Together, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Quebec government have pledged more than $62 million for new state-of-the-art research infrastructure to support the work of five McGill researchers deemed key to keeping Canada and Quebec competitive in the global marketplace:
Vincent Giguère (Department of Biochemistry, working in the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Centre) for a major collaborative project to probe the links between the progression of cancer, obesity and cachexia.
Paul Lasko (Department of Biology) for the MIRGED research group on embryology and disease, a co-initiative of McGill and the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal.
Chao-Jun (C.J.) Li (Department of Chemistry) for a comprehensive project to move the field of organic chemistry toward using environmentally sound solvents.
David Plant (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering) for the Laboratories for Broadband Optical and Wireless Systems to adjust existing communications networks in order to handle increased connectivity needs.
David Y. Thomas (Department of Biochemistry) for the McGill University Life Sciences Complex’s Disease to Therapy Initiative, which aims to develop new medications for neglected infections and chronic diseases.
On June 18, Tony Clement, Canada’s Minister of Industry, and Raymond Bachand, Quebec’s Minister of Finance and Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Foreign Trade, announced the new funding. McGill is receiving $32.6 million of the more than $665 million CFI is investing in 133 research projects nationwide. The Quebec government, in turn, is contributing nearly $117 million to support the CFI program at Quebec universities, with $30,346,908 going toward the five McGill projects.
“This new investment will substantially increase Canada’s capacity to carry out important world-class scientific research and technology development that will benefit all Canadians,” said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of the CFI. Raymond Bachand described the funding as an excellent way to create jobs and economic activity, adding that it also “affirms our leadership role in key areas” of research and innovation.
Vincent Giguère’s research is being funded by CFI’s New Initiatives Fund, which aims to enhance Canada’s capacity in promising new areas of research and technology development. The four other McGill projects are being funded by the Leading Edge Fund, which enables institutions to build on already successful and productive initiatives supported by past CFI investments.
The CFI is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions. Previous CFI funding has enabled ground-breaking advances in areas including spinal cord research, green building technology, quantum computing and climate change.