Eleven McMaster researchers named Canada Research Chairs

The McMaster University sign surrounded by flowers and trees at the Main Street entrance to campus.

Six McMaster researchers are newly named Canada Research Chairs and five have had their chairs renewed.

Eleven McMaster University researchers from three faculties have been named Canada Research Chairs as part of a national strategy to attract and retain the world’s most accomplished and promising minds.

Six of the researchers are newly named CRCs and five have had their chairs renewed.

“The Canada Research Chairs program is a vital tool that encourages some of our brightest scientists, and it bolsters both McMaster’s and Canada’s reputations as a global leader of research and innovation,” says Karen Mossman, vice-president, research.

McMaster’s new CRCs are
Jennifer Walker | Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health Data and Aging (Tier 2)
Headshot of Jennifer Walker in a circle
Jennifer Walker

Walker, an associate professor in the department of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact, is internationally recognized in the fields of Indigenous data governance, health service, dementia and aging research. Her community-engaged research program addresses two objectives: to improve health services and supports for aging and dementia in Indigenous populations and to advance Indigenous data sovereignty principles.

Gina Agarwal |  Canada Research Chair in Vulnerable Individuals in Primary Care (Tier 1)
A circular headshot of Gina Agarwal
Gina Agarwal

The professor of family medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences is a leader in advancing bench-to-bedside-to-community research, addressing the growing burden of chronic diseases in Canada and worldwide. Agarwal’s outstanding program of research focuses on hard-to-reach populations, ensuring equitable access to cutting-edge health research intervention.

Blaise Bourdin | Canada Research Chair in Mathematical and Computational Aspects of Solid Mechanics (Tier 1)
A circular headshot of Blaise Bourdain
Blaise Bourdin

Bourdin, a professor of mathematics and statistics in the Faculty of Science, is widely recognized as an expert in the field of fracture of brittle materials and its applications. The theory he devised addressed major challenges in fracture mechanics including path identification, crack nucleation, and crack morphology.

Rohan D’Souza | Canada Research Chair in Maternal Health (Tier 2)
A circular headshot of Rohan D'Souza
Rohan D’Souza

D’Souza, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Faculty of Health Sciences, is an internationally recognized leader in advancing patient-centered research and care for pregnant individuals with medical disorders. His research focuses on optimizing outcomes for pregnant persons and reducing pregnancy-related morbidity.

Mark Loeb | Canada Research Chair in Infectious Diseases Research (Tier 1)
A circular headshot of Mark Loeb
Mark Loeb

Loeb is a professor of pathology and molecular medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences. His research includes a National Institutes of Health population genetics program and a randomized controlled trial to reduce the spread of influenza by immunizing children in Hutterite colonies, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He also studies the immunologic and genetic determinants of flu infections.

Alexandra Papaioannou | Canada Research Chair in Geriatric Medicine and Healthy Aging (Tier 1)
A circular headshot of Alexandra Papaioannu
Alexandra Papaioannou

Papaioannou, a professor of medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences, is one of a handful of Canadian geriatric medicine specialists leading research that will transform the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases in older adults and allow people to age with dignity. This includes care programs that can be implemented in acute, long-term and community care settings.

Researchers who have had their CRCs renewed and advanced are

Chelsea Gabel from the Faculty of Social Sciences is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Well-Being, Community Engagement, and Innovation (Tier 2).

Jeremy Hirota is the Canada Research Chair in Respiratory Mucosal Immunology (Tier 2).

Jonathan Schertzer from the Faculty of Health Sciences is the Canada Research Chair in Metabolic Inflammation (Tier 2). Schertzer also received $300,000 in funding from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) to support his research.

Ryan Van Lieshout from the Faculty of Health Sciences is the Canada Research Chair in the Perinatal Programming of Mental Disorders (Tier 2).

Elena Verdu from the Faculty of Health Sciences is the Canada Research Chair in Microbial Therapeutics and Nutrition in Gastroenterology, advanced from Tier 2 to Tier 1.

About Canada Research Chairs

Tier 1 Chairs, which are held for seven years and renewable once, are for outstanding researchers who are considered world leaders in their fields. For each Tier 1 Chair, McMaster receives $200,000 annually for seven years.

Tier 2 Chairs, which are held for five years and are renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers who have the potential to lead in their field. For each Tier 2 Chair, McMaster receives $100,000 annually for five years, with an additional $20,000 annual research stipend for first-term Tier 2 Chairs.

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