uOttawa experts receive over $1 million for research on pressing global issues

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The University of Ottawa has received a total of $1,061,526 in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for infrastructure to support six innovative research projects that aim to tackle challenges ranging from shallow water navigation to infectious diseases.

The investment comes from CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund, intended to provide some of the world’s best and brightest scientists with cutting-edge research infrastructure.

The six uOttawa-led research projects are:

François Xavier Campbell-Valois, Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
Deciphering molecular events leading to bacterial pathogens sensing and adaptation to their environment
Bacterial enteropathogens cause diarrheal diseases and are collectively responsible for approximately 1,500,000 deaths per year worldwide. The goal of this research is to understand how the bacteria called Shigella flexneri sense and adapt to their environment in the human gut. The research could lead to the development of new and highly specific antibiotics for curing infectious diseases.

Eva Hemmer, Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
Lanthanide-based Nanophosphors for Bioimaging and Energy Conversion Applications
Professor Hemmer’s research program revolves around the uses of lanthanide (Ln)-based light emitters or nanophosphors to address global health as well as energy related challenges. Using nanophosphors in bioimaging would significantly cut toxicity levels, and minimize photobleaching, as well as deep light penetration in the tissues. Additionally, these nanophosphors may hold great potential in energy conversion applications and sustainable energy production.

Benjamin Hibbert, Division of Cardiology
Platelet Biology to Improve Patient Outcomes – from Bedside to Bench and Back
Coronary artery disease (CAD) and cardiovascular diseases remain the most prevalent causes of morbidity and mortality in our society. Professor Hibbert’s goal is to better understand the mechanisms which affect the interplay between currently used antiplatelet medications (used to prevent the formation of blood clots) and patient risk factors, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes.

Anders Knudby, Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics
Shallow-Water Earth Observation Lab
Water depth in most nearshore areas outside main shipping lanes in Canada is unknown. Professor Knubdy’s research will allow mapping of water depth from a range of satellite data, including high-resolution images, video and synthetic aperture radar data. This technology can lead to safer nearshore marine transportation and coastal infrastructure development, especially in the Northwest Passage.

Ivan Litvinov, Division of Dermatology
Practice changing research: Improving diagnosis and management for cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL)
Professor Litvinov will explore innovative approaches to study and treat potentially devastating cancers using immunotherapy, targeting genes that are usually silenced in normal tissues but are abnormally re-expressed in these cancers.

Ryan Russell, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
The role of oxygen in autophagy regulation and metabolic homeostasis
Professor Russell aims to uncover how diseases are capable of taking over an essential prosurvival response called autophagy. The outcomes of these studies will help to identify new therapies for the treatment of these diseases, as well as new biomarkers for diagnostic purposes.

Read the CFI press release.

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