2020 Election candidate: Chris Beh

Candidate for position of councilor

Christopher Beh (PhD), Professor, Simon Fraser University

Candidacy Statement:

I thank you for considering my nomination to the CSMB Board of Councilors. In a modest way I have participated in CSMB activities since 2005, but I would like to contribute more towards advancing CSMB interests by advocating for basic research and trainee opportunities. As an academic researcher and instructor, the success of our research plan is dependent on undergraduate and graduate student recruitment, which is inherently coupled to their future career prospects. Additionally, any discussion about student recruitment requires an introspective assessment of equality and equity in providing student opportunity. Through CSMB efforts in expanding student financial support and trainee initiatives, my hope is that I might participate in attracting students that otherwise might not consider molecular biosciences as a viable career choice. Because research funding for basic research has ebbed-and-flowed over the years, research programs are restricted by fiscal uncertainty and providing for trainees is difficult. Having served as the member-at-large for the CSMB Advocacy Committee, I have witnessed the constant effort required to remain relevant to federal and provincial politicians, who seem to begrudgingly acknowledge the importance of basic biosciences research. Perhaps the current pandemic provides the most compelling and a more tangible argument for better research support for the biosciences, but as a Board member I would do my utmost to keep CSMB funding priorities in the forefront on Parliament Hill.



Postdoc (Molec and Cell Biol) University of California, Berkeley, CA Dr. J. Rine (supervisor)
PhD (Molec Biology) Princeton University, Princeton, NJ Dr. M. Rose (supervisor)
MSc (Medical Sci/Develop Biol) University of Calgary, Calgary, AB Dr. J. McGhee (supervisor)
BSc (Biochemistry/Chemistry) University of Calgary, Calgary, AB

Career Summary (positions held):

Professor Simon Fraser University Dept Molec Biol & Biochem 07/2018
Associate Professor Simon Fraser University Dept Molec Biol & Biochem 03/2008 06/2018
Assistant Professor Simon Fraser University Dept Molec Biol & Biochem 04/2002 02/2008

Professional activities relevant to this position:

As a proponent (and beneficiary) of the basic biological sciences fostered by the CSMB, I currently serve as a member-at-large for the CSMB Advocacy Committee and a long-time contributor and SFU correspondent to the CSMB/SCBM Bulletin. Currently I also serve on the editorial boards of two journals (PLoS ONE and the Journal of Biological Chemistry), for which I promote scientific rigour and integrity. As a NSERC committee panel member (Genes, Cells and Molecules Evaluation Group) and as a CIHR project grant reviewer, I have supported Canadian biosciences. As an advocate for science education and research training, I have co-organized several regional BC meetings to provide a venue for trainee presentations in cell biology and molecular biology. In this capacity and through science education, I strive to better scientific opportunities for disadvantaged undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral trainees. Using novel pedagogical approaches, I have endeavored to attract the next generation of Canadian students to the research by promoting the appeal and joys of experimental science.

Major Research Interests:

(keywords: vesicular transport; exocytosis; endocytosis; nonvesicular transport; lipid metabolism and signaling; yeast molecular genetics)

In our laboratory, we exploit cell biology, molecular genetics and functional genomics, as well as biochemistry to understand how protein and lipid transport affect biological membranes, cell signaling, and human health. Specifically, we work on mechanisms of membrane transport, as well as lipid exchange and regulation at endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-plasma membrane (PM) membrane contact sites. We have proposed regulatory models for how exocytosis and endocytosis are integrated to control PM surface area to maintain cell size. Our work has also defined how yeast ER-PM tether proteins provide a nexus for coordinating lipid metabolism with the maintenance of PM composition and integrity.



Faculty page: http://www.sfu.ca/mbb/people/research-faculty/beh.html

Lab research page: http://www.sfu.ca/~ctbeh/Beh_Lab/Beh_lab_home.html

View Chris Beh’s CV