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Cutting-edge research earns critical funding

Federal support for new infrastructure key to moving innovative projects forward.

Three Queen’s University researchers have earned funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders fund. The fund allows researchers to acquire infrastructure for their research teams to undertake cutting-edge research.

Alexander Braun (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering) and Robert Colautti (Biology) each received $150,000) while Lindsay Fitzpatrick (Biomedical Engineering) accepted $125,000.

“Funding from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund is critical for advancing Queen’s research projects,” says Cynthia Fekken, Associate Vice-Principal (Research). “Infrastructure support will allow our researchers to continue to make an impact at both international and national levels.”

Dr. Braun is using the funding to acquire a superconducting gravimeter, a technology that will be used for monitoring fluid migration processes in oil, gas and water reservoirs. There are only 12 of these instruments deployed worldwide and by adding a second one in Canada, it increases the potential to monitor mass change in reservoirs to improve production efficiency as well as mitigating environmental hazards.

Dr. Colautti is examining ecological dominance of two of Canada’s most invasive weeds: purple loosestrife and garlic mustard. He is using new genome sequencing methods and globally distributed field research to determine how these species rapidly evolve to invade and proliferate in new environments. Understanding this will help manage the world’s biodiversity in the face of global change.

Dr. Fitzpatrick’s research combines biomedical engineering and innate immunology to understand how our immune cells recognize and respond to medical materials. Upon implantation, biomaterials elicit an inflammatory response that can interfere with the long-term performance of biomaterials and biomedical devices. Identifying the key signaling pathways immune cells use to interact with materials will enable the development of therapies for controlling this inflammatory response and improve the biocompatibility of engineered materials.

For more information on the funding, visit the website.

Queen’s distinguishes itself as one of the leading research-intensive institutions in Canada. The mission is to advance research excellence, leadership and innovation, as well as enhance Queen’s impact at a national and international level. Through undertaking leading-edge research, Queen’s is addressing many of the world’s greatest challenges, and developing innovative ideas and technological advances brought about by discoveries in a variety of disciplines.