UBC Okanagan researchers receive $880,000 for seven projects

Dr. Paul Shipley is working with fellow UBC Okanagan chemistry professor Dr. Susan Murch, Canada Research Chair in natural products chemistry, to establish a new Centre for Antibiotic, Neuroprotective, and Anti-Inflammatory Technologies. It's one of seven UBC Okanagan research initiatives to receive funding announced this week by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Improving how radiation is targeted in treating cancer, and expanding the search for compounds in plants and bacteria that could improve the treatment of infectious, inflammatory and neurological diseases -- these are just two of seven new research programs at UBC Okanagan to receive more than $880,000 in funding this week from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

"This funding recognizes the excellence of our researchers, and the importance of the research being conducted at UBC Okanagan," said Doug Owram, Deputy Vice Chancellor, noting that UBC is consistently ranked among the world's top research-intensive universities.

"Research and teaching are our highest priorities. Innovative projects such as these expand our research capacity, and create exciting new opportunities for students to learn from and participate in compelling research."

Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, UBC Okanagan's Associate Vice President, Academic and Research, said the CFI support indicates the high level of work being done in the Okanagan -- and that recognition helps in bringing top researchers to UBC Okanagan.

"We welcome CFI's partnership in supporting our research programs in such a substantial way," said Abd-El-Aziz. "It is an important factor in attracting the very best researchers. This is good for our students, our programs, and our region."

A total of 21 projects at UBC's campuses in Vancouver and the Okanagan shared in $2.6 million from the CFI. All seven UBC Okanagan projects were funded through the CFI Leaders Opportunity Fund, designed to assist in attracting excellent faculty to Canadian universities as well as retaining the very best of today's and tomorrow’s leading researchers for Canada.

The UBC Okanagan projects are:

Centre for Antibiotic, Neuroprotective, and Anti-Inflammatory Technologies
Paul Shipley and Susan Murch, Chemistry
$192,810

Environmetrics Research Laboratory
Jason Loeppky and Sylvia Esterby, Mathematics and Statistics
$152,084

Facility for Soil-Atmosphere Interactions
Craig Nichol, Hydrogeology
$144,761

Ecological and Conservation Genomics Laboratory:
Investigating Genetic Level Responses of Living Systems to Changing Environments
Michael Russello, Biology
$127,928

Community Geoinformatics Laboratory:
A Space for Communities to Express Their Knowledge of Place
Jon Corbett, Geography
$123,314

Laboratory for Organometallic Chemistry of First-Row Transition Metals
Kevin Smith, Chemistry
$77,227

Computer Aided Convex Analysis Laboratory
Yves Lucet, Mathematics
$62,783

“This new funding will allow researchers at UBC to turn their ideas into innovations that provide solutions to the challenges of our time,” said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of the CFI. “Investments like these have transformed Canada’s research landscape over the past decade and made the country a magnet for the highly skilled people upon which our future well-being depends.”

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