Profs Nab Discovery Accelerator Grants

June 22, 2010 - News Release

Five University of Guelph professors will each receive $120,000 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to help them become international leaders in their respective fields.

Integrative biology professors Nicholas Bernier and Brian Husband, psychology professor Francesco Leri, Prof. Jaideep Mathur of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Prof. Claudia Wagner-Riddle of the School of Environmental Sciences will receive the funds over three years.

The grants, called the Discovery Accelerator Supplements, provide additional resources to a small group of researchers each year. The aim is to maximize the impact of outstanding research programs.

A total of 125 researchers from across Canada will receive accelerator grants in 2010, for a total investment of $15 million, Gary Goodyear, minister of state (science and technology), announced today at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

The awards are allocated to researchers who have received funding through NSERC’S Discovery Grants competition. Accelerator supplement recipients must show strong potential to become scientific leaders and have well-established research programs. They may use the funding to expand research teams, buy new equipment or purchase other resources.

“These awards are a testament to the high calibre of expertise and research activity at the University of Guelph,” said Rich Moccia, associate vice-president (research). “Ultimately, our goal is to use our research to change science and society. These talented faculty members are generating knowledge that will lead to practical solutions to critical issues affecting animal and human health and our environment.”

Bernier studies how stress affects fish appetite and growth, particularly under intensive aquaculture. Husband researches plant genetic diversity and evolution and leads a multidisciplinary research team in applied evolution.
Leri studies brains and behaviour to learn about drug abuse and addiction. Mathur is studying early subcellular interactions and responses of plants. Wagner-Riddle is researching greenhouse gas flux from agro-ecosystems for bioenergy.

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