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Five profs win Queen’s top research award


Five promising researchers, working in such diverse areas as the connection between pharmaceuticals and birth defects, the neural basis of eye movements and innovation in urban economies, are the 2008 recipients of the university’s largest single research award.

“These researchers have exceptional potential, and we hope to enhance that potential by providing them with the means to train and support the graduate students who are so critical to advancing research,” says Vice-Principal (Research) Kerry Rowe. “I’m looking forward to watching them develop their programs, build their reputations, and achieve great success.”

Established in 1998 and mainly funded by the School of Graduate Studies and Research, the Chancellor’s Research Awards recognize excellence and innovation among researchers in any discipline who have been appointed to their first full-time faculty position – whether at Queen’s or another institution – within the past eight years.

The awards are valued at up to $50,000 and provide substantial support for graduate student involvement in the recipient’s research program, along with modest support for other research expenses. Applicants in the arts, social sciences and humanities are eligible for an additional $10,000 contribution to be used for research expenses that cannot be supported from other research funds.

This year’s recipients are:

Michael Tschakovsky (Kinesiology and Health Studies), who is investigating the nature of blood flow and oxygen delivery to exercising muscle and how this control is impaired in disease states such as Type II Diabetes.

Louise Winn (Pharmacology and Toxicology and Environmental Studies), whose research focuses on oxidative stress, and how pharmaceuticals and environmental chemicals affect embryonic signaling pathways, lead to DNA damage, and produce birth defects and in utero initiated cancer.

Martin Pare’s (Physiology) laboratory studies the neural basis of the natural eye movement behavior associated with the processing of visual information. The aim of his research proposal is to understand how our nervous system integrates sensory information to make decisions about which actions to produce among several alternatives.

Shelley Arnott (Biology) studies how ecosystem change resulting from human activities impact biodiversity. Using communities of zooplankton as a model, she aims to understand how local environmental conditions that accompany environmental stressors, such as lake acidification, affect communities and ecosystems, and also how dispersal influences biological recovery.

Betsy Donald (Geography) investigates the social dynamics and economic development of urban centres. One of her research interests is the ’creative food’ economy, and she works to understand how innovation in this economy is influenced by factors such as cultural shifts and consumer demand.


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