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Nine SFU researchers awarded as new and renewed Canada Research Chairs

November 17, 2022

Nine Simon Fraser University (SFU) researchers are among the country’s new and renewed Canada Research Chairs (CRC). SFU’s leading Canadian scholars are advancing research excellence in a wide range of fields, from better understanding neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's disease to improve treatment options, to advancing child health equity.

This week, the Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the investment of over $139 million for 176 new and renewed CRCs at 46 academic institutions across Canada.

“Congratulations to SFU’s new and renewed Canada Research Chairs,” says Dugan O’Neil, SFU’s vice-president, research and international. “With the Government of Canada’s ongoing support, SFU continues to grow and expand our capacity in research excellence, innovation and sustainability.

“Our researchers are leading the way, making cutting-edge discoveries, challenging conventions and embracing partnerships to help build a better future for generations to come.”

SFU currently has 41 CRCs, including 14 Tier 1 chairs and 27 Tier 2 chairs. Since 2001, more than 90 unique CRCs have been appointed at SFU.

SFU’s new and renewed Canada Research Chairs:

Matthew Amy, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Tier 2 CRC in Quantum Computing

Computer science professor Matthew Amy's research aims to better understand and unlock the potential of quantum computation through the development of formal models and methods of reasoning about quantum programs.

Timothy Audas, Faculty of Science, renewed Tier 2 CRC in Cellular Stress

Molecular biology and biochemistry professor Tim Audas’ research studies the role of noncoding Ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the reversible formation of amyloid aggregates to better understand the causes and potentially expand treatment options for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Serena Canaan, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Tier 2 CRC in Applied Microeconomics

An economist specializing in applied microeconomics, professor Serena Canaan’s research examines the role of education and government policy to improve educational, social and economic outcomes for equity-seeking groups—particularly low-income students, religious minorities and women.

Nicole Catherine, Faculty of Health Science, Tier 2 CRC in Child Health Equity and Policy

An emerging leader in child health and policy, professor Nicole Catherine’s prevention research addresses avoidable childhood adversities and seeks to ensure the inclusion of children in research and policymaking—so all can flourish equally.

Nadish de Silva, Faculty of Science, Tier 2 CRC in the Mathematics of Quantum Computation

Mathematics professor Nadish de Silva’s research uses ideas and tools from pure mathematics, physics and computer science to understand how quantum computers can be best harnessed to transform aspects of our lives from national security to climate and financial prediction.

Erik Kjeang, Faculty of Applied Sciences, renewed Tier 2 CRC in Fuel Cell Science and Technology Development

Mechatronics professor Erik Kjeang’s research on enhancing the longevity of devices used for electrochemical energy systems, specifically fuel cells, will have positive environmental and economic impacts as advancements in this area aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce cost of technology and accelerate the technology’s commercialization in Canada.

Ailene MacPherson, Faculty of Science, Tier 2 CRC in Theoretical Evolutionary Epidemiology

Mathematics professor Ailene MacPherson’s research addresses fundamental questions at the intersection of evolution, ecology and epidemiology, developing mathematical and statistical models to understand the spread of infectious diseases and how they coevolve with their hosts.

Amy Parent, Faculty of Education, Tier 2 CRC in Indigenous Governance in Education

Guided by Indigenous values and principles to support a strategic, localized vision with B.C. Indigenous Nations, education professor Amy Parent’s research focuses on challenging relations of domination and colonial complexities to support rematriation processes, and to strengthen self-determination in Indigenous governance and education.

Rudy Reimer, Faculty of Environment, Tier 2 CRC in Indigenous Community Based Archaeology

Archaeology professor, and member of the Squamish Nation, Rudy Reimer (Yumks) combines western science with Indigenous knowledge to address issues expressed by First Nations communities. By conducting research in this way and providing results to communities, he advances Indigenous archaeology goals impacting both academic and First Nations community members.


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. Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences. The program is a tri-agency initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (the agencies).

The Canada Foundation for Innovation, a program partner, has also committed to investing more than $6 million to support the research infrastructure needs of 29 Canada Research Chairs at 22 institutions through its John-R. Evans Leaders Fund.

See the Government of Canada’s press release.