December 16, 2009


Nine McMaster projects receive $1.9-million
from Canada Foundation for Innovation


Hamilton, Ont. December 16, 2009Nine projects involving researchers from the faculties of science, health sciences and engineering have been awarded $1.9-million by the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Leaders Opportunity Fund. All projects have the potential to impact the health and well-being of millions of Canadians: they range from a neonatologist improving the quality of life for the tiniest of newborns to a physicist studying cell membranes to develop and improve new bio-based materials.

The announcement was made this morning by Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology).

“Each and every one of these researchers will be afforded the opportunity to advance their research program to the next level,” said Mo Elbestawi, vice-president, research & international affairs. “We're talking about bringing to market tests and procedures that will help to solve health care issues, new drugs, breakthrough antibiotics and improved critical training measures."

Christoph Fusch, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and head of the Neonatology Division as well as a CFI award recipient, said the funding is appreciated and serves as "an investment in the future and the future direction of neonatal research at McMaster University."

"Neonatal research must focus on improving quality of life," said Fusch. "One goal for us is to improve functioning by better understanding the metabolic pattern of a baby after birth. Through better nutrition, we can optimize growth and improve lung and brain function."

David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, noted that his government's commitment to innovative research is evident in the more than $59-million in new funds awarded today to institutions across Canada.

"That McMaster would have nine research teams attracting funding speaks to the breadth and depth of their future potential. I know that in the very near future, today's infrastructure funding investment will be yielding economic benefit to our community.”

In addition to Fusch, other award recipients are:

· Dawn Bowdish, for her project Drug Development in a Post-Antibiotic World,
which will fill a vital gap in the drug-discovery pipeline to reverse antibiotic

· Michael Farquharson, to develop a customized tissue analysis system to
measure the concentration of trace elements in diseased and normal tissue.

· Thomas Hawke, for equipment that will enable him to improve our knowledge
about how diabetes effects muscle structure and function, with a particular
emphasis on child and adolescent diabetic populations.

· Nathan Magarvey, for critical research tools which will be used to develop
next-generation antibiotics that will lead to new strategies to treat multi-drug
resistant pathogens.

· Michael Noseworthy, for equipment to upgrade his lab at the Brain-Body Institute.

· Maikel Rheinstädter, for a new lab that will use x-ray, neutron and light scattering
techniques to study cell membranes.

· Judith Shedden, who will be collaborating with colleagues Scott Watter and
computing and software chair Martin von Mohrenschildt to build an immersive
motion simulator that is unique in Canada, capable of simulating different
environments for driving and flying with high fidelity stimuli. Their project will provide
critical upgrades to the real-time simulator that has been operating on campus
since 2006.

· Gregory Wohl, to establish a Laboratory for Bone Adaptation and Biomechanics,
which will help him probe how injury, diet, surgical interventions and pharmaceutical
therapies influence skeletal function, which can lead to improved approaches for
prevention and therapies for bone-related disorders.


For more information 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