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Year in Review | April

Dr. David Natcher was appointed Memorial University’s Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies April 5.

Memorial University is hosting a new initiative that aims to bring the province's marine technology industry to the world. The Marine Technology Alliance Building and Marketing Initiative – or “Bridges,” as it’s been dubbed by its creators – is a $2.35-million program that will help private and public players in the marine technology industry access new markets and generate wealth in the province. Twelve St. John’s-based Centres of Excellence in marine technology serve as the core focus of the initiative. These groups represent a number of marine-related fields including simulation, safety training, marine performance, aquaculture, sustainable fisheries, remote sensing and communications.

Memorial University’s newly established Centre of Regional Development Studies (CORDS) will co-ordinate and facilitate the university's educational, research, and outreach activities in the area of rural and regional development. Approved by Memorial’s Board of Regents in October 2003, CORDS’ mandate includes the development of academic programs relating to regional development, such as developing training programs targeting the province's growth sectors, which could be delivered at Memorial's Grenfell College and St. John's campuses, or through distance education. Dr. Robert Greenwood was appointed director for CORDS in April. Reporting to the vice-president (academic), Dr. Greenwood will also work with a board of directors representing the university and external stakeholders.

Memorial University biologist Dr. Brian Staveley and Annika Haywood have cured Parkinson’s disease in fruit flies. Their recent publication, Parkin Counteracts Symptoms in a Drosophila Model of Parkinson’s Disease, is the result of three years intense research using fruit flies as the subjects for their research into the operation of cells.

Memorial’s Board of Regents approved the new position of director of major research partnerships at its meeting on April 8. Dr. James Wright, former head of the Department of Earth Sciences,was appointed to the position for a thee-year contract. Reporting directly to the vice-president (research), Dr. Wright will also oversee the submissions of all financial claims and progress reports, serve as the university’s primary contact person for PPSC, CNG and IIC and will work closely with the Genesis Centre and other similar organizations in Atlantic Canada to ensure the successful commercialization of technologies, products and services arising from research partnerships.


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