Industry Canada

Industry Canada

November 10, 2005 10:06 ET

Industry Canada: Minister Alcock Announces Nine Canada Research Chairs in Manitoba

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 10, 2005) - The Honourable Reg Alcock, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, on behalf of the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canada Research Chairs Program, today announced $5.9 million in funding for nine Canada Research Chairs in Manitoba. Funding for university researchers in Manitoba from the Canada Research Chairs Program represents $5.4 million, while an additional $500 000 has been invested by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to support research infrastructure.

This funding is part of a $91.8-million investment in universities across the country to support the appointment of 126 Canada Research Chairs, as announced today by the Honourable Jean-C. Lapierre, Minister of Transport and Political Minister for Quebec. These senior research positions, vital for Canada's economic, scientific and social development, were further supported with $10.4 million from the CFI.

"The work of the Canada Research Chairs is of crucial importance for Canadians. Whether it is in the areas of health, the environment or education, the new knowledge developed through research has a direct impact on making our communities better, safer places to live and to raise the next generation," said Minister Emerson.

"Manitoba has received a total of $47.3 million for 46 Canada Research Chairs since the program began in 2000," said Minister Alcock. "These awards will help our institutions attract first-class researchers. In particular, the Chair in Molecular Cardiology is helping to build a critical mass of capacity at the University of Manitoba, solidifying its position as a leader and solid contributor to advances in the field of cardiology."

Lorrie Kirshenbaum of the University of Manitoba is the returning Canada Research Chair in Molecular Cardiology. He is studying ways to manipulate cell growth at the genetic level. Already, his research has demonstrated that particular genes are intimately involved in the life and death of cardiac cells. Aided by cutting-edge gene therapy, he is using viruses to deliver genes into cardiac muscle cells to direct how they behave. The implications of this research are immense. Potentially, scientists could use the therapy to direct cells to suppress or kill cancer cells, or to kill off other genes that provoke the death of cells that heart patients actually need.

The Canada Research Chairs Program (www.chairs.gc.ca) helps universities attract and retain some of the world's best research minds. Canada Research Chairs are recognized internationally as leaders in their fields, whether they work in the natural sciences and engineering, in the health sciences, or in the social sciences and humanities.

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