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Physical Activity and
Exercise Medicine at UBC

Faculty of Medicine

Build the future of physical activity and exercise medicine

The Chan Gunn Pavilion is the hub for the centre for physical activity and exercise medicine at UBC—a world-class model of multidisciplinary, integrated clinical services combined with academic expertise.

This new facility provides teams of scientists, clinicians, and trainees with greater opportunity to expand the breadth of their research through access to cutting-edge technologies and interaction among people with a common purpose and depth of expertise under one roof.

“We now have the space for innovation,” says kinesiology graduate student Paige Reinhard. “There is an amazing hub of researchers here, chosen for this space because of the high quality of research they produce, and people from all over the world know it. Everyone wants to be part of what’s going on here. I’m so proud of where I get to work, and everyone here feels thankful.”

The research underway in the Chan Gunn Pavilion will transform health care for patients, including those with chronic diseases such as cancer. Patients who participate in research can exercise in the facility’s Jack and Darlene Poole Rehabilitation and Research Gym.

“Exercise flushed out of my body all the sensations that chemo gave me,” says Genevieve MacMillan, who ran on a treadmill while undergoing treatment for breast cancer as part of UBC’s world-class exercise oncology research program. “I completed chemo on time, and after I finished my treatment, my physical strength increased in leaps and bounds. From a psychological perspective, it was very rewarding to be around other women who were positive. We felt we were doing something productive.”

About the Chan Gunn Pavilion

This striking two-story, 20,000-square-foot facility provides a welcoming, inspiring, and modern space for people of all ages and levels of health and physical activity to gain access to leading-edge care for proactive health maintenance, prevention of chronic diseases and injury, and rehabilitation—a unique form of exercise is medicine developed at UBC and shared around the world. The Chan Gunn Pavilion is located in the sports precinct at the south end of the UBC Vancouver campus, next to the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre on Wesbrook Mall.

The building was made possible thanks to the generosity of donors and contributions from UBC and the Government of Canada. UBC named the Chan Gunn Pavilion in recognition of Dr. Gunn and his wife, Peggy, who made donations for construction of the building and for Gunn IMS teaching, education, and research. UBC also named the Jack and Darlene Poole Rehabilitation and Research Gym in recognition of a gift from the Jack and Darlene Poole Foundation for the Chan Gunn Pavilion. The federal government provided funding through the Post-Secondary Strategic Infrastructure Fund for construction of the $11.6 million building, which was the first project completed with this fund.

Building on History of Innovation

UBC is home to one of the world’s first academic sports medicine units. For nearly 40 years, scientists and clinicians at UBC have influenced practice around the world by pioneering innovative treatments for acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries in athletes. Accredited as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence, UBC has gained worldwide recognition for excellence in performance enhancement and the treatment of injuries and health concerns that arise during training and competition at the national and international levels.

Today, UBC ushers in a new era of fully integrated teaching, research, and clinical care in proactive health maintenance, disease and injury prevention, and rehabilitation under one roof in the state-of-the-art Chan Gunn Pavilion.

Building Features

First occupied in October 2017, the Chan Gunn Pavilion includes these spaces:

  • Chan Gunn IMS Wing for research, teaching, and care to continue advancing and promoting Gunn IMS around the world
  • Jack and Darlene Poole Rehabilitation and Research Gym for developing and delivering innovative, evidence-based exercise programs to prevent and manage cancer and other medical conditions
  • Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Clinic for both reactive and preventive care, continuously advanced by research, for community members with a variety of conditions and levels of physical activity
  • Kinesiology and Physiology Laboratory for specialized fitness and health assessments and monitoring
  • Rooftop Exercise Garden, with a planned 50m track for sprint training and gait analysis
  • Diagnostic Room, equipped with the latest technology, for enhanced diagnostic capacity
  • Seminar Room for teaching and collaboration across British Columbia and around the world
  • Clinical Pods and Rooms for patient exams and procedures

You can help UBC build the future of physical activity and exercise medicine—by making a donation today.

Design Features

Designed by Vancouver-based HCMA Architecture + Design, the Chan Gunn Pavilion features large windows on the ground level to create a light-filled and open physiotherapy clinic and exercise area, while exam rooms that require privacy are located to the interior of the building. Research and teaching functions located on the second level are identified by a ribbon of charred wood that wraps from exterior to interior and serves as a key design feature linking the various program elements. The project is planned to achieve LEED Gold certification and features a natural ventilation strategy, which influenced many aspects of the building design.

Official Opening of the Chan Gunn Pavilion

On March 15, 2018, UBC welcomed approximately 100 students, faculty, staff, and friends to the official opening ceremony of the Chan Gunn Pavilion. The program, hosted by Dean of Medicine Dermot Kelleher, included remarks from Elder James Kew of the Musqueam Band, UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Santa Ono, Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student Lyndal Solomons, and Dr. Gunn.

About C. Chan Gunn, CM, OBC, MD, FRCP

A distinguished physician and pioneer in the treatment of pain, Dr. Gunn has dedicated his career to the development and promotion of an innovative and highly effective process called Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain.

Dr. Chan Gunn received his bachelor’s, master’s, and medical degrees from Cambridge University. After nine years of general practice in his home country of Malaysia, Dr. Gunn and his wife, Peggy, immigrated to Canada in 1966, where he joined the Workers’ Compensation Board in Vancouver as a staff physician.

In that position, Dr. Gunn was asked to investigate claimants who complained of persistent back pain. His experience observing muscle tissues, acupuncture, and electromyography in these individuals led to the development of Gunn IMS and to significant changes in the understanding and treatment of chronic pain. Up until that time, the medical field generally considered pain to result from tissue injury. However, Dr. Gunn’s innovative clinical research showed pain can occur without injury when there is abnormal function of the nervous system.

The outstanding achievements of Dr. Gunn have been recognized with numerous prestigious honours, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond and Golden Jubilee Medals and the Order of British Columbia. Dr. Gunn is also a Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, an accolade held by the most exceptional and innovative physicians in the world. He received the Chinese Canadian Legend Award in 2015, and the CBC named Dr. Gunn one of the most influential Chinese-Canadians in Canada.


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