Canada Research Chairs
The Canada Research Chairs Program fund some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds. Meet the Canada Research Chairs at Western Science:
Research Focus: Taking an interdisciplinary environmental science approach, Dr. Branfireun and his research group seek to understand the bidirectional nature of hydrological – ecological interactions at a range of scales. They direct their efforts toward ecosystems that are particularly sensitive to the impacts of natural and human-induced environmental change.
Research Focus: Dr. Peter Brown studies small bodies of the solar system with particular emphasis on meteors, meteorites, meteoroids, and asteroids answering basic questions about the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system.
Research Focus: Dr. Giovanni Fanchini's research encompasses the preparation of carbon-based and organic nanomaterials and their use for the fabrication of optical and electronic devices such as thin film transistors and solar cells. In pursuing this topic, Dr. Fanchini utilizes specific characterization and modeling activities that focus on the spectroscopic investigation of electronic devices during operation.
Research Focus: Dr. Katsuichiro Goda is developing an integrated multi-hazard framework for enhancing disaster risk preparedness and management related to earthquakes. He and his research team will integrate a wide range of new, state-of-the-art hazard and risk models into a comprehensive methodology by considering uncertainty associated with predictions of hazards and risks. The resulting assessment tools will improve current practices related to preparing multi-hazard maps. They will also improve the ability of households, municipalities and insurers to bear financial risks.
Research Focus: Dr. Karttunen is developing reliable, quantitative, predictive and faster computer simulations capable of accurately modelling bio-based materials. He uses computational modelling to understand biomaterial properties, to demonstrate how bio-inspired materials interact with biological materials, like cell membranes, and uses simulations to inform the development of biocompatible materials for drug delivery.
Research Focus: Dr. Fred Longstaffe's main focus is environmental chemistry and climate reconstructions of past environments. Recent advancement, however, has allowed his laboratory to expand into new research areas including the investigation of anthropological materials to examine past diet and agricultural practices, as well as the investigation of meteoritic material to better understand the building blocks of our solar system.
Research Focus: Stanimir Metchev's research is on planetary systems around nearby stars and on the atmospheres of brown dwarfs and exoplanets. He also uses the spectra of extrasolar planets to directly probe the physical extent of planetary systems and of the chemistry of exoplanetary atmospheres.
Research focus: Dr. Amanda Moehring studies the genetics of complex traits. Her research focuses on the genetic basis of variation in behavior, the genetics of hybrid sterility, and species isolation.
Research Focus: The O’Donoghue lab investigates how proteome diversity, generated by either protein modification or mistranslation, impacts pathways to cancer and neurodegeneration. My lab established a leadership role in the area of genetic code expansion to investigate the role of disease-linked protein modifications. The lab engineers new methods to produce proteins with programmed modifications and elucidates their role in signaling pathways linked to disease. We recently developed novel fluorescent reporters to visualize errors in protein synthesis or mistranslation in live cells. The lab is now leading efforts to reveal the ability of naturally occurring transfer RNA (tRNA) mutants to induce proteome-wide mistranslation in models of neurodegenerative disease.
Industrial Research Chairs
Research Focus: Stable isotope biogeochemistry; Microbial alteration of modern and ancient oceanic crust; Evidence for early life on Earth; Formation and evolution of oceanic crust; Geochemical cycling at mid-ocean ridges; Formation of massive sulfide deposits at mid-ocean ridges; The origin and emplacement of ophiolites; Astrobiology.
Blaine Chronik | NSERC/Synaptive Medical Inc. Industrial Research Chair in Magnetic Resonance System Development
Research Focus: Improving MRI, developing new imaging methods, making magnetic resonance systems safe and compatible.
Gordon Osinski | NSERC/MDA/Canadian Space Agency/Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation Industrial Research Chair in Earth and Space Exploration
Research Focus: Dr. Osinski's research interests are diverse and interdisciplinary in nature. His work synthesizes field, remote sensing, and laboratory observations with a range of geochemical data. His current research falls into three main areas: planetary geology, astrobiology, and economic geology.