Two New Canada Research Chairs in Science
Katrina and Sarah were among 10 McMaster researchers awarded Canada Research Chairs earlier this month. Sarah and Katrina joined the Faculty of Science in 2020.
Katrina, an Assistant Professor with the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, was awarded the Canada Research Chair in Neurobiology of Social Behaviour
“During my graduate and postdoctoral training, I had unique opportunities to learn and apply a variety of both established and cutting-edge techniques for neuroscience research,” says Katrina. “By combining multiple techniques, I’ve uncovered new aspects of how the brain coordinates social behaviour and how oxytocin influences it. I’m excited to continue making new discoveries in this research area using integrative approaches with the support of the Canada Research Chairs Program.
Katrina thanks her graduate mentor Dr. Charles Bourque (McGill) and postdoctoral mentors Dr. Tom Otis (formerly UCLA, now Sainsbury Wellcome Centre) and Dr. Daniel Geschwind (UCLA). “They were always been so supportive of every ambitious experiment I wanted to do, and they provided essential career advice wherever I needed it. I feel extremely privileged to have received mentorship from these brilliant scientists who really care for their trainees.
Sarah, an Assistant Professor with the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, was awarded the Canada Research Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry. “I always tell students that the arc of my academic career in environmental and atmospheric chemistry began somewhat inauspiciously. In the summer before my second year of my undergraduate degree, I made a split-second decision between environmental chemistry and evolutionary biology. At the same time, I embrace the role that luck and chance have played in determining my academic interests, and the breadth of topics that I and my research team can explore as atmospheric chemists. For example, at the moment, students in my research group are studying the chemistry occurring in urban road dust, wildfire smoke and ash, and museum storage environments.”
Sarah says she’s been fortunate to have had so many mentors and teachers throughout her career. “There were the supportive faculty in Environmental Chemistry at the University of Toronto where I completed all of my training; my excellent colleagues at the University of Alberta, my former institution; my inspiring network of peers in Atmospheric Chemistry at Canadian and international institutions; my first group of graduate students, who I often think taught me more than I taught them. My first mentor, best teacher, and all-around inspiration, though, has always been my brilliant and creative mom, who took me on nature walks, helped me to design science experiments, and encouraged my learning in all areas, and who is still my first point of contact for all trials and tribulations.”
With Katrina and Sarah’s appointments, there are now 19 Canada Research Chairs in the Faculty of Science:
- Paul Ayers, Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Chemistry
- Patrick Bennett, Canada Research Chair in Vision Science
- John Brennan, Canada Research Chair in Bioanalytical Chemistry
- Katrina Choe, Canada Research Chair in Neurobiology of Social Behaviour
- Alemu Gonsamo, Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing of Terrestrial Ecosystems
- Megumi Harada, Canada Research Chair in Equivariant Symplectic and Algebraic Geometry
- Jennifer Heisz, Canada Research Chair in Brain Health and Aging
- Gita Ljubicic, Canada Research Chair in Community-Engaged Research for Northern Sustainability
- Vladimir Ljubicic, Canada Research Chair in Neuromuscular Plasticity in Health and Disease
- Paul McNicholas, Canada Research Chair in Computational Statistics
- Jose Moran-Mirabal, Canada Research Chair in Computational Statistics
- Carmel Mothersill, Canada Research Chair in Radiobiology
- Aimee Nelson, Canada Research Chair in Sensorimotor Control
- Stuart Phillips, Canada Research Chair in Human Skeletal Muscle Health in Aging
- Graham Scott, Canada Research Chair in Comparative and Environmental Physiology
- Sarah Styler, Canada Research Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry
- James Michael Waddington, Canada Research Chair in Ecohydrology
- Christine D. Wilson, Canada Research Chair in Extragalactic Star Formation
- Gabriel (Naigi) Xiao, Canada Research Chair in Perceptual Development.