Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
August 15, 2000
U of G scientists get $1.7 million for health research
The University of Guelph today received more than $1.7 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to fund six projects aimed at increasing health science knowledge.
The grants support projects in the departments of biomedical sciences, pathobiology, microbiology and chemistry and biochemistry. The funding ranges from one to five years and covers research topics such as bacterial infections, genetics and DNA recombination.
The U of G projects are part of a $194-million investment for research initiatives at universities, hospitals, government and in the voluntary health sector. The funding was announced in Alberta today by Health Minister Allan Rock and CIHR President Alan Bernstein and in Guelph by Brenda Chamberlain, M.P. for Guelph-Wellington.
"This funding will provide important opportunities for teams of investigators to participate on focussed research targets," said Prof. Mark Baker, Department of Pathobiology, one of the grant recipients. He will receive $489,865 over five years for his "Molecular Mechanisms of Mammalian Homologous Recombination" project. It involves understanding how genetic information is exchanged between DNA duplexes, and studying genetic diversity and correcting DNA damage.
"I think CIHR will help the average Canadian to understand the importance of health research and its role in the well-being of the population," Baker added.
The other five projects that received CIHR funding are:
-- "Cellular Aging and Senescence During Early Mammalian Development," Prof. Allan King, Department of Biomedical Sciences, $211,415 over three years.
-- "Mechanisms of Hepatocyte LRP Gene Regulation," Prof. Jonathan Lamarre, Department of Biomedical Sciences, $208,487 over three years.
-- "Structure, Function and Catalytic Mechanism of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Exotoxin A," Prof. Rod Merrill, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, $400,500 over five years.
-- "Structural Mechanism of Osmosensing by Osmosensor and Osmoregulatory Transporter ProP of Escherichia Coli," Prof. Janet Wood, Department of Microbiology, $295,805 over three years.
-- "Capillary Electrophoresis Equipment," Prof. Joseph Lam, Department of Microbiology, $118,129 for one year.
President Mordechai Rozanski said: "We are delighted by this funding and salute the federal government for its forward-thinking approach in establishing the CIHR and making this latest investment in health research. This support will allow us to continue our leadership role in advancing research in health and well-being. We hope to see this financial support extended across an even wider range of disciplines in the future, including the social sciences."
"I congratulate the faculty, staff and students involved. Their success in attracting research support has made U of G the second most research-intensive university in Canada," he added.
"Together with our previous research accomplishments with the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Ontario Innovation Trust and the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, U of G researchers have attracted more than $80 million in recent provincial and federal funding competitions."
CIHR was officially launched June 7. Its objective is to excel in the creation of new knowledge and improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened health care system. It brings together researchers who approach health challenges from different disciplinary perspectives and are not at centralized "bricks and mortar" facilities. Instead, these "virtual" organizations will support and link researchers in centres across Canada.
"The concept of virtual institutes is appealing," Baker said. "It provides for flexibility and avoids the high cost of building and maintaining ‘bricks and mortar' institutes."
Contacts: Alex Wooley, U of G Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 6982. Andrew Matejcic, CIHR, (613) 954-7143 Prof. Mark Baker, Department of Pathobiology, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 4788