McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Another Canada Research Chair for FHS

Published: July 20, 2006
Mark Larche
Mark Larche

A scientist developing leading-edge treatments for a range of chronic immunological disorders though his research on asthma, is joining the Faculty of Health Sciences as a Canada Research Chair.

Mark Larche, who is coming to McMaster from Imperial College at the University of London, will hold a tier one Canada Research Chair in Allergy and Immune Tolerance. With an experimental vaccine made from synthetic fragments of the allergens that trigger the disease-pollen proteins, he hopes to stimulate protective immune responses and reduce allergy intensity.

His chair appointment was one of two for McMaster announced by the Canadian government yesterday. Yurij Mozharivskyj, an assistant professor of chemistry, will be the new Canada Research Chair in Chemistry.

At the same time, two Faculty of Health Sciences professors were among three McMaster renewals announced. Eric Brown holds the Chair in Anti-microbial Research, and John Lavis holds the Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Transfer and Uptake in Health Policy-Making Environments. The University’s Associate Vice-President, Research Allison Sekuler also received renewal of her Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience.

That brings to 61 the total number of Canada Research Chairs at McMaster.

Mamdouh Shoukri, vice-president of research and international affairs for McMaster University, says the Chairs program has a huge impact on McMaster's research performance.

"This program continues to increase our research capacity and gives us the ability to both recruit at an international level and retain our international stars," he says, noting the two new Chairs came from the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively.

As for the renewals, Shoukri says they translate into significant benefits to both the researchers and their students. "The continuity of these Chairs confirms that McMaster identified ideal candidates initially and by so doing enriched the research focus in these areas of strategic importance. The groundwork has been set, the research is in motion and our students are reaping the benefits of working with and being trained by these bright minds."

"The continuing investment in the Canada Research Chairs Program is vitally important," said the Honourable Maxime Bernier, minister of industry and minister responsible for the Canada Research Chairs Program. Yesterday's announcement represents an investment of $66.9-million to fund 90 Canada Research Chairs.

"Canada's new government is committed to research," Bernier continued. "In fact, the 2006 Budget allocated an additional $100 million a year for higher education research. The scientific achievements of Canada Research Chairs do more than improve Canadians' quality of life. They address major social and economic issues, and they make our country more competitive on the international scene."

Since its launch in 2000, the Chairs program has created 1,689 research professorships at 73 universities across Canada. Of these, 539 have been filled by researchers recruited from abroad, including 243 Canadian expatriates. When fully implemented, the program will support 2,000 Chairs across the country.

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