Professors Aziz Choudry and Dilson Rassier of the Faculty of Education have been awarded Canada Research Chairs (CRC), announced the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, at the University of British Columbia this week. CRCs are granted to "outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields." The program was created to help Canadian universities retain world-class researchers.
Dr. Aziz Choudry, Associate Professor with our Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE), has been awarded the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Social Movement Learning and Knowledge Production. Aziz Choudry is a visiting professor at the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg's Faculty of Education. He is the author of Learning Activism: The Intellectual Life of Contemporary Social Movements (University of Toronto Press, 2015), co-author of Fight Back: Workplace Justice for Immigrants (Fernwood, 2009), and co-editor of Learning from the Ground Up: Global Perspectives on Social Movements and Knowledge Production (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Organize! Building from the local for Global Justice, (PM Press/Between the Lines, 2012), NGOization: Complicity, Contradictions and Prospects (Zed Books, 2013), Just Work? Migrant Workers' Struggles Today (Pluto, 2015), and Unfree Labor: Struggles of Migrant and Immigrant Workers in Canada (PM Press, 2016). With a long history as a social and political activist, educator and researcher, Choudry serves on the boards of Montreal's Immigrant Workers Centre and the Global Justice Ecology Project. Recently, Dr. Choudry's work was the subject of an article published by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), where he was invited to speak this month.
Dr. Dilson Rassier, currently a Professor with our Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, was awarded the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Muscle Biophysics. Dilson Rassier is the Principal Investigator of McGill's Muscle Physiology and Biophysics Laboratory, and an Associate Member in the Departments of Physiology (Faculty of Medicine, McGill University) and Physics (Faculty of Science), and in the Meakins-Christie Laboratories. Dr. Rassier is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Education. His research interests focus upon muscle physiology and biophysics, with a special interest in the molecular aspects of muscle contraction in health and disease. In 2014 and 2015 Dr. Rassier was granted two different patents in United States for inventions related to atomic force microscopy and single molecule experimentation, that help to "measure microscopic forces in biological samples that can be as small as 1/60,000 of the diameter of a human hair.” Dr. Rassier currently holds two CIHR grants, one CFI grant, and one NSERC grant as the principal applicant.
Valued at $200,000 annually, Tier 1 Chairs are tenable for seven years and renewable. Valued at $100,000 annually, Tier 2 Chairs can be renewed once, after five years, and are for exceptional emerging researchers. Thus, this week's announcement of 25 Canada Research Chairs across the entire University represents a total investment of over $18 million. “McGill is grateful to the Canada Research Chairs program for this significant investment in university discovery and innovation,” said Rosie Goldstein, Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations).