UM Today: Six new and renewed Canada Research Chairs
May 31, 2018 — Four new Canada Research Chairs have been awarded to University of Manitoba professors and another two have been renewed. Three focus on the health of Canadians and three on advanced technology. The total federal funding for these CRCs is $4.8 million.
“These Canada Research Chairs who are receiving this support from the Government of Canada are either developing new technologies and materials that will have applications in every Canadian’s life, or working to literally benefit all our lives through focused health research,” says Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba.
Meghan Azad, Pediatrics and Child Health, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences; Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba
Canada Research Chair in Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease (Tier 2)
Dr. Azad studies the early-life determinants of lifelong health. Her current research examines the impact of maternal nutrition and breastfeeding on child health and development. Her overarching objective is to characterize the impact of breastfeeding on the development of childhood asthma and obesity, and to identify the human milk constituents and maternal factors that are responsible for these effects. This research will guide new strategies for health promotion and disease prevention, help optimize nutrition guidelines for mothers and babies, and inform related policies to support maternal child health.
Pourang Irani, Computer Science
Canada Research Chair in Ubiquitous Analytics (Tier 2)
As our reliance on data for sense-making increases, end-user tools need to evolve to allow individuals or organizations to derive insight and make decisions based on large and varied data sources, to manage their daily affairs. The proposed research in ubiquitous analytics will advance information visualization, navigation and manipulation interfaces on the next generation mobile and wearable technologies, to help users derive insight from data. The outcomes will lead to innovative digital systems that, ultimately, will fade into the background as end-users naturally interact with data to arrive at decisions anywhere, and anytime.
Lorrie Kirshenbaum, Physiology and Pathophysiology, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences; St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre
Canada Research Chair in Molecular Cardiology (Tier 1)
Dr. Kirshenbaum’s research objectives are to delineate the biological pathways that underlie cardiac cell death and pathological cardiac remodeling leading to heart failure after myocardial infarction. Currently, there are no therapies to prevent or reverse cell death after injury. To address this important clinical need, Dr. Kirshenbaum will use small and large animal disease models, human iPS cells, adenovirus associated viruses, live cell imaging, chemical structural biology and bioinformatics to investigate the molecular connections between apoptosis, autophagy and necrosis for pre-clinical testing of novel therapies to meet the unmet clinical demand.
Puyan Mojabi, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Canada Research Chair in Electromagnetic Inversion for Characterization and Design (Tier 2)
The proposed research develops novel algorithms and techniques to characterize the regions of interest from their external electromagnetic signatures, and to explore new possibilities in tailoring electromagnetic fields. The unique aspect of the proposed research is that all these algorithms and techniques stem from one consistent and flexible framework, called the electromagnetic inversion framework, and are then applied to diverging application areas: antenna characterization, near-field imaging, Arctic remote sensing, and the design of engineered surfaces and materials. This research aims to enhance the achievable accuracy and resolution in characterization, and to provide increased flexibility in design.
Roberta Woodgate, Nursing
Canada Research Chair in Child and Family Engagement in Health Research and Healthcare (Tier 1)
Researchers in children’s health rarely included children’s voices in the research process. To address this silence, Dr. Roberta Woodgate’s pioneering work actively engages children and their families to enhance health policy and practice. She seeks to improve the ways in which children and families participate in health research, focusing on how best to involve vulnerable children across a range of health conditions and their families. Woodgate’s work is critical. Improving children’s health cannot move forward until researchers fully understand and widely share the experiences and needs of vulnerable children and their families with health care professionals and other key stakeholders.
Guozhen Zhu, Mechanical Engineering
Canada Research Chair in Mechanical and Functional Design of Nanostructured Materials (Tier 2)
Dr. Guo-zhen Zhu will develop a research program focused on the characterization and design of nanostructured materials. Her work will include the development of new methods for characterizing materials at the atomic scale. Her research will lead to the development of advanced alloys and metal oxides that have vastly superior physical and mechanical properties when compared with current state-of-the-art materials used in industry. These novel materials will ultimately provide a competitive advantage to Canadian companies in the aerospace, automotive and energy sectors.
Tier 1 chairs, tenable for seven years and renewable once, are awarded to outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. For each chair, the institution receives $200,000 annually for seven years.
Tier 2 chairs, tenable for five years and renewable once, are awarded to exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. For each chair, the institution receives $100,000 annually for five years.
University of Manitoba Canada Research Chair recruitment and retention is guided by the Canada Research Chair Program’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Best Practices for Recruitment, Hiring and Retention policy
Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.