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REF NO.: 359

SUBJECT: CFI investment boosts Canada’s brain gain

DATE: July 6

Five new faculty members at Memorial University received funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Details of the investment, touted as a boost to Canada’s “brain gain”, unfolded as part of a national announcement in Ottawaon June 29. Memorial researchers received over $700,000 in funding for research ranging from oil spills in the Labrador Seato improving the pavement on our highways to developing new drugs to treat cardiovascular disease.

“These awards represent a strategic boost to the research capacities of Memorial University,” said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, president and CEO of the CFI. “This funding allows Canadato attract and retain leading-edge researchers and provides our graduate students with access to world-class facilities and training environments.”

“This new investment from the Canada Foundation for Innovation is crucial in furthering our ability to attract world-class scholars with new ideas and approaches to research, and to make Memorial a more research-intensive university” said Dr. Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research).

Memorial received at total of $707,419 in funding from the CFI. The projects awarded are:

  • Dr. Wolfgang Banzhaf, Dept. of Computer Science, received $46,880 to develop a laboratory for network analysis. This will serve as a research and education facility for the computational analysis of complex networks, such as those found in nature (biology, biochemistry, medicine, social science) or those created by humans (e.g. transportation, power, communication, and computer networks).

  • Dr. John Mcguire, Faculty of Medicine, was awarded $173,553 to create a laboratory for integrative cardiovascular-renal physiology and experimental therapeutics research. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the incidences of reported deaths from stroke, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure and arterial aneurysms is the highest per capita in Canada. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, aneurysms and myocardial infarction. This new lab will allow Dr. Mcguire to undertake innovative and rigorous experimental approaches in the discovery of cardiovascular therapeutics.
  • Dr. Entcho Demirov, Physics and Physical Oceanography, will use the $52,294 CFIaward to acquire ocean application software and research tools for interdisciplinary studies of the Labrador Seaenvironment. In particular, it will be used to study the response of the North Atlanticto global climate changes and its impact on the local ecosystem in the deep and coastal ocean waters off Newfoundlandand Labrador. This includes research on oil spills and pollution, and their impact on the marine environment.
  • Dr. Khaled Kandil, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, received $170,828 to establish an advanced pavement research laboratory. Pavement represents a vital component of our highway infrastructure, which affects to a large extent our economic growth, industrial productivity, and trade performance. Improving the long-term performance of asphalt concrete pavement is essential. Dr. Kandil’s research will explore a number of high priority needs including cold recycled mixes for Canadian pavements, new techniques for payment monitoring and evaluation, and reducing the harmful effects of winter maintenance activities on pavement performance.
  • Dr. Sunil Pansare, Dept. of Chemistry, was awarded $263,864 for a facility for the synthesis and characterization of novel organic molecules. The primary goal of this research program is the development of new synthetic procedures for constructing small, highly functionalized organic molecules. These are anticipated to have applications in biology and medicine. This multiuser facility will also be used by graduate and undergraduate students.

The CFIwas joined by David L. Emerson, minister of Industry, in Ottawato announce $25.5 million in funding. The CFIboard of directors approved this investment through two funds: $19.6 million under the New Opportunities Fund (NOF); and $5.9 million under the Infrastructure Operating Fund which assists universities with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with new infrastructure projects.

A complete list of NOF projects, by university, can be found at:

The CFI’s New Opportunities Fund enables eligible universities to provide research infrastructure for newly recruited faculty members, in their first full-time academic appointment in Canadian degree-granting institutions, so that these researchers can undertake leading-edge research. The fund also enables institutions to recruit new faculty members in the areas of research identified as priorities in their strategic research plans.

The CanadaFoundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canadato fund research infrastructure. The CFI’s mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and other non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.

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For more information, contact, Deborah Inkpen, communications co-ordinator (research), Memorial University, at 737-4073or,or Alastair Sinclair, coordinator, Media Relations, Canada Foundation for Innovation, at (613) 996-3160or (613) 447-1723(mobile).


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