Oct. 4, 2016

Funding boosts new research, from inflammation to immigration

University of Calgary deepens commitment to strategic research themes with funds announced to promote several major multidisciplinary initiatives

Author

Office of the Vice-President (Research) Staff

The funding addresses three of the University of Calgary's strategic research themes: Engineering Solutions for Health: Biomedical Engineering; Infections, Inflammation and Chronic Diseases in the Changing Environment; and Human Dynamics in a Changing World.

The funding addresses three of the University of Calgary's strategic research themes.

University of Calgary

In support of wide-ranging inquiry aligned with the University of Calgary’s strategic research themes, the Vice-President (Research) has awarded significant new funding to 14 innovative and interdisciplinary projects. Subjects range from the role of the gut microbiome in child health, to wearable movement sensor technology, to the integration of new immigrants into the community.

“This injection of funds builds on the momentum behind our Strategic Research Plan, demonstrates our commitment to our scholars, and fuels our pursuit of transformative research in these areas of institutional strength,” says Ed McCauley, vice-president (research).

The new projects selected address three of the strategic research themes: Engineering Solutions for Health: Biomedical Engineering; Infections, Inflammation and Chronic Diseases in the Changing Environment; and Human Dynamics in a Changing World.

The Energy Innovations for Today and Tomorrow research theme already has four matching funds research projects approved and underway. Similar funding for major initiatives within strategic research theme Brain and Mental Health will be announced over the coming months, and a funding competition for New-Earth Space Technologies will be announced later in the fall.

Each of the six strategic research themes represent an area in which the university has a critical mass of expertise, where it serves as an essential hub in provincial, national, or global research networks, and has strong community or industry partnerships. Research activities in these areas are driven by current societal needs, engage communities, and create opportunities for international prominence.

Projects were selected following a call for transformative proposals specifically addressing the grand challenges outlined in each of the three strategic research themes. Then, over the last year, networking sessions were held, research groups submitted letters of interest, a shortlist was created, and researchers presented to peers for feedback.

The Vice-President (Research) and an advisory team selected successful research groups over the summer, with priority given to high impact, highly feasible, and deliberately collaborative and multidisciplinary projects involving teams of both established and emerging researchers.

“By jump-starting these key initiatives, we will leverage external support, encourage interdisciplinary and community partnerships, and promote ambitious proposals that have capacity for far-reaching impact,” McCauley says.

Matching Funding research projects:

Engineering Solutions for Health: Biomedical Engineering

  • “Microscale Metabolomics for Rapid Detection of Infections and Identification of Drug Resistance,” led by Ian Lewis
  • “Tissue Engineering Solutions for Cerebrovascular Disease,” led by Arindom Sen
  •  “Human Infectious Diseases-On-Chips Bioengineering Collaborative,” led by Brian Yipp
  •  “Sensor Technology in Monitoring Movement (STiMM) Program,” led by Reed Ferber
  •  “Biomedical Innovations in Home Health Care for an Aging Population,” led by Greg Hallihan

Infections, Inflammation and Chronic Diseases in the Changing Environment

  • “Parasitic Helminths: From Livestock to Global Human Health,” led by John Gilleard
  • “Bugs-to-Drugs,” led by Joe Harrison
  • “Alberta Kids at Risk (AKAR) Study: Understanding How Microbial Inheritance Contributes to the Risk of Chronic Disease in Albertan Children,” led by Marie-Claire Arrieta
  • “Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Intracellular Infectious Diseases (PT-CIIDs) Initiative,” led by Nathan Peters

Human Dynamics in a Changing World

  • “Sensorized Societies,” led by Ken Barker
  • “HealthyHoods: a Better Life in Cities,” led by Beverly Sandalak
  • “The Social and Environmental Implications of Smart Cities: A Global Comparative Research Agenda,” led by Byron Miller
  • “An Inter-Professional Approach to Innovative Research and Practices with Newcomers,” led by Nancy Arthur
  • “Adaptive Integrated Infrastructure for Smart and Sustainable Cities,” led by Lina Kattan
  • “Health and the City: The makeCalgary Network,” led by William Ghali and John Brown