Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

November 30, 2001

Two more Canada Research Chairs for U of G

A biomedical scientist pursuing better ways of controlling Alzheimer's disease, cirrhosis and tumor growth, and a scholar aiming to build a new Canadian economic history based on the experiences of ordinary farm families, are the latest professors to be appointed Canada Research Chairs at the University of Guelph.

Jonathan LaMarre, of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Ontario Veterinary College, has been awarded $100,000 annually for the next five years to hold a senior chair in Comparative Biomedical Sciences.

Douglas McCalla, currently a history professor at Trent University, will receive $200,000 annually for seven years to hold a junior chair in Canadian Rural History at the University of Guelph.

Industry Minister Brian Tobin unveiled the two chairs as part of a national Canada Research Chairs announcement made Nov. 29 at McMaster University in Hamilton.

"This is wonderful news for the University of Guelph," said Prof. Deborah Stacey, assistant vice-president (research and infrastructure programs).

"The appointment of Professor LaMarre is very appropriate, given our great strengths in the life sciences as they relate to human health," Stacey added. "The appointment of Prof. McCalla, our first chair recruited externally, fits in very well with the University's emphasis on rural studies."

As a Canada Research Chair holder, LaMarre will lead laboratory inquiry on the regulation of individual genes, tissues and species and the role they play in disease states. The work is expected to substantially increase scientific knowledge in many health areas, including the diagnosis, pathogenesis and potential therapies for several animal- and human-related illnesses. A U of G professor since 1993, LaMarre is an internationally-recognized scientist and the winner of seven prior prestigious scientific awards, fellowships and scholarships.

McCalla, who will join U of G in the new year, is the author and editor of several books in economic and business history, notably an award-winning economic history of early Ontario. As Chair in Rural History, he will pursue systematic research on Canadian economic history between 1600 and 1939, basing it on the experiences of ordinary farm and artisan families of the day, as opposed to the perspective of leading officials and merchants.

Launched in 2000 by the federal government, the Canada Research Chairs Program is designed to enable Canadian universities to become world-class centres of research excellence by providing them with new funds to recruit and retain world-class faculty. The University of Guelph is expected to have 35 chairs funded over the next few years; the two chairs announced Nov. 29 bring that number to seven funded to date.

"Universities are pivotal to Canada's new knowledge-driven economy because of their role in advancing the frontiers of knowledge and understanding," Tobin said at the Nov. 29 announcement. "By investing in our researchers through initiatives such as the Canada Research Chairs Program, the Government of Canada is promoting leading-edge research and innovation, providing exciting opportunities for Canadian researchers, and attracting the best research minds in the world to Canadian universities."


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