Campus News

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

News Release

November 15, 2001

CFI announces 'new opportunities' at U of G

Three University of Guelph professors are among 92 faculty from 33 Canadian universities who will benefit from a $17.6-million investment in new research facilities announced today by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The national announcement was made in Guelph by CFI Senior Vice-President Carmen Charette and Brenda Chamberlain, MP for Guelph-Wellington. The funding comes from two CFI programs: $13.8 million from the New Opportunities Fund, which covers 40 per cent of the infrastructure costs of a project, and $3.8 million from the Infrastructure Operating Fund, a new program that helps universities with operating and maintenance costs associated with new infrastructure projects supported by the CFI.

"This is a strategic investment in the ability of our universities to attract and retain the best researchers in Canada, and in the capacity of our people to compete with the best in the world," Charette said. "These 87 new researchers will have access to the equipment and facilities they need to undertake leading-edge research and to train young Canadians for the knowledge-based economy."

Chamberlain added: "By investing in the activities of organizations such as the CFI, the government of Canada is fully engaged in making Canada one of the most innovative countries in the world by 2010."

Guelph received the following awards:

  • $204,206 for innovative and competitive research in the pathophysiology of lung diseases in horses and cattle, headed by clinical studies professor Carolyn Kerr.

  • $175,468 for research to develop effective strategies to fight chlorinated pollutants in Ontario, headed by microbiology professor Stephen Seah.

  • $173,693 for equipment to help researchers study the loss of biodiversity, headed by zoology professor Jinzhong Fu.

Guelph president Mordechai Rozanski said: "This vital investment in Guelph's talented people and in our research capacity will help us transform discovery into benefit for our society and economy. It provides vital research infrastructure, equipment and technology that will help our professors advance Guelph's ambition to be Canada's innovation leader in creating, transmitting and applying knowledge."

Kerr will use the funding for equipment to create a state-of-the-art veterinary respiratory facility within the Ontario Veterinary College. She will investigate diseases of major economic significance to veterinary medicine in Ontario, focusing on the mechanisms of lung dysfunction in horses and cattle using novel imaging and cellular research techniques.

Seah will research the remediation of aromatic pollutants, waste management and the control of microbial diseases. He hopes to develop strategies to bioremediate polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), one of the most abundant and widespread chlorinated pollutants in Ontario.

Fu hopes to understand how biodiversity was generated and how to scientifically assess it, using the CFI funding to purchase equipment to examine biodiversity from a historical and molecular perspective.

CFI's New Opportunities Fund is intended to launch the careers of new and talented faculty members as well as help universities retain existing researchers and attract high-calibre talent. The CFI was established in 1997 by the federal government to address the urgent needs of Canada's research community. It has a capital investment budget of $3.15 billion, and its goal is to strengthen Canada's university research and training environment through partnerships with the research institutions, the provinces and other levels of government, as well as the private and voluntary sectors.


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