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Three SFU scholars awarded as new and renewed Canada Research Chairs

June 02, 2022
SFU scholars, from left to right, Sharon Luk, Graeme Koelwyn, Stephanie Simmons among new and renewed Canada Research Chairs

A trio of SFU researchers who are making an impact in diverse fields—from how exercise affects cancer patient outcomes, to transforming healthcare and cybersecurity through quantum computing advances—will further their research excellence as new and renewed Canada Research Chairs (CRC).

SFU’s new Canada Research Chairs are:

Sharon Luk, Geography, Tier 2 CRC in Geographies of Racialization

An emerging global leader in geographies of racialization, professor Luk develops robust analytic tools to understand the regional dynamics of racism, and how marginalized communities mobilize for its abolition.

Graeme Koelwyn, Health Sciences, Tier 2 CRC in Public Health ‘Omics in Exercise and Disease

As a leading heart and lung scholar, professor Koelwyn’s translational research investigates how exercise modulates inflammation and the immune system in humans to improve outcomes in patients with cancer as well as heart and lung diseases. He is also receiving funding from JELF for his research.

SFU’s renewed Canada Research Chair is:

Stephanie Simmons, Physics, Tier 2 CRC in Silicon Quantum Technologies

As a world-leading expert in quantum technologies, professor Simmons is developing innovations that will, for some applications, provide exponentially faster computing power than what exists today, which will enable advances in many fields, including healthcare and cyber security.

“I would like to congratulate these three SFU researchers for being appointed as CRCs along with some of our country’s most accomplished and promising minds,” says Dugan O’Neil, SFU’s vice-president, research and international.

“As we continue to grow and expand our capacity in research excellence and innovation, we are incredibly grateful for the Canadian federal government’s ongoing support. This funding plays a key role in helping our researchers mobilize their transformative discoveries and take them to the next level.”

SFU currently has 33 CRCs, including 15 Tier 1 and 18 Tier 2 chairholders. Tier 2 chairs are awarded to “exceptional emerging researchers who are acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead their fields.” Since 2001, 80 unique CRCs have been appointed at SFU.

Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, climate change and social sciences; improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life; strengthen international competitiveness; and train the next generation of highly skilled people to raise their future successors.

The Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the investment of approximately $100.4 million for 117 new and renewed CRCs at 35 academic institutions across Canada.

This investment is complemented by more than $1.7 million in new funding for research infrastructure to support 9 Chairs at 8 institutions through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF).

Established by the Government of Canada in 2000, the CRC Program invests up to $311 million per year to attract and retain diverse world-class researchers, and to reinforce academic research and training excellence in Canadian post-secondary institutions.

Learn more about how SFU researchers push the boundaries of knowledge and deliver real-word results.