Posted on Nov. 13: McMaster awarded two new Canada Research Chairs


Two new Canada Research Chairs have been awarded to McMaster University, bringing the University's total to date to 35.

The two newest chairholders will focus on research that will develop novel interventions for treating obese people and study complex chemical systems to improve the design of new medicines and catalysts.

Professor Arya Sharma is the Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Obesity Research and Management. Sharma, who comes to Canada from Germany, will use basic and clinical research to determine the genetic causes of obesity and an evidence-based approach to managing
cardiovascular and metabolic problems in obese patients.

Sharma, a senior Tier 1 researcher based in the Faculty of Health Sciences, will receive $200,000 per year for seven years. He has also been awarded a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant for $125,577 for infrastructure such as equipment and lab space related to the research position.

Assistant professor Paul Ayers, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the Faculty of Science, comes to McMaster from Duke University. His research will look at the development of theoretical and computational methods for predicting reactions in complex chemical systems that can eventually add to the improved design of new medicines and catalysts.

Ayers is a Tier 2 researcher based in the Faculty of Science and will receive $100,000 per year for five years. He has been awarded $113,715 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation for infrastructure support.

McMaster has now filled nearly half of its allotted 73 Canada Research Chairs.

Mamdouh Shoukri, vice-president research & international affairs, said this investment is invaluable to the University's research enterprise.

“This program was designed to help us in our efforts to recruit and retain the most talented researchers to reverse the brain drain.' No doubt it's working. In this round alone, we see both Dr. Sharma and Dr. Ayers leaving careers in Germany and the United States respectively, to join McMaster's faculty. Competing at this global level increases our research capacity substantially.”

Today's announcement is part of a $130-million investment in 123 new Canada Research Chairs at institutions across the country. The $900 million research chairs program was announced by the federal government in the 2000 budget to help Canadian universities attract and retain the best researchers and achieve research excellence.

For complete list of McMaster's Canada Research Chairs, please go to