David Vocadlo John Reynolds

NSERC accelerates cell research and B.C. salmon conservation

July 12, 2007

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By Marianne Meadahl

A pair of SFU researchers poised to make breakthroughs in their fields have been singled out as recipients of NSERC’s new discovery accelerator supplements, awarded to outstanding researchers based on their success and accomplishments to date.

Chemist David Vocadlo (left) and biologist John Reynolds (right), who both hold research chairs at SFU, will each receive grants worth $120,000 ($40,000 in each of three years). These are in addition to discovery grants they have already secured.

The grants are designed to help boost research productivity at critical junctures in researchers’ careers. There are 50 inaugural recipients across Canada.

Reynolds and Vocadlo are among 86 SFU researchers sharing $10.6 million in 2007 discovery grants. Another $3.1 million is being allocated as grants and scholarships for 143 SFU graduate and undergraduate researchers.

Reynolds will receive $216,000 over five years towards his research on the conservation and ecology of fish species. His goal is to improve scientific understanding of the dynamics of wild salmon and their ecosystems.

His team is doing in-depth studies of the ecology of salmon in more than 50 watersheds as part of a large field project based in the Great Bear Rainforest on the remote Central Coast of B.C..

Vocadlo will receive $165,000 over three years. He is investigating how certain sugars can disrupt the proper functioning of cells, contributing to the onset of diabetes and neuro-degeneration.

Vocadlo has isolated some of these behaviours, showing how their mutation may be linked to the development of diabetes, cystic fibrosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

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