University of Saskatchewan

September 17, 2014   

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:
$ 525,000
  • $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:
$ 1,109,531
  • $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 operating costs.
  • $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:
$ 1,451,564
  • $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:
$ 1,501,401
  • $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 change.
  • $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:
$ 3,362,479
  • $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 in parasitology.
  • $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:
$ 1,900,025
  • $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 it, too.
  • $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.