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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
DR. BRYAN KOLB
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
Dr. Bryan Kolb
Bryan has been a faculty member since 1976. He is a leader in neuroscience research, and has been honoured with many awards including the Distinguished Teaching Award, The Ingrid Speaker Medal for Distinguished Research, Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in December, 2016.
Bryan discusses the stimulus behind the construction of the Neuroscience Building.
The full audio interview will be made available online in late 2017. For more information please contact the University of Lethbridge Archives. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(DK: Diane McKenzie, Interviewer)
BK: We didn’t have enough space.
DM: Okay, but you’re building your department that wasn’t a department, yet, yes.
BK: Yes, we’re building our department, and we changed the name of the department because now there were six neuroscientists by this time so it became the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, and I was chair at that time. And then we didn’t know what we were going to do because we really didn’t have enough space. So it was getting worse and worse and then in around 1996 or ‘97 Ian (Whishaw) and I went to see Howard (Tennant) and said, ‘You know, we really need more space and this lab in biology that’s right next to us is empty. It hasn’t been used in five years because the person who was in it retired, they didn’t hire anybody.’ Howard told us, ‘No way, Jose, are you getting that space. So go away, because if I give you that you’re just going to want something else.’ Okay.
And the following day he came down the hall and he said, ‘Kolb, where’s Whishaw?’ And I said, ‘He’s in his office.’ ‘Well come on, let’s go talk to him.’ He said, ‘Okay, I’m sorry.’ He was quite blunt the day before and what he thought of the idea. He said, ‘I’m sorry. I’ve thought about it, we’ll just build you a building.’ And we both laughed and said, ‘Right.’ He said, ‘No, I’m serious’. He said, ‘What is the thing that we do best here? It’s neuroscience. So, why don’t we just make that what we’re going to do? Build a building.’ And the CFI (Canadian Foundation for Innovation) had just been invented by the government, federal government, and he said, ‘We could probably get CFI and Heritage and other sponsors to build you guys a building and then we can really make it happen.’ And we just looked at him in disbelief. And that’s what happened.