media release

Research chairs draw $2.4 million

October 13, 2011

Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.3210/9017;

Photos available for download:

A trio of Simon Fraser University researchers has been awarded over $2 million through the federal government’s Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program to carry out research related to health, mathematics learning, and global communication.

Mark Brockman holds the new health chair in Viral Pathogenesis and Immunity. The molecular biologist is working to improve our understanding of how some people can naturally suppress HIV – research that could lead to the development of targets for vaccine development and new treatments.

The new position allows Brockman to expand his research and training program over the next five years and supports new collaborative projects with local researchers (at SFU and at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS) as well as ongoing capacity-building activities with international colleagues in Africa.

Education associate professor Nathalie Sinclair holds a new chair in Tangible Mathematics Learning. Her research involves using computer-based learning to change the way children are taught and learn about mathematics.

Her goal is to improve policies on how technology is used to teach math and to impact how math is taught, particularly at the primary levels. Sinclair wants to ensure youths are prepared with the skills that are essential for success in the global economy.

The new chairs each receive $500,000 in funding.

Meanwhile communication professor Yuezhi Zhao receives $1.4 million towards her Social Sciences and Humanities Canada Research Chair in Political Economy of Global Communication.

Zhao is analyzing news coverage of four English-language satellite TV networks and examining the role of communication in China’s rise as a major world power.

Zhao is currently on a Nordic lecture tour and returns to deliver a talk at SFU on Nov. 10, as part of SFU's CRC lecture series, China's Quest for Soft Power: Imperatives, Impediments and Irreconcilable Tensions.

A total of 253 newly awarded or renewed Canada Research Chairs at 56 Canadian degree-granting postsecondary institutions are being awarded $203.9 million to undertake new research.

The federal investment is aimed at allowing Canadian institutions to strengthen their position as global leaders in research and development and attract greater economic opportunities for Canadians.


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