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UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 09 | May 10, 2001

UBC attracts top research funding

Injection means brains gained, talent retained

UBC has secured top spot among Canadian universities for the number of research positions funded in the latest round of Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program appointments, valued at $10.8 million.

UBC gained nine chairs in disciplines ranging from mathematical physics to public health and forest ecology out of the total 76 chairs distributed across the country in the federal government program that seeks to build Canada's research strength.

"This level of research excellence will intensify our innovation capacity," says Indira Samarasekera, vice-president, Research.

"We are pleased to have scored a couple of brain gains in these appointments that allow us to welcome researchers from the U.S. Also, these chairs will help us to retain talented UBC faculty," says Barry McBride, vice-president, Academic and Provost.

CRC appointments provide research and salary support. Renewable Tier I chairs have seven-year terms; Tier II chairs are for a five-year period and can be renewed once. The federal government has invested $900 million to create 2,000 research chairs by 2005.

UBC ranked in the top three universities in Canada in the inaugural appointments of the CRC program, gaining 20 of the first 199 chairs offered in December.

Recruited to UBC are:

* Senior research scientist Fabio Rossi from California's Stanford University explores how stem cells in blood signal their transformation into other types of cells. Understanding these signals could help provide new therapies for medical challenges such as treating damaged tissue in the brain.

* Mathematics Prof. David Brydges from the University of Virginia studies probability and statistical mechanics and their implications for sophisticated computer systems.

UBC researchers now holding CRC appointments are:

* Assoc. Prof. Charles Haynes studies biomolecular interactions to aid in the design of instruments used in processing and analysing genes.

* Health Care and Epidemiology Prof. Clyde Hertzman studies the biological, social and psychological factors influencing children's development. He will initiate a large study that examines child development in relation to the work history of parents.

* Forest ecologist Prof. Hamish Kimmins has been refining biophysical models of forest ecosystems for 23 years. His simulations include factors such as soil types and landscape patterns. The improved forecasts of regional responses to different types of forestry practices will aid in better stewardship of Canada's forests.

* Prof. Gregory Lawrence is a leading environmental engineer who studies the impact of the fluid mechanics of inland and coastal water on water quality, chemistry and biology. He develops techniques to minimize the effect of waste discharges and restore water systems affected by pollution.

* Biochemistry Prof. Grant Mauk is a specialist in blood and transfusion medicine whose work will contribute to new strategies for treating bacterial infection and improve understanding of how our blood functions.

* Asst. Prof. Andrew Sandford investigates the genetics of lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and aims to manipulate genes to modify asthma severity.

* Prof. Martin Schechter is a senior urban health investigator who researches the incidence and risk factors for HIV and Hepatitis C among injection drug users in downtown Vancouver. He also studies access to care for economically disadvantaged people.

For more information on the program and full chairholder profiles, visit the Web site at www.chairs.gc.ca.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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