HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 14, 2015) - Industry Canada

Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, on behalf of Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today visited McMaster University with David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, to celebrate the university's new and renewed Canada Research Chairs.

McMaster University will receive $10.8 million for nine Canada Research Chairs, including Dr. Heather Sheardown, who is the Canada Research Chair in Ophthalmic Biomaterials. Her research is focused on the development of novel synthetic materials that interact with the human eye. Dr. Sheardown's work will help develop solutions for age-related macular degeneration, corneal blindness and general eye problems that can develop from using contact lenses.

Quick facts

  • On April 9, 2015, Minister of State Holder announced an investment of more than $139 million in 36 post-secondary institutions across the country. The Canada Foundation for Innovation is providing an additional $7.6 million in infrastructure funding to help promote research and development and support top-tier talent at Canadian post-secondary institutions.
  • The Canada Research Chairs program was created in 2000. Ongoing annual program expenditures of $265 million have helped attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising minds.
  • There are nearly 1,700 Canada Research Chairholders working in the natural sciences and engineering, in health, and in the social sciences and humanities at more than 70 post-secondary institutions across the country. Approximately 650 of the chairholders are in Ontario.
  • Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government's commitment to provide an updated science and technology strategy. The strategy, Seizing Canada's Moment, is a vision and a road map for strengthening Canada's position as a global leader in scientific research and harnessing greater Canadian research and development to create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.
  • The Canada Research Chairs program, in developing highly skilled people and building research knowledge, corresponds to the knowledge and people pillars of the updated strategy.


"Our government is proud to support science and technology through these chairholders. These amazing people solve some of the most pressing scientific, economic and social challenges in our country. The Canada Research Chairs program is driving innovation, addressing health, environmental and social issues, and spurring economic growth in our communities-all of which improve the lives of Canadians."

- The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

"The new and renewed Canada Research Chairs are pushing the frontiers of knowledge in universities and colleges throughout Canada. I am very pleased to celebrate the new Canada Research Chairs at McMaster University, including promising minds like Dr. Sheardown, whose research into ophthalmic biomaterials will improve the health and well-being of Canadians."

- David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale

"The Canada Research Chairs program plays a key role in maintaining Canada's international competitiveness in science and technology. The program allows our universities to support the best researchers in a wide array of fields and gives these researchers the tools and resources they need to achieve real progress toward discoveries that have the potential to transform our lives."

- Dr. Alain Beaudet, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"Finding ways to deliver drugs to the eye, particularly the back of the eye, is the greatest single challenge in ophthalmology. People suffering from macular degeneration, glaucoma and other conditions need us to find ways to deliver precise amounts of drugs targeted to the desired tissue. My Canada Research Chair will provide my research team with the infrastructure we need to get the job done."

- Dr. Heather Sheardown, Canada Research Chair in Ophthalmic Biomaterials, McMaster University

"McMaster is extremely proud of the impressive variety of research undertaken by our Canada Research Chairs. As leading individuals in their fields, they inspire us with their depth of expertise and research excellence. As a group, they represent the range of disciplines that makes our research-intensive university so successful."

- Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University

Related products

- List of Canada Research Chairholders

Associated links

- Canada Research Chairs

- McMaster University

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Contact Information:

Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Media Relations
Industry Canada

Anne-Marie Cenaiko
Media Relations Advisor
Canada Research Chairs Program

Michael Bhardwaj
Media Relations Specialist
Canada Foundation for Innovation