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NSERC Invests Over $1.75 M in Lakehead University Research Activity

(April 9, 2010 - Thunder Bay, ON)  Dr. Rui Wang, Lakehead University Vice-President (Research), is pleased to announce that substantial funding, administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), has been awarded to support the work of thirteen Lakehead researchers.  The grants total $1,761,341 across diverse areas of study, which span the faculties of Natural Resources Management (formerly the Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment), Science and Environmental Studies, and Engineering.  Three of the grants were awarded to Lakehead Adjunct Professors working at the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI).

This funding has been awarded in conjunction with NSERC’s Discovery Grants Program (DGP), Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) Program, and Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grant Program

The DGP supports the peer-evaluated work of Canadian researchers, twelve of which are from Lakehead University.  These government-led investments in research and development recognize the quality of research being conducted in Canada, which ultimately contribute to a stronger, more buoyant economy.  Recipients of the funding are recognized to be among the very best researchers in Canada. 

The DAS Program represents a new component of the Discovery Grants Program and aims to provide substantial and timely additional resources to accelerate research progress while maximizing the impact of outstanding research programs.

The RTI Grant Program fosters and enhances the discovery, innovation, and training capability of university researchers in the faculties of natural sciences and engineering by supporting the purchase of research equipment and installations.

Lakehead has received $1,556,000 in DGP funding.  Awardees (in alphabetical order by last name) are:

  • Dr. Razvan Anisca, Mathematical Sciences, "Structural properties of infinite-dimensional banach spaces." Grant: $60,000
  • Dr. Aicheng Chen, Chemistry, "Design and electrochemical study of nanostructured surfaces and functional nanomaterials." Grant: $375,000
  • Dr. Laura Curiel, Electrical Engineering/TBRRI, "Novel imaging guidance for high intensity focused ultrasound." Grant: $135,000
  • Dr. Gautam Das, Physics, "Investigation on optical fiber waveguides, lasers and their applications." Grant: $100,000
  • Dr. Andrew Dean, Mathematical Sciences, "K-theory and classification for C*-dynamical systems and quantum groups." Grant: $60,000 
  • Dr. Kam Leung, Biology, "Survival of and interactions between microorganisms in environmental biofilms." Grant: $130,000
  • Dr. Christopher Phenix, Chemistry/ TBRRI, "Prodrug strategies applied to new generation PET imaging agents." Grant: $135,000
  • Dr. Oleg Rubel, Physics/TBRRI, "Microscopic theory of high-field transport in disordered semiconductors." Grant: $150,000
  • Dr. Chander Shahi (Dr. Mathew Leitch, co-applicant), Natural Resource Management, "Pre-harvest estimation of value of trees in forest stands based on market demand: A cost optimization model for Northwestern Ontario." Grant: $110,000
  • Dr. Rui Wang, Biology, "Mitochondrial production and function of hydrogen sulfide." Grant: $31,000
  • Dr. Wilson Wang, Mechanical Engineering, "Intelligent diagnostics and prognostics for machinery systems." Grant: $120,000
  • Dr. Chunbao Xu, Chemical Engineering, "Aqueous phase reforming of biomass-derived carbohydrates, ethanol, and glycerol for H2 generation with minimized CO formation for fuel cell applications." Grant: $150,000

Lakehead’s Dr. Aicheng Chen (DGP recipient listed above) has been awarded $120,000 in DAS funding.  Dr. Chen is one of only 100 DAS award recipients across Canada.

Additionally, a total of $85,341 in RTI funding has been awarded to Lakehead University’s Dr. Douglas Morris (Biology) for his research study entitled, “Integrated radio-frequency identification system (IRIS).”

"NSERC is a valuable funding partner which continually maintains its commitment to supporting research excellence, through these grants and by other means.  All three of these funding programs give researchers the freedom and flexibility to utilize creative and cutting-edge equipment and approaches, and to leverage broad collaborations as they pursue their promising research avenues,” says Dr. Rui Wang.


MEDIA: Drs. Aicheng Chen and Laura Curiel are available for media interview today.  To arrange interviews, please contact Heather Scott, Communications Officer, at 807-343-8177 or

About Lakehead
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative programs and cutting-edge research. With a main campus located in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead has over 7,900 students and 2,250 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006, Research Infosource Inc. named Lakehead University Canada's Research University of the Year in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit

Last updated April 09, 2010

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