Three McMaster University scientists have been named Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) and two more have received renewals of the honour created to promote Canada’s role as a global leader in medical innovation.

This time, all are members of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

“I congratulate our Canada Research Chairs on this important recognition for their innovative work,” said Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president of the FHS.

“The CRC program is vitally important, as it allows us to recruit and retain world-class researchers, upholding McMaster and Canada’s reputation as a global leader in health sciences research and medical discovery.”

The new Canada Research Chairs are:

Olufemi Ayeni, professor of orthopaedic surgery, is the Canada Research Chair in Joint Preservation Surgery (Tier 2). He is considered a leading authority in joint preservation care and his research is focused on the prevention of joint injuries in adolescence; and minimally invasive surgical treatments to curb the development of degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis in young adults.

Lori Burrows, professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences, is the new Canada Research Chair in Microbe-Surface Interactions (Tier 1). Burrows’ research focuses on the superbug Pseudomonas aeruginosa and how it forms antibiotic-resistant biofilms, as well as its use of protein filaments to attach and move along surfaces.

Matthew Miller, associate professor in biochemistry and biomedical sciences, is the Canada Research Chair in Viral Pandemics (Tier 2). Miller’s research is focused on pandemics, influenza viruses and coronaviruses, vaccines, antiviral drugs, virus/host interactions, immunity and antibodies.

Canada Research Chairs at Tier 1 were renewed for Mohit Bhandari and John Lavis. Bhandari is the Canada Research Chair in Evidence-Based Orthopaedic Surgery and professor and chair of the Department of Surgery. Lavis is the Canada Research Chair in Evidence-Support Systems, professor of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, and director of the McMaster Health Forum.

Tier 1 Chairs, which are held for seven years and renewable once, are for outstanding researchers who are considered world leaders in their fields. The chair is worth $200,000 a year for seven years.

Tier 2 Chairs, which are held for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers who have the potential to lead in their field. The chair provides $100,000 annually for five years, with an additional $20,000 annual research stipend for first-term Tier 2 Chairs.

“Seeing our scientists recognized as Canada Research Chairs is a true testament to the calibre of their work, which continues to transform millions of lives worldwide and pushes the envelope of medical discovery to previously unseen heights,” said Karen Mossman, McMaster’s vice-president of research.

“This is what proper government support for science looks like and we need that support now more than ever, as the groundbreaking research of McMaster’s scientists remains our best weapon against COVID-19 and other global health threats.”



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