U of G Gets $2.4 Million Via CRC Program

November 14, 2013 - News Release

Two new Canada Research Chairs (CRC) and renewal of an existing CRC at the University of Guelph were announced today in Calgary by Greg Rickford, minister of state (science and technology). The three Guelph chairs are worth $2.4 million in support.

In total, 135 new and renewed CRCs were named at 41 universities across Canada, an investment of nearly $109 million.

U of G received two new Tier 2 chairs: Population Disease Modeling, to be held by Amy Greer; and Gender, Justice and Development, to be held by Sharada Srinivasan. Tier 2 chairs are considered potential world leaders in their fields and receive $100,000 a year for five years.

A Tier 1 chair in Soft Matter Physics held since 2006 by physics professor John Dutcher was renewed for seven years. Tier 1 chairs are acknowledged international leaders in their fields and are awarded $200,000 a year for seven years.

“I’m delighted that Amy and Sharada will be joining U of G, and I welcome them into our cohort of outstanding CRCs,” said Kevin Hall, vice-president (research).

“Their research and expertise in infectious diseases and gender studies will contribute greatly to our reputation as a university poised to help solve our planet’s problems.”

Referring to Dutcher, Hall said “John has excelled over the past five years as a CRC, and this renewal is well-deserved and fitting recognition of his accomplishments.”

Greer, currently a senior mathematician in the Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control at the Public Health Agency of Canada and an epidemiology professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, will join the Department of Population Medicine in the Ontario Veterinary College in January 2014. She studies infectious disease dynamics in humans and animals and their health, environmental and economic costs. She will use her CRC to develop disease transmission models that improve control strategies and inform public health decision-making.

”I’m thrilled to be joining the University of Guelph as a Canada Research Chair,” Greer said.

“I am looking forward to advancing our understanding of infectious disease dynamics at the human-animal interface in order to support evidence-based public health decision-making. The University has a strong track record of interdisciplinary and innovative research and leadership in animal-related areas of public health that makes it a great fit for my program of research.”

Srinivasan will join the Department of Sociology and Anthropology next summer. Currently a professor in the Department of Social Sciences at York University, she studies daughter aversion and discrimination against girls and women, including early/child marriages, female circumcision and gender-based violence. She will use her CRC to explore issues ranging from sex selection to “daughter deficit.”

Dutcher studies physical properties of polymers, biopolymers and bacterial cells at interfaces. Such soft materials are expected to revolutionize many Canadian industrial sectors, including aerospace, pharmaceuticals, microelectronics and packaging. His work spans many disciplines and involves local, national and international collaborations. Dutcher co-ordinates Guelph’s Polymer Surface and Interface Group, and directs its nanoscience program.

Begun in 2000, the CRC program helps Canadian universities attract and retain excellent faculty. The program is overseen by the minister of state (science and technology) and governed by a steering committee consisting of the presidents of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

“Through programs such as the Canada Research Chairs, we are supporting cutting-edge research at Canadian universities and fostering innovation by helping researchers bring their ideas to the marketplace, to benefit Canadians and improve our quality of life,” Rickford said.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca; or Kevin Gonsalves, Ext. 56982, or kgonsalves@uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
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Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1