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News Release

March 27, 2006

CFI Announces Funding for U of G Researchers

Seven University of Guelph researchers working on leading-edge projects ranging from a comparative epilepsy program to the study of body composition and energy metabolism, received a total of nearly $800,000 in support today from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and its new Leaders Opportunities Fund (LOF) program.

The announcement was made this morning in Montreal by Eliot Phillipson, CFI president and CEO, and Maxime Bernier, minister of industry. Guelph was among 35 universities that received a total of $23.6 million to support new research.

"These awards demonstrate not only the breadth of research and scholarship at the University of Guelph, they also show the high quality of the applicants who are helping to shape the university's future impacts on society,” said Alan Wildeman, vice-president (research). “We are again grateful to the CFI for its support."

Among the award recipients is clinical studies professor Roberto Poma, who received $80,836 to develop a program that will compare canine epilepsy with human epilepsy. “The disease is very similar in both species,” said Poma. “This research will foster innovative collaboration between veterinary and human health-care institutions focusing on similarities of the disease and target important aspects of the disorder including physiology, diagnosis and treatment.”

Prof. Andrea Buchholz of the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition received $159,594 to establish a human body composition and energy metabolism lab, which will be the only facility in Ontario capable of measuring fat mass and fat-free mass and energy expenditure in a "one-stop shopping" fashion.

“The lab will also have the capability of doing diet analysis and taking, processing and storing biological samples for analysis of metabolic risk factors,” said Buchholz. “This facility will allow me to evaluate the effects of exercise, diet and supplement interventions designed to modify body fat, muscle mass and bone mineral mass. This in turn can help reduce the risk of chronic disease and improve human health and performance.”

U of G’s other LOF recipients are:

– Carol Armstrong, Department of Biomedical Sciences, $124,907 to study the development of pattern formation in the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for motor co-ordination.

– John Armstrong, Department of Biomedical Sciences, $124,773 to study presynaptic mechanisms that control how neurotransmitters in the brain are released.

– Stefano Gregori, School of Engineering, $135,004 for a laboratory to develop new analog integrated circuits and microsystems.

– Helen Hambly, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, $44,013 for multimedia information and communication research for rural development.

– Jaideep Mathur, Department of Plant Agriculture, $124,385 for a laser scanning microscope for live imaging of subcellular responses to environmental stimuli.

“I am glad that U of G will once again benefit from strategic CFI funding,“ said Brenda Chamberlain, MP for Guelph-Wellington. “I congratulate you on receiving this support.”

The LOF builds on the New Opportunities Fund, the Canada Research Chairs Infrastructure Fund and the Career Awards Fund, and was created to reflect Canada’s fast-evolving research environment and to give Canadian universities the added flexibility they need to attract and retain the very best of today’s and tomorrow’s researchers at a time of intense international competition for leading faculty.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.

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