$1.65 million boost for uOttawa experts to train next generation of environmental health researchers

Posted on Friday, July 4, 2014

With the number of new chemicals being synthesized and marketed increasing exponentially and the rise in pollution worldwide, our ability to keep tabs on potential health and environmental hazards is falling behind. University of Ottawa professor and world renowned toxicologist Laurie Chan is trying to close that gap. With the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Professor Chan and his team will provide young graduates with training opportunities to prepare them to become tomorrow's brightest researchers.

Professor Chan has received $1.65 million as part of the latest round of funding from NSERC's Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program. He will lead a team of experts developing a research training program that will help graduates acquire essential skills, allowing them to successfully move from the classroom to the workplace. The program will focus on environmental toxicology and analytical chemistry research, as well as the development of professional skills that may not be part of their standard academic training.

“This program will not only allow us to develop key expertise in our institution but also ensure that these young women and men are ready for the challenges of tomorrow. Canada's future success depends on it,” said Mona Nemer, vice-president, research, at the University of Ottawa.

This welcomed support comes a week after NSERC announced a total of $14.5 million in funding for the University of Ottawa as part of the Discovery Grants and Scholarships and Fellowships programs. This support will enable more than a hundred researchers and students to advance their projects in a wide range of areas related to the natural sciences and engineering.  

NSERC's CREATE-Research in Environmental and Analytical Chemistry and Toxicology (REACT) program

CREATE–REACT will be a nationwide program led by Chan that will offer a multi-and inter-disciplinary training platform for students enrolled in environmental and analytical chemistry and toxicology graduate programs at the following universities: Alberta, Carleton, Laval and Ottawa.

With cross-sectorial and international collaborations, the CREATE-REACT program will train a total of 143 high quality personnel who will be exposed to cutting-edge research in areas such as the development of analytical and bioanalytical technology, water safety and the effects of environmental contaminants on human health. The trainees will be expected to acquire solid technical skills, think critically, be able to use cutting edge technology and meet the needs of the chemical, natural resources, laboratory service and consulting industries, and the regulatory agencies.

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. The University is an important stakeholder in the National Capital Region's economic development, with a total regional economic impact estimated at $4 billion annually.

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