Canada Excellence Research Chairs

Canada Excellence Research Chairs

May 17, 2010 10:36 ET

New Government of Canada Investment Attracts Top Minds to Canadian Universities

Inaugural Canada Excellence Research Chair Introduced at University of Prince Edward Island Ceremony

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, welcomed to the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) Dr. Ian A. Gardner, one of 19 world-renowned researchers who have chosen to pursue their leading-edge research at universities across Canada. The event followed the announcement of the recipients of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program made earlier today at the University of Toronto by the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry.

"The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of supporting world-class research," said Minister Shea. "The CERC program helps to position Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. The cutting-edge research conducted by these global leaders will spur innovation in Prince Edward Island and contribute positively to Canada's competitiveness and future prosperity."

For each Chair, universities will receive up to $10 million over seven years to support chairholders and their research teams in undertaking ambitious research programs. The complete list of chairholders, including the 13 universities where they will be working, is available on the CERC website (www.cerc.gc.ca/cpch-pctc-eng.shtml).

Dr. Ian A. Gardner, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Aquatic Epidemiology, will examine health interactions between farmed and wild fish populations and develop cost-effective testing strategies and surveillance programs for the prevention and control of diseases in aquatic food animals. His research will help aquaculture regulators in Canada make science-based decisions to maintain healthy food production in our marine environments, as well as provide the knowledge needed to help improve nutrition for human populations around the world.

"The Atlantic Veterinary College is known around the world as a leader in veterinary epidemiology and fish health," said Dr. Gardner. "I'm excited to be a part of this team. This is a new frontier of science that will make a difference in people's lives. This research deals with the health of our oceans but is also about what goes on our plate at dinnertime."

"The arrival of these globally respected researchers will have multiple benefits for Canada," said Dr. Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Chair of the Tri-Agency Steering Committee. "Research chairs of this calibre working together with other researchers, students and post-doctoral fellows already in Canada will create meaningful new opportunities."

The CERC program was announced in Budget 2008 as part of the government's Science and Technology Strategy to help build expertise in strategic areas. Research conducted by the chairholders will focus on the areas of environmental sciences and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and related life sciences and technologies, and information and communications technologies.

"The CERC in Aquatic Epidemiology builds on niche strengths in population and aquatic ecosystems health at UPEI and the Atlantic Veterinary College," said Wade MacLauchlan, President of UPEI. "This Chair, together with its supporting team and network, responds to the expanding global demand for protein, notably for healthy fish from healthy aquatic ecosystems. This CERC will make a big difference."

The CERC program is administered jointly by Canada's three research granting agencies: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

For more information, visit the CERC website (www.cerc.gc.ca).

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