Innovative food chemistry research on the StFX campus received a big boost with the news that human nutrition professor Dr. Marcia English has received nearly $200,000 in research funds.
Dr. English has received a $88,626 John R. Evans Leaders Fund award from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to purchase research equipment for her project, “Food Chemistry Research Platform for Investigating Aroma-active Compound Interactions in Plant-based Proteins.” She has also received $88,626 in matching funds from Research Nova Scotia.
The funding is part of over $61 million that the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, recently announced for state-of-the-art research labs and equipment through the CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund. The investment supports 261 projects at 40 universities across Canada.
Dr. English says receiving the grant is important and exciting as it allows her to bring new equipment to the university to provide new research opportunities.
“The combined funding from CFI and Research Nova Scotia has provided a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer with olfactory detection (GC-MS/O) and a preparative chromatography system for protein purification to support food chemistry research at StFX,” she says.
The GC-MS/O will allow Dr. English and her research group to establish correlations between the chemical nature of specific aroma and off-flavour compounds from leguminous plant sources with the human perception of smell.
In addition, the protein purification system will enable the team to extract and purify key proteins from these plant sources, and study their biochemical interactions with aroma compounds.
“This equipment is very timely since there has been an increased interest to replace and/or reduce the levels of animal protein with plant-based proteins in traditional and novel food products,” Dr. English says.
“Moreover, this equipment has provided new opportunities to train undergraduate and graduate students at StFX with interdisciplinary skills in protein and flavour chemistry, which will be beneficial for various placements in the food industry.”
EDMONTON, A.B. — Researchers across the country need the best labs and tools to spark discoveries that lead to healthy communities, clean air and water, new job opportunities and a prosperous future. That’s why the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, today announced more than $61 million for state-of-the-art research labs and equipment through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). This investment will support 261 projects at 40 universities across Canada.
The Fund helps exceptional university scientists conduct leading-edge research by giving them the tools and equipment they need to become leaders in their field.
The University of Alberta is receiving more than $2.2 million for 10 research infrastructure projects that will, among other things, ensure food safety, improve end-of-life care for patients, reclaim mining sites and reduce air pollution.
This investment will also help support Dr. Sandra Davidge, a pioneer in cardiovascular health in women and children at the University of Alberta. She is receiving funding for specialized imaging equipment that will enable her and her team to understand the link between low oxygen flow to an unborn baby and the risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. The team’s work will help create early interventions that will allow these babies to grow into heart-healthy adults. This is just one example of how new investments in research infrastructure trigger innovations that affect the lives of everyday Canadians.
While in Edmonton, Minister Duncan also signed the Dimensions Charter with the University of Alberta. Institutions that endorse the Charter commit to embedding the principles of equity, diversity and inclusiveness in their policies, practices, action plans and culture.
“Researchers in Canada know that cutting-edge tools and labs are necessary to make discoveries and innovate. That is why our government is announcing funding for the infrastructure needs of Canadian researchers. Their ground-breaking contributions to science and research have an enormous impact on the breakthroughs that help make our visions for a better future a reality.”
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport
“Canada’s leading researchers require cutting-edge infrastructure to solve global challenges. At the Canada Foundation for Innovation we are proud to invest in their work and in our nation’s future.”
– Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation
“To pursue ground-breaking research initiatives that will improve the lives of Canadians, our researchers require state-of-the-art resources, facilities, and technologies—I am pleased to see this continued support for the extraordinary work being done at the University of Alberta and throughout Canada. I congratulate all of the recipients of the John R. Evans Leaders Fund and thank the Government of Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation for these critical investments.”
– David Turpin, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Alberta
A full list of the funded projects and stories about the facilities are available online at Innovation.ca. For updates, follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA and subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos about the CFI and its many transformative research projects.
Media Relations and Social Media Specialist
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport
Innovation, Science, and Economic
About the Canada Foundation for Innovation
For more than 20 years, the CFI has been giving researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. And a robust innovation system translates into jobs and new enterprises, better health, cleaner environments and, ultimately, vibrant communities. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI also helps to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers and to support world-class research that strengthens the economy and improves the quality of life for all Canadians.
What do two gruesome murders in colonial Nova Scotia and descriptions of medical conditions in early Irish manuscripts have in common? Answer: The XVIth International Congress of Celtic Studies of 2019.
From July 22-26, StFX faculty, Drs. Laurie Stanley-Blackwell, Senior Research Professor, Department of History, Michael Linkletter, Chair of the Celtic Studies Department, and Ranke de Vries, Celtic Studies Department, attended this conference at Bangor University in North Wales. Dr. de Vries presented a paper, titled “Medical Material in Early Irish Literary Sources,” and Drs. Stanley-Blackwell and Linkletter co-presented on “The Gavel, Gaelic, and the Grave: Murder in Nineteenth-century Nova Scotia.”
Dr. de Vries’s presentation was based on a broader research project, which explores medieval non-medical Irish manuscript sources for evidence about medical terminology, ailments, and disease patterns in medieval Ireland. Dr. Stanley-Blackwell and Dr. Linkletter’s presentation, which examines Gaelic language use in Nova Scotia’s early court system, stems from their SSHRC-funded research into the deathways of Nova Scotia’s early Gaels.
This conference, which consisted of 131 sessions, in addition to five plenary lectures, attracted scholars from around the world “to discuss all things Celtic.” For a Canadian historian, the experience was particularly impressive. Dr. Stanley-Blackwell says, “The breadth of scholarship was sweeping and inspiring. Topics ranged from Welsh headstone inscriptions to Conchobar birth tales, post-tonic vowels in Cornish, Marian devotion in 20th-century Southern Hebrides, changelings in Irish storytelling, and contemporary Welsh and Irish language laws.”
The conference also epitomized the vibrancy and reach of StFX’s Celtic Studies program. Five of the presentations were given by alumni. In addition to Dr. Linkletter, they included Dr. Natasha Sumner of Harvard University and Dr. Anna Pagé of the University of Vienna, as well as graduate students, Emmet Taylor and Kathleen Reddy, who are enrolled in PhD programs at the University of Cork and University of Glasgow respectively. Also in attendance were two former members of the StFX Celtic Studies Department, Dr. Kristen Mills and Darán Ó Dochartaigh, and undergraduate Celtic Studies student, Lelia Houbé.
Says Dr. Linkletter, “The conference meets every four years. It provides us with a welcome opportunity to reconnect with some of our former students who are making a mark internationally.” According to Dr. de Vries, member of the Congress’s International Committee, the next conference will be hosted by Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 2023.