The Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top countries in research and development. Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Tier 1 chair positions must be full professors or associate professors who are expected to be promoted to the full professor level within one or two years of the nomination. Tier 2 chair positions must be emerging scholars.
Peter Backx is a York University Professor in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Biology. His research program focuses on Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common arrhythmia, which severely impairs heart function, contributes to heart disease progression and is the major cause of stroke. Although exercise provides enormous cardiovascular benefit, excessive exercise can also induce AF. His research program will determine the molecular and genetic mechanisms involved in AF induction by cardiovascular disease, reveal the modulating influences of exercise, and identify novel approaches for treating and preventing AF.
Thomas Baumgartner, Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, is Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Organomain Group Materials (Tier 1). Baumgartner’s research, focused on the design of novel materials that can be used to lower the anthropogenic carbon footprint, will provide knowledge crucial to the development of essential next-generation technologies for a sustainable future. His program targets several energy-focused topics by addressing the efficient and sustainable use, conversion, and/or storage of energy via advanced synthesis in a bottom-up approach. The research also looks at the design of strongly luminescent species and their application as biomarkers and sensors.
Mary Bunch, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Vision, Disability and the Arts (as of July 1, 2019), is an assistant professor in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design and an associate member of VISTA. Her teaching and research interests include interdisciplinary and collaborative critical disability, feminist and queer studies as well as critical theory and arts-based methodologies. Bunch asks how critical disability frameworks, peripheral perspectives and digital media arts can be employed to understand vision differently to challenge the cultural frameworks that treat vision as a neutral and objective route to knowledge. Starting from the premise that vision is partial, situated, embodied and connected to other senses, she explores the relationship between vision, the creative imagination and political praxis.
Michael Brown is a York University Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Computer Vision. Brown’s research aims to improve the understanding of the physical world through camera images by: investigating image formation models that describe how incoming light (i.e., physical scene irradiance) is converted to camera sensor responses under different imaging scenarios; and designing novel in-camera imaging pipelines that produce image outputs suitable for both photographic and scientific tasks. His program is strongly aligned with York University’s $33.3 million Canada First Research Excellence Fund program, Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA), which focuses on research in biological and computational computer vision.
Christopher Caputo, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, is Canada Research Chair in Main-Group Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry (Tier 2). Chemicals make up the core building blocks for all products that our society relies on. Unfortunately, the production of chemicals is an energy-intensive and polluting process. Dr. Caputo’s research program will tackle this problem through a two-pronged approach. The first is developing greener catalysts to create these desired materials. Dr. Caputo’s research will develop alternatives using earth-abundant main-group elements since many industrial catalysts are based on precious metals. His research also seeks to understand the fundamental reasons that make these main-group catalysts effective. The second approach looks to develop value-added molecules from renewable feedstocks, as opposed to the ubiquitously used petroleum feedstocks. This program will apply synthetic chemistry approaches toward specific natural products to develop a first-of-its-kind long-lasting personal product, initially targeting ultra-long-lasting sun protection. These have the potential to revolutionize the personal care space and would undoubtedly result in significant IP protection and commercialization.
Dr. Antony Chum is an outstanding emerging research leader applying his expertise in big data analytics to important public health challenges. Drawing on the disciplines of social epidemiology, geospatial analytics, and machine learning, his research investigates the social and built environmental determinants of health and evaluates policies to build healthier cities and communities, especially for marginalized groups such as the homeless, low-income, and LGBTQ+ people. His research approach combines population health data sciences (“big data'' analysis) and the application of rigorous social theories (e.g., intersectionality, social ecological theory, minority stress theory, etc.) to investigate social determinants of health and to evaluate interventions aimed at eliminating health disparities.
Steven Connor, Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Tier 2 CRC in Neurophysiology, studies specialized zones of communication between brain cells known as synapses, and the fundamental properties of synapses as mutations in genes that code for proteins involved in synapse organization that are heavily implicated in neurodevelopmental diseases such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). ASDs are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impaired social and communication skills, as well as stereotyped patterns of behaviour.
Alan Corbiere is an Assistant Professor in the History Department, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Indigenous History of North America. There has been an increase in history publications adopting an “Indigenous perspective” based upon colonial documents. Yet many Anishinaabe elders state that their story is still not being fully told because their oral traditions and languages are not the main source. Anishinaabe conceptualizations of time, history, literacy and discourse have not been fully analyzed nor incorporated. Corbiere proposes to “re-right” and “re-write” Indigenous history by privileging oral traditions, Anishinaabemowin and material culture (museum collections) while re-interpreting colonial records, weaving these sources together to the purpose of language/cultural/knowledge revitalization.
Valerio de Stefano
Valerio De Stefano is a York University Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Innovation, Law and Society.
From October 2017 to December 2021, he was the BOF-ZAP Research Professor of Labour Law at the Institute for Labour Law and the Faculty of Law of the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium.
During his career, he was a visiting academic at the University College London (UCL), a postdoctoral member of Clare Hall College at the University of Cambridge (2013), a Distinguished Speaker for Spring 2018 at the “William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law” at Saint Louis University Law School (2018), and a Senior Fellow (Melbourne Law Masters) at the University of Melbourne (2019).
Gordon Flett is a York University Professor in the Psychology department and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Personality & Health. He is the Director of York University's LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research. Flett is most recognized for his seminal contributions to research and theory on the role of perfectionism in psychopathology. Flett’s collaborative work with Dr. Paul Hewitt of the University of British Columbia on perfectionism (which was supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) has received widespread national and international attention and has been the subject of numerous media stories, including coverage on CTV, CNN, and the BBC. Other current research interests include the study of domains of resilience in children and adolescents. Dr. Flett also conducts programmatic research on the nature and correlates of suicidality across the lifespan.
David A. Hood is a York University Professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health, and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cell Physiology. Hood’s current research focuses on skeletal muscle and heart biochemistry and molecular biology; mitochondrial adaptations in muscle subject to chronic contractile activity, including mechanisms of mitochondrial protein import and nuclear gene expression; cardiac muscle adaptations to thyroid hormone. He is also the Director of the Muscle Health Research Centre and recipient of York’s Faculty of Health Established Career Research Award (2009) and the Faculty of Graduate Studies Teaching Award (2007).
Dr. Kar is an emerging world-class neuroscientist making major contributions within the field of primate visual neuroscience. He trained with internationally renowned vision scientist Dr. James DiCarlo at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with his postdoctoral research funded by the John W. Jarve (1978) Seed Fund for Science Innovation. He has continued his work at MIT and is currently a Research Scientist in one of the world’s most highly esteemed neuroscience institutes, the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. Dr. Kar has been the recipient of best paper awards and multiple travel and trainee awards at leading international conferences like the Vision Sciences Society, Society for Neuroscience, and Cognitive Computational Neuroscience.
Joel D. Katz is a York University Professor in the Department of Psychology and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Health Psychology. Katz’s research interests focus on psychological, emotional, and biomedical factors involved in acute and chronic pain. He is a Canadian Psychological Association (2009) fellow and an American Psychological Association fellow (2010). Katz is also the recipient of the University of Toronto’s Department of Anesthesia Faculty Recognition Award (2011), York University Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Teaching Award (2011), the Canadian Pain Society Distinguished Career Award (2013) the York U Research Leaders Award (2014), and the Canadian Pain Society Outstanding Pain Mentorship Award (2016).
Raymond Kwong, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, is Canada Research Chair in Environmental Toxicology (Tier 2). The primary goals of Dr. Kwong’s research program are to understand i) the molecular and physiological effects of environmental stressors (e.g., anthropogenic contaminants), and ii) the fundamental mechanisms regulating homeostatic processes in aquatic animals. The study will integrate molecular physiological approaches with functional genetics to investigate the environment gene-phenotype relationship and to identify the molecular pathways that underlie the effects and tolerance. This innovative strategy will facilitate the development of next-generation predictive tools that can more reliably evaluate the effects of environmental changes on aquatic animals. Ultimately, findings from the proposed research will contribute to the development of better strategies for water quality regulation and more relevant criteria for the protection of aquatic life and biodiversity.
Christopher Kyriakides, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies is a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Socially Engaged Research in Race and Racialization. Kyriakides' 'Racialized Reception Contexts' research program focuses on configurations of racialization in relation to the meaning of ‘East/West’, ‘South/North’ and articulations of racism and nationalism in the reception of refugees in Europe, North America and the Middle East. His research is guided by the understanding that racialization, particularly in light of the post-9/11 ‘war on terror,’ works with the historical conditions of racism specific to a given national formation, but in a dynamic global context. The initial five-country analysis, including Canada, the United States, Italy, Greece and Jordan, will examine the extent to which policy instruments and media discourses related to the ‘global refugee crisis’ negatively impact racialized communities in each reception context.
Arash Habibi Lashkari
Dr. Arash Habibi Lashkari is an award winning, internationally recognized expert in cybersecurity. He has more than 22 years experience working toward developing technology that detects and protects against cyberattacks, malware and the dark web in both academia and industry. He is the producer of several open-source analyzers for anomaly detection and is particularly well known for his work generating cybersecurity datasets used to analyze, test and evaluate cybersecurity solutions and tools prior to release. His works have been the top-ranking result for Google searches using the keywords “cybersecurity dataset” since 2017. He joins York University from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) where he is an Associate Professor and the Research Coordinator for the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC). In his role at CIC, he has focused on establishing collaborative relationships between Faculties to create the type of multidisciplinary approach needed for cybersecurity today as information and communications technologies reach nearly every aspect of our lives. These collaborations have resulted in a number of public-facing summary articles published on IT World Canada, on topics including cybersecurity for Fintech and Canadian cybersecurity laws.
Dr. Liya Ma is an outstanding early-career scientist pursuing an ambitious research program focused on the neural basis for cognition, working in the areas of perception, action, and decision-making. Her research seeks to advance our scientific understanding of the field while simultaneously generating real-world impact by inspiring new treatments for transdiagnostic impairment in cognitive control. Dr. Ma utilizes innovative approaches to examine fundamental questions around cognition, most recently at the world-renowned Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University (Netherlands), currently ranked in the top one percent of research universities worldwide.
Deborah McGregor is a York University Professor in the Osgoode Hall Law School, the Faculty of Environmental Studies, and is a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice. McGregor is working to advance the theory and practice of environmental justice scholarship by engaging with Indigenous intellectual traditions. Her research program seeks to develop a distinctive environmental justice framework based on Indigenous knowledge systems and the lived experience of Indigenous peoples. Her research will provide a much deeper understanding of environmental injustices facing Indigenous peoples, and even more importantly, lead to viable approaches to addressing such challenges.
Theodore J. Noseworthy is a York University Professor at the Schulich School of Business in the area of Marketing and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Entrepreneurial Innovation and the Public Good. Noseworthy’s research interests focus on new product design and innovation. He predominantly explores how people make sense of new innovative products and how marketers can better facilitate adoption. Noseworthy’s theoretical interests are in the area of product categorization, category ambiguity, and visual processing. In 2012, he was appointed Scientific Director of the NOESIS: Innovation, Design, and Consumption Laboratory, a scientific lab specifically developed to explore the psychological and behavioural consequences of innovative goods and services.
Gillian Parekh, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Disability Studies in Education (as of July 1, 2019), is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education. She explores institutional and structural barriers related to equitable access to education, particularly for students with disabilities. She conducts both quantitative and qualitative research investigating demographic, programmatic and experiential trends between public and post-secondary education. With a focus on special education and academic streaming, her work explores how schools construct and respond to disability. Her research addresses current issues in education and will make a difference in the lives of young people in the GTA and beyond.
Who will join York in January 2021 as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, has been awarded a Tier 2 CRC in Data, Democracy and AI. Her globally recognized, interdisciplinary research intersects digital and algorithmic cultures and explores the capture and processing of personal data. Her work focuses on the political economy of social media platforms, display ad economies, and the rise of third parties embedded in the mobile ecosystem which are facilitating algorithmic profiling, monetisation, polarization and bias. Her research contributes to an emerging field, mapping out datafication, a process that is rendering our social, cultural and political lives into productive data for machine learning and algorithmic decision-making. Pybus has cultivated strong European links with public organizations and will use her chair to engage Canadians with innovative tools, resources and pedagogy for increasing critical data literacy and democratic debate about artificial intelligence.
Regina Rini is a York University Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Social Reasoning. Rini’s research focuses on how people in democratic societies justify their social beliefs to one another. Her work analyzes research from the social sciences, especially cognitive science and sociology, to draw conclusions about how public debate currently works. She also investigates philosophical questions about what it means to improve public debate. How can we take deep moral and political differences seriously while remaining respectful in a diverse society? Rini's central answer is a connection between public discourse and personal moral agency. She argues that we cannot understand our individual moral and political decisions without also understanding how we relate to those of others.
Manus (Johnny) Rungtusanatham
Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Supply Chain Management, Manus (Johnny) Rungtusanatham is a Professor in the Schulich School of Business. He researches supply chain breaches – for example, the removal or diversion of goods flowing towards or from a manufacturer (e.g., cargo theft), introduction of a substitute good (counterfeit) or a second good (contraband) into the physical flow of another good, and/or contamination of the good that is physically flowing (tampered goods). This research program advances a theory of supply chain securitization involving people, processes, and technology, informed through the lenses of immunology, military strategies and criminology.
Christina Sharpe, Professor in the Department of Humanities, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, has been awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities. As such, Sharpe will create a fulsome and vibrant research hub, rich with innovative research creation practices and projects. The program will convene the Black Still Life Research Group as a new model of study bringing together established and emerging Black Studies scholars, graduate students, and visual and performing artists whose work investigates the myriad ways Black life is made and lived. Through collaborative, theoretical and community-based research methods, the program will explore interdisciplinary ways of knowing and acting to generate scholarly and creative outcomes in Black Studies knowledges.
Isaac Smith, Lassonde School of Engineering, Tier 2 CRC in Planetary Science. Professor Smith is a planetary scientist who concentrates on atmospheric, surface, and subsurface processes on Mars, especially related to ice. He came to York from the Planetary Science Institute, where he joined as a post-doctoral researcher in 2016 and was promoted to research scientist in 2017. He completed his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 and afterward received a Fulbright Fellowship to work at Le Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique at Sorbonne University in Paris.
CRC in Planetary Science
Pirathayini Srikantha, Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering, has been awarded a Tier 2 CRC in Reliable and Secure Power Grid Systems for research that has important national security implications for Canada’s critical power grid infrastructure. Srikantha will build on her foundational contributions to smart distribution systems by using the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and transactive technologies. To enhance reliability in the increasingly volatile and vulnerable electricity grid, her research will address two specific challenges: giving devices that are controlled by the electric power utility the ability to automatically infer, predict and respond to power disturbances, and secondly, designing trustworthy energy markets that incentivize power producers and consumers to provide grid support during congestion or fault conditions.
Kate Tilleczek is a Professor in the Faculty of Education and a Tier 1 CRC in Young Lives, Education and Global Good. Tilleczek’s research examines how education can better assist more young people and provides unique national and international data on critical risk and protective situations encountered by contemporary youth. Her work documents how marginal youth are affected by shifting global and local contexts such as digital technology and mental health challenges. It unearths the positive and resilient aspects of young lives and provides longitudinal and cross-cultural comparisons in Canada and beyond. Her research is mobilized to the academy, communities, and decision makers who are in positions to better support youth. The Chair also builds new global youth partnerships, linking young people across countries and cultures to develop social innovations for the greatest challenges they face.
Nikolaus Troje, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Reality Research (as of July 1, 2019), is a Professor in the Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science and a core member of Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) team within York’s Centre for Vision Research. In his BioMotionLab, he uses motion capture and 3D scanning technology to generate individualized avatars to be used in mixed realities. Using virtual reality (VR), he studies how we perceive objects and communicate with other people, how we experience and take ownership of our own body, and how we situate ourselves in the space that we seem to occupy.
John K. Tsotsos is currently the Distinguished Research Professor of Vision Science at York University, where he also holds the NSERC Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Computational Vision. He holds Adjunct Professorships in the departments of Computer Science and of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto. He was Director of the Centre for Vision Research from 2000 to 2006. In 2014 he became the founding Director of the Centre for Innovation in Computing at Lassonde. His research efforts span the areas of computer vision, computational neuroscience, human vision, artificial intelligence and robotics. He is the recipient of the 2006 Canadian Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Society Award for Research Excellence, and Service and of the 1st President’s Research Excellence Award by York University in 2009. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Academy of Sciences, Division of Mathematics and Physical Sciences in 2010 and was awarded their 2015 Sir John William Dawson Medal for excellence in multidisciplinary research.
Sean Tulin, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Faculty of Science, is a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Particle Physics and Cosmology. The existence of dark matter is one of the Universe’s great mysteries. All stars, planets, and interstellar gas are made from atoms, and yet atomic matter represents only 15 per cent of the total matter in the Universe. The remaining 85 per cent is dark matter. Dark matter provides the cosmic foundation for galaxies to form, but its microphysical properties remain unknown. Tulin’s research provides new directions toward discovering dark matter’s elusive particle nature. By combining astrophysics, particle theory, and cosmology, he is developing new ideas to illuminate dark matter’s particle dynamics through its effect on cosmic structure.
Ethel Tungohan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Canadian Migration Policy, Impacts and Activism. Tungohan will undertake an analysis of discourses that have underpinned the Canadian government’s policies towards temporary foreign workers from 1973 until 2017 and the nature of these policies and their effects on different groups of temporary foreign workers. She will also examine the range of migrant workers’ social movement activities that have emerged as a response, in particular, to anti-migrant discourses and policies.
Doug Van Nort
Doug Van Nort is a York University Professor in the Department of Theatre and Department of Digital Media, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design and is a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Digital Performance. Van Nort’s work is concerned with issues of performance and sensorial immersion in technologically-mediated environments. His research-creation work integrates improvisation and collective performance with machine agents, interactive systems and experiences of telepresence. He is the founding director of the Distributed Performance and Sensorial Immersion (DisPerSion) Lab at York.
Leah F. Vosko is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Professor and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy of Gender & Work at York University. The CRC renewal in 2017 will allow Vosko to examine impediments to the realization of labour market membership for workers facing multiple dimensions of precariousness in employment across several jurisdictions and fields of employment policy. It will allow her to scale-up to the pan-Canadian level her ongoing research on the effectiveness of workplace regulation in Ontario. Her research program also includes (1) the development of an Employment Standards Database, offering a platform for comparative research on employment standards; (2) the creation of the Canada Labour Code Data Analysis Infrastructure, transforming a large-scale administrative database that the Government of Canada's Labour Program maintains into a research tool yielding new insights into labour standards compliance across the country; and (3) an investigation identifying avenues for realizing labour market membership among workers labouring transnationally.
Graham Wakefield is a York University Professor in the Department of Visual Art & Art History, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Interactive Information Visualization. Wakefield’s research-creation is founded upon a trans-disciplinary training in art, music, virtual reality, mathematics, and philosophy, partnered with extensive professional practice in software engineering. Wakefield’s artworks have been exhibited at major international museums such as ZKM and his research is documented in leading journals and conferences, including a best paper award at NIME 2013.
Georg Zoidl, Tier 1 CRC in Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and Engineering. His research examines the functions of nerve cells in the brain and the visual system as a means to understanding overall brain activity in health and disease. In this process, he explores the molecular and cellular machinery enabling communication processes in the brain that contribute to vision, learning and memory, and disease-causing conditions.
Joel Zylberberg, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Computational Neuroscience (as of July 1, 2019), is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Faculty of Science and a core member of VISTA. He studies the way the brain represents information about the outside world, and the way in which those representations are learned. His immediate goal is to build on his expertise in machine learning and sensory neuroscience to create a camera to brain translator that could restore sight to the blind and could be used in computer vision systems.