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Source: University of Guelph

Seven Guelph Researchers Get Provincial Support

November 7, 2006

Seven University of Guelph professors are among 104 leading researchers province-wide who each received $100,000 in support today from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation’s Early Researcher Award program.

The highly-competitive program is intended to invest in promising young Canadian researchers and attract world-class talent. "This is a key element in building the province’s long-term capacity for discovery and innovation," said Alan Wildeman, vice-president (research). "These seven researchers exemplify the standard of excellence across the University of Guelph. We are very proud of their success."

The program is open to researchers within the first five years of their career and the provincial money is supplemented by contributions from the universities. The professors use the funds to further their research and to help build teams of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research associates.

"This award is a great honour and responsibility," said Prof. Milena Corredig of the Department of Food Science. "None of what I accomplished in my life was only my work, but the result of great work by the people around me: students, colleagues, mentors. It makes me feel that now it is time for me to give something back."

Corredig’s research focuses on incorporating healthy ingredients in food products. She will use her Early Researcher Award to further her studies in the use of soy protein in emulsified foods.

Engineering professor Michele Oliver said she is "absolutely ecstatic" about being named an Early Researcher, adding that she plans to use the money to continue to attract high quality graduate students to her research group. Oliver is developing computer tools to quickly assess the long-term safety of joysticks and other hand tools. Her research will help reduce repetitive strain and overuse injuries in heavy machinery operators.

"My success in this award competition is due in no small part to the mentoring and support I’ve received from all levels of this university. I feel very lucky to work at an institution that values interdisciplinary research," she said.

Other Early Research Award recipients are:

• Prof. Elena Choleris, Department of Psychology. Her research on the neurobiology of rodent social behaviour may improve understanding of human social behaviours and how the brain processes information and regulates behaviour.

• Prof. Marc Coppolino, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. He is investigating the function of proteins within cells that control cell movement and may be a key factor in the progression of cancer.

• Prof. David Kribs, Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He is using a mathematical approach to find new techniques for error correction and maximize the potential of quantum computers.

• Prof. Lewis Lukens, Department of Plant Agriculture. He is studying genetically pure maize plants that are resistant to drought. Using a new technology, he will identify genes, clusters of genes and DNA sequences that could lead to enhanced crop yields in Ontario.

• Prof. Kathryn Preuss, Department of Chemistry. She is researching new, molecule-based switches for the future development of materials such as lightweight, high-tech coatings with memory.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519 824- 4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.



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