Five members of the Faculty of Health Sciences are among 10 McMaster researchers to be recognized as leaders in their fields.
Altogether they have been awarded $8.6 million from the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program to further their work, improve Canada's international competitiveness, and train the next generation of leaders.
This latest round includes both new and renewed chairholders.
Rob Baker, McMaster's vice-president of research, says this round of CRCs is remarkable, both in talent and in breadth – covering everything from Indigenous well-being and innovation to human and environmental health.
"This is an extraordinary and diverse group of researchers," says Baker. "The Chairs program is working to advance diversity in its chairholders – something that McMaster has always championed – and, once again, these 10 individuals exemplify our excellence across the spectrum."
The Faculty's three new Canada Research Chairs include:
Jeremy Hirota, assistant professor, medicine, is the Canada Research Chair in Respiratory Mucosal Immunology (Tier 2). Jeremy is using translational research methods to explore the role of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in mucosal immunology. His research will provide a new understanding of ABC transporters in lung health, contributing to the development of new and innovative treatments of respiratory diseases such as asthma.
Jonathan Schertzer, assistant professor, biochemistry and biomedical sciences, is the Canada Research Chair in Metabolic Inflammation (Tier 2). He'll use experimental and preclinical methods to understand the links between immune and metabolic systems, to improve existing treatments, and lead to the development of new treatments, for obesity-related metabolic diseases like pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Ryan Van Lieshout, assistant professor, psychiatry and behavioural neuroscience, is the Canada Research Chair in the Perinatal Programming of Mental Disorders (Tier 2). He's applying observational and experimental methods to examine pre- and early post-natal stressors and their impact on brain development, to provide a better understanding of how psychiatric disorders develop, and will aid in the creation of early interventions to reduce the risk of these disorders across the lifespan.
The other new CRCs at McMaster include Emily Cranston, associate professor, chemical engineering, as the Canada Research Chair in Bio-Based Nanomaterials (Tier 2); Chelsea Gabel, assistant professor, health, aging and society, as the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Well-Being, Community Engagement and Innovation (Tier 2) and Mike Waddington, professor, geography and earth sciences, as the Canada Research Chair in Ecohydrology (Tier 1).
The following CRCs of the Faculty of Health Sciences had their chairs advanced or renewed:
Dr. Sheila Singh, Canada Research Chair in Human Brain Cancer Stem Cell Biology (Tier 1 – advanced from Tier 2)
Maureen Markle-Reid, Canada Research Chair in Person-Centred Interventions for Older Adults with Multimorbidity and their Caregivers (Tier 2)
Other McMaster professors to have their chairs renewed are Rick Hackett, Canada Research Chair in Organizational Behaviour and Human Performance (Tier 1) and a professor of the DeGroote School of Business and Megan Brickley, Canada Research Chair in Bioarcheology of Human Disease (Tier 1) and a professor of anthropology.
Tier 1 Chairs, tenable for seven years and renewable for an additional term, are for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. For each Tier 1 Chair, the university receives $200,000 annually for seven years.
Tier 2 Chairs, tenable for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. For each Tier 2 Chair, the university receives $100,000 annually for five years.