CFI funding advances a wide range of U of S research including hypertension, nanotech, molecular design, environment and social systems
Posted June 11, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Monday, June 11, 2007
Thirteen U of S researchers have been collectively awarded $654,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for an array of projects, including developing new ways to control high blood pressure, exploring nanotech catalysts to break down pollutants such as PCBs, and developing bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides.
"These latest strategic investments will allow some of our leading researchers to explore questions in key areas from Aboriginal health and environment to sustainable agriculture and drug design," said U of S Vice-President Research Steven Franklin.
The U of S grants are part of $39.2 million to support 261 researchers at 42 institutions across Canada. The funding was announced on June 8 at the University of Montreal by federal minister of Public Works and Government Services Michel Fortier and CFI President and CEO Dr. Eliot Phillipson.
"Knowledge-intensive economies and societies of the 21st century will be characterized by innovative research and a highly educated and skilled workforce," Phillipson said. "Over the past 10 years, the CFI's investments have been a major factor in enabling the University of Saskatchewan to attract some of the world's best researchers. Today's investment will ensure that this trend continues."
"I would like to offer congratulations on behalf of the Government of Canada," said Carol Skelton, Minister of Revenue and Western Economic Diversification and Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar. "Research done here at the University of Saskatchewan is second to none and has a huge impact on the lives of all Canadians. Saskatchewan clearly benefits along with the entire country."
The CFI grants, provided through its Leaders Opportunity Fund, will cover 40 per cent of project costs. The remainder will be contributed by the Government of Saskatchewan, the university, and other funding partners. The total collective price tag for the U of S projects is $1.7 million.
The recipients are:
1. Ian Burgess (Chemistry) receives $60,800 for equipment to study and develop photonic applications of metallic nanoparticles at electrical interfaces. The work could lead to advanced ways of manipulating light to transfer and store data.
2. Geoff Cunfer (History) receives $51,500 to create a historical geographic information systems laboratory to support research on human-environment interaction, on how people have altered landscapes, and how they have responded to changing climates in the past 100 years.
3. Oleg Dmitriev (Biochemistry) receives $60,000 for equipment to study interactions between proteins and small molecules. His work aims to map contacts between drugs and their protein targets in humans, and to design new molecules to regulate enzymes for possible therapeutic use.
4. Joseph Fomusi Ndisang (Physiology) receives $62,000 for a new facility to develop and study a novel anti-hypertension strategy. This work could lead to new ways to prevent and manage high-blood pressure.
5. Xiao Qiu (Applied Microbiology and Food Sciences) receives $62,000 for equipment to explore metabolic engineering of oilseed crops to produce oils for nutraceutical and industrial uses.
6. Robert Scott (Chemistry) receives $60,000 for equipment to study the design and activity of nanometer-sized metallic catalysts. The goal is to produce novel catalysts for industrial reactions. Such catalysts are the foundation of a wide array of manufacturing processes.
7. Yang Shi (Mechanical Engineering) receives $42,000 to study high-performance networked control systems. He aims to develop intelligent autonomous helicopter surveillance systems and design a networked robot rehabilitation system for people suffering from stroke.
8. Ulrich Teucher (Psychology) and Roanne Thomas-MacLean (Sociology) receive $60,000 to create the Qualitative Research Centre, which will feature computerized analytical and telecommunications tools to foster local and international collaboration in areas as diverse as Aboriginal health, cancer, and human development.
9. Chris Todd (Biology) receives $59,100 to study how legumes use fixed nitrogen and why the process is sensitive to water limitation. His work could lead to decreased reliance on nitrogen fertilizer for crop production - a rising concern for farmers in light of strong petroleum prices.
10. Vladimir Vujanovic (Applied Microbiology and Food Science) receives $24,000 for state-of-the-art equipment for molecular and functional microbiology. The work could lead to microbial-based bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers as alternatives to sometimes hazardous chemicals.
11. Lee Wilson (Chemistry) receives $51,600 for equipment to analyze supra-molecular porous materials. His work could lead to the development of new materials for use in nano-drug delivery, membrane nanomaterials, and gas storage devices.
12. FangXiang Wu (Mechanical Engineering) receives $60,000 for a high performance computer cluster for computational bioengineering. He will use the equipment to model and simulate biological systems, and to improve tandem mass spectrometry, a powerful tool for diagnosing disease.
For more information, contact:
U of S Research Communications
Tel: (306) 966-2427