Queen’s secures $1 million for research

Nine research projects across all disciplines receive grants 

Kenneth Clark (pictured left), Aaron Vincent (pictured right).
Supplied by Clark and Vincent

On Wednesday, the University announced it had been granted over $1 million in research funding.

The funding was secured through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund and seeks to support innovative research or technology in institutions across Canada. In doing so, Canadian institutions remain internationally competitive in promising fields. 

Nine research projects at Queen’s have been promised funding.

Julia Brook and Colleen Renihan from the Queen’s School of Drama and Music have received $40,800 to develop musical theatre activities with under-served populations such as those in rural communities.

In psychology, Jeremey Stewart is to receive $100,000 to support his research in identifying potential factors in the transition from suicidal ideation to suicide attempts. Identifying these factors would potentially aid suicide prevention.

Vahid Fallah in Mechanical and Materials Engineering will get $125,000 from the fund to improve the process of metal 3D printing. In Engineering Physics, Bhavin Shastri will be receiving $132,500 to support his work on photonic neuromorphic processors. 

Madhuri Koti, recipient of $150,000, is an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, and Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Her research lab is in the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute. 

Her lab research focuses on identifying the impacts of the immune system on tumour recurrence, progression, and response to treatment.  She hopes the research will inform cancer surgeons and oncologists about the use of conventional chemotherapy and boosting the immune system of patients predicted to be poorly responsive. 

“With this infrastructure funding support, we aim to establish a ‘Cancer Immune Monitoring Laboratory,’” Koti told The Journal in an email. 

In addition, the funds will allow the lab to collaborate with other institutions and to train the next generation of graduate students and postdoctoral trainees. 

Also in Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Sheela Abraham was granted $162,500 to study cancer stem cells as they relate to chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Joseph Bramante has been granted $49,970 to better understand dark matter’s origin and character.

Kenneth Clark, who has been involved in dark matter research for around 10 years, will be using $189,951 of funding to build a new style of dark matter detector. 

Clark is currently working on a project at SNOLAB, an underground lab near Sudbury which is searching for dark matter. 

The SNOLAB project uses a bubble chamber to detect dark matter, while Clark’s experimental project will use a scintillator as the detector. Once built, the detector will be installed at SNOLAB. 

Aaron Vincent is also receiving $50,000 for his research in astroparticle physics. He’s currently investigating the nature of dark matter, which consists of examining the Sun, cosmic rays, and high-energy neutrinos for the traces of dark matter’s particle effects.

The funding will be used to purchase supercomputers to create those simulations, which will be housed at the Queen’s Centre for Advanced Computing. 

“The work that I do involves simulating complex physical systems and comparing the results to large amounts of data to see if we can find clues about the origin of dark matter,” Vincent wrote to The Journal in an email. “The funding means that I can delve deeper into models of dark matter and explore what the data are telling us much more rigorously.” 

To date, Queen’s has received 440 CFI awards.


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