Seven new CRCs appointed at UBC Science

Hudson is designing new materials that could be used to create thin, flexible and more efficient lighting components.

The Faculty of Science welcomed seven new Canada Research Chairs today, an investment that will boost UBC’s research capacity in new materials, biodiversity, big data, health and artificial intelligence.

The CRCs are part of 31 new or renewed Chairs worth $27 million at the University. Three chairs were renewed within the Faculty.

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, made the announcement at an event at UBC to recognize 305 Canada Research Chair appointments at 53 postsecondary institutions across the country.  

“I’d like to extend my sincere congratulations to the latest new and renewed Canada Research Chairs,” said Minister Duncan. “The Government of Canada is proud to support these elite researchers who improve our depth of knowledge, strengthen Canada's international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of our highly skilled workforce.”

The Canada Research Chair program helps attract and retain top researchers across the country. Today’s announcement will support 18 new chairs at UBC and will continue to support 13 renewed chairs. There are 187 chairs at the university.

“Programs like this are critical for attracting some of the brightest minds to our institutions and building research opportunities,” said UBC Interim President Martha Piper.

The event profiled the research of Zachary Hudson, a new assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry who has been appointed the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Chemistry. Hudson is working on a new lighting technology called organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs. He is designing new materials that could be used to create thin and flexible lights that could one day replace fluorescent lighting.

"I'm excited to launch my research at UBC with the support of the Canada Research Chairs program,” said Hudson. “Our goal is to create thin and flexible light sources that use far less energy, yet are also lightweight and inexpensive to manufacture.”

Today’s announcement represents a $260-million investment in the Canada Research Chairs program and also included a $342-million commitment to Canadian research through the Research Support Fund, and $17 million in infrastructure support for the Canada Research Chairs program through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

New UBC Science Canada Research Chairs

Andrea Damascelli, Canada Research Chair in Electronic Structure of Quantum Materials, Faculty of Science
Damascelli’s research focuses on the electronic structure of a type of superconducting material known as unconventional superconductors. His work will contribute to the development of new materials with quantum electronic properties.

Zachary Hudson, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Chemistry, Faculty of Science
Hudson is studying a new lighting technology known as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). His goal is to make new materials for efficient lighting that is both affordable and can be printed with an inkjet printer.

Patrick Keeling, Canada Research Chair in Microbial Diversity and Evolution, Faculty of Science
Keeling uses genetics and environmental microbiology to better understand the evolution of parasites.

Mark MacLachlan, Canada Research Chair in Supramolecular Materials, Faculty of Science
MacLachlan examines the complexes of molecules found in crab shells to construct new porous materials.  The development of highly porous and conductive electrodes is important for optimizing supercapacitors, devises that could one day replace lead batteries in cars.

Sara Mostafavi, Canada Research Chair in Computational Biology, Faculty of Science
Mostafavi uses statistics to discover the relative roles of genetics and environment in diseases and, specifically, to identify clinically reliable genetic risk factors for psychiatric disorders.

Lisa Osborne, Canada Research Chair in Host-Microbiome Interactions, Faculty of Science
Osborne studies the “friendly” bacteria living on or in people that provide health benefits.  She is trying to understand how these organisms interact with each other and their host with the goal of finding new treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases.  

Mark Schmidt, Canada Research Chair Machine Learning, Faculty of Science
Schmidt is a computer scientist whose research focuses on the challenges of working with huge datasets. This work has the potential to affect a wide variety of scientific and engineering disciplines in both academia and industry.

Renewed Canada Research Chairs

Sarah Burke, Canada Research Chair in Nanoscience, Faculty of Science
Burke’s research seeks to understand and control the electronic and optoelectronic properties of small molecules, polymers and graphene for future devices that could be used for energy and information technology.

Hadi Dowlatabadi, Canada Research Chair in Integrated-Assessment Modelling and Global Change, Faculty of Science
Dowlatabadi examines what transitioning to a low carbon economy would mean socially and financially and from a technical perspective.

Edwin Perkins, Canada Research Chair in Probability, Faculty of Science
Perkins conducts research into probability theory by studying interacting spatial systems like epidemic models, competing species models and population genetics.

Programs like this are critical for attracting some of the brightest minds to our institutions and building research opportunities.

Chris Balma
c 604-202-5047