Researchers at York University receive $9 million in Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funding

research graphic

Three major research projects at York University have received more than $9 million in research infrastructure funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced more than $518 million in research infrastructure funding on March 3 that will support 102 projects at 35 post-secondary institutions and research hospitals across the country.

“We are grateful for this visionary investment in the infrastructure needed to support York University’s ground-breaking research activities. The grants from CFI’s Innovation Fund will enable York to conduct fundamental research, helping us to better understand our planet and universe; develop technologies to address complex social, health, environmental, and economic challenges; and drive positive change in Canada and around the world,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton.
York University Distinguished Research Professor Eric Hessels receives the 2020 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics. Photo by Paola Scattolon
Eric Hessels. Photo by Paola Scattolon

York University Distinguished Research Professor Eric Hessels has been awarded $3,360,000 from the CFI Innovation Fund for the project Tabletop Probe of PeV-scale new physics. A professor in York’s Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Faculty of Science, Hessels was recently honoured for his work in high-precision atomic physics measurements and their significance as tests of fundamental physics. This CFI grant will allow for ultra-precise measurements that will test the fundamental laws of physics at energies that are much higher than the 14-TeV Large Hadron Collider at CERN.  The infrastructure will be used to test whether the electron is spherical, or whether it has an electric dipole moment − a small distortion in its charge distribution. Such a distortion would be evidence that a fundamental symmetry of physics is violated at high energies, making matter act differently than antimatter, and could help to explain why the universe is made entirely out of matter, rather than antimatter.   

Derek Wilson
Derek Wilson

Professor and York Research Chair Derek Wilson has been awarded almost $2.1 million as principal investigator of a project withYork University Distinguished Research Professor Sergey Krylov, Technology-Enhanced Drug Development and Manufacturing (TEnDev): MirrorLab. Their research in the Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science, is centered on the development of powerful new bioanalytical technologies that provide high detail, dynamic pictures of how drugs interact with their protein targets. TEnDev will enable Canadian international leadership in pre-clinical drug development and manufacturing through the creation of a globally competitive hub for technological innovation in biopharmaceuticals research. The result will be a greatly expanded capacity for biopharmaceuticals research at York University, and a distinct competitive advantage for pharmaceutical companies choosing to locate R & D activities in the surrounding region. TEnDev will also generate direct health benefits for Canadians through accelerated drug approvals and improved manufacturing quality.

George Zhu
George Zhu

Professor George Zhu has been awarded almost $3.6 million for Intelligent Additive Manufacturing Technology for Space Exploration, a project that will lead a transformation in mass and volume reduction for rocket launching satellites into space and self-sustained medical support to human spaceflight.  A professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering, Zhu aims to develop transformative Artificial Intelligence (AI) enhanced Additive Manufacturing (AM) and 3D bioprinting technologies for human space exploration in three new frontiers: near net-shape manufacturing by AI enhanced AM; lightweight multifunctional materials; and 3D bioprinting for regenerative medicine. The long-term objectives are to make spacecraft, payloads and surgical instruments with AM technology operated autonomously by intelligent robots, and 3D print implantable biological substitutes to enable in-situ medical treatment of astronauts in space. The goal is to create functional prototypes of selected AI-AM systems for spaceflight, within five years, as well as scaffold-free 3D bioprinting technology ready for spaceflight, and new lightweight multifunctional materials and metamaterials.

The Prime Minister’s full announcement: New investments to support research and science across Canada.