High impact research projects at uOttawa receive $1.9 million funding

Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Seven professors at the University of Ottawa will share $1.9 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) in support of major research projects.

The funding was announced as part of the CFI's Leaders Opportunity Fund, which helps prominent researchers and their institutions acquire infrastructure they need to gain a competitive edge.

“The Canada Foundation for Innovation plays a crucial role in retaining these brilliant scientists at the University of Ottawa. Through state-of-the-art infrastructures, their research will continue to generate benefits in the lives of Canadians and abroad,” declared Vice-President, Research, Mona Nemer.

The seven researchers supported are:

Darryl Davis – Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Pre-clinical Development of Cardiovascular Stem Cells for Diagnosis and Treatment
Using cutting-edge technology, Dr. Davis and his team will explore novel techniques to extract and grow cells directly from a patient's own heart biopsy and transplant these cells back into damaged tissue. This research will improve the lives of people suffering from heart disease.

James Harden – Department of Physics
A Transmission Electron Microscopy Facility for Biomaterials and Cell Biophysics Research
Professor Harden is a pioneer in biological physics research, specifically designer protein biomaterials. His research will provide important insights in cell-biomaterial interactions as well as applications in regenerative medicine.

Jeffrey Keillor – Department of Chemistry
Bioorganic Chemistry Laboratory
Professor Keillor's research is at the forefront of a trending research field that brings together chemistry, biology and medicine. Using novel techniques and state-of-the-art technology to study enzyme structures and functions, as well to label, detect and track proteins, Professor Keillor's research will have major implications in the fields of molecular science and biotechnology.

Kathlyn Kirkwood – Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Solid-State Bioreactor and Environmental Biocatalysis Facility
Applying her background in engineering, biochemistry , chemistry and microbiology, Professor Kirkwood's work on solid-state biocatalysis focuses on environmental applications, including treatment of crude-oil contaminated soils, waste treatment, and biomass pretreatment. Her research will also enable the development of novel methods to reduce environmental impact and increase long-term sustainability.

Rashmi Kothary – Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Spinal Muscular Atrophy – Pathogenesis and Novel Therapeutics
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is the leading genetic cause of infant deaths. Dr. Rashmi Kothary and his team focus on improving our understanding of SMA disease pathogenesis and developing new therapeutic options – namely in the area of gene, protein and small molecular therapies.

Steve Perry – Department of Biology
Integrated Microscopy and Imaging Infrastructure for the Physiology and Genetics of Zebrafish
Using advanced microscopy and imaging techniques for research on zebrafish as a human model, Professor Perry and his team study how fish regulate the movement of salts between the water and blood (termed “ionic regulation”) and how neuronal precursor cells migrate and adopt their final position in the brain during development or regeneration.

Jean-Marc Renaud – Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Specialized Physiological Laboratory for Testing of Therapies for Neuromuscular Disorders
As a specialist in physiology and pathophysiology of skeletal muscle, Dr. Renaud's research focuses on the physiological examination of muscle function – specifically muscle electrophysiology and contractility. His research will lead to novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of neuromuscular diseases.

The University of Ottawa is committed to research excellence and encourages an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, which attracts the best academic talent from across Canada and around the world.

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