By McGill Reporter Staff
Thomas Duchaine of the Department of Biochemistry at the Goodman Cancer Research Centre has been named the recipient of a prestigious and highly competitive Program Grant from the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO).
In total, the HFSPO awarded some $35 million in research grants to 31 winning teams of the 2015 competition. Applicants went through a rigorous year-long selection procedure in a global competition that started with 1,013 submitted letters of intent representing an increase of 20 per cent compared to the previous year. In 2015, 10 Young Investigator teams were approved (involving 31 scientists) together with 21 Program Grants (involving 67 scientists). Each team member receives on average $110,000 – $125,000 per year for three years.
In a press release, Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, Secretary General of HFSPO, said that the “increased number of applications sends a strong message. The interest for international collaboration within the scientific community remains very high and our grant program is the only existing mechanism that supports scientists from more than two countries in a joint research effort. HFSP grants are unique because they offer a broad and unrestricted collaborative approach to teams of outstanding scientists from all over the world.”
The Program Grant supports novel collaborations among teams of scientists working in different countries. Duchaine will share his award with Eric Miska, Gurdon Institute and Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK; and Mihail Sarov, TransgeneOmics, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany. The team is researching functional genomics of small RNA-mediated epimutations in C. elegans.
A strong preference was given to intercontinental collaborations. The awardees’ laboratories are located in 24 different countries, including 46 laboratories in Europe, 26 in North America, five in Japan and four in Canada as well as laboratories in non-member countries: Brazil, China, Israel and Taiwan.