On Nov. 14, Minister of State (Science and Technology), Greg Rickford, announced that Concordia professors Christian Moreau and Malcolm Whiteway would be awarded Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs (CRC), representing $2.8 million in funding for research at Concordia.
“Our government remains committed to attracting and retaining the world’s best researchers, creating jobs and strengthening our economy,” said Rickford, as reported on Concordia University’s website.
The Tier 1 CRC’s Moreau and Whiteway were awarded are upheld for seven years and are renewable, according to the Canadian government’s website. They are granted to outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. For each Tier 1 Chair, the university receives $200,000 annually for seven years.
Moreau is a professor in Concordia’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering while Whiteway teaches in Concordia’s Department of Biology.
Moreau’s grant allocation will fund research on new coating and functional surface solutions that would improve energy efficiency in aerospace, automotive and other industrial applications.
“My research works on developing a new kind of coating that will help improve engine fuel efficiency, decrease greenhouse gas emission and extend component life,” said Moreau in a Concordia news article. Moreau is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Thermal Spray Technology which covers the latest developments in research, presenting critically reviewed scientific papers and engineering articles.
As for Whiteway, the CRC will help him in his use of genomic tools to study Candida albicans; a medically important fungal pathogen.
According to the Concordia news article, “the naturally occurring fungus causes unpleasant oral and genital infections and can be a serious threat to people with compromised immune systems, such as patients with AIDS, or undergoing cancer chemotherapy, organ or bone marrow transplantation.”
Whiteway explained bloodstream infections related to C. albicans are often fatal.
“My research will help lead to the development of a new generation of antifungal drugs that have limited side effects on the human host,” said Whiteway in the article.
Whiteway previously benefited from funding for research he directed at Concordia’s Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics in January 2013. According to a Merck Canada press release found on Whiteway’s “The Whiteway Lab” website, Merck, a leading pharmaceutical company, provided funds of $943,000.
In this press release, Concordia University President Alan Shepard noted this funding is an important recognition of the quality of work being done at the Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics.
According to Whiteway’s website, Concordia is able to support graduate students’ research with scholarships for their salaries.
“We have funding to support projects involving fungal signaling, genomic studies using a collection of conditional C. albicans mutations, and on transcriptional regulation of cellular function,” he said.
Shepard expressed the importance of this funding as it recognizes the quality of work being done at the university.
“Thanks to the support of the Canada Research Chairs program, this new research will bring about forward-looking change in both the transport and medical sectors,” he said in the Concordia news article.