Two UTM Biology professors out of 19 scholars received $5 million worth of grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation in support of several fields of research including astronomy, fibrosis, and brain function research.

Grants worth $140,000 and $120,000 were given to UTM professors Michael Phillips and Rob Ness, respectively. Phillips will be studying the control and adaptive responses of the plant metabolome, and Ness will be studying how recombination alters selection in the genome.

“Researchers are able to acquire infrastructure that is leading-edge, enabling them to conduct research that will benefit Canadians and tackle real-world challenges,” stated Helen Lasthiotakis, the executive director of strategic partnerships and Office of the Vice-President, research & innovation.

Professor Ness is looking at genetic studies and researching how recombination alters selection in the genome. His study will show how genetic recombination and mutations can create variation in genetics, like human disease and biodiversity.

According to Lasthiotakis, the equipment given to Ness will open the door for him to investigate how the “genome evolves and how evolutionary and genetic processes influence genetic variation.”

The researchers at U of T applied for funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation for the John R. Evans Leadership Fund, which is a competitive peer-reviewed funding program that provides researchers with the research infrastructure they need.

“From the University’s perspective, the [John R. Evans Leadership Fund] funding also critically enhances our ability to attract and retain top researchers who require such infrastructure,” wrote Lasthiotakis.