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  • News
  • December 16, 2016

Fostering Discoveries and Creating Jobs in Guelph

Province Announces Successful Recipients of Research Awards


December 16, 2016

Ontario is investing $1,971,569 in world-class research to build Ontario’s knowledge-based economy in Guelph.

This funding will boost the province’s ability to attract and retain highly skilled researchers and innovators and will help sharpen Ontario’s competitive edge by fostering discoveries and supporting knowledge-based jobs.

At the University of Guelph, Ontario is supporting:

 Early Researcher Awards

  • Dr. Thomas Gadegaard Koch, Advanced Health Technology: Your Pet Companion Holds the Keys to Veterinary and Human Regenerative Medicine. $140,000;
  • Stephen Brown, Inter-relationships between the lumbar spine and its muscles: implications for function and disorder. $140,000.

  Ontario Research Fund – Small Infrastructure Fund 

  • Trevor DeVries, New tools for behaviour and health monitoring of dairy cattle. Research infrastructure, including automated technologies for behavioural assessment and health monitoring, is required to establish a research program that will provide novel biological insights into factors affecting the expression of feeding behaviour in dairy cattle. $113,390;
  • Susan Brown, Arts Research Collaboratory. This research into collaborative digital research tools and interfaces innovates in the text technologies that are shaping the production and dissemination of information about textual and cultural artifacts in a digital environment, engages citizen scholars, and enriches the global web with scholarly knowledge. $224,736;
  • Nicole Nemeth and Dr. Leonardo Susta, Discovery and Investigation into Novel, Emerging and Re-emerging Viral Pathogens in Birds. Wild birds can transmit numerous high-impact viruses, including avian influenza and West Nile viruses. This research will explore the use of digital droplet PCR technology to perform surveillance on novel or emerging virus pathogens in birds, and conduct pathogenesis studies to better understand the ecology of these diseases. $125,000;
  • Philip Millar, Infrastructure to Establish a Human Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory. Dr. Millar’s research program will study, in healthy and diseased humans, 1) neural regulation and control of the circulation and 2) novel interventions designed to improve cardiovascular regulation. These findings will be ready for rapid translation to assist with the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. $111,001;
  • Alireza Navabi, New Tools for Applied Wheat Genetics and Breeding. The University of Guelph Wheat Breeding Program will attempt to improve the genetics of wheat for improved yield, disease resistance, adaptation to climate changes and end-use quality, through a better understanding of the genetics of important traits and by developing novel breeding strategies and tools. $102,714
  • Andrew Jones, In vitro technologies for plant propagation and conservation. Plant tissue culture has revolutionized our ability to propagate plants, conserve endangered species, and improve crops. However, many species remain recalcitrant to these techniques. This project will provide help better understand and overcome this problem in a wider range of plant species. $100,046;
  • Cezar Khursigara, scanning electron microscope for Life Science imaging. The principal applicants request a scanning electron microscope and accessory equipment to investigate the architecture of pathogenic bacterial biofilms. Their research programs are targeted at identifying the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and to develop novel antimicrobial therapies. $149,424;
  • Peter Tremaine, NSERC/UNENE Senior Industrial Research Chair in High Temperature Aqueous Chemistry. The infrastructure will support a Senior NSERC Industrial Research Chair in High Temperature Aqueous Chemistry to provide research on the primary coolant chemistry, moderator chemistry, steam-generator chemistry and nuclear waste management of Ontario’s nuclear reactors. $125,000.

 Ontario Research Fund – Large Scale Applied Research Project 

  • Dr. Miglior, Increasing feed efficiency and reducing methane emissions through genomics: a new promising goal for the Canadian dairy industry. $390,258;
  • Dr. Mallard, Application of Genomics to Improve Disease Resilience and Sustainability in Pork Production. $250,000.

Building our knowledge economy is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.


“Our government recognizes the importance of investing in our innovation ecosystem. We are proud to support the work of people in Guelph who are at the forefront of scientific discovery. Their research will pave the way for future advancements that will help Ontario compete and win in the global economy.”
— Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science

 “We are proud to invest in ground breaking, world-class research right here at the University of Guelph. Our researchers are pivotal to building a knowledge-driven economy in Ontario, one that will draw investment and strengthen our province’s competitive edge. Congratulations to all of the well-deserving researchers receiving these competitive awards.”
-- Liz Sandals, MPP for Guelph


  • Projects were evaluated through a rigorous peer review process involving Canadian and international academic and industry experts. Successful projects were chosen based on their research excellence and their economic and societal benefits to Ontario.
  • Ontario’s Early Researcher Awards program is providing $11 million to support 79 research projects at 22 research institutions across the province. The program helps promising and recently appointed researchers make new discoveries while creating jobs for graduate and undergraduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates and technicians.
  • Through the Ontario Research Fund – Research Infrastructure program, the province is investing $34.7 million to support 161 state-of-the-art and industry-relevant infrastructure initiatives at 25 institutions.
  • Ontario is promoting the use of genomics-derived solutions to address sector challenges by investing $3.4 million in five research projects through the Genomic Applications Partnership Program.
  • Through the Large Scale Applied Research Project, Ontario is providing $1.8 million to support five genomics research projects in the agri-food and fisheries/aquaculture industries.
For more information, contact: 
Jenny Waterston
Office of Liz Sandals, MPP
(519) 836-4190

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