Researchers at the University of Toronto are receiving over $800,000 from the Connaught Fund, a research funding source unique to the U of T.

The funding comes from two Connaught programs. The Connaught Innovation Award accelerates the development of promising technologies and promotes knowledge transfer arising from the U of T.  The Connaught Summer Institute brings together Canadian and international graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other scholars to foster collaboration among disciplines and support new methods for research and innovation.

“The Connaught Fund builds on the university’s rich history of research,” said Vivek Goel, U of T vice-president of research and innovation.

Founded in 1972, the Connaught Fund was created from the sale of the Connaught Laboratories, which was established in 1914 to produce diphtheria antitoxin and later expanded to produce insulin and other vaccines and antitoxins. Insulin was discovered by Nobel Prize winners and U of T researchers Frederick Banting, Charles Best, John Macleod and Charles Collip. The university has managed the Connaught Fund for more than 40 years, over that time awarding more than $150 million to U of T researchers.

“That rich history is still paying dividends as the fund supports the work of today’s researchers, each of whom is making their own unique contribution to progress on a wide range of local and global research issues,” Goel added.

Today, the fund invests more than $4 million annually in emerging and established scholars from the full spectrum of research and scholarship at the U of T.

Nine U of T researchers are sharing in a total of more than $750,000 in support from the Connaught Innovation Award:

  • J. Stewart Aitchison of the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, for “An Optimized Waveguide Based Light Delivery System for Algal Biofilm Reactors”
  • Roman Genov of the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for “Pre-market Clinical Validation of a Seizure-Aborting Smart Implantable Neurostimulator for Treating Drug-Resistant Epilepsy”
  • Glenn Gulak of the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for “A Wireless CMOS Device for Rapid Point of Care Diagnosis of Bacterial Infections”
  • Boris Hinz of the Faculty of Dentistry for “Commercialization of a novel high-throughput screen  to test the contractile function of heart muscle cells”
  • Shana Kelley of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy for a “Device for the Rapid Electrochemical Phenotypic Profiling of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria”
  • Robert Morris of the Department of Chemistry for “Sustainable iron catalysts for the hydrogenation of esters and carbon dioxide”
  • Dwight Seferos of the Department of Chemistry for “Development of a flexible thin-film battery”
  • Yu Sun of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering for “Development of an automated instrument to standardize embryo vitrification in IVF clinics”
  • Paul Yoo of the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering for “Novel electrical stimulation target for treating overactive bladder”

In addition, David K. Lam from the Faculty of Dentistry is receiving $50,000 in support from the Connaught Summer Institute for “Advancing the integration of pain research and knowledge translation”.

Source: Nine U of T researchers receive Connaught funding