Ralph Pantophlet with Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, in the Pantophlet lab. Photo credit: Eugene Doudko

CFI funding to advance research on disease vaccines

March 15, 2019
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Faculty of Health Sciences associate professor Ralph Pantophlet is one of three researchers preparing to take their projects to the next level after SFU receives more than $700K worth of funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

The Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, made the announcement today while visiting SFU’s Burnaby Campus. The $746,300 of funding, provided by the CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF), will be used to improve SFU labs and purchase equipment that will enable researchers to advance their research goals.  

“On behalf of the university, I’d like to express my sincerest congratulations to the three SFU researchers receiving the John R. Evans Leaders Fund awards from the Canada Foundation for Innovation,” says Joy Johnson, SFU’s Vice-President, Research and International and professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences. “We are grateful for CFI’s investment that helps SFU expand its global impact by continuing to grow our capacity in research excellence and innovation.”

Pantophlet's lab will receive a new-generation flow cytometry system that will enable high-resolution analyses of immune responses and precise recovery of immune cells. 

This leading-edge system will enable researchers to unravel cell biological responses and strengthen disease research in Canada. It will support recent Canadian initiatives to stimulate new vaccine and cure strategies. The research will also enhance Canada’s global role in promoting human health and security, benefitting Canadians in the long term.

“We look forward to utilizing this new technological platform to advance our vaccine research endeavors, particularly those focused on HIV-1, and continue to build capacity at SFU for research in infectious diseases and immunology.” says Pantophlet. 

JELF funding will also provide SFU researchers Jeremy Venditti, Faculty of Environment, and Dylan Cooke, Faculty of Science, with specialized research equipment and materials for their respective projects. 

SFU is one of 43 universities to receive JELF funding as part of a broader announcement made on Wednesday. The combined funding provides more than $39 million for state-of-the-art research labs and equipment that will support 251 researchers leading 186 projects at universities across Canada. 

Thanks to investments like this, SFU is enabled to engage with more communities and conduct additional groundbreaking research that will have positive impacts on Canadians for generations to come.


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Joy Johnson, Minister Kirsty Duncan, Pierre Normand and Terry Beech join SFU researchers for the announcement of CFI's JELF funding. Photo credit: Eugene Doudko

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