June 4 , 2010


McMaster receives two national funding awards to boost student research training


An announcement on the Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE), a program of the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC), was made this morning at McMaster University by David Sweet, MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale

“We are delighted by this,” says Mo Elbestawi, vice-president, Research & International Affairs. “McMaster was given two awards out of a total of 20 across the country, once again showing the quality of research expertise and academic programming that engages students. It also means that we are leading the way in two emerging fields—photovoltaics and molecular imaging probes.”

The NSERC CREATE Molecular Imaging Probes (c-MIP) program will give graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at McMaster University and the Cross Cancer Institute at the University of Alberta the opportunity to enhance their technical skills, perspective, and ability to work in multi-disciplinary research teams in the fast-growing area of medical imaging, specifically developing the next generation of imaging probes from medical isotopes. Molecular imaging probes are used by physicians to detect diseases like cancer and infection earlier than is currently possible and assist them in selecting the best course of treatment and monitoring response. Students will gain experience and learn essential collaboration skills within a team and across institutions and sectors; critical traits to grow an industry that is important to Canada’s economy and the health of its people.

c-MIP is led by John Valliant, associate professor at McMaster, in collaboration with the Cross Cancer Institute and a host of internationally recognized researchers in the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Biochemistry. Students will have the opportunity to use the world-class isotope and chemical biology production facilities, research and translation infrastructure at both centres as they develop new agents. What’s more, they will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and collaboration networks by working on co-op terms at the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, and the Edmonton Radiopharmaceutical Centre, and at leading international research centres, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York and ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology).

The NSERC CREATE Program in Photovoltaics will train Canada's next generation of engineers and scientists in the most advanced concepts for the conversion of sunlight to electricity.

Led by engineering professor John Preston and working with renowned researchers at McMaster, University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo, students will have access to some of the world's best facilities for preparing, characterizing and testing materials and devices for solar applications. Students will be drawn from the departments of Engineering Physics, Physics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering at McMaster, and the departments of Electrical Engineering and Materials Science at Waterloo and Toronto. Also participating in the program will be students from the Dofasco Centre for Engineering and Public Policy and the Xerox Centre for Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The Program will additionally provide the Canadian Photovoltaic manufacturing sector with the highly qualified personnel it needs to be internationally competitive. The industry leaders in that rapidly growing sector will provide input and leadership to the program through a wide range of mentorship, sponsorship and networking interactions.


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




Gene Nakonechny

Manager, Public Relations,

Faculty of Engineering

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext.26781