Government of Canada provides almost $5 million for U of T cutting-edge research

Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund awarded $5 million in total to 19 U of T researchers (photo by James Poremba)


Nineteen scholars at the University of Toronto have been awarded almost $5 million to support research in everything from using stem cells to fix injured hearts to creating an advanced laboratory to develop large astronomical telescopes.

“Our government understands the important role Canada's scientists and researchers play in developing the evidence we need to make decisions that impact our environment, our health, our communities and our economy,” said federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who announced the funds for Toronto-area universities today. “Strengthening our support for research innovation and infrastructure and improving access to post-secondary education is fundamental to our government's plan for a strong middle class and a growing economy.”

The investment was made by the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund, which is designed to help universities attract and retain the best and brightest researchers from around the world by giving them access to state-of-the-art research tools.

“I’d like to congratulate our 19 researchers and thank the Government of Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation for their continuing support,” said Vivek Goel, U of T’s vice-president of research and innovation. “As recognized leaders in their fields, this funding will help them acquire research infrastructure that is internationally competitive and enable research to be conducted that will lead to significant results for Canadians.

“Every day, our researchers are engaged in an outstanding array of research aimed at tackling real-world challenges that have the potential to benefit all of us. This funding will ensure that work can continue at the highest level.”

The John R. Evans Leaders Fund recipients affiliated with U of T are:

Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering 


Mohsen Ghafghazi, $150,000, for “Investigating the response of gravelly soils to earthquake loading through large scale cyclic simple shear testing.”



Suresh    Sivanandam, $138,000, for an “Advanced optical instrumentation laboratory for large astronomical telescope instrument development.”



Faculty of Arts & Sciences

Mark Wilson, $250,000, for “Infrastructure for the study of excitonic materials and the development of nanocrystal-sensitized photon upconversion.”


Faculty of Dentistry

Boris Hinz, $250,056, for “Developing new strategies and technologies to fight fibrosis.”



Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education

Tyson Beach, $199,090, for “Movement assessment and retraining for the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders.”



Katherine Tamminen, $61,341, for “Developing the University of Toronto Sport and Performance Psychology Lab.”



University of Toronto Mississauga

Rob Ness, $120,000, for “How recombination alters selection in the genome.”



Michael Phillips, $140,000, for “Control and adaptive responses of the plant metabolome.”



Faculty of Medicine

Sheena Josselyn, $798,057, for “Observing and manipulating brain function.” Josselyn is also a senior scientist at SickKids.


David Andrews, $615,894, for “High content screening to identify and validate potential therapeutic targets.” Professor Andrews is also a director and senior scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute.




Deryk Beal, $108,791, for “Non-invasive brain stimulation for speech and language development.” Beal is also a clinician-scientist at the Bloorview Research Institute.



Bryan Coburn, $259,938, for “Personalized microbiology, infection and immunity. Coburn is also a clinician-scientist at the University Health Network.




Alan Davidson, $399,980, for “Electron microscopy for the engineering of novel bactericidal nanomachines derived from bacteriophages.”




James Ellis, $188,744, for “Stem cell derived neuron phenotyping and drug screening platform.” Ellis is also a senior scientist at SickKids.



Adam Gehring, $218,378, for “Immunotherapy for chronic viral hepatitis.” Gehring is also a scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, UHN.




David Jaffray, $396,428, for “Robotic radiobiology.” Jaffray is also senior scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, UHN.




Michael Laflamme, $214,569, for “Remuscularization of injured hearts using stem cells.” Laflamme is also a senior scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, UHN.    




Tracy McGaha, $398,219, for “Laboratory for mechanistic studies of myeloid-driven immune suppression. McGaha is also a senior scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, UHN.




Darlene     Reid, $75,000, for “Rehabilitation aimed at muscle performance (RAMP).

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