As part of an unprecedented funding cycle, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada today released results of the Discovery Grant competition, naming three LSI researchers as recipients.
Drs. Matthew Lorincz (Medical Genetics), Kota Mizumoto (Zoology) and Maria Tokuyama (Microbiology and Immunology) were funded for the following proposals:
“Using PGCLCs as a model system for early germ cell development to characterize the roles of histone marks and their readers in DNA methylation homeostasis and transcriptional regulation”
“Elucidating the mechanisms of gradient dependent and independent Wnt signaling in neuronal development”
“Specialized functions of endogenous retroviruses in innate immune cells”
Positioning the funding as a demonstration of the government’s commitment to fundamental research, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced an investment of more than $310 million for some 3,400 new grants and grant extensions by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), through its Discovery research program.
“We are proud to continue investing in, and celebrating, the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of Canada’s research ecosystem. It is inspiring to see the ingenuity and dedication Canadian researchers embrace in exploring big ideas that willful the discoveries and innovations of tomorrow to make our world a better place and create prosperity for Canadians,” he said.
“In my conversations with the research community both at home and around the world, I have been impressed by the resilience and creativity shown by students, professors, and administrators in coping with the many unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19,” added NSERC President Dr. Alejandro Adem. “The high quality of the research proposals we are funding is a strong indicator that the Canadian research enterprise will come out even stronger as we emerge into a post-pandemic environment.”
The funding includes 1,960 new grants to researchers across the country in a wide variety of natural sciences and engineering disciplines, including climate change, biology, mathematics and statistics, computer science and artificial intelligence, chemistry, biotechnology, and mechanical engineering. These grants provide recipients with a stable base of funding and access to research tools and instruments so they can pursue a sustainable program of research, foster research excellence and provide stimulating environments for research training.
Today’s announcement also includes $61 million in one-year extensions to existing Discovery research grants held by more than 1,470 researchers across Canada. This investment was part of a rapid response by NSERC to the uncertainty produced by the COVID-19 outbreak in April 2020.
As a result of these new grants and one-year extensions to existing grants, the total investment in the Discovery research program by NSERC for the current fiscal year will be a record-high of $500 million.