Brock researchers receive Ontario funding for innovative work

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Brock researchers receive Ontario funding for innovative work

Published on November 16 2009


Three Brock researchers were recently granted more than $122,000 from the Ontario government to advance innovative work in magnetic materials, bioinformatics and brain development.

The investment was made through the government’s Ontario Innovation Agenda — a province-wide investment strategy to support researchers in 14 cities across Ontario.

University President Jack Lightstone applauded the support, saying “Investing in innovation helps universities discover new opportunities for their communities, and ultimately help transform Ontario's economy."

• Martin Lemaire, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Science

Lemaire received $25,500 to assist in the production of tiny magnets that can boost the power capacity in a wide range of applications, including generators, medical devices, data storage and computer systems.

Lemaire’s work focuses on developing new "molecular" magnetic materials, which are different from the "magnets" most people are familiar with. They are extremely small — on the scale of single molecules (nanomagnets). He uses chemical synthesis and alters molecular structures to create magnets with unique properties; liquid and plastic magnets are two examples.

• Ping Liang, Canada Research Chair in Genomics and Bioinformatics and Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Science

Liang — who recently came to Brock after establishing himself as a leading bioinformatics researcher at the world-renowned Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. — received $32,000 for equipment to assist his research program in bioinformatics, or the application of information technology to molecular biology. This includes two computer server machines for bioinformatics data mining and molecular biology lab equipment for DNA analysis.

Liang’s research examines genetic diversity through bioinformatics and genomics using human and grapevine models for agricultural and medical applications.

• Cheryl McCormick, Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience and Professor, Psychology, Faculty of Social Science

McCormick received $65,000 for laboratory equipment to support her research of life stressors that affect ongoing brain development during adolescence. These funds will benefit her interdisciplinary work, which looks at how the impacts of stress experiences early in life influence the development of stress-related physiology and behaviour.

Specifically, she investigates the immediate and long-lasting effects on behaviour and the underlying neural mechanisms of social stress in adolescents. Her research will increase our understanding of the role of stress in adolescence as it relates to shaping mental health-related vulnerabilities in adulthood.

"We are delighted for these research funds that will support our researchers and their innovative research agendas, which have endless possible real-world applications for Ontarians and Canadians,” says Ian Brindle, Dean, Faculty of Mathematics and Science.

“This funding allows our faculty members to continue to pursue their top-notch multidisciplinary research in areas that posses enormous potential to improve our communities and society as a whole,” says Thomas Dunk, Dean, Faculty of Social Science.

For more info:

* Carolyn Mullin, Manager, Research Communications, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; cmullin2@brocku.ca

* Jeffrey Sinibaldi, media relations officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4687; jsinibaldi@brocku.ca

* Matt Robinson, Office of the Hon. Jim Bardley, MPP St. Catharines, 416-327-9236