20 McGill research projects get CFI boost

Published: 16 December 2009

20 McGill research projects get CFI boost

$3.9 million to fund range of work from understanding Alzheimer’s to back pain treatment to improving reproductive health in women
McGill University welcomed today the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) investment of $3,911,390 earmarked to support 20 outstanding research initiatives.

“The Government of Canada’s investment through the CFI program helps McGill to remain at the forefront of world-class research and innovation in this country and will strengthen our global reputation as a place where transformative study and training takes place,” said Prof. Denis Thérien, Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations). “We are thankful for the continued commitment to bolster research that will ultimately impact the social and economic wellbeing of Canada and Quebec for years to come.”

The projects are as follows:

•    Multi-disciplinary initiative using mouse and swine models to improve reproductive health in women. Led by Dr. Raj Duggavathi, Dept. of Animal Science. Funding: $99,442.

•    Bacterial antibiotic resistance in swine production. Led by Dr. Martin Chenier, Dept. of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry. Funding: $100,000.

•    Bionanofluidics Laboratory. Led by Dr. Walter Reisner, Dept. of Physics. Funding: $316,492.

•    Chemical biology facility for the simulation of innate immunity. Led by Dr. Youla Tsantrizos, Dept. of Chemistry. Funding: $311,403.

•    Control of transcription by histone modification and chromatin assembly. Led by Dr. Jason Tanny, Dept. of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Funding: $139,397 

•    DNA Nanochemistry Facility. Led by Dr. Hanadi Sleiman, Dept. of Chemistry. Funding: $399,595.

•    Identification of critical targets in melanoma and lung cancer initiation and progression. Led by Dr. David Dankort, Dept. of Biology. Funding: $178,525.

•    Infrastructure for genomics-assisted plant molecular breeding laboratory. Led by Dr. Jaswinder Singh, Dept. of Plant Science. Funding: $100,000.

•    Innovative biocatalytic approaches for the synthesis of novel functional ingredients and nutraceuticals. Led by Dr. Salwa Karboune, Dept. of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry. Funding: $100,655.

•    Laboratory dedicated to simultaneous Electro-EncephaloGraphy (EEG) / Near InfraRed Spectroscopy (NIRS) data acquisition. Led by Dr. Christophe Grova, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering. Funding: $195,499.

•    Malnutrition and metabolic stress: Targeted metabolomics approaches using stable isotope kinetics in piglets and patients. Led by Dr. Linda Wykes, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition. Funding: $308,000

•    Mass spectrometer: Monitoring and optimization of environmental factors for fermentation. Led by Dr. Mark Lefsrud, Dept. of Bioresource Engineering. Funding: $100,000.

•    McGill Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases (SARD) Project. Led by Dr. Murray Baron, Dept. of Medicine. Funding: $316,887.

•    Molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer Disease. Led by Dr. Andrea LeBlanc, Dept. of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute. Funding: $234,770. 

•    Moving Image Research Laboratory. Led by Dr. Michael Cowan, Dept. of German Studies. Funding: $391,046.

•    Networked Embedded Systems Laboratory. Led by Dr. Xue Liu, School of Computer Science. Funding: $60,000.

•    Physical therapy for musculoskeletal back pain: Understanding the biomechanical, neuromuscular, and clinical effects of conservative treatment. Led by Dr. Richard Preuss, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy. Funding: $80,900.

•    Role of melatonin 1 (MT1) and melatonin 2 (MT2) receptors: New targets for drug discovery. Led by Dr. Gabriela Gobbi, Dept. of Psychiatry. Funding: $135,423.

•    Role of the Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivators (PGCs) in the regulation of cancer metabolism. Led by Dr. Julie St-Pierre, Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Centre. Funding: $140,000.

•    Tools for ultrafast structural dynamics at atomic resolution. Led by Dr. Bradley Siwick, Depts. of Physics and Chemistry. Funding: $203,356.

“The investments being announced today will further enhance our country’s reputation as a destination of choice for outstanding researchers,” said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of the CFI. “They will make our universities even more competitive when it comes to attracting the best and brightest researchers from around the world.”

The CFI announced a total of $59,394,902 in new funds to support 262 projects at 40 institutions across Canada. The CFI’s Board of Directors approved the investment on November 17, 2009, following a rigorous merit-review process. A total of $45,688,386 was awarded under the Leaders Opportunity Fund, which provides infrastructure support to Canadian institutions so they can attract and retain the very best of today and tomorrow’s leading researchers at a time of intense international competition for knowledge workers. The remaining $13,706,516 was awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, a complementary program that assists research institutions with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with new infrastructure projects.

For a complete list of the projects awarded, please visit

About the CFI
The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI’s mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. Since its creation in 1997, the CFI has committed almost $5.2 billion in support of more than 6,300 projects at 130 institutions in 65 municipalities across Canada.

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