Federal grants recognize cell biology researchers
LONDON, ON (July 21, 2006) Two researchers in Robarts cell biology group have been recognized by the federal government for their contributions toCanada's knowledge economy.
Cell biologist Dr. Sean Cregan has been awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Neurodegeneration and Stem Cell Regeneration ($500,000 over five years), and Dr. Stephen Ferguson, Director of the Cell Biology Research Group, has received an upgrade from a Tier 2 to Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Molecular Neurobiology ($1,400,000 over five years).
Dr. Cregans research addresses the impact of apoptosis on studies of - and development of drugs for stroke, cancer, and diabetes as well as neurological disease such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, refers to the ability of individual cells within the body to self-destruct - essentially committing suicide when they become disordered or superfluous.
"A common aspect of most neurodegenerative disorders is that loss of brain function is associated with nerve cell death," Cregan says. "Apoptosis is an essential component of a number of physiological processes, but its inappropriate activation can contribute to a number of pathological conditions, including neurological disease."
Dr. Ferguson is recognized as an international leader in the field of GPCR (G Protein Coupled Receptor) signaling. (In 1996, he was first author on a scientific paper that changed the fundamental understanding of how receptors bind to molecules on the surface of cells: the paper opened new avenues of inquiry worldwide and has since been cited more than 400 times.)
Tier One Canada Research Chairs are awarded to outstanding researchers who have developed reputations as world leaders in their field; Tier Two Canada Research Chairs are awarded to those researchers who are recognized as having the potential to lead the field.
For a list of all CRC recipients, visit:
For more information contact Anthea Rowe at (519) 663-3524.
Dr. Sean Cregan
Canada Research Chair in Neurodegeneration and Stem Cell Regeneration (Tier 2)
Dr. Stephen Ferguson
Canada Research Chair in Molecular Neurobiology (Tier 1)