Connaught Fund injects $1.1 million into U of T research
Greg Wells is at the forefront of a relatively new field called exercise medicine, which means he looks at how disease affects a person’s ability to exercise—and at how exercise can be used to treat that person.
His research has been given a boost by a New Researcher Award from the University of Toronto’s Connaught Fund. The award fosters excellence among assistant professors within the first five years of their appointment at the university, helping them establish a strong research program.
“My research is on muscle and lung,” said Wells, assistant professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and associate scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children. “I deal a lot with cystic fibrosis. I also have a study going on right now on obesity in children. I use advanced imaging techniques to look at metabolism.” His goal is to use exercise and nutrition to help treat and reverse disease without the use of pharmaceuticals.
Wells is joined by 66 other researchers from across the university who have been awarded grants totalling just over $1.1 million.
“Our hope is that by providing a boost to early-career researchers, we’ll ensure their continued success,” said Professor Paul Young, U of T’s vice-president (research) and chair of the Connaught committee. “Having a strong research program already established helps researchers compete for external funding.”
“Congratulations to the winners,” said Young. “This award recognizes not only that they’re already doing excellent, thoughtful work, but that they have the potential to have great impact throughout their careers.”
The New Researcher Award is one of the suite of programs funded by the Connaught Fund, created from the 1972 sale of Connaught Laboratories, which first mass-produced insulin, the Nobel award-winning discovery of U of T researchers Frederick Banting, Charles Best, J.J.R. Macleod and James Collip. The university has stewarded the fund in the years since, awarding more than $120 million to U of T researchers. Today, the fund invests close to $4 million annually in emerging and established scholars.
For a full list of the winners of the 2011-12 Connaught New Researcher Awards click here.