CFI invests in U of G research leaders

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has announced that it will invest close to $1.9 million in 15 projects by top researchers at the University of Guelph.

The funding announcement was made earlier this week as part of a Canada-wide investment, whereby the CFI will provide $63 million to support 250 research projects at universities across the country.

“This is a crucial investment in Guelph’s talented people and in our research capacity,” said Kevin Hall, vice-president (research). “It provides researchers with the vital infrastructure they need to translate knowledge and discoveries into practical applications. It also means that students will have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.”

The majority of the funding ($48.4 million) comes from the CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund, which aims to help universities attract top researchers and faculty. In Ontario, recipients apply for matching funding from the provincial Ministry of Research and Innovation.  Additionally, $14.6 million was awarded for operating support, through the CFI’s Infrastructure Operating Fund.

U of G’s funded projects range from human heart disease and animals obesity to unmanned aerial vehicles and consumer attitudes about innovation.

One of the recipients is Adronie Verbrugghe, a clinical studies professor in the Ontario Veterinary College. She received $109,042 for her comparative obesity research program. Her study will provide new, state-of-the-art methods to accurately determine whole body composition and caloric needs of dogs and cats.

“Obesity has become an epidemic problem in humans but also in pets, indicating a tremendous health issue,” explained Verbrugghe. Current weight loss programs work better in the short term than the long term. She says that researchers need to understand the molecular mechanisms of the disease, to better develop effective treatment and prevention strategies.

U of G’s other funding recipients and their pioneering projects are listed below:

  • Prof. Emma Allen-Vercoe, Molecular and Cellular Biology, $86,906, studies of microbial communities;
  • Prof. Aaron Berg, Geography, $135,065, remote sensing in terrestrial and hydrological modelling;
  • Prof. Byram Bridle, Pathobiology, $124,985, novel cancer biotherapies in companion animals;
  • Prof. Alexandros Gezerlis, Physics, $123,846, high-performance computing facility for theoretical nuclear physics;
  • Prof. Kris Inwood, History, $125,000, the 1861 Canadian census;
  • Prof. Vladimir Ladizhansky, Physics, $124,091, solid-state NMR studies of biomedically important membrane proteins;
  • Prof. Joseph Lam, Molecular and Cellular Biology, $147,545, lung infection in cystic fibrosis;
  • Prof. Jana Levison, Engineering, $123,795, data collection and analysis at the Centre for Applied Groundwater Research;
  • Prof. Eva Nagy, Pathobiology, $88,704, biocontainment facility;
  • Prof. Theodore Noseworthy, Marketing and Consumer Studies, $135,000, innovation, design and consumption laboratory; and
  • Prof. Graham Taylor, Engineering, $119,972, large-scale machine learning.

For more details of the Canada-wide projects funded, visit www.innovation.ca/en/Media/News/Researchinfrastructurereceives63millionboostGovernmentCanada.

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