Home News Quebec receives a chunk of Canadian research grants

Quebec receives a chunk of Canadian research grants

by The Concordian October 18, 2011 13 comments

Senator Larry Smith was on hand Wednesday at Concordia University to announce that Quebec universities will receive 50 research grants from the federal governmment. Photo by writer

Quebec universities are the recipients of 50 new Canada Research Chairs, a sizable chunk of the 253 federally-sponsored research grants awarded across the country. The total cost of the funding is just under $204 million, of which Quebec will get 30 per cent.

Concordia University played host to the announcement on Oct. 12, with Conservative senator and former Alouettes president Larry Smith and Chad Gaffield, chair of the CRC program steering committee, speaking on the 11th floor of the EV building.

“Over the past 11 years, the Canada Research Chair program has become a cornerstone of national strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development. It has given an incredible boost to researchers at every part of this country,” said Concordia president Frederick Lowy.

Concordia was awarded seven CRCs, with McGill winning 24, Université de Montréal receiving 12, Université du Québec à Montréal receiving six, and École Polytechnique receiving one.

After researchers are nominated, experts from around the world consider each one.

The new CRCs at Concordia cover a variety of research topics, running the gamut from investigating how players react to video games, to creating new tools to treat cancer, to better understanding the autism spectrum.

One of the CRCs awarded to Concordia went to Zachary Patterson, a professor in the geography and planning department. His focus is on how transportation can shape how we use land.

“We’re pretty conscious of the important relationships between transportation and land use, how transportation structures land use, and there are many different levels to that in terms of sustainability,” he said after the announcement.

Patterson and his students are also examining the relationship of the implementation of metros, and the gentrification of neighbourhoods.

Marta Cerruti, an engineering researcher at McGill, received the CRC in bio-synthetic interfaces. Her research will hopefully lead to a better way for implants to interact with peoples’ bodies. It could benefit people with tumours or bone fractures, she said.

“Scaffolds are implants that can be used to seed and house cells. And then the idea of the scaffolds is that we modify the surface of this material so that they can speak the same language of the body,” explained Cerruti after the announcement.

“And then the idea is that this kind of interactive interface makes the body regenerate itself, and finally, hopefully, once this has happened, the material will degrade.”

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