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Dalhousie home to three new Canada Research Chairs

Posted by Michele Charlton on November 10, 2017 in News
Top row: New CRCs (left to right) Stefanie Colombo, Lam Ho and Johan Van Limbergen. Bottom row: renewed CRCs (left to right) Andrew Roger, David VanderZwaag and Josef Zwanziger. (Provided photos)
Top row: New CRCs (left to right) Stefanie Colombo, Lam Ho and Johan Van Limbergen. Bottom row: renewed CRCs (left to right) Andrew Roger, David VanderZwaag and Josef Zwanziger. (Provided photos)


Three scholars from Dalhousie are among the newest Canada Research Chairs announced by the Government of Canada.

Learn about the Canada Research Chairs Program.

“These incredibly talented researchers are playing a critical role in positioning our university as a leader in research,” says Alice Aiken, Dal vice-president research. “The innovative work they are doing helps us find answers to complex questions and solve practical problems, and I am beyond proud to have them call Dalhousie home.” 


New research chairs

Johan Van Limbergen
Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine
Canada Research Chair in Translational Microbiomics

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis encompass a range of chronic inflammatory disorders of the gut, which are thought to result from abnormal immune responses to intestinal microorganisms.

Dr. Van Limbergen’s research will determine the microbiome changes of nutritional therapy to identify who can benefit most from microbiome-focused treatment. The program spans dietary trials, bioinformatics and investigation of microbiome metabolites in intestinal stem cell cultures.

Dr. Van Limbergen has also received funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund as part of its partnership with the Canada Research Chairs Program.
 

Renewed chairs

Andrew Roger
Professor, Faculty of Medicine
Canada Research Chair in Comparative Genomics and Evolutionary Bioinformatics

For the first three quarters of its life, the Earth was ruled by microbes. Single-celled organisms were responsible for key bio-geochemical cycles that influenced the air, land, seas and climate. Even today, microscopic single-celled organisms comprise the majority of the planet’s biodiversity.

Dr. Roger is decoding the evolutionary record of life encoded in the genomes of microbes and their multicellular relatives, including humans. Using advanced genomic sequencing methods and new computer-based analysis methods that his group has developed, Dr. Roger is comparing genomes from diverse lineages to determine how they evolved from their single-celled ancestors one or two billion years ago. In doing so, he hopes to clarify the mechanisms by which harmless microbes can evolve into disease-causing pathogens, develop resistance to drugs and adapt to changing environments.

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