Faculty of Medicine garners 11 Canada Research Chairs

The Faculty of Medicine accounted for 11 of the 31 new or renewed Canada Research Chairs at UBC.

The seven new chairs and four renewed chairs in the Faculty of Medicine were among 305 such appointments announced nationwide by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science.

“I’d like to extend my sincere congratulations to the latest new and renewed Canada Research Chairs,” said Minister Duncan. “The Government of Canada is proud to support these elite researchers who improve our depth of knowledge, strengthen Canada’s international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of our highly skilled workforce.”

The Canada Research Chair program helps attract and retain top researchers across the country. Today’s announcement will support 18 new chairs at UBC and will continue to support 13 renewed chairs. There are 187 chairs at the university.

“Programs like this are critical for attracting some of the brightest minds to our institutions and building research opportunities,” said UBC Interim President Martha Piper.

Today’s announcement represents a $260-million investment in the Canada Research Chairs program and also included a $342-million commitment to Canadian research through the Research Support Fund, and $17 million in infrastructure support for the Canada Research Chairs program through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The Faculty of Medicine’s new Canada Research Chairs:

Samuel Aparicio, Canada Research Chair in Molecular Oncology: Dr. Aparicio’s research focuses on breast, ovarian, and hard to treat cancers. His research team is studying how breast and other cancers mutate and evolve as they grow.

Maureen Ashe, Canada Research Chair in Community Mobility: Dr. Ashe evaluates how physical activity can be incorporated into the everyday lives of older adults in a large-scale study in both urban and rural settings.

Lori Brotto, Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health:  Dr. Brotto’s research informs better and more effective treatments to improve the lives of Canadian women suffering from sexual dysfunction and chronic genital pain.

Janice Eng, Canada Research Chair in Neurological Rehabilitation: Dr. Eng is developing new treatments for patients recovering from stroke using exercise, wearable robotic devices and other tools. Her goal is to help the brain recover to reduce disability and improve quality of life for patients.

David Huntsman, Canada Research Chair in Molecular and Genomic Pathology: Dr. Huntsman’s work focuses on ovarian cancer and rare tumors; he strives to use genetics for diagnosis, prevention and therapy.

Phillip Lange, Canada Research Chair in Translational and Applied Genomics of Pediatric Malignancy: Dr. Lange’s research will lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools to treat childhood cancer. He studies how cancer grows, spreads and interacts with the rest of the body.

Sara Mostafavi, Canada Research Chair in Computational Biology: Dr. Mostafavi uses statistics to discover the relative roles of genetics and environment in diseases and, specifically, to identify clinically reliable genetic risk factors for psychiatric disorders.

The Faculty of Medicine’s renewed Canada Research Chairs:

Jehannine Austin, Canada Research Chair in Translational Psychiatric Genetics: Dr. Austin’s research examines how genetic information can be used by patients with mental illness and their families to better understand their condition and improve outcomes.

Liisa Holsti, Canada Research Chair in Neonatal Health and Development: Dr. Holsti works with preterm infants to find the most effective ways to manage the pain and stress of tiny newborns undergoing medical procedures in the neonatal intensive care unit. Her work focuses on protecting the infant’s brain.

Helen Tremlett, Canada Research Chair in Neuroepidemiology and Multiple Sclerosis: Dr. Tremlett is leading a pan-Canadian study into Multiple Sclerosis to improve the health, treatment options and outcomes for people with the degenerative brain and spinal-cord disease.

Annalee Yassi, Canada Research Chair in Global Health and Capacity Building: Dr. Yassi’s research focuses on the health of healthcare workers in Canada and in low and middle-income countries.  Her work helps generate policies and practices to prevent the spread of disease and disability from injuries and stress.