News at the University of New Brunswick

UNB welcomes federal Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan as she announces funding for cutting-edge research

Author: Communications

Posted on Feb 28, 2017

Category: UNB Fredericton

Photo credit: Rob Blanchard / UNB Photo

Photo credit: Rob Blanchard / UNB Photo

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, visited the University of New Brunswick Fredericton campus to announce the recipients of the 2017 Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund awards.

This funding helps Canadian universities and their researchers acquire infrastructure to create state-of-the-art facilities that undertake cutting-edge research and technology developments.

UNB is receiving $150,000 from this fund for a confocal microscope to observe, in 3-D and in real time, how cells grow, change shape and move through tissue.

This will allow UNB researchers, like Dr. Bryan Crawford, a developmental biologists and associate professor of biology at UNB, to better understand how abnormalities in cell growth are linked to diseases such as arthritis, heart disease and cancer.

Dr. Crawford with his co-applicants and fellow UNB researchers, Doctors Tillmann Benfey and Denise Clark, worked together to secure funding for the new microscope, which is vital to each of their work.

The infrastructure will be unique in Atlantic Canada and will position UNB as a centre of excellence in cellular biology.

“Thanks to CFI, my colleagues and I will now have access to a state-of-the-art confocal microscope, which is vital [to] our research,” said Dr. Crawford. “This allows us to view living samples, in three-dimensions, and see specific molecules and activities present in tissue during development. This helps to shed light on issues around ageing processes and how diseases grow and move throughout our bodies.”

Dr. Eddy Campbell, UNB president and vice-chancellor, said he was pleased to welcome Minister Duncan to campus for this announcement, saying the funding will help to improve UNB’s growing research capacity.

“The University of New Brunswick is a regional and national leader in research and innovation,” said Dr. Campbell. “The John R. Evans Leaders Fund significantly enhances our research capacity and enriches the UNB student experience.”

Minister Duncan added that investments such as these are helping to build a stronger Canadian research community.

“Investments in Canada's research infrastructure, like those we are celebrating today, are incredibly important to our nation’s future. They help us to attract and retain the very best scientists and give Canadian researchers the tools they need to perform excellent cutting-edge research, train the scientists of tomorrow and enable innovative new discoveries that improve our environment, economy and communities.”

The Government of Canada, through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, invests in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that are essential for conducting world-leading research that directly benefits all Canadians.

In 2017, more than 220 projects at 39 universities across the country will be receiving research funding through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund.

Media contact: Sonya Gilks