9 Western University research projects receive over $3M in federal funding

MPs Peter Fragiskatos and Kate Young announce federal funding for nine research projects at Western University on March 2, 2017.
MPs Peter Fragiskatos and Kate Young announce federal funding for nine research projects at Western University on March 2, 2017. Via @westernuScience/Twitter

Over $3 million in federal funding will help nine separate research projects move forward at Western University.

London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos and London West MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Science Kate Young made the announcement Thursday.

The funding is made possible through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Strategic Partnerships Grants program.

“These investments demonstrate our government’s commitment to fostering relationships between scientists and their industrial counterparts, who together expedite breakthroughs made in the lab to the marketplace,” said Young.

“Today’s investments will strengthen this collaboration, and help secure good-quality jobs.”

Through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund, Western received more than $1 million for five projects ranging from e-health to geology; one of the projects looks at novel therapies for Canadians affected by colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

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Another $2.3 million is going to Western for four projects through NSERC’s Strategic Partnership Grants. Among those projects is an initiative to re-introduce Atlantic salmon into Lake Ontario. While Lake Ontario is home to chinook and coho salmon, Atlantic salmon have not been seen in the lake since 1898.

Dr. Bryan Neff said so far, Atlantic salmon introduced in streams have died before making it to the lake.

“We will deploy advanced laboratory and field techniques to detail the causes of in-stream fatalities with the goal of providing specific recommendations of best practices. For fish production and stocking, for water quality, and habitat enhancement; to improve in-stream survivorship of the juvenile salmon and ultimately the number of fish that enter Lake Ontario.”

If successful, that project could result in up to $15 million in new revenue over 10 years for local economies and mark a huge step forward in the recovery of lost biodiversity.

“Each time outstanding members of the scientific and technological community are supported through connections with Canadian industry and government,” began Dean of Science, Charmaine Dean, “and are able to equip their labs with innovative tools and technologies; Canada takes a collective leap forward — toward a stronger economy, a healthier environment and a better quality of life.”

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