Campus News

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

News Release

May 22, 2002

U of G honours its Canada Research Chairs, Distinguished Researchers

The University of Guelph today honoured nine professors who have been awarded prestigious Canada Research Chairs and Guelph's first Ontario Distinguished Researcher Awards reflecting research excellence. The awards are worth more than $12 million when federal and provincial infrastructure support is included, allowing universities to attract and retain the most talented faculty.

"This an enormously proud day for the university," said president Mordechai Rozanski during a celebratory event held at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre. Guests at the event included Rene Durocher, executive director of the Canada Research Chairs Secretariat; David Bogart, executive director of the Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT), which administers the Distinguished Researcher Awards; and the nine Guelph researchers. "Their research successes and discoveries will help us advance our vision of being an international leader in a world of new cognizance and perpetual innovation," Rozanski said.

It is anticipated that at least 26 more researchers will be joining the ranks of Canada Research Chairs at Guelph in the next few years. "This program enables Canadian universities to achieve the highest levels of research excellence, to become world-class research centres in the global, knowledge-based economy, and ultimately to retain the best and brightest here in Canada," Durocher said. "I warmly congratulate all Chair recipients at the University of Guelph."

The Ontario Innovation Trust's Ontario Distinguished Researcher Award recognizes some of the province's top researchers who have received Canada Research Chairs and further develops the province's leading edge research capabilities, said Michael Gourley, OIT chair. "In addition to recognizing these nine outstanding Ontario researchers, the Trust is investing $1.1 million to support their infrastructure, equipment and technology needs -- in short, the tools for research -- and will help increase the University of Guelph's capability for research and innovation."

The Canada Research Chairs program supports two types of chairs: Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 research chairs are used to retain or attract experienced individuals acknowledged by their peers as international leaders in their fields. Recipients are awarded $200,000 a year for seven years. Tier 2 chairs are considered by their peers to have the potential to become world leaders in their fields and receive $100,000 a year for five years.

Guelph's Canada Research Chairs are conducting research that supports the University's seven strategic and interconnected research themes: food, environments, biotechnology, health and well-being, advanced analysis, culture and society and communities and families. Chair holders are:
Tier 1 :
Douglas McCalla, Department of History, Chair in Canadian Rural History to build a new Canadian economic history based on the experiences of farm families.

Paul Hebert, Department of Zoology, Chair in Molecular Biodiversity to support research in the Arctic and examine how molecular studies can provide new insights into the diversity of life.

Jacek Lipkowski, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Chair in Electrochemistry to develop sensors and biosensors and new electrodes for fuel cells.

Chris Whitfield, Department of Microbiology, Chair in Molecular Biology to identify alternatives to antibiotics in the fight against bacterial pathogens.

Tier 2:
Serge Desmarais, Department of Psychology, Chair in Applied Social Psychology to examine perceptions and consequences of gender-based pay inequity.

Brian Husband, Department of Botany, Chair in Plant Population and Evolutionary Biology to research key aspects of plant's sexual reproduction and the resulting gene exchange.

Jonathan LaMarre, Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Ontario Veterinary College, Chair in Comparative Biomedical Sciences to pursue better ways of controlling Alzheimer's disease, cirrhosis and tumour growth.

Rob de Loe, Department of Geography, Chair in Rural Water Management to focus on rural water quality and watershed management.

Alejandro Marangoni, Department of Food Science, Chair in Food and Soft Materials to develop a qualitative and quantitative understanding of the static structure of various soft food materials.

The federal Canada Research Chairs funding is enhanced through contributions in support of research infrastructure from CFI and OIT. The research chairs program is governed by a steering committee made up of the presidents of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council, CFI, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, as well as the deputy minister of Industry Canada.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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