CFI Invests Nearly $1.4 Million in U of G Research

December 15, 2008 - News Release

Ten University of Guelph research projects have received nearly $1.4 million in support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

In an announcement Friday, CFI said it will invest $45.4 million in projects involving 251 researchers at 44 universities across Canada. The funding comes from CFI’s Leaders Opportunity Fund, which is designed to help launch the careers of new and talented faculty and help institutions attract and retain scholars in priority research areas. The U of G projects span eight departments within four colleges.

"I am very pleased to have received this award. The funds will be instrumental in enabling me to set up my research lab," said psychology Prof. Boyer Winters, who joined U of G in 2007. Winters received $315,922 from CFI and plans to use the funds for laboratory renovations and to purchase equipment to support his research on the neurobiology of learning and memory.

Winters is working to understand memory at the anatomical, cellular and molecular levels to learn how and why these mechanisms break down. Among other things, his lab uses rodent models of human memory dysfunction to study the neural bases of memory for facts and events.

He studies how rats learn to recognize an object and then recognize it in a different context. He analyses the chemicals involved in these aspects of learning and remembering, involving specialized testing space and equipment for behavioural observations and histological analysis of brain tissue.

Other Leaders Opportunity Fund projects and the lead researchers are:

- Prof. Mieso Denko, Department of Computing and Information Science, $101,804 for a pervasive and wireless networking research laboratory.

- Prof. Andreas Heyland, Department of Integrative Biology, $125,000 to research hormonal signaling in marine ecosystems.

- Prof. Nina Jones, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, $123,911 to create a lab for the integrated study of vascular cell biology.

- Prof. David Ma, Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, $126,318 to support his research on dietary fatty acids as potential therapeutic agents, with the long-term goal of developing new strategies to prevent and treat cancer.

- Prof. Andrew MacDougall, Department of Integrative Biology, $98,091 for infrastructure to study grasslands, species loss and global environmental change.

- Prof. Ryan Norris, Department of Integrative Biology, $120,464 to create a laboratory for the remote tracking of migratory animals.

- Prof. Beth Parker, School of Engineering., $188,200 for laboratory and field equipment to study organic chemical contamination in fractured rock beneath industrial sites.

- Prof. Alexander Valverde, Department of Clinical Studies, $72,356 to study novel approaches to anesthesia awareness and efficacy in animals.

- Prof. Robert Wickham, Department of Physics, $120,376 for a high-performance computing facility for computational polymer physics research.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338/, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982/

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