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Laurentian University researchers secure $1.3M in new funding

Faculty awarded NSERC 2015 Discovery grants

JUNE 22, 2015 – Seven Laurentian University faculty members and three graduate students have won new research grants and scholarships awarded by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). 


Total funding awarded to Laurentian University researchers amounts to $1,329,500.


The funds are awarded through competition for NSERC’s Discovery Grants, Discovery Accelerator Supplements, Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships, NSERC Postrgraduate Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships.  The 2015 competition results were announced today at at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Ontario.


“A key pillar of our government’s updated Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy is ensuring Canada develops, attracts and retains the world’s most talented researchers. Today’s investment in more than 3, 800 researchers at 70 universities across the country ensures Canada has a broad base of talented men and women whose research continues to push the boundaries of knowledge, creates jobs and opportunities while improving the quality of life of Canadians,”  said Canada’s Minister of State (Science and Technology), Ed Holder.


 “We are extremely proud of the research profile achieved by our Laurentian faculty and graduate students,” said Laurentian University Vice-President, Research, Dr. Rui Wang.  “Our success in winning NSERC funding is evidence of  the high-calibre research being conducted in Biology, Medicine, Engineering, Earth Sciences and Human Kinetics, and we congratulate all of our award recipients.”


Laurentian faculty awarded NSERC Discovery Grants are:

  • Dr. Douglas Boreham, Faculty of Medicine: $170,000 (Biological Mechanisms Induced by Low and Ultra Low doses of Ionizing Radiation)
  • Dr. Thomas Johnston, Department of Biology: $105,000 (Individual specialization and the trophic niche of aquatic consumers)
  • Dr. Daniel Kontak, Department of Earth Sciences: $110,000 (Chemical fingerprinting of hydrothermal ore deposit systems)
  • Dr. Tammy Eger, School of Human Kinetics: $110,000 (Modeling human response to foot-transmitted vibration)
  • Dr. William Lievers, School of Engineering, $110,000 (Measuring and modelling the mechanical and failure behaviour of bone)
  • Dr. Junfeng Zhang, School of Engineering, $22,000 (Blood Flows and Blood-Vessel Interactions in the Microcirculation)
  • Dr. Zhibin Ye, School of Engineering, $200,000 (Developing semicrystalline star polyethylenes and advanced polyethylene ionomers)


In addition to his five-year Discovery Grant, Dr. Zhibin Ye was also awarded a Discovery Accelerator Supplement in support of his research, worth $120,000 over three years.

Three graduate students have also won graduate scholarships worth between $21,000 and $35,000 per year:

  • Nicolas Rouleau, three-year Postgraduate Scholarship (Biology)
  • Nirosha Murugan, three-year Postgraduate Scholarship (Biology)
  • James Baxter-Gilbert, three-year Canada Graduate Scholarship (Biology)