University of British Columbia research received a $23.2 million boost in support of 23 Canada Research Chairs working in medicine, psychology, engineering, biology and more.
The Canada Research Chair program was established in 2000 and helps attract and retain top researchers in Canada. The funding announced Thursday will support 11 new chairs at UBC and will continue to support 12 researchers who had their chairs renewed. The 23 chairs announced Thursday are part of UBC’s total of 187 chairs at the university.
“The Canada Research Chair program strengthens research and helps draw leaders in every field to UBC,” said John Hepburn, vice president Research and International. “Our professors are making new discoveries and developing new ideas that will change our world. We’re grateful for the support of this program.”
UBC’s new chairs work on issues like improving access to medicine for Canadians, using genetic information for personalized medicine, and food security.
The new UBC funding was part of a $139 million investment to support 150 chairs across the country, announced Thursday by the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology). The government funds 1,700 chairs across the country.
More information about the Canada Research Chair program can be found here.
UBC’s new Canada Research Chairs
Christopher Carlsten, Chair in Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease
Dr. Carlsten’s research aims to understand the effects of inhaled pollutants on the lungs in order to better prevent and treat lung disease.
Jennifer Gardy, Chair in Public Health Genomics
Gardy studies outbreaks of communicable diseases using genetic information, epidemiological data and clinical information with the goal of developing strategies to control and prevent infectious diseases.
Michael Law, Chair in Access to Medicines
Law studies drug pricing, examines why some Canadians cannot afford their prescription medicines and develops policy to help improve access to drugs.
Kota Mizumoto, Chair in Developmental Neurobiology
Mizumoto studies movement and locomotion by studying what happens at the molecular level in neurons and synapses.
Corey Nislow, Chair in Translational Genomics
Nislow is working with community pharmacists to use patients’ genetic information to guide decisions around treatments and medications. This work brings us closer to offering personalized medicine.
Gina Ogilvie, Chair in Global Control of HPV-Related Disease and Cancer
Dr. Ogilvie studies the human papillomavirus (HPV) and how to prevent the infectious disease and the cancers it causes such as cervical cancer.
Yaniv Plan, Chair in Data Science
Plan’s research involves the theoretical underpinnings of modern signal measurement and inference. It has inspired new methods of magnetic resonance imaging and opened doors to new methods of data collection and analysis.
Geraldine Pratt, Chair in Transnationalism and Precarious Labour: Politics and Performance
Pratt investigates different facets of Canada’s relationship with the Philippines through programs that allow Filipinos to come to Canada for temporary work as well as a recent initiative to attract Canadians to the Philippines.
Navin Ramankutty, Chair in Global Environment and Food Security
Ramankutty aims to find solutions to grow food in less harmful ways. He examines how farming systems affect the environment, and how climate and other global changes affect agriculture.
Alexander Rauscher, Chair in Developmental Neuroimaging
Dr. Rauscher has developed new MRI scans that he uses to study brain injury. He and his team investigate concussions in young ice hockey players.
Scott Renneckar, Chair in Advanced Renewable Materials
Renneckar studies wood molecules and how trees can be used as a sustainable material to replace products made from petroleum.
UBC’s renewed Canada Research Chairs
Purang Abolmaesumi, Chair in Biomedical Engineering
Abolmaesumi is developing a method for real-time ultrasound image processing that could be used to monitor patients during therapy and for making accurate diagnosis without biopsies.
Daniel Goldowitz, Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics
Goldowitz studies the development of the human brain with a focus on creating interventions to improve brain development in infants with high risk for neurological disorders.
Michael Hayden, Chair in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine
Hayden has made fundamental discoveries about the genetic basis of disease, and translating those discoveries into tools for genetic diagnosis and treatment.
Carol McAusland, Chair in Trade and Environment
McAusland will assess the economic efficiency of implementing a hybrid carbon footprint tax system in Canada.
Robert Molday, Chair in Vision and Macular Degeneration
Molday’s research focuses on inherited photoreceptor degenerative diseases that are a significant cause of blindness, including Stargardt macular degeneration.
Christopher Overall, Chair in Protease Proteomics and Systems Biology
Overall researches proteins and enzymes to develop new diagnostic tests for infection and inflammation as well as anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Septimiu Salcudean, Chair in Medical Robotics and Imaging
Dr. Salcudean is developing computer-generated virtual environments that users can feel. His main focus will be on simulations needed for the planning and teaching of medical interventions.
Martin Schechter, Chair in HIV/AIDS and Urban Population Health
Schechter works with inner city populations who are at risk for HIV, hepatitis C and overdose. He is developing prevention programs for young Aboriginal drug users. He is also working to stop the spread of HIV in Northern Uganda.
Dolph Schluter, Chair in Evolutionary Biology
Schluter’s research is about the rise of ecological diversity. He investigates the origin of genetic differences between organisms, the mechanisms by which new species form, and the role of interactions between species and evolution.
Toni (Tanya) Schmader, Chair in Social Psychology
Schmader seeks to understand how our membership in social groups, and the stereotypes attached to them, subtly shape how we view ourselves and others, and the choices we make in our lives.
Jon Stoessl, Chair in Parkinson’s Disease
Dr. Stoessl will use positron emission tomography (PET) to study people at high risk of Parkinson’s disease. He will study susceptibility to future neurodegeneration following minor head trauma and will use PET to determine the benefits of exercise in Parkinson’s disease.
Janet Werker, Chair in Developmental Psychology
Werker aims to advance our understanding of how infants understand and develop speech and how language intersects with the acquisition of culture.