Accomplished uOttawa professors earn Canada Research Chairs

Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2021

 Khaled El Emam, Rita Horvath, Carole Yauk, Emmanuelle Bernheim, Ebrahim Karimi and Ksenia Dolgaleva

First row, from left to right: Professors Khaled El Emam, Rita Horvath and Carole Yauk

Second row, from left to right: Professors Emmanuelle Bernheim, Ebrahim Karimi and Ksenia Dolgaleva

The University of Ottawa has been awarded four new Canada Research Chairs (CRC) that will strengthen its expertise in artificial intelligence, health and law. The University is also proud to announce the renewal of two CRCs that will conduct leading-edge research in quantum communications and photonics.

“The Canada Research Chairs Program provides invaluable support to our researchers as they forge their paths of discovery at a world-class level,” said Sylvain Charbonneau, vice-president, research. “The results of this most recent competition will undeniably help the University succeed in pursuing our goals of excellence, relevance and research impact.”

The three new Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs are:

Khaled El Emam (Faculty of Medicine and CHEO Research Institute) — Canada Research Chair in Medical Artificial Intelligence

Khaled El Emam’s research will focus on developing a methodology for the synthesis of complex health data. This means applying artificial intelligence techniques to model personal clinical and biological information stored in databases. These models can be used to generate virtual patients that mimic the characteristics of real patients. This solves data-sharing problems and enables adding simulated patients to accelerate clinical studies.

Rita Horvath (Faculty of Medicine and CHEO Research Institute) — Canada Research Chair in Mitochondrial Disease Pathogenesis to Therapy

Mitochondrial diseases are genetic disorders that are difficult to diagnose and cause a range of devastating physical, developmental and intellectual disabilities. Rita Horvath’s research aims to understand the molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial disease, to provide accurate diagnosis and develop targeted therapies.

Carole Yauk (Faculty of Science) — Canada Research Chair in Genomics and the Environment

Carole Yauk’s research addresses an urgent need to modernize the toxicological risk assessment of environmental chemicals. She will develop and deploy genomics approaches that measure how toxic chemicals can alter the function of genes or damage genetic material. Her laboratory will work with regulatory and industry partners to determine the best use of this information, to predict toxicological risks to humans and wildlife.

The new Tier 2 Canada Research Chair is:

Emmanuelle Bernheim (Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section) — Canada Research Chair in Mental Health and Access to Justice

Emmanuelle Bernheim’s research looks at improving access to the justice system for diverse groups, particularly those living with mental health issues, while focussing on community, political and research circles.

The two renewed Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs are:

Ksenia Dolgaleva (Faculty of Engineering) — Canada Research Chair in Integrated Photonics

Photonic integration uses light for applications traditionally performed by electronics. Combining a laser source, waveguides that direct light and other optical components on a small semiconductor chip, photonics has a number of uses in areas such as medicine, information and communication technologies, and sensing. Ksenia Dolgaleva’s research aims to increase the functionality of existing optical chips by developing integrated optical devices that can manipulate light in new ways. These devices will be able to change the colour of incident light and manipulate light with light. This is essential to all-optical processing of information channels without needing to convert them to an electrical current.

Ebrahim Karimi (Faculty of Science) — Canada Research Chair in Structured Quantum Waves

Ebrahim Karimi’s research program uses structured quantum waves to enhance capabilities and open new horizons in quantum communication protocols, simulators and sensing. Robust yet compact devices will be designed to efficiently structure electron and optical beams, increasing the security and capacity of information transmission — the key to establishing the first quantum network across Ottawa — as well as measuring and analyzing materials properties quickly on a small scale.

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