Three of uOttawa’s latest Canada Research Chairs hail from the Faculty of Medicine

Faculty of Medicine
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
University Research Chair
From left to right: Dr. Deborah Siegal, Dr. Simon Chen, Dr. Arezu Jahani-Asl.
These chair holders will expand the University of Ottawa’s breadth and depth of innovative research in areas such as neuroscience, neurobiology and cardiovascular disease.

Three members of uOttawa’s Faculty of Medicine have been named Canada Research Chairs, including one who has been renewed for a second term. These esteemed Faculty members are among five University of Ottawa researchers whose CRC appointments and renewals were announced on January 12 by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

The chair holders will expand the University of Ottawa’s breadth and depth of innovative research in areas such as neuroscience, neurobiology and cardiovascular disease. They will “build on our strengths to better understand and improve our world,” said Sylvain Charbonneau, vice-president, research and innovation.

Meet the Faculty of Medicine’s Canada Research Chairs:

The new Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs are:

Arezu Jahani-Asl (Faculty of Medicine), Canada Research Chair in Neurobiology of Disease

Professor Arezu Jahani-Aslstudies neural stem cells, a group of cells that contribute to the plasticity and regeneration of the brain. At the same time, rewiring of these cells can lead to brain diseases, such as aggressive cancers and neurodevelopmental disorders. Professor Jahani-Asl is working on identifying molecular events and signalling pathways that are altered in these cells in the diseased brain, with the ultimate aim of finding better treatment for these diseases. Her research has also received funding for infrastructure from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund.

Deborah Siegal (Faculty of Medicine and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute), Canada Research Chair in Anticoagulant Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease

Bleeding is a serious complication of antithrombotic therapy used widely to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease. The goal of Professor Deborah Siegal’s research is to improve the safety of this therapy, which reduces the formation of blood clots. She will focus on optimizing anticoagulant management around emergencies, such as serious bleeding or urgent surgery, as well as the role of antithrombotics for treating ischemic stroke in individuals with cancer.

The renewed Tier 2 Canada Research Chair is held by:

Simon Chen (Faculty of Medicine), Canada Research Chair in Neural Circuits and Behaviour

An emerging leader in the field of in vivo imaging and neural dynamics, Professor Simon Chenaims to better understand the brain’s motor cortex, which is responsible for voluntary movement, and the neural circuit activity involved in motor skill learning. Uncovering such mechanisms will help shed light on post-traumatic recovery in motor-related brain injury and on diseases such as stroke and Parkinson’s.

Funding for scholarships and fellowships

Minister Champagne also announced the allocation of more than $260 million nationwide in graduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships for 2020-21. These scholarships and fellowships, including the Canada Graduate Scholarships, are awarded by the Tri-agencies (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research). Congratulations to all University of Ottawa recipients of scholarships and fellowships!