sc. in Biochemistry in 1998. Following, he entered the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology graduate program at UBC under Ross MacGillivray’s supervision. During his graduate studies, his fellow students recognized Mike’s achievements by selecting him for the prestigious 2001 Zbarsky Prize. He then completed a highly productive postdoctoral fellowship, studying the biological activity of thrombin with Dr. Enrico Di Cera at Washington University in St. Louis, and in 2010, moved to a junior faculty position at the University of California, San Francisco, mentored by Dr. Charles Craik. Tragically, Mike died suddenly in June 2013 at age 36, leaving a legacy of a thirst for knowledge and a love of life.

Thank you to New England Biolabs, the Page Family, and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for their generous support to make this award possible! Congratulations to Jürgen on receiving this honour! To donate to the Michael John Page Award Fund, click here.

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