February 23, 2009


Ottawa reinvests in Canada Research Chairs at McMaster University

Hamilton, ON. February 23, 2009 – Three McMaster University professors have had their Canada Research Chairs renewed, a federal research investment totaling nearly $3.7 million.

Dr. Jeffrey Weitz, Canada Research Chair in Thrombosis, and Pavlos Kanaroglou, Canada Research Chair in Spatial Analysis, were each awarded $1.4-million each for their Tier 1 Chairs.  Gregory Slater, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Isotope Biogeochemistry, was awarded $500,000 for his Tier 2 Chair. 

Tier 1 Chairs are awarded to researchers who are acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their field. Tier 2 Chairs are given to emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. 

Out of 1,837 Canada Research Chairs, McMaster currently has 68.

Making the announcement earlier today, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), noted the important role that research excellence plays in furthering innovation and competitiveness, two main elements of the federal science and technology strategy.

“This is why we announced a $5.1-billion investment in science and technology in Budget 2009 — Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The Canada Research Chairs Program helps universities attract and retain the best researchers in the world, which promotes job creation, enhances the quality of life of Canadians and strengthens the economy for future generations,” Goodyear said.

Weitz, director of the Henderson Research Centre, is researching new techniques for identifying and treating the underlying causes of blood clots.

Kanaroglou, director of the School of Geography and Earth Sciences, is using spatial analysis and mathematical modeling to help formulate public policy such issues as housing choices for the elderly, household energy savings, vehicle energy consumption and associated air pollution. 

Slater, who came to McMaster from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, is looking at how organic contaminants travel and spread through the environment from sources such as spills, urban runoff and atmospheric degradation.

Mo Elbestawi, McMaster’s vice-president of research and international affairs, said the Canada Research Chairs program is fulfilling its goal of helping universities increase their research capacity.

"The Chairs program has allowed us to build on our research strengths like no other funding program.  It’s allowed us to retain our world-renowned researchers while, at the same time, given us the ability to recruit international and emerging stars to complement our existing talent.” 

The Canada Foundation for Innovation also provided Weitz and Slater $325,515 and $64,000 respectively for infrastructure related to their Canada Research Chairs.




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