McMaster University
NSERC CREATE Grants Announced Print E-mail
Two NSERC CREATE Grants Awarded to Department

NSERC has announced that two of the 18 CREATE (Collaborative Research and Training Experience) Grants awarded in the 2011 competition have been made to interdisciplinary research teams headed by John Brennan and by Harald Stover.  CREATE grants are interdisciplinary training grants for graduate students, undergraduate students and postdoctoral fellows.  According to the NSERC web site the grants are to assist “developing skills that will be useful for the transition to the workplace, the CREATE Program is a great asset to industry, which requires not only technical skills, but professional skills.’

The CREATE grant headed by John Brennan is titled “NSERC CREATE Biointerfaces Training Program”.  This training program will provide funds for trainees associated with the Biointerfaces Institute (to be located on the fourth floor of the Engineering Technology Building).  Funding for this new research laboratory came from a CFI grant titled “Biointerfaces Institute” awarded in June 2009.  Participants in the CREATE grant include faculty members from Chemistry and Chemical Biology and the Faculties of Engineering (primarily Chemical Engineering) and Health Sciences at McMaster, together with colleagues from the University of Toronto and Queens University.  The program managers for this CREATE grant are Michael Brook and Judy West-Mays. The purpose of this CREATE grant is to provide a unique, “focus-group” oriented training experience to undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, along with access to a range of professional development opportunities and co-op placements in both academic and industrial partner labs.  The NSERC CREATE Biointerfaces Training Program has linkages to two NSERC Strategic Research Networks, the 20/20 Ophthalmic Biomaterials Network and the Sentinel Network for the Development and Use of Bioactive Paper.  Trainees will have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure in the Biointerfaces Institute to allow high-throughput preparation and characterization of novel materials and surfaces, and will receive training in the development and use of new bioactive and stealth materials for biological applications.  Key areas of focus will be the charting of biointerface interactions, development of ocular biomaterials, and creation of bioactive paper-based biosensors.

The CREATE grant headed by Harald Stover is titled “NSERC CREATE Program in Integrated Design of Extracellular Matrices (IDEM)”.  Participants in this grant include faculty members from Chemistry and Chemical Biology and the Faculties of Engineering and Health Sciences at McMaster, together with colleagues from the University of Toronto, and the Universite de Montreal.  The program managers for this CREATE grant are Alex Adronov and Murray Potter. The purpose of this CREATE  grant is to train undergraduate and graduate students in developing synthetic extracellular matrices for both cell-based therapies and stem-cell development. Students will experience a team-based approach to vertically integrated design of such biomaterials, working with colleagues and faculty in Departments of Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Molecular Medicine and Medicine. Key aspects include rotations in partner labs in Canada and abroad.

These awards brings the total number of CREATE grants awarded to Chemistry and Chemical Biology faculty members to three of the 58 awards made since the competition began in 2009.  In the 2010 competition John Valliant was awarded a CREATE grant titled “Training Program in Molecular Imaging Probes” (   This is a truly spectacular success rate given that only 18-20 of the 160 vetted letters of intent are awarded in any given year.  These awards represent three of the four CREATE awards at McMaster.  Moreover, this competition is open to any team of researchers with NSERC, CIHR or SSHRC funding, making the competition open to many disciplines across the country.  

Congratulations to John Brennan and Harald Stover for these training awards.

Chemistry & Chemical Biology
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