2004 - 2005 Innovation and Science Fund Recipients
The following researchers were honored at the Premier's Innovation and Science Fund Gala, which took place on April 15, 2005. The announcement of the award recipients is available here. A slideshow presentation of the recipients is available here.
|Research that will improve outcomes for Aboriginal people:||
$325,000 (U of S) for research and infrastructure costs for the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Health (Sylvia Abonyi). Partnering with Aboriginal communities, the Chair is exploring the role of culture in the health of Aboriginal Canadians in priority areas such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS. An Aboriginal health research and training facility will be set up in Prince Albert , Saskatchewan to conduct research to improve understanding of population health.
$200,000 (U of R) for research costs for the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Social Justice and Aboriginal Education (Carol Schick). E stablishing a Centre for Social Justice, this Chair will promote dialogue to work against social reproduction of inequality and unearned privilege by investigating the nature of social change at personal, practical and professional levels of education. Collaborating with various institutions, the Chair will document the language and assumptions of Saskatchewan educators regarding social justice and Aboriginal issues.
|Research that will benefit the Agricultural sector:||
$540,000 (U of S) for research and infrastructure costs for the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Bioorganic and Agricultural Chemistry (Soledade Pedras). Research will be conducted on the natural reactions of plants to pathogenic microbes to discover natural defence processes that can be applied to protecting plants. New equipment for metabolic profiling and enzyme purification will be used to develop strategies to protect crops against diseases such as blackleg, black spot, stem rot, root rot, and other fungi. This research is expected to lead to selective disease control methods to reduce crop yield losses and preserve the environment.
- $400,000 (U of S) for research
costs for the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Molecular Biology for Crop
Quality (Ravindra Chibbar). The Chair has studied the
regulation of genes responsible for starch biosynthesis in cereal
grains, opening the way to biotechnological improvement of crops through
means other than “genetic modification.” This research will
be expanded into pulse crops and will assist in designing molecular strategies
to develop pulse crops with desired quality components.
- $67,600 (U of S) for new
equipment for research to develop new durum wheat varieties with
improved quality characteristics (Curtis Pozniak). This
research will allow the U of S to establish a strong plant breeding and
molecular genetics-based crop improvement program.
- $59,504 (U of S) for infrastructure
to develop reliable hybrid radio-frequency heating processes and
systems, allowing research that will enable a major shift in the
design and operation of radio-frequency heating processes (Baik Oon‑Doo).
This research will lead to the development of hybrid radio-frequency heating
processes and systems that will provide improved food quality with lower
- $42,427 (U of R) to equip an environmental and food processing microbiology laboratory that will allow research in a number of areas, including food safety, food quality and water quality (Christopher Yost). This equipment will enable the development of novel molecular methodologies that can predict bacterial food spoilage using real time technologies, providing the food processing industry new quality assurance measures. The new equipment will also allow related research into cyanobacterial blooms in Saskatchewan lakes.
|Research that will benefit Saskatchewan's new economy:||
$400,000 (U of S) for research costs for the Tier I Chair in the New Rural Economy (Mark Partridge). This Chair is investigating the future of rural life in the Prairies and Western Canada by examining linkages between technological change and economic growth. Farming will remain important in the rural economy, but will not be the engine of growth it once was. This research will assess the factors that might inhibit Western Canadian farms and businesses from adopting New Economy business practices, and examine the degree to which choices made to live in certain areas are determined by job opportunities as opposed to quality-of-life issues.
- $380,870 (U of R) for research
and infrastructure costs for the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Computational
Physics (Randy Lewis). A new lattice quantum
chromodynamics (QCD) computing facility will provide the starting point
for the construction of a larger national facility in partnership with
other Canadian institutions, expanding the Regina cluster into a facility
that would serve the research of all of these institutions. This research
will place Canada at the forefront of lattice QCD simulations and reinforce
Regina’s role as the national leader in this field.
- $183,690 (U of S) for new
equipment to investigate and analyze reactive intermediates (Jens
Müller). This research will help to identify thin films
of material that have particular electronic properties, providing new
knowledge in the emerging area of the production of thin films of material.
Enhanced understanding of thin films of material production will be important
to Canadian industry as new applications for thin films and coatings
continue to emerge.
- $137,008 (U of S) for a new
atomic force microscope for single-molecule research, to be
used to develop ultrahigh resolution and sensitive microscopy techniques
for use in a wide range of biological applications (Matthew Paige).
This r esearch is expected to lead to the development of rapid analysis
tools for the health-care industry as well as instrumentation for scientific
and industrial research.
- $86,200 (U of S) for equipment
for research in robotics and control (Reza Fotouhi).
This research on control of industrial manipulators and mobile robots
is expected to contribute to the knowledge of efficient handling of flexible
manipulators that could be used in both industry and space applications.
- $80,000 (U of S) for equipment
to produce new silicon-based materials for new types of photonic devices (Michael
Bradley). Devices developed through this research could be manufactured
within the province and would find application worldwide. The use of
plasma ion implanters will enable the development of a local industry
that will be fully competitive with international players.
- $64,141 (U of R) for an infrared
spectrometer to be used in research expected to lead to new
knowledge related to molecules containing phosphorus, which have many
industrial applications, including fertilizers, pesticides, flame retardants,
detergents, and catalysts (Brian Sterenberg).
- $60,000 (U of S) to construct
a distributed computer system to support large scale computations using
different combinations of network grids and a range of computational and
communication capabilities in a variety of configurations (Nadeem
Jamali). This research is expected to lead to economic spin-offs
by enabling changes in the ownership of computational resources from the
current model to one in which resources can be “rented”, thereby
eliminating a fundamental barrier to innovation.
- $59,655 (U of R) for equipment to establish a rough music and audio digital interaction laboratory to allow research that has the potential to solve many difficult problems relating to speech recognition by computers (David Gerhard).
|Research that will benefit the environment:||
$750,601 (U of R) for a trace analysis facility to assess the sources and impacts of organic contaminants on ecosystem and human health (Renata Bailey). Toxicity from organic contaminants impacts drinking water quality, air quality, and aquatic and terrestrial environments. Given the central role of agriculture in Saskatchewan ’s economy and social structure, and continuing concern in Canada over the availability and quality of freshwaters, this facility will be essential to maintaining sustainable economic and social development, as well as environmental health.
- $540,000 (U of S) for research
and infrastructure costs for the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Environmental
Sciences (Jean‑Pierre St. Maurice). A high‑frequency
radar system will be installed at Rankin Inlet, Nunavut , that
will play a pivotal role in the study of magnetic storms, filling an important
gap in the present network of ground-based instrumentation. This research
will contribute to knowledge on global change issues, including climate
- $74,800 (U of S) for equipment
to develop technologies for the production of fossil fuels (Christopher
Hawkes). This research is expected to lead to new technologies
that will enable cost-effective production of fossil fuels in a manner
that mitigates environmental impacts.
- $74,000 (U of S) for equipment
for research related to processing and environmental problems associated
with the petroleum and mining industries (Mehdi Nemati).
This research will significantly increase understanding of processes
involved in active biotreatment of acid mine drainage, leading to the
design of effective biological processes.
- $62,000 (U of S) for equipment to investigate methods that can be used to clean up areas contaminated by PCPs (pentachlorophenol) (Jian Yang). The widespread use of PCP (a pesticide used primarily for wood preservation) has caused contamination of soil, ground water and drinking water. This research is expected to lead to design of new enzymes with increased ability to catalyze PCP.
|Research that will improve health and health outcomes:||
- $1,800,000 (U of S) to provide
transitional operating funding for the unfunded salaries of senior scientists
and indirect costs of research associated with the conduct of academic
research at VIDO ( Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization).
- $500,000 (Saskatchewan
Health Research Foundation) to support health research in
Saskatchewan through the Saskatchewan-Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Regional Partnership Program.
- $525,000 (U of S) for research
and infrastructure costs for the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Physical
Activity for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (Lawrence Brawley). A
physical activity and health promotion laboratory will be developed
to allow research on older adults and special populations with chronic
conditions (cardiovascular disease, mobility disability, arthritis) and
to investigate key issues related to physical activity to inform health
professionals and agencies about management of physical activity in older
adults. The Chair will also research methods both to help people to change
behaviour and to maintain desired new behaviours.
- $325,000 (U of S) for research
and infrastructure costs for the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Behavioural
Neuroscience (Lisa Kalynchuk). A behavioural neuroscience
research laboratory will be established to supp ort research on
the neurobiological underpinnings of pathological emotional behaviour such
as anxiety, depression and panic. This research is expected
to lead to the development of more targeted drug treatments for anxiety
and depression, and is expected to enable development of enriched early
childhood environments that are supportive of healthy responses to stress
later in life.
- $66,667 (U of R) to develop an assessment
tool to improve continuity of patient care in a health care setting (Heather
Hadjistavropoulos). This research will determine whether a tool
for monitoring and improving continuity of care can improve care quality
and minimize disruption to the lives of clients and families, and will
assist with translation of the theoretical model of continuity of care
into practice. R esearch results will assist programs like Home Care
and Family Medicine to respond more effectively to client needs, and
to work more collaboratively with acute care, long term care and physicians
across the province.
- $63,893 (U of S) for infrastructure
to be used to study age-related illnesses and cell death (Brian
Bandy). Reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress are involved
in aging as well as many diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders,
cardiovascular disease and cancer. This research will enhance understanding
of the aging process and other age-related diseases, potentially leading
to the identification of appropriate intervention strategies that will
contribute to improved health.
- $63,445 (U of S) to develop
a facility for parasitology that will be used to accurately
identify and characterize parasitic metazoans (ticks, roundworms, flatworms
and tapeworms), and to diagnose infections in domestic animals, wildlife
and humans (Neil Chilton). This equipment will
enable identification of new parasite species and expand current knowledge
- $18,474 (U of S) to support a Canadian Molecular Cytogenetics Platform t o research the causes of mental retardation , a condition that affects the normal development of children (Janette van den Berghe). The Canadian Molecular Research Consortium, comprised of clinicians, scientists and research facilities across Canada , will pool resources to examine how chromosomal abnormalities cause this intellectual disability, linking information about 13,000 children across seven provinces. Scientists will examine and compare the DNA of these children using a large centralized data base in the hopes of identifying new syndromes and causes for this intellectual disability.
|Scientific research using the Canadian Light Source:||
- $560,000 (U of S) for research
and infrastructure costs for the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Materials
Science (John Tse). A high performance computing
facility will be established to allow research on atomic structure and
properties in conjunction with sophisticated experimental methods
at the CLS. New methods for large-scale computer simulations will be developed
to assist interpretation and prediction of material properties. These predicted
material properties will be examined using the CLS by subjecting the actual
materials to extreme pressure and temperature.
- $525,000 (U of S) for research
and infrastructure costs for the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Multidisciplinary
Health Research (Dean Chapman). A novel synchrotron-based
x-ray projection imaging and computer tomography system is being
built and tested at the CLS. The system allows tissues to be visualized
in unprecedented clarity and detail and involves the translation of synchrotron
methods to clinical systems. With this imaging technique, cancers can be
seen with better clarity while delivering x-ray doses less that three percent
(3%) of what is delivered by present radiography. The Chair is also the
leader of the BMIT beamline project and this equipment can be used with
- $398,406 (U of S) for preliminary
and conceptual design costs (the first instalment of a total $6,817,376)
for the Biomedical Imaging and Therapy (BMIT) beamline at the CLS (Dean Chapman). This
beamline will be used for imaging biological tissue and conducting radiation
therapy research, and its ability to be used on live humans, animals
and plants will position the BMIT facility as a world leader in veterinary
and medical imaging. This beamline is expected to lead to discoveries that
will improve health care and animal care, as well as agricultural benefits
and technology spin-offs in a variety of health-related areas.
- $325,000 (U of S) for research
and infrastructure costs for the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Micro
and Nano Device Fabrication (Sven Achenbach). Nanotechnology
is a rapidly expanding high‑technology area, supporting multi-billion
dollar industries in various fields. Using the CLS, the Chair is establishing X-ray
lithography technology in Canada , and will also establish a
microfabrication laboratory known as the Canadian Synchrotron
Nanostructures Facility (CSNF) at the CLS. Using a new atomic force microscope,
work will be done on the characterization of the micro- and nano-scale
structures developed at the CLS, and work will also be done to develop
and optimize the lithography processes used to obtain these structures.
- $91,619 (U of S) for equipmentto research specific human pathologies and environmental hazards from metals and metalloids (Helen Nichol). Iron deposits are associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, but it is not known how these deposits form, or if they contribute to the disease process. Using a beamline at the CLS this research will bring cell biology and synchrotron expertise together. Medical applications of biological X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and XAS imaging will be used to study the role of iron in cognition and major neurological diseases.