Ten new researchers across three faculties have been named new Canada Research Chairs, a prestigious honour created to promote Canada’s world class research and development.

Four additional researchers have had their chairs renewed or advanced.

“Congratulations to McMaster’s Canada Research Chairs for this important recognition of their ground-breaking and innovative work,” says Karen Mossman, vice-president, research. “The Canada Research Chairs program is vitally important to our research enterprise as it ensures we’re able to recruit and retain world-class scholars and, more broadly, bolsters Canada’s reputation as a global leader of research and innovation.”

McMaster’s new Canada Research Chairs are:

Marla Beauchamp, assistant professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science, is the new Canada Research Chair in Mobility, Aging and Chronic Disease (Tier 2). Beauchamp’s research program explores mobility limitations, such as difficulty walking or climbing stairs, and seeks to develop strategies to keep older adults healthy and mobile in their community for as long as possible.

Irene Botosaru, assistant professor in the department of economics, is the new Canada Research Chair in Applied Econometrics (Tier 2). Botosaru’s research program will develop models and methods to accommodate unobservable variables in economics, such as ability, beliefs, expectations, risk and aversion. These non-measurable concepts play an important role in determining decisions of economic agents.

Jason Busse, associate professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, is the new Canada Research Chair in Prevention & Management of Chronic Pain (Tier 2). Busse’s research focuses on the prevention and management of chronic pain, with particular attention on persistent post-surgical pain.

Tohid Didar, assistant professor in the department of mechanical engineering, is the new Canada Research Chair in Nano-biomaterials (Tier 2). Didar’s research is focused on the interactions of living and synthetic matter to solutions with real-life impact. The objective of his research is to develop smart nano-biomaterials to address global challenges in human health such as infectious diseases, diagnostics and food safety.

Kathryn Grandfield, associate professor in the department of materials science and engineering, is the new Canada Research Chair in Microscopy of Biomaterials and Biointerfaces (Tier 2). Focused on improving our understanding and diagnosis of bone disorders and implants, Grandfield’s research will develop cutting edge microscopy approaches to characterize bone, its natural interfaces and its interface with implant materials across all lengths.

Saeid Habibi, professor in the department of mechanical engineering, is the new Canada Research Chair in Maximizing Information Extraction in Smart Condition Monitoring System (Tier 1). Habibi’s research is important to the fundamental evolution of smart systems and the disruptive changes taking place in mechatronic systems. Building on Habibi’s original theory on information extraction using the Smooth Variable Structure Filter, his research on sensors seeks to create a disruptive change in information extraction and enable prognosis.

Mehdi Narimani, assistant professor in the department of electric and computer engineering, is the new Canada Research Chair in High Power Converters and Motor Drives (Tier 2). The aim of Narimani’s research program is to develop the next generation of power electronics technology for high-power applications to both meet energy demand and improve energy efficiency.

Sarah Svenningsen, assistant professor in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, is the new Canada Research Chair in Translational Pulmonary Imaging (Tier 2). Svenningsen’s research program will develop and apply non-invasive pulmonary imaging measurements that are highly sensitive to disease changes in the airways and lung parenchyma to better understand pulmonary diseases and improve available therapies.

John Whitney, assistant professor in the department of biochemistry and biomedical sciences, is the new Canada Research Chair in Molecular Microbiology (Tier 2). Whitney’s research seeks to discover and characterize pathways used by pathogenic bacteria during infection to support their proliferation through the killing of other bacterial species including resident ‘good’ bacteria that compete for the same nutrients.

Rong Zheng, professor in the department of computing software, is the new Canada Research Chair in Mobile Computing (Tier 1). With the prevalence of wireless technologies and broadband access, untethered mobile and wearable devices have become an essential part of everyday life. Zheng’s research aims to develop efficient on-device solutions to human activity recognition, monitoring and assessment with applications to improving mobility of older adults.

Researchers who have had their Canada Research Chairs renewed are:

  • Eric Brown, Canada Research Chair in Microbial Chemical Biology (Tier 1)
  • Leyla Soleymani, Canada Research Chair in Miniaturized Biomedical Devices (Tier 2)
  • Brian Timmons, Canada Research Chair in Child Health and Exercise Medicine (Tier 2)
  • Todd Hoare, Canada Research Chair in Engineered Smart Materials, had his chair advanced from Tier 2 to Tier 1

Tier 1 Chairs, which are held for seven years and renewable once, are for outstanding researchers who are considered world leaders in their fields.

For each Tier 1 Chair, McMaster receives $200,000 annually for seven years.

Tier 2 Chairs, which are held for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers who have the potential to lead in their field.

For each Tier 2 Chair, McMaster receives $100,000 annually for five years, with an additional $20,000 annual research stipend for first-term Tier 2 Chairs.

Additional federal research funding and awards

At the same time, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) today awarded funding to support the research of three McMaster Canada Research Chairs. CFI is awarding $341,914 to Svenningsen; $200,000 to Brown; and $150,000 to Beauchamp to support and advance their work.

Minister Champagne also announced the latest rounds of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funding.

Thirty-three McMaster researchers attracted more than $7M over five years from NSERC, while SSHRC invested nearly $8M in 45 researchers for their work over two – five years, including a 2.5M Partnership Grant for Bonny Ibhawoh’s Participedia project, a global resource for participatory democracy based at McMaster.

Source:McMaster announces ten new Canada Research Chairs

Written by: Mary Taws