Campus News

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

News Release

October 22, 2004

CFI invests in U of G research projects

Six University of Guelph professors working on innovative projects ranging from the social and legal responses to crime to the relationships between micro-organisms and their environments have received more than $766,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

“This is more good news for the University of Guelph and is a reflection of the high- quality work being done at the university,” said Guelph-Wellington MP Brenda Chamberlain, from Ottawa where the announcement was made Thursday. She added that the CFI funding is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to improving Canada’s capacity to be a world leader in research and development.

In all, 32 Canadian research institutions will share in $23.7 million in support. CFI president and CEO Eliot Phillipson, who announced the funding, said the money will provide institutions and researchers with the tools to do cutting-edge work that will benefit all Canadians.

U of G’s awards fall under CFI’s New Opportunities Fund, designed to help institutions recruit exceptional scholars and launch the careers of new faculty members. U of G’s Myrna Dawson is one. The sociology professor received more than $93,000 to study violent crime.

“At a professional level, I was thrilled to get the funding to set up a research lab to examine social and legal responses to violence. But at a more practical level, I am ecstatic because my office is currently bursting at the seams, not only with equipment and files but also with four research assistants and myself all using it and trying to schedule our work around each other. The lab will allow us to spread out and be integral to a number of projects.”

Dawson will use the CFI funding to purchase advanced computer hardware and software to analyze the efficacy of programs and initiatives designed to respond to violent crime. Currently, she is examining the rise of specialized courts in Canada. “A second project that is just getting off the ground will use spatial mapping to examine whether there are links between the distribution of services for victims and perpetrators of violence and rates of victimization in particular geographic regions. It’s an exciting project, and the support from CFI is crucial to getting this under way.”

Land resource science professor Susan Glasauer received more than $249,000 for a research laboratory where she and colleague Prof. Kari Dunfield will work on projects aimed at understanding the complex relationships between micro-organisms and their environments. Glasauer’s interest is in biogeochemistry, and Dunfield focuses on molecular microbial ecology.

“By pooling our interests, we are convinced that we can more completely understand how a microbial ecosystem functions and thereby address how damaged environments can best be resuscitated,” Glasauer said. “And we anticipate that our joint approach will give students and researchers ready opportunities to think outside the box of their own disciplines.”

U of G’s other New Opportunities recipients are:

• Farahbakhsh Khosrow, School of Engineering, $125,000 to develop tools and technology for sustainable waste-water reuse.

• Radu Muresan, School of Engineering, $118,542 to set up a cryptosystem security research laboratory.

• Peter Purslow, Department of Food Science, $107,085 to study manipulation of myoblast and fibroblast cell expression.

• Keith Warriner, Department of Food Science, $73,017 to study food-borne pathogens in food production and processing chains.

“The New Opportunities program continues to be a flagship program of CFI,” said Alan Wildeman, U of G’s vice-president (research). “These new awards reinforce the fact that Guelph is attracting excellent researchers, and help make it possible for these people to realize their potential for discovery.”

The CFI was established in 1997 by the federal government to fund research infrastructure. Its mandate is to strengthen the ability of Canada’s universities, colleges, hospitals and non-profit groups to carry out world-class research and technology development.

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

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