New CFI Funding
Posted 4 March 2011
adapted from an aricle by Janine Harasymchuk

originaly posted 27 January 2011
On January 21, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced it has awarded $1,332,798 to eight University of Manitoba researchers who are working on a variety of projects, enabling them to improve our knowledge of the world and continue to lead in their field. “Access to modern, cutting-edge equipment and facilities is imperative in the 21st century,” said Dr. Gilles Patry, President and CEO of the CFI. “For more than a decade, the CFI has provided thousands of world-class researchers with the tools they need to do their work. Without the right infrastructure, they quite simply wouldn’t be in Canada.” The contributions were provided under the Leaders Opportunity Fund, which supports infrastructure at Canadian institutions to attract and retain leading researchers. The University of Manitoba recipients are: Margaret Docker, Mostafa Fayek, Soheila Karimi, Song Liu, Brooke Milne, Afshin Raouf, James Roth and Jane Waterman. “This funding is vital in supporting our accomplished researchers to achieve their goal of innovation and discovery,” said Dr. Digvir S. Jayas, Vice-President (Research) at the University of Manitoba. “I wish them all success in their journey to breaking new ground.”

The Faculty of Science recipients are:

Margaret Docker, Biological Sciences, received $127,986 towards a molecular genetics facility that will dramatically increase the capabilities and consistency of molecular genetic analyses. The laboratory is developing genetic technologies for the early detection and species-specific control of aquatic invasive species (i.e., with minimal impact to non-target organisms) and studying genetic stock structure in walleye in Lake Winnipeg; commercial fishing for walleye in Manitoba is a valuable industry, generating on average $18 million per year. Molecular genetic research has significant potential to benefit Manitoba’s economic development, to maintain the high quality of our environment, and to thereby sustain and improve the welfare of its citizens.
James Roth, Biological Sciences, received $81,199 for various equipment that will be used to collect and prepare biological samples for estimating animal diets. With Canada’s wildlife facing increasing threats due to habitat loss and climate change, the ability to reconstruct animal diets and trace the flow of nutrients and energy is crucial for wildlife conservation. This new infrastructure will complement the Stable Isotope Facility in the Department of Geological Sciences.
Jane Waterman, Biological Sciences, received $69,952 towards equipment used to create mobile field labs and analysis centre which will investigate how fertility is influenced by environmental factors such as age, social status, resources, and parasites in wildlife. This equipment will be used to collect live sperm, and behavioural, physiological and morphological data. It will significantly benefit the provincial economy by training future researchers in techniques used in the life sciences. Understanding the factors that influence infertility is important in agricultural breeding, conservation of endangered wildlife and in human reproduction.

Scott Kroeker, Chemistry, hosted a distinguished party of politicians for an NMR lab tour associated with the CFI awards announcement. The Honourable Vic Toews (Minister of Public Safety), Mr. Rod Bruinooge (MP, Winnipeg South) and University of Manitoba dignitaries were treated to a demonstration of solid-state NMR. Mr. Toews opened his NMR account by running a Cs-133 MAS NMR spectrum of a model nuclear waste glass.