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Building research leaders

Queen’s researchers receive more than $1.8 million in research infrastructure funding from Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

Ten Queen’s University researchers have received more than $1.8 million in combined funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund. The fund supports researchers by providing the foundational research infrastructure required to undertake leading-edge research. The investment will allow for advanced research in a variety of fields – from cancer research to new materials for use within nuclear reactors.

“The investment announced today from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund is crucial to ensuring Queen’s researchers have the infrastructure necessary to remain on the leading edge of investigation,” says Dr. John Fisher, Queen’s Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “This funding will allow our researchers to train qualified personnel, collaborate with colleagues across Canada and around the world, and make important new developments in their fields.”

The following Queen’s researchers have received funding:

Janet Dancey (Canadian Cancer Trials Group) has received $197,065 to support the acquisition of a digital histology slide scanner. The scanner will allow CCTG to share digitized scans of slides prepared from tumour specimens to allow expert pathologists across Canada to contribute their expertise in diagnosis and classification of tumours, as well as to detect and quantify new biomarkers that could lead to improved treatments. (Principal users David LeBrun, Lois Shepherd)

Peter Davies (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) has received $100,192 to allow his laboratory to purchase an advanced chromatography apparatus that can identify and separate proteins based on a variety of factors – such as size and shape. His research aims to better understand large and elaborate proteins to find new approaches to combatting diseases, by developing targeted treatments to replace antibiotics which fungi and bacteria have become resistant to. (Principal user John Allingham)

Birgit Frauscher’s (Medicine) research focuses on non-invasive EEG markers to identify the effected areas of the brain during an episode of epilepsy. She has received $139,914 to evaluate the role of sleep for novel non-invasive EEG biomarkers, in hopes of improving the ability to diagnosis epilepsy and plot a course of treatment.

Susan Lord (Film and Media) has received $400,000 to preserve and remediate a diverse collection of audio-visual products created by Indigenous peoples, women and local Kingston artists. Her work focuses on ensuring these archives – consisting of works created by groups whose media histories are often marginalized – are preserved and made available for students, researchers and the public at large, and ensuring that these work are maintained to facilitate discussion of cultural heritage. (Principal users Dylan Robinson, Rosaleen Hill)

Lois Mulligan’s (Cancer Research Institute) research is focused on uncovering signals that contribute to the spread of cancer with the aim of developing new treatments to counteract these signals. To support this research, she has received $124,040 to fund the purchase of new imaging technology that will allow her to track cancer cell motility and tumor growth in real time. (Principal users Andrew Craig, Peter Greer)

Diane Orihel (Environmental Studies) has received $167,602 to support the creation of an outdoor research facility to simulate aquatic pollution in model ecosystems. Through this model, Dr. Orihel will be able to understand more thoroughly the impact of pollutants on aquatic ecosystems and drinking water. Through this research, Dr. Orihel and her team will also play a role in developing solutions to these problems.

Michael Rainbow’s (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) research analyses how variations in our musculoskeletal systems – joint angles, bone shape and ligament stiffness – can lead to increased or decreased risk of injury. He has received $400,000 to support the development of a high-tech lab that will allow him and his team to make detailed measurements of the musculoskeletal system during high-demand movement activities, in order to better understand the factors at play in human motion.

David Rival (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) has received $76,520 to support the development of the Hemodynamics and Energy Mobility (HEMo) Laboratory. The proposed facility, unique in Canada, will use optical and acoustic imaging tools at a variety of scales to provide temporal and special tracking of various types of flow. The findings from this lab will have implications in a wide variety of fields – from biomedical device development (such as artificial heart valves) to renewable energy.

Graeme Smith (Obstetrics and Gynaecology/Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) has received $63,540 to support his research into the role that issues in the development of small blood vessels in mothers and their children and the role they play in future development of heart disease, stroke and angina. Previous research has found a correlation between pre-eclampsia (a kind of high blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy) and underlying risk for future heart problems. Dr. Smith hopes to gain further insight into the linkages, as well as develop new screening methods to both prevent disease and improve pregnancy outcomes. (Principal user Amer Johri)

Zhongwen Yao’s (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) research focuses on the development of structural materials for nuclear power applications. He has received a $167,400 grant to support the development and testing of new nuclear cladding materials – which make up the outer layer of the fuel rods, standing between the coolant and the nuclear fuel – for use in nuclear power generation. The funding will support the development of a state-of-the-art fuel cladding research facility at Queen’s.

For more information on the supported projects, or to learn more about the John R. Evans Leaders fund, please visit the website.