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New Canada Research Chairs named; funding over $107M


Montreal, QC March 18, 2003 Dr Rey Pagtakhan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development), and Allan Rock, Minister of Industry have announced funding of C$107.4 million to support the creation of 106 new Canada Research Chairs.

“By retaining outstanding researchers at our universities and attracting others from beyond our borders, the Canada Research Chairs Program is helping Canada stay at the forefront of the global knowledge-based economy,” says Dr Pagtakhan.

“Their work reminds us of the richness, diversity and importance of research undertaken by universities, together with their affiliated research institutes and hospitals, in all regions of the country,” stated Denis Paradis, Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie).

Thirty-three of these new Chairs are exceptional international researchers and expatriates. Dr. Peter J Kyberd, for example, is coming to Canada from Reading University in the UK. As Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation Cybernetics at the University of New Brunswick, he will work on developing improved prosthetic systems to replace a complete human arm.

One of the 21 researchers coming to Canada from the US is Dr Meredith Irwin, Canada Research Chair in Cancer Biology at the University of Toronto. Dr Irwin will use her research at the Hospital for Sick Children to find new drugs to diagnose and treat various cancers that attack children.

This round of funding includes $95.3 million from the Canada Research Chairs Program and $12.1 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to provide infrastructure support to Canada Research Chairholders. Of the 36 universities across Canada receiving funding, two are receiving their first Chair: Okanagan University College and Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

“By providing state-of-the-art infrastructure to the Canada Research Chairs, the CFI is also enabling some of the best researchers in the world to stay in Canada,” says Dr David Strangway, president and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. “Their contribution will provide a high-quality training environment for young Canadians to prepare them to take up the challenges of our knowledge society.”

The Canada Research Chairs Program has awarded 847 Chairs to date, with a goal of 2,000 Chairs by 2005. The number of international recruits has risen to 161 (19%) with this latest announcement, including 15 expatriate researchers who have returned to Canada to pursue their careers.