New Canada Research Chairs to support research excellence at uOttawa

Posted on Monday, June 17, 2019

 Kym Boycott, Lionel Briand, Hans Lochmüller, Jason Millar, Maria Musgaard, Brett Walker, Monnica Williams and Jeff Lundeen

From left to right: professors Kym Boycott, Lionel Briand, Hans Lochmüller, Jason Millar, Maria Musgaard, Brett Walker, Monnica Williams and Jeff Lundeen

The University of Ottawa has earned three new Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) along with four new Tier 2 CRCs. This federal government support will assist these researchers in their pursuit of innovations in artificial intelligence and in health. The University is also proud to announce the renewal of a CRC in quantum photonics.

“Thanks to the Canada Research Chairs Program, uOttawa’s accomplished professors will work in an environment that is highly conducive to leading-edge research, allowing them to focus on innovative solutions to important problems,” said Vice-President, Research Sylvain Charbonneau.


The new Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs at uOttawa are:

Kym Boycott – Canada Research Chair in Rare Disease Precision Health

Kym Boycott’s research will expand and improve the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases to improve the clinical care and health of the nearly one million Canadians affected by these devastating illnesses.

Lionel Briand – Canada Research Chair in Intelligent Software Dependability and Compliance

Lionel Briand will apply the latest developments in artificial intelligence, which include machine learning, evolutionary computing, and natural language processing, to cost-effectively verify and validate (V&V) software. This endeavour will cover all aspects of V&V, from early system requirements analysis to design verification, automated software testing, and run-time monitoring. It will also address all facets of dependability, including reliability, safety, security, and regulatory compliance.

Hanns Lochmüller – Canada Research Chair in Neuromuscular Genomics and Health

Hanns Lochmüller’s research focuses on understanding why small variations in the human genome lead to neuromuscular conditions that are frequently disabling, sometimes lethal, and rarely treatable.


The holders of the four new Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs are:

Jason Millar – Canada Research Chair in the Ethical Engineering of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Jason Millar will explore the ethical and policy implications of robotics and artificial intelligence while developing tools that empower engineers and computer scientists to anticipate and address these implications.

Maria Musgaard – Canada Research Chair in Computational Biochemistry

Maria Musgaard’s research will illustrate fundamental physiological processes in great detail, providing an elaborate understanding of protein function, which could lead to the design of new pharmaceuticals.

Brett Walker – Canada Research Chair in Accelerator Mass Spectrometry and Marine Biogeochemistry

Brett Walker’s research will provide insight into the microbial transformation and deep ocean storage of marine-dissolved and particulate organic matter.

Monnica Williams – Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Disparities

Monnica Williams’ research will focus on understanding and improving psychological wellness cross-culturally through the exploration of health-related behaviours, with a special focus on stigmatized and racialized groups.


The renewed Tier 2 Canada Research Chair is held by:

Jeff Lundeen – Canada Research Chair in Quantum Photonics

Jeff Lundeen’s project seeks to use photons as a quantum information carriers to develop devices enabled by controlled quantum particles, such as sensors with dramatically greater sensitivity, computers that can model drugs, and provably secure communication systems.

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