“Through the vital support of the Canada Research Chairs Program, five accomplished professors will be able to propel their research to the next level, as they work on solutions to address pressing societal issues such as brain and heart diseases and the effects of climate change in the Arctic,” said Sylvain Charbonneau, vice-president, research and innovation. “These new and renewed research chairs will build on our strengths to better understand and improve our world.”
The new Tier 1 Canada Research Chair is:
Jackie Dawson (Faculty of Arts), Canada Research Chair in the Human and Policy Dimensions of Climate Change
Professor Jackie Dawson’s research program explores the benefits and risks of the increased marine navigability and ship traffic in the Arctic due to shrinking sea ice brought about by climate change. She will model future shipping trends and their implications for fragile ecosystems and Northern communities, as well as identify opportunities for Indigenous co-governance of Arctic marine policy.
The new Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs are:
Arezu Jahani-Asl (Faculty of Medicine), Canada Research Chair in Neurobiology of Disease
Professor Arezu Jahani-Asl studies neural stem cells, a group of cells that contribute to the plasticity and regeneration of the brain. At the same time, rewiring of these cells can lead to brain diseases, such as aggressive cancers and neurodevelopmental disorders. Professor Jahani-Asl is working on identifying molecular events and signalling pathways that are altered in these cells in the diseased brain, with the ultimate aim of finding better treatment for these diseases. Her research has also received funding for infrastructure from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund.
Deborah Siegal (Faculty of Medicine and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute), Canada Research Chair in Anticoagulant Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease
Bleeding is a serious complication of antithrombotic therapy used widely to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease. The goal of Professor Deborah Siegal’s research is to improve the safety of this therapy, which reduces the formation of blood clots. She will focus on optimizing anticoagulant management around emergencies, such as serious bleeding or urgent surgery, as well as the role of antithrombotics for treating ischemic stroke in individuals with cancer.
The renewed Tier 1 Canada Research Chair is held by:
Albert Stolow (Faculty of Science), Canada Research Chair in Molecular Photonics
Professor Albert Stolow’s research brings the power of next-generation, ultrafast laser science to the study of X-ray spectroscopy, nonlinear optical microscopy, and the ultrafast quantum dynamics of electrons. This helps improve our atomic-level understanding of electronic charge transfer processes in molecules and materials (i.e., photovoltaics and solar energy conversion). Professor Stolow also develops enhanced chemical imaging methods that have applications in biophotonics (biomedical imaging) and the new field of geophotonics (mineralogy).
The renewed Tier 2 Canada Research Chair is held by:
Simon Chen (Faculty of Medicine), Canada Research Chair in Neural Circuits and Behaviour
An emerging leader in the field of in vivo imaging and neural dynamics, Professor Simon Chen aims to better understand the brain’s motor cortex, which is responsible for voluntary movement, and the neural circuit activity involved in motor skill learning. Uncovering such mechanisms will help shed light on post-traumatic recovery in motor-related brain injury and on diseases such as stroke and Parkinson’s.
Funding for scholarships and fellowships
Minister Champagne also announced the allocation of more than $260 million nationwide in graduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships for 2020-21. These scholarships and fellowships, including the Canada Graduate Scholarships, are awarded by the Tri-agencies (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research). Congratulations to all University of Ottawa recipients of scholarships and fellowships!