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July 26, 2011; Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Ted McMeekin, MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, and Sophia Aggelonitis, Minister of Revenue, Minister Responsible for Seniors and MPP for Hamilton Mountain, announce that researchers at McMaster will receive more than $5.6-million from the province for three major projects: to develop systems to detect bacteria levels at public beaches, improve how electronic health-care data is shared and address the challenges of sustainability in manufacturing.

Scientists and engineers led by biology professor Herb Schellhorn have developed a research strategy to create an inexpensive remote device capable of sensing microbial and chemical contamination in water and transmitting the information through wireless networks to alert public officials of problems.

Radiologist David Koff will be leading a project team to develop technologies for accelerating how large data sets – diagnostic and medical images such as x-rays, ultrasounds and MRIs – are shared among health-care providers. The research will ensure that the images associated with a patient’s medical history are shared seamlessly and securely.

Chemical engineer Christopher Swartz, director of the McMaster Advanced Control Consortium (MACC) will lead an initiative to provide new mathematical models and technology to Canadian companies, focusing on sustainable process operations which are efficient, reliable, safe, use low amounts of raw materials and energy, and produce benign waste.

The announcement also included recognition of the University’s most recent Early Researcher Award (ERA) recipients: kinesiologist Gianni Parise, biologist Joanna Wilson and music cognition professor Michael Schutz. The ERA program helps promising, recently-appointed Ontario researchers build their research teams.

Parise’s research team will investigate whether fitness programs for bone marrow donors can improve transplant success; Wilson will lead her research lab in a study to determine the impact of pharmaceuticals released into our rivers and lakes on the reproduction, development and physiology of fish; and Schutz will use live music to explore audio-visual integration among autistic children. The ERA provides $100,000 to the researchers over five years, with a further $50,000 match from the University. Photo by Ron Scheffler for McMaster University.

McMaster University’s three Early Researcher Award recipients (Dr. Joanna Wilson, Dr. Gianni Parise, and Dr. Michael Schutz) along with MPP Sophia Aggelonitis and Dr. Mo Elbestawi.