Santa Ono is the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia, a global centre for research and teaching with 64,000 students, 16,500 faculty and staff, and a $2.5 billion operating budget. Prior to his appointment in 2016, he served as president of the University of Cincinnati. Inside Higher Education named him America’s most notable university president in 2015. In 2016, the American Council on Education awarded him the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award.
As a professor of medicine and biology, Ono has worked at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University College London, and Emory universities. He was also inducted by Johns Hopkins into its Society of Scholars, and as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Inventors, USA.
Ono’s research encompasses the immune system, eye inflammation and age-related macular degeneration.
An avid music lover, Ono studied cello with Carolyn Hopkins, Carter Brey at the Preparatory Division of the Peabody Conservatory of Music and privately with Wallace Toroni of the Baltimore Symphony. He then stopped playing cello for 25 years until he picked it up again 5 years ago in Cincinnati. There he was fortunate to study with Alan Rafferty of the Cincinnati Symphony.
He is married to Wendy Yip, who trained as an immunologist at McGill and as a lawyer at Boston University. They have two daughters, Juliana and Sarah.