March 26 , 2010



Bone detective, economist, stroke researcher awarded Canada Research Chairs at McMaster


Hamilton, Ont. March 26, 2010Three McMaster University researchers from diverse fields of study have been awarded Canada Research Chairs by the federal government.

The announcement was made this morning at McMaster by David Sweet, MP for Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Westdale, and Mo Elbestawi, McMaster’s vice-president of Research and International Affairs.

Megan Brickley, studies bone abnormalities in ancient communities; Katherine Cuff studies the daily impact on Canadians of government economic policies; and Guillaume Paré conducts research into stroke prevention.

Seven other researchers have been re-appointed to the Canada Research Chair program: Tim Davidson, John Eikelboom, Marie Elliot, Raja Ghosh, Manel Jordana, Mohit Bhandari, and Bob Pelton.

Mo Elbestawi, McMaster’s vice-president, Research & International Affairs, says the Chairs program has a huge impact on research performance.

“It allows us to recruit at an international level and retain our international stars,” says
Elbestawi. Likewise, he added, the renewal of the Chairs reconfirms the researchers’
esteem with the academic and scientific communities.

The Canada Research Chairs program was established in 2000 by the federal government to help Canadian universities attract and retain the world’s best researchers. To date, McMaster University boasts 64 Canada Research Chairs.

Brickley is a Tier 1 Chair, and will receive $1.4-million over seven years. Paré and Cuff are
Tier 2 Chairs and will each receive $500,000 over five years.

McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 universities in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 23,000, and more than 140,000 alumni in 128 countries.


For more information, please contact:

Jane Christmas

Manager, Public & Media Relations

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 27988



Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager: Broadcast Media

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 22869


Additional information on the new CRC appointees

Megan Brickley

Brickley is a world-class bioarchaeological expert in metabolic bone diseases: abnormalities of bones that can range from age-related bone loss to a spectrum of conditions caused by vitamin deficiencies. Her research program uses innovative methodological approaches to better understand the health and nutrition of past human societies. Brickley’s research program has been focused on the human remains gathered from across the United Kingdom, from prehistory to the 19th century. The Canada Research Chair appointment will allow her to extend her research program to include work on the societies from North America’s past. By combining information on pathological conditions and archaeological evidence of socio-cultural status, Brickley’s data has the potential to contribute to our understanding of possible causes of conditions such as Vitamin D deficiency and diabetes in current populations.

Katherine Cuff

Canadians know that when April 30 rolls around it’s time to file income tax. What might not be known is that behind the many forms, calculations and designated tax brackets is the rigorous analysis of economists such as Katherine Cuff. The policies that determine how much individuals and corporations pay in tax is but one aspect of her research. She will also bring a unique perspective to her study of other public economic topics by examining the trade-offs that government must make to balance its objectives with the resources at hand, and whether or not the public is best served by current policies. Cuff will examine the economic challenges that impact the daily lives of Canadians: What is a fair minimum wage? How do we deal with excess demand in the rental housing market? Should we
consider private versus public health care financing and how do we ration care? A thriving public economy comes with a price tag: Canada’s deficit swallows some of every taxpayer’s dollar, and programs that ensure a quality standard of living consume significant government resources. Ultimately, Katherine Cuff’s research will inform better policy and ensure Canada’s economic growth and well-being.

Guillaume Paré

Every 10 minutes someone in Canada has a stroke. The few medical tools we have to limit damage must be used immediately after a stroke in order to be effective. Even then, the sobering fact is that 50% of stroke sufferers are left with impairments that range from moderate to severe disability; 15% will die, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Guillaume Paré is intent on reversing these grim statistics with a research program focused on developing more effective stroke prevention strategies. His innovative approach involves using a different set of tools: cutting-edge genomic techniques and
biomarker analysis to decipher the genetic architecture of strokes and better identify people who are at risk. By analyzing biomarkers –biological molecules found in blood – he can, for example, study whether some people carry a gene that makes their blood more likely to clot and interrupt the blood flow to the brain. He will also be able to provide valuable insights into the sorts of preventative measures, drug therapies and lifestyle changes that will reduce the number of strokes in Canada.