Last week, federal science minister Kirsty Duncan announced at the University of Toronto that the university will be home to twenty-one new and renewed research chairs.

The chairs are spread across a variety of disciplines, including the departments of molecular genetics, biology, medical biophysics, immunology, nursing, physics, and statistical sciences, among others.

The cumulative value of the funding to the U of T chairs is $19 million.

The announcement comes as a part of the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) which, according to their website, “stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development.”

Of the twenty-one chairs awarded to U of T, half of them went to women. This comes after the university implemented the recommendations of an equity-diversity and inclusion working group that was struck last year.

“We hold these principles as central to our public mission and our commitment to academic excellence,” stated U of T president Meric Gertler in an article released by the university.

Two UTM professors received research chairs recognition, including the department of biology’s associate professor Marc Johnson, who has a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Urban Environmental Science, and the department of psychology’s associate professor Elizabeth Johnson who received a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Spoken Language Acquisition.

Professor Patrick Gunning, from the department of chemical and physical sciences, renewed his tier 2 Canada Research chair in medicinal chemistry. Johnson, awarded a Tier 2 Research chair in Urban Environmental Science, also serves as Director for the Centre for Urban Environments at UTM.

Duncan also announced the Canadian government’s plan to invest $210 million over the next five years to add 285 additional chairs to the CRC program.

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