University of British Columbia researchers have received a total of $2 million from two grant programs of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). More than 140 UBC students also received NSERC scholarships, fellowships and awards.
Twelve projects received a total of $1.44 million over three years from the Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) program, which recognizes researchers who have the potential to become international leaders in their areas of study and aims to give them the opportunity to contribute to groundbreaking advances. The grants were part of an investment of $14.7 million for 123 grants announced today by Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) at Brock University.
More than 140 UBC students were also named recipients of the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships and NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships Programs – ranging from $17,300 to $105,000 – at this morning’s announcement.
Last week, Minister Goodyear announced 34 grants totaling $15 million from NSERC’s Collaborative Health Research Projects program (CHRP). A partnership between NSERC and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), CHRP grants are designed to assist new projects that involve interdisciplinary collaborations between any field of the natural sciences or engineering and the health sciences. UBC was awarded more than $600,000 for five research projects.
“UBC researchers work hard to find innovative solutions to complex scientific problems,” says John Hepburn, UBC Vice President Research and International. “We are grateful to NSERC and CIHR for their continued support for collaboration and interdisciplinary research.”
- Elod Gyenge, an associate professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and one of the DAS recipients, is leading the only research project in Canada on the potential use of direct borohydride-air fuel cells and batteries to generate sustainable and affordable energy. This fuel cell system has the potential to overcome the challenges faced by other fuel cell systems and could be a significant breakthrough with commercial viability.
- Laurel Schafer, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, will receive DAS funding for her work in green chemistry. She is investigating the use of a new family of catalysts that produces no by-products and minimizes energy consumption in the synthesis of useful chemical structures. The development of these catalysts aims to find sustainable methods to produce important chemical transformations for the fine chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries.
- Karen Cheung, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will receive CHRP funding to lead a research project aimed at developing an innovative system for drug screening. Cheung along with colleagues Cal Roskelley, from the Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences, and Marcel Bally, from the BC Cancer Research Centre, will use a new approach, involving microfluidic platforms, to culture small numbers of cancer cells and monitor the effect of drugs and drug combinations on those cells. This research will help us understand how cancer spreads and could provide a new method for determining the most effective drug treatment for individual patients by collecting biopsies.
UBC recently announced it received $4.9 million in funding from NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program to help science and engineering students expand their professional and personal skills and prepare them for the workplace. For more information, visit: http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2011/06/03/ubc-awarded-4-9-million-from-nserc-to-support-young-researchers/
For more information about the DAS program and recipients, visit: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsRelease-CommuniqueDePresse_eng.asp?ID=292
For more information about the CHRP program and recipients, visit: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsRelease-CommuniqueDePresse_eng.asp?ID=290