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Funding strengthens cutting-edge research

 CFI awarded over $1 million to six innovative Queen’s researchers.

Joint anatomy research, a new real-time surgical tool and memory retrieval are among the areas of research at Queen’s University that have received a financial boost from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund.

The fund is designed to help universities attract and retain the best and brightest researchers from around the world by giving them cutting-edge research tools.

“Raising Queen’s research profile is a key component of the Strategic Framework; effective research in the sciences depends on access to a wide range of infrastructure and specialized facilities,” says Daniel Woolf, Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “This funding from CFI will allow Queen’s to enhance our existing infrastructure and to create new laboratory spaces on campus.”

Six Queen’s projects were funded for a total of $1.03 million:

Laura Wells (Chemical Engineering) $125,000 – Dr. Wells is addressing the needs for better treatments of ophthalmic diseases through the development of bioresponsive drug delivery systems (a system that releases drugs on a controlled basis) and novel materials that can improve medical device outcomes.

Michael Rainbow (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) $200,000 – The funding will allow the establishment of a High-Speed Skeletal Imaging Laboratory for Dr. Rainbow’s research into human joint anatomy while the joint is moving. The research should help improve the lives of the aging population by determining the best treatments.

Gabor Fichtinger (School of Computing) $358,342 – Dr. Fichtinger and his colleagues in the Department of Surgery will use the funding to develop NaviKnife, the world’s first spatially navigated surgical tool that can differentiate between cancerous and healthy tissues, in real-time at the tooltip, as the tissue is being resected from the patient.

Nader Ghasemlou (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine) $150,000 – The funding will allow the establishment of a new lab at Queen’s that will identify and develop new treatments targeting the immune response following injury or disease to mitigate acute and chronic pain.

David Reed (School of Medicine) $110,900 – Dr. Reed’s research focuses on irritable bowel syndrome with an eye on studying luminal factors in the gastrointestinal tract to discover new treatments for IBS.

Jordan Poppenk (Psychology) $85,000 – The research concerns the dynamics of memory retrieval and Dr. Poppenk’s work reflects an innovative attempt to not only better understand human memory, but to identify important applications of theoretical advances in memory.

“This support from CFI will see six Queen’s researchers able to develop innovative infrastructure that will enrich the university’s research environment and advance leading-edge research,” says Dr. Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “The investment is an important affirmation of our researchers' leadership and role in enhancing our research prominence and facilities for our research students and other trainees in key areas of strategic importance.”

For more information on the awards and the research see the John R. Evans Leaders Fund website.