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Investment in world-class research
Posted Friday, October 14, 2011 4:13 PM
The Canada Research Chair (CRC) program announced an investment of $7.3 million in funding towards research being done at the University of Manitoba. There is one new CRC, one whose CRC was advanced, and eight who had their chairs renewed.

Jason Treberg, the new Canada Research Chair in Metabolism and Environmental Dynamics, joins the Faculty of Science’s department of biological sciences coming from The Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California.

Results of his research will improve our understanding of the complex interplay between the internal processes within the body and the surrounding environment. As a Tier 2 CRC he will receive $500,000 in funding over five years.

Lorrie Kirshenbaum, Canada Research Chair in Molecular Cardiology, was advanced to a Tier 1 from a Tier 2. This comes with increased funding over seven years of $1.4 million.

Kirshenbaum, in the departments of physiology and pharmacology & therapeutics in the Faculty of Medicine, and also principal investigator in cardiac gene biology at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (a joint institute of St. Boniface Hospital and the U of M), has pioneered a world-class technique whose implications are immense as scientists could use the therapy to direct cells to suppress or kill cancer cells, or to kill off other genes which are provoking the death of cells that heart patients actually need.

“I congratulate the new and renewed CRCs and Dr. Kirshenbaum on his advancement,” said Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research and international). “We are home to many outstanding scientists and scholars, and I am pleased to welcome Dr. Treberg to the team of exceptional researchers.”

Eight CRCs were renewed in their Tier 2 appointment and awarded $500,000 each over the next five years: One CRC was renewed as a Tier 1 Chair and will receive a total of $1.4 million in funding over the next seven years. This brings the number of Canada Research Chairs at the U of M to 44.

A description of the renewed CRCs and their research projects follows:

Trust Beta, Canada Research Chair in Food Processing in Functional Foods, is investigating ways to maximize the health benefits of whole grain foods through processing. Ultimately her research will identify and enhance the beneficial components of whole grains like wheat and barley, and determine how much is needed in food so they can play an important therapeutic role in reducing obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

James Davie, Canada Research Chair in Chromatin Dynamics, explores an area of research called epigenetics. He is developing new strategies to treat diseases of children and adults such as diabetes, breathing disorders and cancer.

Ehab El-Salakawy, Canada Research Chair in Durability and Modernization of Civil Structures, aims to increase the service life of concrete structures through his research on advanced fibre-reinforced polymer materials (FRP) and fibre-optic sensing (FOSs) technology.

Mostafa Fayek, Canada Research Chair in Isotope and Environmental Geochemistry, investigates how fluids interact with solids at the atomic level. His research will lead to more effective ways to dispose of nuclear waste, explore for minerals, and characterize materials.

Andrew Halayko, Canada Research Chair in Airway Cell and Molecular Biology, is investigating the specialized muscles found in our airways and learning their role in the progression of asthma. His research goal is to develop more effective asthma treatments.

Kiera Ladner, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Politics and Governance, does community-based research that engages grassroots, traditional leadership and political leaders in discussions about their visions of the future.

Aaron Marshall, Canada Research Chair in Molecular Immunology, leads a team working to decipher the molecular communication network used by cells of the immune system.

Mario Tenuta, Canada Research Chair in Applied Soil Ecology, examines ways soil health can be improved using natural means.

Abraham Quan Wang, Canada Research Chair in Solid Mechanics, does research in nano-technology, and smart materials and structures. He works with advanced sensors and innovative materials to improve damage detection and repair in structures from aircraft and automobile components to civil and mechanical structures.
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