Six emerging and established researchers from across the University are newly appointed York Research Chairs. The appointments are part of a program established to build, support and intensify the world-renowned research underway at the University.
“I am delighted to announce the appointment of six new York Research Chairs and congratulate them on this significant accomplishment,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research and innovation. “Recognized for their leadership in scholarship, research and creative activities, these Research Chairs reflect the spectrum of excellence in research & scholarship undertaken across the University.”
Tier 1 Chairs
Nantel Bergeron, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science, was awarded a Tier 1 York Research Chair in Applied Algebra. Bergeron is one of the pioneers in the development of the theory of combinatorial Hopf algebras that serve as a conceptual laboratory in which researchers can understand and solve complex problems from other areas of science and mathematics. His research program will help to better understand the complexity of algorithms in computer science and mathematics and bring further insights into super-symmetry of nature.
Ellen Bialystok, Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health, has received a Tier 1 Walter Gordon York Research Chair in Lifespan Cognitive Development. Her research examines the effects of experience on cognitive function and brain organization across the lifespan, with a particular focus on bilingualism as an example of an intense and prevalent experience. The award will support studies of patients with early Alzheimer’s disease to provide a more complete description of these dynamic changes and develop a training protocol based on compensation that will improve cognitive function for all patients.
Chun Peng, professor in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, was awarded a Tier 1 York Research Chair in Women’s Reproductive Health. Peng’s long-term goal for her research program is to understand the regulation of female reproduction and the mechanisms underlying the development of ovarian cancer and preeclampsia. Her proposed research will enhance the overall understanding of female reproductive health and reveal novel biomarkers for preeclampsia and therapeutic targets for ovarian cancer.
Stepan Wood, professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, has been awarded a Tier 1 Chair in Environmental Justice and Sustainability. His research program explores transnational sustainability governance schemes across many issue areas from a transdisciplinary perspective. His research program seeks to harness these interactions to empower marginalized interests and advance sustainability.
Tier 2 Chairs
Jimmy Huang, professor and director of the School of Information Technology, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS), received a Tier 2 York Research Chair in Big Data Analytics. Huang’s research focuses on the areas of information retrieval, big data and their applications to the web and medical healthcare. The objective of his research program is to overcome limitations of existing information retrieval methods and to formally develop a new retrieval paradigm called context-sensitive and task-aware information search for big data.
Amro Zayed, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, was awarded a Tier 2 York Research Chair in Genomics. Zayed’s research group sequences the genomes of thousands of bees to identify mutations that influence their economically and ecologically relevant traits. Zayed’s program aims to improve the health of Canadian honey bees, which will increase the sustainability and security of Canada’s food supply.
More about the York Research Chair program
The York Research Chairs program serves as an internal twin for the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program. The level of support and recognition provided to York Research Chairs is aligned with supports and recognition provided through the CRC program.
York Research Chairs are available at two levels analogous to CRC chairs. Tier I York Research Chairs are open to established research leaders at the rank of Full Professor. Tier II York Research Chairs are aimed at emerging research leaders within 15 years of their first academic appointment at the rank of Associate or Assistant Professor. Both have five-year terms that are renewable in the context of open-competition based on peer review and the continuing availability of resources.
For more information, contact Mark Roseman, director, Strategic and Institutional Research Initiatives, at ext. 22507.