CFI Invests $1.2 Million in U of G Research ‘Leaders’

January 24, 2012 - News Release

The Canada Foundation of Innovation (CFI) today announced it will invest more than $1.2 million in nine University of Guelph research projects headed by “innovation leaders.”

The announcement was made by Gary Goodyear, minister of state (science and technology). In total, CFI will provide more than $33 million to support 132 research projects at 31 Canadian universities.

The majority of the funding — $25 million — will come from CFI’s Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF), intended to help Canadian universities attract and retain leading faculty and researchers. The remaining $8 million is from the Infrastructure Operating Fund.

U of G projects include improving sexual, embryonic and cardio-respiratory health, enhancing crop production and creating next-generation nuclear reactors.

“The projects funded today all reflect the University’s unique ‘one-health’ initiative, which looks holistically at animal, human and environmental health,” said Kevin Hall, vice-president (research).

“These research leaders also work across the disciplines, engaging with colleagues and students and allowing us to use our combined expertise to find better ways to maintain and improve human and environmental health.”

U of G’s largest LOF grant — $202,855 — will help chemistry professors Marcel Schlaf and Peter Tremaine to build a safe facility for high-temperature and high-pressure studies in biomass and nuclear energy.

They plan to study conversion of biomass to fuels and materials, and ways to improve nuclear energy production in existing and next-generation reactors.

"Processes at high pressures and temperatures are very important to both the conversion of biomass to fuels and to the development and stewardship of nuclear energy,” Schlaf said.

“This new facility will enable us to access these reaction conditions and be unique at Canadian universities."

U of G’s other LOF recipients are the following:

• Prof. Luis Arroyo, Department of Clinical Studies, $125,484 to study the vascular effects of pulmonary artery calcification in horses;

• Prof. Stephen Brown, Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, $123,881 for a spine and muscle injury and adaptation laboratory;

• Prof. David Hooker, Department of Plant Agriculture, $186,081 to study crop responses to technological innovations and systems-based crop production;

• Prof. Tuuli Kukkonen, Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, $125,402 to establish a laboratory for thermographic investigation of sexual health;

• Prof. Brandon Lillie, Department of Pathobiology, $122,619 to research genetic variations that increase disease susceptibility in livestock;

• Prof. Pavneesh Madan, Department of Biomedical Sciences, $126,486 to study molecular markers of embryonic competence or failure;

• Prof. Meghan McMurtry, Department of Psychology, $124,975 to research pain and distress management in children and parents; and

• Prof. Jeremy Simpson, Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, $125,488 to establish an integrated cardio-respiratory research program.

Established as an independent not-for-profit corporation in 1997, the CFI is intended to strengthen university research and training in Canada through partnerships with research institutions, governments, business and volunteer organizations.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982, or

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