CFI Grants Fund Four New UVic Researchers

Improved radiation treatments for cancer, new cellular technologies, better engineering systems, and a greater understanding of oceanic food webs and their effect on climate change.

These are the long-term goals of four young UVic researchers who have just learned their projects are being funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s New Opportunities Fund. The latest national competition results were announced today in Ottawa.

The four researchers—a physicist, two engineers and a biologist—have been awarded a total of $653,585 from the fund, which provides research infrastructure for newly recruited faculty members. The fund helps universities attract high-calibre researchers in areas that are essential to their institution’s research objectives.

A $125,796 grant to physicist Dr. Andrew Jirasek will be used to establish a medical physics lab for studying radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer. He’s working with the BC Cancer Agency–Vancouver Island Centre and other collaborators to develop improved dose delivery systems and to better understand how the body responds to radiation at the molecular level.

Electrical engineer Dr. Hong-Chuan Yang receives $127,001 to create a research laboratory for advanced wireless communications. He’ll conduct theoretical and simulation research into new technologies that can support the transmission of multimedia services over wireless and mobile channels.

Mechanical engineer Dr. Peter Oshkai will use $224,577 to establish an experimental fluid dynamics laboratory to study complex fluid flows. The research has application in many areas, including sustainable energy systems, automotive design, biomedical technology, and energy resource development.

Biologist Dr. Diana Varela receives $176,211 to equip a biological oceanographic lab for biogeochemistry and phytoplankton research. Varela’s work is fundamental to understanding variations in marine productivity and the effects of phytoplankton (microscopic algae) on Earth’s biogeochemical cycles, marine ecosystems and global climate change.

The CFI is an independent corporation established by the federal government to strengthen the ability of universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research that will benefit Canadians.

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Media contacts

Dr. Andrew Jirasek (Physics & Astronomy) at (250) 721-7701 or

Dr. Yang (Electrical & Computer Engineering) at (250) 721-8672 or

Dr. Peter Oshkai (Mechanical Engineering) at (250) 721-8922 or

Dr. Diana Varela (Biology/Earth & Ocean Sciences) at (250) 472-5425 or

Valerie Shore (UVic Communications) at (250) 721-7641 or

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Keywords: cfi, grants, fund, new, uvic, researchers

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