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INRS awarded over $1.57 million in funding for new research facilities

April 11, 2018 | Gisèle Bolduc

Update : November 5, 2020

INRS will receive over $1.57 million in funding for four new facilities to produce innovative research and train highly qualified personnel in strategic sectors. The Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund and the Government of Quebec are joining forces to provide matching funds for four promising projects that could lead to scientific breakthroughs in environmental science, health care, bio-imaging, and innovative semiconductor development. 

Ecotoxicogenomics Research Centre

Combining ecotoxicology and molecular biology with chemistry, environmental science, and aquatic biochemistry, this unique INRS facility will equip professor Valérie Langlois to better assess the effects of environmental chemicals on the health of living organisms, especially amphibians and fish. Professor Langlois’ work also seeks to discover new molecular biomarkers associated with chemical exposures to generate reliable data to better measure environmental risks.

High-speed bio-imaging laboratory

With this new lab, Professor Jinyang Liang will deploy ultrafast, high-resolution, and ultrasensitive spatiotemporal imaging technologies to map neuronal activity in order to better understand the origin and evolution of neurological disorders. Professor Liang will also explore the biophysical mechanisms underlying multiple sclerosis and late-onset Alzheimer’s disease to improve quality of life for people. The laboratory will foster new collaborations in the fields of photonics, biomedical engineering, and neuroscience. 

Facility for studying the mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction in motor neuron diseases

This new facility will enable Professor Kessen Patten to combine genetic, electrophysiological, and real-time imaging approaches to the study the mechanisms that render connections between nerve cell and muscle dysfunctional in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Professor Patten’s research aims to identify chemical compounds to restore connectivity between the nerve and muscle, and develop targeted treatments to combat these neurodegenerative diseases

Molecular and Device Physics Laboratory

Professor Emanuele Orgiu will acquire the instrumentation needed to develop quantum materials and organic-based semiconductors with the potential to replace the silicon widely used in electronic devices. His research program will focus on conjugated polymers and two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene, black phosphorus, and certain metals to explore new exotic properties of matter at very low temperatures. The research facility provides fundamental support for the design of new lightweight, transparent, flexible, and large-area devices for applications in electronics, photonics, and energy.