Funding on the cutting edge
September 30, 2019
Queen’s University welcomed Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark who announced $930,000 in new provincial investments in local research projects.
The university receives $650,000 for five research projects through the Ontario Research Fund – Research Infrastructure program and Michael Rainbow (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) and Laura Wells (Chemical Engineering) were awarded $280,000 in Early Researcher awards to help them build research teams for their work in the areas of foot function and cataract surgery.
“We want to ensure the brilliant researchers here at Queen’s and across Ontario who are making discoveries that could help cure diseases, inventing new technologies, and creating whole new industries and jobs have the support, tools and facilities they need to do their work,” says Clark, who made the announcement on behalf of Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
In his research Dr. Rainbow is using recent advances in 3D x-ray imaging to measure the foot’s complex function during walking and running. The work will provide fundamental information necessary to design more effective footwear, prosthetics, and orthotics for Ontarians.
Dr. Wells is examining how cells interact with intraocular lens which are used to treat decreased vision due to cataracts. In many cases patients who need a second cataract surgery or pediatric patients are not eligible for intraocular lenses. Her research will help develop new materials to improve outcomes for these patients.
“The research being conducted at Queen’s is cutting-edge and contributes directly to improvements in the lives of Canadians,” says Queen’s University Principal, Patrick Deane. “This funding is critical, helping to support new research facilities and providing spaces for our faculty, students and staff to continue to push the boundaries of science and exploration.”
The five projects receiving Research Infrastructure program funding include:
Ali Etemad (Electrical and Computer Engineering) $125,000 - Developing methods for smart homes and smart vehicles to ambiently monitor users via sensing and wearable technologies.
Farhana Zulkernine (Computing) $80,000 - Building a smart framework to address real-time processing and storage of multi-modal big data.
Sheela Abraham (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) $162,500 - Investigating normal healthy stem cells as they age, and how malfunctions in cell signaling events eventually contribute to leukaemogenesis.
Madhuri Koti (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) $150,000 - Improving cancer immunotherapy outcomes by examining genetic features of tumours that dictate anti-tumour immune response, for the optimal design of patient specific treatment combinations.
Bhavin Shastri (Physics) $132,500 - The proposed brain-inspired processors will fundamentally leverage the strengths of nanophotonic devices with neuromorphic architectures, to outperform current microelectronics in energy efficiency and computational speeds, which currently limit hardware scaling in digital electronics.
“Ontario’s investments are helping researchers build strong teams, and ensure that they have the modern facilities, equipment, tools, and resources they need to complete their work. The funding announced today will lead to discovery and innovation, attract future investment to the province, and have a direct impact on the economy," says Kimberly Woodhouse, Interim Vice-Principal (Research).