April 24, 2009


McMaster reaches next step in competition for prestigious research chairs

Hamilton, ON. April 24, 2009 –McMaster University is one step closer to two prestigious research awards from the Government of Canada.  The Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) finalists were announced yesterday in Ottawa by the Honorable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry.

With a value of $10 million over seven years, the awards are designed to attract the world’s top researchers to establish ambitious programs and ensure Canada plays a leading role in developing innovative ideas

“The Canada Excellence Research Chairs will play a significant role in Canada's ability to attract and retain the very best researchers,” says Peter George, president of McMaster. “The federal government understands the important role research plays in developing Canada's competitive advantage and the value discoveries—and ultimately the commercialization of those discoveries –will have on our health, society and economic development.”

One of the winning proposals—a Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain –will focus on the technology that drives plug-in hybrid vehicles, expected to be one of the main forms of transportation by 2030.

The second proposed chair is for the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Microbiome Research and would leverage McMaster’s already established research teams in infectious, metabolic and gastrointestinal diseases to develop new therapies for obesity, diabetes, chronic inflammatory and digestive diseases and resistant infections.

“The Canada Excellence Research Chairs program truly recognizes the best of the best.  Having the federal government recognize our leadership in these areas is significant and will allow us the opportunity to attract international stars to our research teams to further develop these programs,” says Mo Elbestawi, vice-president of research and international affairs at McMaster.

Having two proposals move forward speaks to the University’s established reputations in these areas, he says.

As many as 20 successful chairholders will be granted up to $10 million over seven years to establish research programs. In all, 132 submissions were received from Canadian universities and just 40 proposals selected. 

The CERC program provides awards to Canadian researchers to help them attract and support world-class researchers in four areas of strategic importance:  environmental sciences and technologies; natural resources and energy; health and related life sciences and technologies; and information and communication technologies. Chairs will be announced by the fall of 2010.

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:

Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager: Broadcast Media

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext 22869