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Scientists win new $40,000 jubilee awards


Windsor, ON – The University of Windsor has announced the three recipients of its new Golden Jubilee Research Excellence Awards, which were recently launched to celebrate the institution’s 50th anniversary. Made possible through the research stimulus fund, the two-year awards come with $40,000 a year in research funding and one course release per year.

Otis Vacratsis, a health researcher and associate professor in chemistry and biochemistry, Rob Schurko, a materials chemist in chemistry and biochemistry, and Dan Mennill, an ecologist in biological sciences are the Golden Jubilee award recipients, announced by Michael Siu, the university’s vice-president, research and Marlys Koschinsky, dean of science.

Dr. Vacratsis said the funding will help him hire graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who will utilize a variety of analytical and biological techniques to better understand the cellular processes involved in Chacot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), a neuromuscular disorder characterized by loss of muscle mass and touch sensation across various parts of the body.

“We do very basic, fundamental science in my lab, but hopefully people will be able to use our findings in a clinical setting,” he said.

In addition to the Golden Jubilee awards, a number of scientists received Research Infrastructure Grants. They include:

  • Ziad Kobti, computer science
  • Michael Boffa, chemistry and biochemistry
  • Jichang Wang, chemistry and biochemistry
  • Daniel Mennill, biological sciences
  • Barbara Zielinski, biological sciences
  • Lisa Porter, biological sciences
  • Luis Rueda, computer science

The Golden Jubilee awards and infrastructure grants were presented to outstanding researchers in thematic areas that constitute the backbone of the recast university’s strategic research plan, said Dr. Siu.

“The overall goal is to increase research capacity in the faculty by growing existing programs and by fostering new partnerships and new directions,” said Dr. Koschinsky. “In turn, this is expected to build on our funding success in areas of existing research strength through the attraction of incremental research dollars to science.”