Two Tier 1 CRCs Renewed
Canada Research Chair holders study biodiversity and disease
Uof G will receive $2.8 million over the next seven years from Industry Canada through the renewal of two prestigious Canada Research Chairs (CRCs).
Prof. Paul Hebert, Integrative Biology, and Prof. Chris Whitfield, chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, were first awarded Tier 1 chairs in 2002 and were among U of G's first recipients. Tier 1 chairs are acknowledged as international leaders in their field and receive $200,000 a year for seven years.
“Profs. Hebert and Whitfield represent a standard of outstanding scientific and academic leadership that has placed U of G at the forefront of life science research,” says Prof. Steven Liss, interim vice-president (research).
“When it comes to ‘the Barcode of Life' or the latest developments in bacterial cell surface structure and function, they are leading the world, and we are delighted and proud that further investment through CRC renewals will allow them to continue to make important contributions through their research.”
Hebert has been using his CRC to support research on how molecular studies can provide new insights into the diversity of life, specifically DNA bar-coding. He heads the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario and is the scientific director of the International Barcode of Life Project, a consortium working to create the world's first reference library of DNA bar codes for use in species identification around the globe.
Whitfield's CRC research has focused on the functions of bacteria, as well as exploiting this knowledge to identify new targets for therapies against bacterial infections.
He heads a multi-million-dollar facility at U of G for research on the surfaces and membranes of living cells. There, scientists are working to find new approaches to understanding how molecules are transported into — or out of — living cells. This is critically important in understanding processes involved in human diseases and developing effective new strategies for therapeutic intervention.