USask researchers awarded NSERC funding for future innovation in science, health and engineering

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers in diverse disciplines were awarded over $7 million in federal government grant funding.

The funding will be used to pursue new long-term research projects rooted in the natural sciences and engineering sectors as well as to build new tools to aid in future research work. 

NSERC Discovery Grant recipients 

The below list are the recipients of the 2022 Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grants Discovery Grant amounts are awarded in instalments over a period of five years. Early career researchers were also eligible to receive a $12,500 supplement to kickstart their research program. 

Julia Boughner 
Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology – College of Medicine 
The Evo-Devo of Vertebrate Teeth & Jaws 
$280,000

Michelle Collins 
Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology - College of Medicine 
Exploring calcium signaling in the heart 
$185,000 
Discovery Launch Supplement for Early Career Researchers recipient - $12,500 
 
Peiqiang Yu 
Animal and Poultry Science – College of Agriculture and Bioresources 
In-Depth Study of Feed Internal Molecular Structure and Nutrient Make-up within Cellular and Sub-cellular Dimensions Using Advanced Synchrotron Radiation Based Bioanalytical Techniques 
$217,360 
 
Kerry Lavender 
Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology - College of Medicine 
IFNa subtype-specific modulation of intrinsic, innate and adaptive immunity 
$140,000 
Discovery Launch Supplement for Early Career Researchers recipient - $12,500 
 
Anil Kumar Victoria Ansalem 
Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology - College of Medicine 
Discovery and Characterization of Cellular Factors Modulating Type III Interferon Induction and Signaling 
$140,000 
Discovery Launch Supplement for Early Career Researchers recipient - $12,500 
 
Philip McLoughlin 
Biology – College of Arts and Science  
Hierarchical density dependence in large animal ecology and evolution 
$200,000 
 
Bishnu Acharya 
Chemical and Biological Engineering – College of Engineering 
Valorization of agriculture and organic biomass to high value bioproducts 
$195,000 
 
Ramin Azargohar 
Chemical and Biological Engineering - College of Engineering 
Synthesis of advanced carbon materials from waste biomass and their applications in energy and electronic devices 
$130,000 
Discovery Launch Supplement for Early Career Researchers recipient - $12,500 
 
Oon-Doo Baik 
Chemical and Biological Engineering - College of Engineering 
Why Radio frequency heating is more effective to deactivate and release non-nutritive components from pulses 
$140,000 
 
Timothy Kelly 
Chemistry - College of Arts and Science 
Upscaling organic and hybrid optoelectronics: synthesis, processing, and advanced characterization 
$310,000 
 
Christopher Phenix 
Chemistry - College of Arts and Science 
Exploring Fundamental Strategies For Imaging Hydrolytic Enzymes 
$180,000 
 
David Sanders 
Chemistry - College of Arts and Science 
Using Structural Studies to Investigate the Relationships Between Enzymes and Ligands 
$170,000 
 
Christopher Hawkes 
Civil, Geological and Environmental Engineering - College of Engineering 
Assessing the technical aspects of spent nuclear fuel storage in deep horizontal boreholes 
$155,000 
 
Laura Smith 
Civil, Geological and Environmental Engineering - College of Engineering 
Developing novel in situ methods to monitor and quantify groundwater storage changes in cold regions 
$135,000 
Discovery Launch Supplement for Early Career Researchers recipient - $12,500 
 
Ian McQuillan 
Computer Science - College of Arts and Science 
Algorithms and Inference of Grammars and Natural Computing Models 
$205,000 
 
Cody Phillips 
Computer Science - College of Arts and Science 
Developing Games and Tools to Overcome Procrastination 
$125,000 
Discovery Launch Supplement for Early Career Researchers recipient - $12,500 
 
Takuji Tanaka 
Food and Bioproduct Sciences - College of Agriculture and Bioresources  
Directed Evolution of Lactococcus lactis Xaa-Pro dipeptidase based on the rationales given through X-ray crystallographic studies 
$165,000 
 
Xulin Guo 
Geography & Planning – College of Arts and Science 
Integrating measures of grassland function using Remote Sensing 
$180,000 
 
Cherie Westbrook 
Geography & Planning - College of Arts and Science 
Impacts of Beaver Systems on Lateral and Downstream Hydrological Connectivity 
$255,000 
 
Ingrid Pickering 
Geological Sciences - College of Arts and Science 
Chemistry of Selenium in Life and Interplay with Toxic Elements 
$310,000 
 
Alexander Weekes 
Mathematics and Statistics - College of Arts and Science 
Interactions between representation theory, algebraic geometry, and physics 
$130,000 
Discovery Launch Supplement for Early Career Researchers recipient - $12,500 
 
Curtis Wendlandt 
Mathematics and Statistics - College of Arts and Science 
A rational approach to affine quantum algebras 
$130,000 
Discovery Launch Supplement for Early Career Researchers recipient - $12,500 
 
Donald Bergstrom 
Mechanical Engineering - College of Engineering 
Improved computational models for particle transport in turbulent wall-bounded flows 
$160,000 
 
James Johnston 
Mechanical Engineering - College of Engineering 
Development of Automated Techniques for Modelling Cartilage Morphology and Mechanics 
$230,000 
 
Amir Masoud Ghezelbash 
Physics and Engineering Physics - College of Arts and Science 
Aspects of Black Holes in Modified Theories of Gravity: Holography, Weak Gravity Conjecture and Wedge Algebra 
$120,000 
 
Alexandre Koustov 
Physics and Engineering Physics - College of Arts and Science 
Study of the Earth's ionosphere with ground-based radars and Swarm satellites 
$140,000 
 
Andrei Smolyakov 
Physics and Engineering Physics - College of Arts and Science  
Equilibrium, fluctuations, and transport in magnetically controlled plasmas 
$250,000 
 
Timothy Sharbel 
Plant Sciences - College of Agriculture and Bioresources 
Fixing heterosis in Canola using apomixis 
$140,000 
 
Lorin Elias 
Psychology - College of Arts and Science 
Side Effects:  How our lopsided brain influences everyday behaviour 
$140,000 
 
Adelaine Leung 
Veterinary Biomedical Sciences – Western College of Veterinary Medicine 
Neural mechanisms integrating metabolism and reproductive behaviour in Drosophila melanogaster 
$160,000 
 
Suraj Unniappan 
Veterinary Biomedical Sciences - Western College of Veterinary Medicine  
Hormonal Regulation of Feeding, Metabolism, Growth and Reproduction in Fish 
$325,000 
 
Arinjay Banerjee 
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) 
Bats as a model to understand the evolution of coronavirus-host interactions 
$185,000 
Discovery Launch Supplement for Early Career Researchers recipient - $12,500 
 
Aaron White 
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) 
Transmission and biofilm formation by pathogenic Salmonella strains 
$160,000 

NSERC Research Tools and Instruments grant recipients 

These grants are designed to support the purchase of research equipment for use in natural sciences and engineering research that will build the research team’s capacity for discovery and innovation. 

David Cooper 
Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology (APP) - College of Medicine 
High Efficiency X-ray Macroscope for Imaging of Musculoskeletal Development and Aging at the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron 
$150,000 
 
Neil Chilton 
Biology – College of Arts and Science 
Replacement quantitative real-time PCR detection system for studies in parasitology, animal physiology and environmental toxicology 
$28,364 
 
Tara Kahan 
Chemistry - College of Arts and Science 
Replacement mobile laboratory for indoor chemistry 
$122,503 
 
Timothy Kelly 
Chemistry - College of Arts and Science 
SEC/GPC System for Polymer Characterization 
$149,042 
 
Katelyn Congreves 
Plant Sciences - College of Agriculture and Bioresources 
Trace gas analyzer for climate-smart agriculture research 
$122,038 
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