Prof receives funding to study autism spectrum disorder
Faculty of Science Professor Steven Connor will receive $125,000 in funding for his research project which looks at mechanisms contributing to autism spectrum disorder, the federal government announced Monday. It is part of the government’s investment to provide state-of-the-art labs and equipment for research in Canada.
Connor is one of two professors to receive funding at York University. Professor Arthur Cheng in the Faculty of Health recieved $150,000 to support his project “Investigating the role of Intracellular Calcium Dynamics on Skeletal Muscle Function in Ages Muscle.”
The $61-million infrastructure investment, announced by Canada’s Minister of Science and Sport, Kristy Duncan, comes from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leader Fund (JELF) and will support 261 projects at 40 universities nationwide.
The fund helps university scientists conduct leading-edge research by giving them the tools and equipment they need to become leaders in their fields.
The project, “Characterization and Targeted Reversal of Synaptic Mechanisms Contributing to Autism Spectrum Disorder,” led by Connor in the Department of Biology, will enable researchers to move toward their goal of identifying molecular mechanisms driving synapse deficits identified in patients with autism spectrum disorder and develop novel drug treatments that reverse these pathologies.
“York University is delighted to have professors Cheng and Connor receive the John R. Evans Leaders Fund from CFI,” said Interim Vice-President Research and Innovation Rui Wang. “A vital strategic investment tool, this funding helps institutions to attract and retain the very best researchers – particularly early-career researchers – who are undertaking truly innovative work. It ensures that they will excel in their field.”
The John R. Evans Leaders Fund enables a select number of an institution’s researchers to undertake leading-edge research by providing them with the foundational research infrastructure required to be or to become leaders in their fields. In turn, this enables institutions to remain internationally competitive in areas of research and technology development, aligned with their strategic priorities.
“Researchers in Canada know that cutting-edge tools and labs are necessary to make discoveries and innovate,” said Duncan. “That is why our government is announcing funding for the infrastructure needs of Canadian researchers. Their groundbreaking contributions to science and research have an enormous impact on the breakthroughs that help make our visions for a better future a reality.”
About the Canada Foundation for Innovation
For more than 20 years, the CFI has been giving researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. And a robust innovation system translates into jobs and new enterprises, better health, cleaner environments and, ultimately, vibrant communities. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI also helps to attract and retain the world’s top talent, train the next generation of researchers and support world-class research that strengthens the economy and improves the quality of life for all Canadians.
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