A funding boost to accelerate the impact of our world-class research

Louis Barriault, Nicolas Corradi, Michel Godin and Brett Walker

Departments of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, Biology, Physics, and Earth and Environmental Sciences

Award: NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement

The NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) provide both prestige and significant financial support to recipients, who receive $120,000 over three years in addition to their NSERC Discovery Grant. This funding allows researchers to strengthen their teams with highly qualified personnel and equip their laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment to maximize the impact of their research projects. In 2020, four Faculty of Science researchers received this supplement: Louis Barriault, Nicolas Corradi, Michel Godin and Brett Walker.

Professor Barriault’s research focuses on addressing fundamental research challenges related to carbon-carbon and carbon-nitrogen formation by developing new Au(I)-catalyzed cyclization and photoredox transformations. He believes that the development of new methods and strategies for the efficient synthesis of molecules is of paramount importance. This additional funding will support him in high-risk projects in the field of photoredox and synthesis of natural products. It will also foster an environment of critical scientific thinking, creation of innovative solutions and provide broad synthetic expertise and strategic planning experiences to HQP.

Professor Corradi studies unique genetic systems, and his recent research has explored the complex genetics of widespread plant symbionts. His team now aims to understand how to create new strains of these organisms, which could lead to more efficient biofertilizers. This research can have many substantial benefits for the rapidly expanding green economy, and has attracted significant interest from industrial partners. Additionally, the NSERC DAS award will allow Prof. Corradi to expand his research in important new directions over the next few years.

Professor Godin’s current research focuses on understanding and exploiting small-scale fluidic phenomena in biosensing and biomedical applications. By manipulating and analyzing biological material in microfluidic environments, Prof. Godin’s work helps develop technologies related to disease diagnosis and cell-based therapeutics. This research is inherently multidisciplinary and offers new opportunities because the discoveries and technologies are shared among laboratories in the Faculty of Science and collaborators in the Faculty of Medicine. The DAS award will enable Prof. Godin to continue these collaborations and provide new analytical tools for various biomedical applications.

Professor Walker’s research combines state-of-the-art radiocarbon (14C) dating and analytical chemistry tools to quantify marine carbon sources, chemical transformations and cycling rates in Baffin Bay and the Canadian Archipelago. He is particularly interested in learning how marine bacteria control the ocean carbon cycle and hopes his team’s results will help quantify carbon stocks and fluxes in the Arctic. This research will also allow Prof. Walker to parametrize future Earth System Climate Models and understand the effects of climate change on the Arctic. Ultimately, this supplementary funding will facilitate the completion of Prof. Walker's proposed Arctic research, enhance his outreach capabilities in northern communities and help him address other research issues in the Canadian Arctic.

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