Canada Research Chairs

Canada Research Chairs
Canada Foundation for Innovation

Canada Foundation for Innovation

June 10, 2008 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Strengthens Research Excellence by Investing $113 Million to Fund 127 Canada Research Chairs

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 10, 2008) - The Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canada Research Chairs Program announced an investment of $113 million to fund 127 Canada Research Chairs (CRC) from 35 universities across the country. The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is also contributing $4.8 million to fund research infrastructure essential to the work being performed by 33 of the chairholders.

"Our government recognizes the key role that the Canada Research Chairs Program plays in building on Canada's growing reputation as a global leader in research and innovation," said Minister Baird. "Guided by the S&T Strategy, and reinforced in Budget 2008, our government is working to mobilize science and technology to our country's long-term economic and social advantage."

The Canada Research Chairs Program is designed to attract the best talent from Canada and around the world, helping universities achieve research excellence in natural sciences and engineering, health sciences, and social sciences and humanities.

"The Canada Research Chairs Program helps to position Canadian universities as world-class research centres," said Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and head of the CRC Program's steering committee. "With the help of funds from the CRC Program, researchers are finding solutions to today's social, health and economic issues and are training the next generation of innovative scientists and scholars."

"The investments being announced today will further enhance our country's reputation as a destination of choice for the world's top minds," said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of CFI. The partnership between the CRC Program and CFI has been instrumental in achieving this, and today's announcement ensures that this trend continues.

Of the 127 Canada Research Chairs announced today, 29 are new appointments, including:

- Paul Corkum, National Research Council - Canada Research Chair in Attosecond Photonics, University of Ottawa. Corkum is planning to make movies-but not in the traditional way. Through laser technology and the production of innovative 25-attosecond flashbulbs, Corkum wants to speed up the process of the moving image, cast electrons, atoms and molecules as his actors, and make waves in the world of physics.

- Kathy McCoy, Canada Research Chair in Gastrointestinal Immunology, McMaster University. McCoy returned to Canada from Zurich to study the curse of cleanliness in Hamilton, Ontario. With a dramatic rise in the number of people suffering from allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases over the past 40 years, McCoy is interested in the hygiene hypothesis. The theory points to ultra-clean environments in early childhood as the root of the problem. By understanding how bacteria and fungi influence the development of the immune system, her research could lead toward new ways to treat and prevent allergic and autoimmune diseases.

- Yun Zhang, Canada Research Chair in Advanced Geomatics Image Processing, University of New Brunswick. What do NASA, Google Earth and Canada's department of National Defence have in common? They are all making use of Zhang's licensed software and automated image-fusion technique. As an expert geomatician, in an industry that creates tools for land surveying, global positioning and earth mapping, Zhang is developing revolutionary ways to build on geospatial information.

- Waziyatawin, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, University of Victoria. Truth, justice and peace: these fundamental values are at the core of Waziyatawin's research into Indigenous history and culture. Waziyatawin seeks to recover ancient First Nations knowledge and sustainable living practices, as well as examine how Indigenous women have resisted colonialism. She will also focus on the importance of truth telling as a means to reparative justice and to a peaceful relationship between settler and native populations.

Note to editors: The Canada Research Chairs Program is designed to attract the best talent from Canada and around the world, helping universities achieve research excellence in natural sciences and engineering, health sciences, and social sciences and humanities. Since its launch in 2000, chairholders improve Canadians' depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen the country's international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly skilled people. There are currently 1,855 research professorships at 70 universities across Canada. Of these positions, 555 researchers were recruited from abroad, including 252 Canadian expatriates. For more information on this announcement, including detailed research profiles for each chairholder, visit our website at

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. For a complete listing of CFI contributions, please visit

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