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$2.6M funding awarded to 10 projects in Alberta


Edmonton, AB – Equipment grants have been awarded to 10 scientific research projects in Alberta, allowing the researchers to upgrade their labs. The funds, provided by the provincial government, will aid research in areas of study such as disease diagnosis and treatment, environmental protection and food safety.

The grants provide up to 40% of total project costs and supports high-quality science and research initiatives in the province’s research priority areas of bioindustries, energy and the environment, and health.

Following are the projects that received funding: 
Dr Gordon Chua, University of Calgary. Total Project Cost: $1,186,860. Functional Genomics Laboratory for deciphering gene-regulatory and genetic-interaction networks – This award will help equip a laboratory for functional genomics which includes an SGA (synthetic genetic array) suite and a microarray suite. With these tools, Dr Chua aims to uncover and better understand the genetic origin of many human diseases. SEGP Award: $474,745

Dr Prasanth Chelikani, University of Calgary. Total Project Cost :$1,140,695. Obesity Research Laboratory – Equipment purchased will further the study of the role of gastrointestinal signals in regulating food intake, which aims to better understand the complex nature of obesity and the physiological mechanisms that play a key role in obesity in both humans and animals. Dr Chelikani’s laboratory will be a powerful tool in designing future programs for the treatment and prevention of obesity. SEGP Award: $456,278

Dr Richard Fahlman, University of Alberta. Total Project Cost: $984,205. Post-translational modifications and the proteome during Apoptosis The funding for purchase of a high definition mass spectrometer system will further the understanding of Multiple Myeloma, a form of cancer of the plasma cells. The research aims to generate insight into cancers that appear to be resistant to conventional treatments. This research may lead to the discovery of more effective treatments for these cancers. SEGP Award: $393,682

Dr Chang-Chun Ling, University of Calgary. Total Project Cost: $877,460. A microbiological culture and biochemistry laboratory for carbohydrate research – The award supports exploring a novel approach to the treatment of cancer and other infectious diseases that combines the areas of organic chemistry and microbiology. This research has the potential to impact the area of vaccination and the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases through the study of the interaction between carbohydrates and proteins, which plays a role in conditions such as cancer, viruses, autoimmune diseases and inflammation. SEGP Award: $350,983

Dr David Eaton, University of Calgary. Total Project Cost: $808,090. Laboratory for passive seismic imaging of earth processes – This award is to develop a laboratory for passive seismic imaging of the earth’s processes which will use naturally occurring mini earthquakes as a source of seismic waves instead of artificial methods such as dynamite or air guns. Equipping this laboratory offers the opportunity to advance a wide range of areas including earthquake hazard analysis, CO2 capture and storage, oil recovery efficiency and the earth’s physical evolution. SEGP Award: $303,236

Dr Sergei Noskov, University of Calgary .Total Project Cost: $756,419. Laboratory for computational structural biology: Theoretical gateway to molecular origins of selective ligand binding to membrane proteins – This award will help develop a greater understanding of how proteins on the cell surface or on a membrane within a cell bind to other molecules, which may become a powerful tool for advancing the effectiveness of therapeutic drugs and may provide insight into new methods of drug delivery. SEGP Award: $194,352

Dr Roger Zemp, University of Alberta. Total Project Cost: $373,981. Quantitative photoacoustic imaging technology development – The award will assist in developing a new molecular imaging technology to generate images, such as the amount of oxygen that a body tissue uses, to monitor the development of diseases such as cancer and heart disease, as diseased tissue uses less oxygen than healthy tissue. SEGP Award: $135,000

Drs Jianping Wu, Mirko Betti, and Robert Renema, University of Alberta, Total Project Cost: $341,182. Development of a comprehensive platform for the value-added utilization of poultry products – The funding to complement the value- added poultry program at the University of Alberta. Some of Dr Wu’s research projects include an egg biorefinery which intends to develop ways to make use of all parts of the egg from the shell to the yolk. A value-added meat program is also incorporated into this award, and will attempt to determine way s to increase the nutritional value of poultry and overall efficiency of the poultry industry. These initiatives will assist in strengthening Alberta’s agriculture industry and may develop products which will increase the health of Albertans. SEGP Award: $120,000.

Dr Christian Haas, University of Alberta. Total Project Cost: $401,250. Airborne electromagnetic sea ice thickness sensor – Acquiring this equipment will improve the ability to accurately measure and monitor ice thickness changes, providing valuable insight into how sea ice levels may indicate changes in the climate. SEGP Award: $100,000

Dr William Allison, University of Alberta. Total Project Cost: $206,265. A transgenic zebrafish facility to study prion proteins, neurodegenerative disease and photoreceptor regeneration – the award will advance the study of prion function and retinal degenerative disease as Zebrafish share similar genetic material with mammals and are useful models for studying human diseases. Such research will potentially assist in the detection and treatment of BSE, CWD, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and retinal degenerative diseases such as macular degeneration. SEGP Award: $81,050.