University of Calgary

CFI awards

April 8, 2009

CFI awards four U of C researchers almost $1.4 million

University of Calgary researchers received almost $1.4 million in infrastructure funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation on Tuesday.

The Leaders Opportunity Fund, designed to provide infrastructure to Canadian institutions to help attract and retain researchers, awarded $1,385,182 to four researchers.

“We appreciate and value this support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation,” said Vice-President (Research) Dr. Rose Goldstein. “The funds mean that U of C researchers are better able to pursue their projects and contribute to knowledge and advancements in their fields.”

The announcement was part of a total of $26.7 million in new funds to support 117 projects at 29 institutions across Canada. A total of $20,559,448 was awarded under the Leaders Opportunity Fund. The remaining $6,152,835 was awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, an accompanying program which assists research institutions with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with new infrastructure projects.

MP Rob Anders represents Calgary West, the riding that contains the University of Calgary.

“We’re proud to support innovative research with funding for infrastructure. This is what the Leaders Opportunity Fund does—it helps back researchers who have great ideas with the tools to do the job,” said Anders.

These are the four researchers and their projects who received Leaders Opportunity Fund awards in this round:

Wayne Giles

Wayne Giles
Wayne Giles, PhD, dean of Kinesiology and leader of the faculty osteoarthritis research group, is confident that a $513,360 grant from CFI will allow his group to get some traction in studying the progression of osteoarthritis. The CFI grant—with matching funding from Alberta Advanced Education and Technology—has allowed the kinesiology researchers to a confocal microscope and associated equipment that will allow unprecedented resolution of cartilage cells in the body’s large joints. This will lead to a better understanding of how cartilage cells communicate with one another.

Kevin Rioux
Kevin Rioux
Dr. Kevin Rioux was awarded $253,620 for research into Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  He wants to learn more about the composition and ecology of bacterial communities in the intestinal tract, and the role of gut bacteria in human health and disease. With this Canada Foundation for Innovation award, Rioux wants to answer questions such as what impact current therapies for IBD have on microbiota, which intestinal bacteria are present in the earlier stages of IBD that may cause disease, and how environmental influences such as smoking impact the gut microbiota.  Rioux is an assistant professor in the departments of Medicine and Microbiology & Infectious Diseases and a member of the Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the Faculty of Medicine.

 

Peter Dunfield
Peter Dunfield
Peter Dunfield is an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. The CFI funding of $329,394 will allow him to create a new environmental microbiology laboratory to study the biodiversity of some extreme environments in western and northern Canada, including natural geothermal springs, petroleum seeps and petroindustry waste sites. The ultimate goal is to employ newly discovered bacterial species in green energy technologies that are applicable to bioenergy, petroleum bioremediation and mitigation of climate change. Researchers will search for bacteria that may be used for biofuel production from waste biomass, and for remediation of methane emissions. This research fits into one of the university’s priorities of energy and environment research.

 

Kenneth Ng
Kenneth Ng
Kenneth Ng is an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. He uses X-ray crystallography to determine the three-dimensional structures of proteins and enzymes at the molecular level. His current work is focused on two main areas of critical importance to public health: Noroviruses, the most common non-bacterial cause of food poisoning stomach flu, and Clostridium difficile, a major human pathogen responsible for thousands of cases of infection in Canadian hospitals. The CFI funding of $288,808 will be used to buy new equipment, specifically a microfocus X-ray diffractometer.

A complete list of the projects awarded, by institution, can be found at: www.innovation.ca.

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