Faculty of Science researchers have been awarded more than $5 million in research infrastructure funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The funding was part of an announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of more than $518 million to support 102 projects at 35 post-secondary institutions and research hospitals across the country.
York University Distinguished Research Professor Eric Hessels has been awarded $3,360,000 from the CFI Innovation Fund for the project Tabletop Probe of PeV-scale new physics. Professor and York Research Chair Derek Wilson has been awarded almost $2.1 million as principal investigator of a project with York University Distinguished Research Professor Sergey Krylov, Technology-Enhanced Drug Development and Manufacturing (TEnDev): MirrorLab.
“We are grateful for this visionary investment in the infrastructure needed to support York University’s ground-breaking research activities. The grants from CFI’s Innovation Fund will enable York to conduct fundamental research, helping us to better understand our planet and universe; develop technologies to address complex social, health, environmental, and economic challenges; and drive positive change in Canada and around the world,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton.
Hessels, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was recently honoured for his work in high-precision atomic physics measurements and their significance as tests of fundamental physics. This CFI grant will allow for ultra-precise measurements that will test the fundamental laws of physics at energies that are much higher than the 14-TeV Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The infrastructure will be used to test whether the electron is spherical, or whether it has an electric dipole moment − a small distortion in its charge distribution. Such a distortion would be evidence that a fundamental symmetry of physics is violated at high energies, making matter act differently than antimatter, and could help to explain why the universe is made entirely out of matter, rather than antimatter.
Wilson and Krylov’s research in the Department of Chemistry is centered on the development of powerful new bioanalytical technologies that provide high detail, dynamic pictures of how drugs interact with their protein targets. TEnDev will enable Canadian international leadership in pre-clinical drug development and manufacturing through the creation of a globally competitive hub for technological innovation in biopharmaceuticals research. The result will be a greatly expanded capacity for biopharmaceuticals research at York University, and a distinct competitive advantage for pharmaceutical companies choosing to locate R & D activities in the surrounding region. TEnDev will also generate direct health benefits for Canadians through accelerated drug approvals and improved manufacturing quality.
The Prime Minister’s full announcement is available here: New investments to support research and science across Canada.