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Funding fuels cutting-edge research

Infrastructure funding will expand two laboratories, allowing researchers to make advances in the fields of renewable energy and chronic respiratory diseases

Queen’s researchers will have new tools to harness the power of light and investigate chronic respiratory diseases thanks to grants received from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund.

Qingling Duan (Department of Biomedical & Molecular Sciences, School of Computing), who received $150,000, and Kevin Stamplecoskie (Chemistry), who earned $130,000, will acquire infrastructure for their research teams to undertake cutting-edge research.

“Funding from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund is critical for advancing Queen’s research projects,” says Dr. Steven Liss, Queen’s Vice-Principal (Research). “Infrastructure support will allow our researchers to continue to forge collaborations with other labs and train qualified personnel in these important fields of research.”

Kevin Stamplecoskie

Dr. Stamplecoskie will purchase a laser and optics that will make up the cornerstone equipment for a growing optics laboratory. The new instruments will be used to investigate photonic materials, which have interesting interactions with light or generate light. One example is photovoltaic material that absorbs sunlight and converts it to electricity.

The instrumentation will be crucial for discovering better materials for using sunlight as a greener/renewable energy source that can be applied in three unique areas - creating more efficient computer chips, more efficiently harnessing the sun and using light energy in the fight against cancer.

Funding supports new Computational Genomics Laboratory

Through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund, Dr. Duan will establish the Computational Genomics Laboratory (CGL) within the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences and the School of Computing.

Qingling Duan

She is studying how genes interact with environmental factors and other genes to contribute to disease risk and drug response. Specifically, her research will investigate the role of genes and the environment in making people insensitive or respond adversely to drug therapies, and more susceptible to chronic diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“The funding will enable me to establish a translational, multidisciplinary research program at Queen’s, train students in high-throughput biology and informatics, and ultimately to improve disease prevention, diagnosis and help replace the current trial-and-error paradigm of drug therapy,” says Dr. Duan.

For more information on the funding, visit the website.