Five receive Frontiers research funding

Five Western researchers have been awarded more than $1.2 million in funding for interdisciplinary research, ranging from pre-term birth predictors to concussions, as part of the federal government’s New Frontiers in Research Fund, Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan announced today.

“Our government’s vision is for our researchers to take risks and be innovative,” Duncan said in making the announcement. “We want our scientists and students to have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, and we want the halls of academia to better reflect the diversity of Canada itself. This new fund will help us achieve that vision.”

A total of 157 researchers nationwide will receive support totaling $38 million in the Exploration stream of the New Frontiers in Research Fund, an initiative that invests in researchers with five years or less of experience since their first academic appointment. Each recipient receives up to $250,000 over the next two years.

Western researchers receiving funding include:

  • Medical Biophysics professor Corey Baron, Microstructural imaging of concussion, $250,000/two years;
  • Education professor Emma Duerden, Neuroimaging Biomarkers for Prenatal Detection of Preterm Birth, $250,000/two years;
  • Biochemistry professor Bogumil Karas, First-in-the-world synthetic nitrogen-fixing organelles, $250,000/two years;
  • Engineering professor Haojie Mao, Multi-disciplinary biomechanical and mathematical modelling of the brain to understand mild traumatic brain injury/concussion, $250,000/two years; and
  • Paediatric Surgery professor Zhan Tao (Peter) Wang, A surgical simulation study investigating the relationship between psychological and physiological factors on surgical trainability, $247,103/two years.

“Traditional parameters are limiting as Canada strives for new discoveries and innovation,” explained Ted Hewitt, Chair, Canada Research Coordinating Committee, and President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). “As society evolves, so must our means of doing research. The New Frontiers in Research Fund is supporting leading-edge research and promoting ideas that would have traditionally been unsupported. Through this program, we are truly paving the way for our emerging researchers to expand their horizons, take risks and deliver outcomes that will benefit Canadians. ”