McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences



McMaster reaches next step in competition for prestigious research chairs

By Lori Dillon
Published: April 24, 2009

McMaster University is one step closer to securing two prestigious research awards from the Government of Canada.  The Canada Excellence Research Chairs finalists were announced yesterday in Ottawa by the Honorable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry.

With a value of $10 million over seven years, the awards are designed to attract the world’s top researchers to establish ambitious programs and ensure Canada plays a leading role in developing innovative ideas.

The Canada Excellence Research Chair in Microbiome will leverage McMaster’s already established multi-disciplinary teams in infectious, metabolic and gastrointestinal diseases to leapfrog global competitors in developing new therapies for obesity, diabetes, chronic inflammatory and digestive diseases and resistant infections.

The Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain will focus on the technologies of hybrid vehicles, specifically the hybrid powertrain design and production, which will trigger an unprecedented technology investment by the auto industry.  Plug-in hybrid vehicles are expected to be one of the main forms of transportation by 2030. 

Mo Elbestawi, vice-president of research and international affairs, says having two proposals move forward speaks to the University’s established reputations in these areas. 

"The Canada Excellence Research Chairs program truly recognizes the best of the best.  Having the federal government recognize our leadership in these areas is significant and will allow us the opportunity to attract international stars to our research teams to further develop these programs."

Elbestawi also applauded the federal government for investing in research as part of its strategy to strengthen Canada’s competitiveness. 

"Innovation is the key to competing in the global marketplace and the Harper government continues to increase its capacity for innovation.  Through programs like this and its Science and Technology Strategy, this government is ensuring Canada takes its rightful place on the world’s innovation stage which will lead directly to a stronger economy."

In all, 132 submissions for CERC were received from Canadian universities and just 40 have been given the go-ahead to bring forward candidates for consideration by a selection board, which will identify 20 candidates for funding.  Chairs will be announced by the fall of 2010.

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