Canada Excellence Research Chairs

Canada Excellence Research Chairs

May 17, 2010 11:10 ET

New Government of Canada Investment Attracts Top Minds to Canadian Universities

Inaugural Canada Excellence Research Chair Introduced at The University of Western Ontario Ceremony

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) - Ed Holder, Member of Parliament for London West, welcomed to The University of Western Ontario Dr. Adrian Owen, 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's investments in the Canada Excellence Research Chairs will benefit all Londoners," said Mr. Holder.

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 (

Dr. Owen, Canada Excellence Research Chairholder in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging, is addressing one of the most challenging topics in clinical medicine — residual brain function in patients that are non-responsive after suffering a severe brain injury. Dr. Owen will also study the cognitive deficits in patients suffering from diseases such as Parkinson's, Huntington's, Alzheimer's and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His work will improve health care delivery for brain-injured patients across Canada, affecting diagnosis and clinical care, medical ethics, and medical and legal decision-making about life after severe brain injury.

"Western is the place to be for advanced neuroscience research," said Dr. Owen. "The opportunity to work closely with world-class colleagues, the best equipment available and to have patients nearby that my work can help drew me to London and will make it easier for me to achieve my research objectives — and push the envelope even further."

"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.

"Dr. Owen's recruitment further strengthens an established core of scientists at Western and the Robarts Research Institute who have established a global reputation for excellence and major breakthroughs in cognitive neuroscience and imaging," said Dr. Amit Chakma, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Ontario. "This hire represents a strategic investment not only in one of the absolute top scientists in his field, but also in Canada's firm commitment to maintain a leadership role in research, education and health."

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 (

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