New research chairs share a passion for improving our lives

Finding better ways to detect and treat cancer, understanding how to navigate global economies, expanding our knowledge of modern South Asia, helping us make sense of complex datasets, and improving the success of addictions treatment—these are the goals of the University of Victoria’s five newest Canada Research Chairs.

The five chairs were announced today by Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, as part of a national announcement of new chairholders across the country.

Now in its 16th year, the Canada Research Chairs program helps Canadian universities attract and retain the best scholars in the world and build on existing areas of research strength. The chairs also give students the opportunity to work side by side with researchers who are world leaders or emerging world leaders in their field.

Cancer is responsible for 30 per cent of all deaths in Canada and medical physicist Magdalena Bazalova-Carter is determined to reduce that toll. As the Canada Research Chair in Medical Physics, she’s looking at ways to improve how we diagnose and treat cancer using innovative x-ray technologies—and miniscule particles of gold injected into the bloodstream.

Our telling of world history and politics has mostly been thin on marginalized voices. As the Canada Research Chair in Global and Comparative History Studies, historian Neilesh Bose is expanding our knowledge of decolonization, diasporas and migration, particularly in the context of his main area of research—South Asia.

The “emerging economies” of many low and medium-income countries in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America are expected to dominate world markets over the next 20 years. As the Canada Research Chair in Global Economy, business professor Ravee Chittoor is examining how multinational firms from developed countries such as Canada can operate and succeed in these economies.

The rapid growth of computing and social technologies is generating an overwhelming amount of data. As the Canada Research Chair in Human and Social Aspects of Software Engineering, Margaret-Anne Storey studies how technology can help people explore, understand, visualize and share big data sources and complex information.

Why do some people forced into alcohol and drug treatment falter, while others succeed? What programs and services are needed to increase success? These are questions epidemiologist and health services researcher Karen Urbanoski intends to answer as the Canada Research Chair in Substance Use, Addictions and Health Services Research.

Today’s announcement also includes the renewal of computer scientist George Tzanetakis as the Canada Research Chair in Computer Analysis of Audio and Music. Tzanetakis develops computer-based tools for manipulating large audio collections for more effective interactions between computers, musicians and listeners.

UVic currently has 30 filled Canada Research Chairs.

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Keywords: research

People: Magdalena Bazalova-Carter, Neilesh Bose, Ravee Chittoor, Margaret-Anne Storey, Karen Urbanoski

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