University of Regina researchers receive federal funding

By Dale Johnson Posted: April 15, 2016 3:00 p.m.

(l-r) Dave Button, Vice-President (Administration), Dr. Garth Huber, Ralph Goodale, MP for Wascana and Minister of Public Safety, Dr. Carrie Bourassa, Dr. Mark Dockstator, President of First Nations University of Canada and Dr. Ingrid Pickering, Canada Foundation for Innovation.
(l-r) Dave Button, Vice-President (Administration), Dr. Garth Huber, Ralph Goodale, MP for Wascana and Minister of Public Safety, Dr. Carrie Bourassa, Dr. Mark Dockstator, President of First Nations University of Canada and Dr. Ingrid Pickering, Canada Foundation for Innovation. Photo: External Relations

Two University of Regina researchers are receiving federal funding for their projects.

Dr. Carrie Bourassa is receiving $205,178 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, which will cover 40% of the cost of developing a world-class Cultural Safety Evaluation, Training and Research Lab that will define the principles and practices of cultural safety for patients at an organizational, team and individual level.

Bourassa, a professor of Indigenous Health Studies in the Department of Indigenous Education, Health and Social Work at the First Nations University of Canada at the University of Regina, says: “The lab will undertake the research needed to identify the historical and systemic practices that have contributed to the harmful treatment of Indigenous patients in Canada. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission made several recommendations specific to health and healing, five of which are directly related to patient care.”

“As the only Indigenous post-secondary institution in Canada with a national mandate, we are committed to fulfilling the calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). For reconciliation to engage Indigenous communities in research that will result in positive outcomes we will require training, capacity building, program development, and policy development – which will  benefit all Canadians,” she also said.

Another University of Regina researcher, physics professor Dr. Garth Huber, is receiving federal funding to look into the building blocks of the atomic nucleus. This could help provide a better understanding of the inner workings of particle interactions – which may help improve imaging technologies and advance big science in Canada.

At a news conference at the U of R on Friday, April 15, Ralph Goodale, MP for Wascana and federal minister of Public Safety, congratulated the two researchers.  

“Today is a very good day for scientists and graduate students – and it’s a good day for the University of Regina and the First Nations University of Canada,” Goodale said.

Huber and his team at the U of R will use their $49,980 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to build a prototype Cherenkov detector ― a technology for studying the interactions of subatomic particles. This work is in partnership with the international Solenoidal Large Intensity Detector (SoLID) Collaboration, a next-generation tracking detector at the Jefferson Laboratory in Virginia, USA, which will give important new insights into the building blocks of the atomic nucleus.

“This funding will mean we can look into one of the central problems of modern physics research - our understanding of the building blocks of the atomic nucleus, such as the protons, neutrons, and other particles that bind them,” says Huber.

“Research like this is important for many different reasons - not only for the knowledge that we gain, but also for the state-of-the-art techniques that we develop here that are often then drivers of improved technology for practical use later on, such as medical imaging. Research like this provides great training opportunities for our students,” Huber added.

Huber earlier received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

These two investments were made by the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund. In all, nearly $20 million in funding was awarded to 33 Canadian universities.

“Today’s funding is intended to support universities in putting together very strong research support packages and systems, which will attract and retain top-notch scientific leaders – such leaders as Dr. Garth Huber and Dr. Carrie Bourassa,” said Goodale.