On November 8, The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), announced the proposals from eight Canadian universities that have been selected to recruit 11 prestigious Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERCs). This latest CERC competition will further enable Canada to be at the leading edge of research breakthroughs, which will generate significant social and economic benefits for Canadians.

“It was a highly competitive selection process with a large number of outstanding proposals,” said Brian Levitt, Chair of the CERC selection board. “My colleagues on the selection board, which include prominent Canadians and international experts, believe that the 11 selected proposals represent the best strategic investment for Canada and will provide significant benefits in a wide range of areas.”

In advancing to Phase 2, the eight universities are now invited to nominate world-renowned researchers for the proposed projects. The nominations will undergo a thorough assessment—again involving external experts and strategic review—to assess that the nominees meet the criteria of the CERC Program.

McGill University has been selected in the following areas:

Personalized Pain Medicine

Chronic pain is a global public health problem with enormous social and economic impacts. One in five Canadians suffers from chronic pain. Their combined annual health-care costs are estimated at over $10 billion—higher than the health-care costs for Canadian cancer, heart disease and HIV patients combined. Existing pain management solutions are often not effective, since the genetic mechanisms behind chronic pain are poorly understood. The Chair in Personalized Pain Medicine will focus on the genetic mechanisms at the roots of pain. The Chair will search for targets on which chronic pain therapies can be focussed. The resulting personalized therapy strategies will be highly significant to science, to industry and to society.

Green Chemistry and Green Chemicals

Researching innovative solutions to ensure sustainability, the Chair in Green Chemistry and Green Chemicals will study the balancing act between the use of chemicals in our industrialized society and their environmental and health impacts. The Chair will investigate environmentally acceptable chemical reactions in terms of their solvency, the amount of energy they require, and the resources needed. The chair will also assess the ways in which these chemicals transfer any toxicity to life forms. The resulting green profiles for chemicals will inform both policy and the chemicals industry.


For more information about this competition click here


November 15, 2012