Campus News

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

News Release

November 14, 2002

Province invests close to $23 million in U of G research

The University of Guelph has received an investment of $22.8 million from the Ontario government to advance 26 research projects in the human, animal and life sciences.

The funding was announced today by David Turnbull, associate minister of enterprise, opportunity and innovation, during a special event at the university. The investment will be delivered through the Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT), which provides matching provincial dollars for research supported by the federal Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Today’s announcement brings the total provincial investment for 51 research projects at Guelph to $41 million. Funding partners have contributed an additional $61.5 million, bringing the total value of investments in research infrastructure at the University of Guelph to more than $102.5 million.

“These awards reflect the university’s high priority on innovative research and scientific discovery,” said Alan Wildeman, vice-president (research). “These investments will play a vital role in building excellent research capacity across a spectrum of the university’s strengths. It enables our researchers to continue to excel in their own disciplines, and to consequently enhance their ability to deliver leading-edge education and training.”

The most recent 25 projects funded will ultimately involve some 200 faculty and researchers from a variety of campus departments and disciplines and will involve research in areas that include food safety, chemistry, biotechnology, biodiversity science, breast cancer, reproductive disorders and animal and human health. One of the projects, headed by Guelph environmental biology professor Christopher Hall, was highlighted during today’s event. Hall is genetically engineering low-nicotine sterile tobacco plants to produce antibodies or "plantibodies” for use as pharmaceuticals, for detecting and monitoring bacteria in food products or the environment, or for use as therapies to treat human diseases such as cancer. Hall, who was recently named a Canada Research Chair, was presented with an OIT Distinguished Researcher Award by Turnbull. The award recognizes top researchers in the province.

Turnbull said that by investing in projects at the university such as Hall’s, the government is supporting cutting-edge research that could lead to important scientific breakthroughs resulting in better health and quality of life for the people of Ontario. “Investing in research infrastructure is an important part of our government’s strategy for promoting research, innovation and discovery in Ontario,” he said. “These investments are building a stronger future for our province and a solid foundation to position our universities, colleges and research hospitals as world-class centres for research and scientific discovery. The ability to attract and retain highly qualified scientists and researchers depends on investing in quality research facilities and state-of-the-art equipment and technology.”

Turnbull also presented Distinguished Researcher Awards to microbiology professor Terry Beveridge and food science professor Alejandro Marangoni and recognized 28 other Guelph professors:

-- France-Isabelle Auzanneau, Chemistry and Biochemistry
-- Andrew Bendall, Molecular Biology and Genetics
-- Nicholas Bernier, Zoology
-- Dean Betts, Biomedical Sciences
-- Marc Coppolino, Chemistry and Biochemistry
-- Bill Deen, Plant Agriculture
-- Jinzhong Fu, Zoology
-- Mansel Griffiths, Food Science
-- Paul Hebert, Zoology
-- Richard Heck, Land Resource Science
-- Abdelaziz Houmam, Chemistry and Biochemistry
-- Carolyn Kerr, Clinical Studies
-- John Lauzon, Land Resource Science
-- John Leatherland, Biomedical Sciences
-- Ray Lu, Molecular Biology and Genetics
-- Daniel Meegan, Psychology
-- Stephen Miller, Animal and Poultry Science
-- Roger Moorehead, Biomedical Sciences
-- Richard Mosser, Molecular Biology and Genetics
-- Blair Nonnecke, Computing and Information Science
-- Jim Petrik, Biomedical Sciences
-- Xiaorong Qin, Physics
-- Manish Raizada, Plant Agriculture
-- Stephen Seah, Microbiology
-- Shayan Sharif, Pathobiology
-- Carl Svensson, Physics
-- Lana Trick, Psychology
-- Scott Weese, Clinical Studies

Established by the Ontario Government with endowments of more than $1 billion, the OIT invests in research infrastructure — research facilities, equipment and technology — at the province’s universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutes. Today’s announcement brings the trust’s committed investments to more than $637.7 million, supporting 735 research projects involving more than 1,500 researchers and scientists. The CFI is an independent, not-for-profit corporation established by the Government of Canada in 1997 to address an urgent need of Canada’s research community: new state-of-the-art research infrastructure.

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

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