Faculty of Science Canada Research Chairs announcement

January 06, 2021
Don Estep
Matthias Danninger
Jiguo Cao
Eundeok Mun
Roger Linington

Five researchers in the Faculty of Science have been recognized with new, renewed or upgraded Canada Research Chairs.


New Chairs:

Matthias Danninger, Department of Physics, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Experimental Particle Physics

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most powerful particle accelerator ever built and provides a unique opportunity to explore the high-energy frontier in particle physics. SFU science professor Matthias Danninger will use the ATLAS detector at the LHC to search for signs of long-lived new particle signatures, and to shed light on the universe’s biggest remaining mystery: why matter prevailed over antimatter in the early universe, or what exactly dark matter is. Searching for these particles is highly challenging as they have a tendency to avoid interactions, making them elusive to detect.

Don Estep, Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Computational Probability and Uncertainty Quantification

SFU science professor Don Estep is a mathematician and statistician who collaborates with scientists and engineers to develop algorithms and models for a range of problems in ecology, physics and engineering. He has applied his research to detect black holes, forecast hurricane storm surges, measure electromagnetic scattering and predict fusion reaction.  By examining the behavior of complex multi-physics systems and subsequently creating computational and statistical models Estep can predict behavior, quantify uncertainty and ultimately mitigate hazards.

SFU’s Canada Research Chairs advancement:

Roger Linington, Department of Chemistry, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in High-Throughput Screening and Natural Products Discovery

SFU science professor Roger Linington literally leaves no rock unturned in his quest to find natural microbial products that may become a source of new antibiotics for treating human illness. He uses his skills as a diver to collect microbes from Canada’s west coast and beyond. By combining methods in environmental microbiology, analytical chemistry, high-throughput screening and informatics, he and his team are creating the next generation of tools for discovering natural products. This work forms the basis of a world-wide first—a comprehensive Natural Products Atlas detailing information about global discoveries of natural microbial products. It is freely available to researchers worldwide. Discovering new antibiotics is extremely challenging, but remains a priority in Linington’s quest to improve worldwide health outcomes.

SFU’s renewed Canada Research Chairs:

Jiguo Cao, Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Data Science

SFU science professor Cao develop novel statistical models and machine-learning methods for an array of data-driven applications that tackle real-world problems in the fields of neuroscience, genetics, environment, and artificial intelligence. Examples include sports analytics, identification of genes related to Alzheimer's disease, understanding impacts of climate change on forest fires and landscape vulnerability, studying effects of air pollution on public health and predicting survival time of patients after organ transplantation.

Eundeok Mun, Department of Physics, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Materials Physics

Quantum matter is responsible for a wide range of phenomena that have enhanced our understanding of fundamental science and led to many technological advances. SFU science professor Eundeok Mun investigates the structure and behavior of solid matter in his quest to discover new materials with unusual magnetic and electronic ground states. He hopes these new quantum materials provide not only a playground for finding and exploring new states of matter but also yield practical benefits such as new electronic devices and computing technologies.