UBC received a $27.2-million boost today when 31 professors were appointed Canada Research Chairs.
The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, made the announcement today at an event at UBC to recognize 305 Canada Research Chair appointments at 53 postsecondary institutions across the country.
“I’d like to extend my sincere congratulations to the latest new and renewed Canada Research Chairs,” said Minister Duncan. “The Government of Canada is proud to support these elite researchers who improve our depth of knowledge, strengthen Canada’s international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of our highly skilled workforce.”
The Canada Research Chair program helps attract and retain top researchers across the country. Today’s announcement will support 18 new chairs at UBC and will continue to support 13 renewed chairs. There are 187 chairs at the university.
“Programs like this are critical for attracting some of the brightest minds to our institutions and building research opportunities,” said UBC Interim President Martha Piper.
The event profiled the research of Zachary Hudson, a new assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry who has been appointed the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Chemistry. Hudson is working on a new lighting technology called organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs. He is designing new materials that could be used to create thin and flexible lights that could one day replace fluorescent lighting.
“I’m excited to launch my research at UBC with the support of the Canada Research Chairs program,” said Hudson. “Our goal is to create thin and flexible light sources that use far less energy, yet are also lightweight and inexpensive to manufacture.”
Today’s announcement represents a $260-million investment in the Canada Research Chairs program and also included a $342-million commitment to Canadian research through the Research Support Fund, and $17 million in infrastructure support for the Canada Research Chairs program through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
UBC’s new Canada Research Chairs:
Samuel Aparicio, Canada Research Chair in Molecular Oncology, Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Aparicio’s research focuses on breast, ovarian, and hard to treat cancers. His research team is studying how breast and other cancers mutate and evolve as they grow.
Maureen Ashe, Canada Research Chair in Community Mobility, Faculty of Medicine
Ashe evaluates how physical activity can be incorporated into the everyday lives of older adults in a large-scale study in both urban and rural settings.
Lori Brotto, Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health, Faculty of Medicine
Brotto’s research informs better and more effective treatments to improve the lives of Canadian women suffering from sexual dysfunction and chronic genital pain.
Victoria Bungay, Canada Research Chair in Gender, Equity and Community Engagement, Faculty of Applied Science
Bungay works with sex workers to study marginalization and create more effective programs and social policies that promote the well being of marginalized people.
Simone Castellarin, Canada Research Chair in Viticulture and Plant Genomics, Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Castellarin studies the biological mechanisms that control how grapes ripen and how they are affected by climate. He plans to develop new practices for growing grapes in B.C. and Canada with the goal of producing better fruit for high quality and more valuable wine.
Andrea Damascelli, Canada Research Chair in Electronic Structure of Quantum Materials, Faculty of Science
Damascelli’s research focuses on the electronic structure of a type of superconducting material known as unconventional superconductors. His work will contribute to the development of new materials with quantum electronic properties.
Janice Eng, Canada Research Chair in Neurological Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine
Eng is developing new treatments for patients recovering from stroke using exercise, wearable robotic devices and other tools. Her goal is to help the brain recover to reduce disability and improve quality of life for patients.
Zachary Hudson, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Chemistry, Faculty of Science
Hudson is studying a new lighting technology known as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). His goal is to make new materials for efficient lighting that is both affordable and can be printed with an inkjet printer.
Dr. David Huntsman, Canada Research Chair in Molecular and Genomic Pathology, Faculty of Medicine
Huntsman’s work focuses on ovarian cancer and rare tumors; he strives to use genetics for diagnosis, prevention and therapy.
Patrick Keeling, Canada Research Chair in Microbial Diversity and Evolution, Faculty of Science
Keeling uses genetics and environmental microbiology to better understand the evolution of parasites.
Philipp Lange, Canada Research Chair in Translational and Applied Genomics of Pediatric Malignancy, Faculty of Medicine
Lange’s research will lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools to treat childhood cancer. He studies how cancer grows, spreads and interacts with the rest of the body.
Guofang Li, Canada Research Chair in Transnational/Global Perspectives on Language and Literacy Education of Children and Youth, Faculty of Education
Dr. Li’s research aims to improve the success of immigrant and minority students by addressing the cultural, linguistic, instructional, and structural barriers in their learning and academic achievement both in school and at home.
Mark MacLachlan, Canada Research Chair in Supramolecular Materials, Faculty of Science MacLachlan examines the complexes of molecules found in crab shells to construct new porous materials. The development of highly porous and conductive electrodes is important for optimizing supercapacitors, devises that could one day replace lead batteries in cars.
Sara Mostafavi, Canada Research Chair in Computational Biology, Faculties of Science and Medicine
Mostafavi uses statistics to discover the relative roles of genetics and environment in diseases and, specifically, to identify clinically reliable genetic risk factors for psychiatric disorders.
Lisa Osborne, Canada Research Chair in Host-Microbiome Interactions, Faculty of Science
Osborne studies the “friendly” bacteria living on or in people that provide health benefits. She is trying to understand how these organisms interact with each other and their host with the goal of finding new treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases.
Eli Puterman, Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Health, Faculty of Education
Puterman’s research seeks to deepen our understanding of how physical activity improves the health of highly stressed individuals before disease develops.
Mark Schmidt, Canada Research Chair Machine Learning, Faculty of Science
Schmidt is a computer scientist whose research focuses on the challenges of working with huge datasets. This work has the potential to affect a wide variety of scientific and engineering disciplines in both academia and industry.
Francesco Trebbi, Canada Research Chair in Economics, Faculty of Arts
Trebbi studies the balance of power across ethnic groups within African political systems. His research will provide insight on the issues of power sharing, ethnic exclusion, and conflict risk within these countries.
UBC’s renewed Canada Research Chairs:
Jehannine Austin, Canada Research Chair in Translational Psychiatric Genetics, Faculty of Medicine
Austin’s research examines how genetic information can be used by patients with mental illness and their families to better understand their condition and improve outcomes.
Karen Bakker, Canada Research Chair in Political Ecology, Faculty of Arts
Bakker conducts research on sustainable water management in Canada and around the world, increasing our knowledge of the threats to fresh water, and developing strategies and techniques for improving water security.
Sarah Burke, Canada Research Chair in Nanoscience, Faculty of Science
Burke’s research seeks to understand and control the electronic and optoelectronic properties of small molecules, polymers and graphene for future devices that could be used for energy and information technology.
Hadi Dowlatabadi, Canada Research Chair in Integrated-Assessment Modelling and Global Change, Faculty of Science
Dowlatabadi examines what transitioning to a low carbon economy would mean socially and financially and from a technical perspective.
Charles Haynes, Canada Research Chair in Interfacial Biotechnology, Faculty of Applied Science
Haynes’ work will help develop new tools and techniques to manufacture protein therapies and equipment for hospitals and clinics to diagnose and treat disease.
Liisa Holsti, Canada Research Chair in Neonatal Health and Development, Faculty of Medicine
Holsti works with preterm infants to find the most effective ways to manage the pain and stress of tiny newborns undergoing medical procedures in the neonatal intensive care unit. Her work focuses on protecting the infant’s brain.
Carla Hudson Kam, Canada Research Chair in Language Acquisition, Faculty of Arts
Hudson Kam examines how we learn language to better understand what is hard to learn and why. Her studies have applications for the treatment of language disorders and improved language instructions for adult learners.
Yvonne Lamers, Canada Research Chair in Human Nutrition and Vitamin Metabolism, Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Lamers studies vitamin B-12 and its role in fetal and infant development. The research will serve to review current public health policies related to nutrient intake recommendations.
Jamie Peck, Canada Research Chair in Urban and Regional Political Economy, Faculty of Arts
Peck’s research focuses on policies around employment, welfare, and urban economic development with the goal of better understand transformative changes in society.
Edwin Perkins, Canada Research Chair in Probability, Faculty of Science
Perkins conducts research into probability theory by studying interacting spatial systems like epidemic models, competing species models and population genetics.
Barbara Pesut, Canada Research Chair in Health, Ethics and Diversity, Faculty of Health and Social Development at UBC’s Okanagan campus
Pesut aims to improve palliative care for Canadians by making high-quality care available to those in rural regions and implementing approaches that respect the values and beliefs of those from diverse backgrounds.
Helen Tremlett, Canada Research Chair in Neuroepidemiology and Multiple Sclerosis, Faculty of Medicine
Tremlett is leading a pan-Canadian study into Multiple Sclerosis to improve the health, treatment options and outcomes for people with the degenerative brain and spinal-cord disease.
Annalee Yassi, Canada Research Chair in Global Health and Capacity Building, Faculty of Medicine
Yassi’s research focuses on the health of healthcare workers in Canada and in low and middle-income countries. Her work helps generate policies and practices to prevent the spread of disease and disability from injuries and stress.