New Canada Research Chairs strengthen uOttawa’s expertise in health and digital humanities

Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2018

 Professors Kin Chan, Constance Crompton, Damien D'Amours, Julie St-Pierre and Tracy Vaillancourt

From left to right: Professors Kin Chan, Constance Crompton, Damien D'Amours, Julie St-Pierre and Tracy Vaillancourt, newly appointed Canada Research Chairs

The University of Ottawa has been awarded five new Canada Research Chairs in areas that address pressing societal challenges.

These latest chair holders will expand the University of Ottawa’s breadth and depth of research and expertise; they will work on novel ways to understand and treat cancer, protect mental health, and provide much-needed context by linking data.

“Thanks to the considerable support of the Canada Research Chairs program, the University of Ottawa continues to offer a highly conducive research environment to some of the most accomplished scientists in the country and the world,” said Sylvain Charbonneau, vice-president, research.

Meet uOttawa’s new Canada Research Chairs:

Kin Chan – Canada Research Chair in Molecular Basis of Cancer Mutagenesis

Kin Chan’s discoveries shed new light on the origin of mutations in cancer. This new information will inform policies that aim to curb harmful environmental exposure. It will also lead to more in-depth diagnoses of cancers at the molecular level and to the development of more personalized treatments.

Constance Crompton – Canada Research Chair in Digital Humanities

Constance Crompton wants to give Internet users access to the superpowers of the humanities, namely by helping them understand the past in order to improve the future.  In an age of information deluge, scholars, politicians, policy-makers, educators, students and citizens need access to authoritative information and its historical context. However, the “connective tissue” that Internet users need in order to synthesize immense amounts of authoritative data is missing. This connective tissue is linked data. Crompton’s research into creating and mobilizing this data will help turn Internet users into humanities superheroes.

Damien D’Amours – Canada Research Chair in Chromatin Dynamics and Genome Architecture

Damien D’Amours’ research will lead to a better understanding of how cells disrupt genome architecture to promote cancer formation. Using a combination of leading-edge techniques in proteomics and cell imaging, D’Amours aims to reveal the core mechanisms of genome organization during the cell cycle of normal and cancerous cells.

Julie St-Pierre – Canada Research Chair in Cancer Metabolism

Breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canadian women and is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Julie St-Pierre’s objective is to identify metabolic strategies to target breast cancers that are harder to treat and are associated with poor outcome in patients. She hopes to develop cancer metabolic therapies that could be used in combination with other anti-cancer drugs to improve survival.   

Tracy Vaillancourt - Canada Research Chair in School-Based Mental Health and Violence Prevention

Between 15 and 20% of Canadian children have serious mental health problems that are linked to notable distress and impairment. Mental health problems in youth are a leading cause of health-related burden and, in adults, they are the leading cause of disability. Tracy Vaillancourt studies the long-term effects of bullying on mental health and academic achievement in order to identify areas for intervention and prevention.

Canada Research Chair holders dedicate their life’s work to achieving research excellence in their respective field. Their work contributes to strengthening Canada’s international competitiveness and the University’s research reputation.   

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