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Seven Queen’s professors receive Early Researcher Awards


Queen’s researchers involved in wide-ranging projects including developing new sustainable waste management approaches, creating treatments for improving quality of life for women with chronic pain, and designing systems for producing ‘green’ fuel will receive $700,000 from the Ontario government’s Early Researcher Award program.

“Ontario’s Early Researcher Awards are helping Queen’s to attract young researchers at the forefront of study in their disciplines,” says Kerry Rowe, Vice Principal (Research). ”This award also benefits Ontario taxpayers by strengthening Ontario’s economy and contributing to quality of life in our province. These researchers show great promise for making important contributions to understanding of the province’s fresh water ecosystems, human health, nanotechnology, waste management, and sustainability.”

Each researcher will receive $100,000 to help build their research teams of graduate students, post doctoral fellows and research associates. This announcement is part of major government funding to invest more than $36 million throughout Ontario that will support 240 projects.

The Early Researcher Award program is a $51 million, five-year initiative. It is a component of the province’s research and innovation strategy, which aims to strengthen Ontario’s economic advantage by helping to attract, retain and develop promising researchers.

Queen’s recipients include:

Linda Campbell (Environmental Studies) will investigate how contaminants move through aquatic ecosystems affected by non-native species. The research will provide strategies for management of Ontario lakes to prevent or reduce negative impacts from non-indigenous species.

Pascale Champagne’s (Civil Engineering) research in the development of economically viable biomass processes using manures may be applied to other organic waste materials, will contribute to innovative and sustainable waste management approaches, and advance Ontario’s bio-based economy.

James Fraser (Physics) intends to create “movies” of how a nanotube works on very fast time scales, which may lay the foundation for new optoelectronic devices that perform better and cost less to produce.

Kunal Karan (Chemical Engineering) will develop low-cost polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. His research will help maintain the leadership of Ontario fuel cell companies in this emerging technological field.

Caroline Pukall (Psychology) will develop effective treatments to provide chronic genital pain relief and improve the quality of life of affected women.

Steven Smith (Biochemistry) will study the structure of renewable fuel sources and the ability to combat bacterial infections in a timely manner, and identify the molecules they interact with. The results will help in the design of more efficient systems for the production of ethanol, a green fuel.

David Zechel (Chemistry) will investigate enzymes that are involved in the biosynthesis of a class of natural products called indolocarbazoles, which might be used in the synthesis of new anticancer drugs.


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