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McGill University receives almost $63 million under CFI program to support five research projects

This release is available in French.

Dr. Denis Thrien, Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) of McGill University today welcomed the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) investment of $32,649,184 supporting five projects led by Dr. David Plant, Dr. Paul Lasko, Dr. David Thomas, Dr. Vincent Gigure and Dr. Chao-Jin (C.J.) Li. The Quebec government confirmed today it would match that funding.

"We are very pleased to see such a solid commitment to supporting research at the university level, from both the federal government and the government of Quebec, which provides matching funds," said Thrien. "These are important projects by world-class researchers in areas that will profoundly affect the human condition. We are delighted that the CFI and government of Quebec have shown such confidence in the work of McGill's researchers and we are most thankful for this important continuing support."

McGill's projects include:

  • Laboratories for Broadband Optical and Wireless Systems (LBOWS), an ambitious initiative designed to allow communications networks built in the 20th century to handle the connectivity needs of the 21st. LBOWS is led by Dr. David Plant, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Received $5,518,560 from CFI.

  • McGill/IRCM Research Group on Embryology and Disease (MIRGED), is a unique collaboration between three separate McGill research groups plus the l'Institut de recherches cliniques de Montral (IRCM). Led by Dr. Paul Lasko, Chair of the Department of Biology, MIRGED will use state-of-the-art technology to answer fundamental questions about the biology of various human pathologies. Received $4,307,709.

  • The Disease to Therapy Initiative, led by Dr. David Y. Thomas, Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Genetics is an ambitious project designed to respond to a major public health problem. The researchers will work to develop new medications to treat certain infections and chronic diseases which do not receive sufficient attention from the pharmaceutical industry. Received $10,632,949.

  • Metabolism and Cancer: from Obesity to Cachexia, is a major collaborative project teaming researchers doing fundamental research in metabolism and clinicians to probe the links between the progression of cancer, obesity and cachexia. The project is headed by Dr. Vincent Gigure of the Department of Biochemistry working at the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Centre. Received $3,869,519.

  • Toward a Healthy Environment: Green Chemistry and Green Chemicals is a comprehensive project intended to transform the field of organic chemistry. Dr. C.J. Li, Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry, virtually co-invented green chemistry, a movement that discovers new chemical reactions which allow chemists to switch from harmful petrochemicals and solvents to environmentally sound alternatives like water. Received $8,320,447.

"The CFI's support of cutting-edge research infrastructure has transformed Canada's research landscape and increased the country's international competitiveness," said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of the CFI. "Investments like these have allowed McGill to become a destination of choice for some of the world's top research talent."

Funding for these projects is part of a major $666,128,376 investment announced today by the CFI to support 133 projects at 41 institutions across the country. $247,664,977 was awarded under the Leading Edge Fund (LEF), designed to enable institutions to build on and enhance already successful and productive initiatives supported by past CFI investment. Another $264,741,466 million was awarded under the New Initiatives Fund (NIF), designed to enhance Canada's capacity in promising new areas of research and technology development. Finally, $153,721,933 was awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, which assists institutions with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.

Raymond Bachand, Quebec's Minister of Finance and Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Foreign Trade, announced today that the province would contribute nearly $117 million to support the CFI program at universities in the province. Of that total, 30 346 908 is destined for McGill's projects.


Contact: Mark Shainblum
McGill University

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