New Canada Research Chairs advance research in sustainable housing, regenerative medicine and more

Professor Marianne Touchie.
(Photo by Rick Chard for the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto)

CivMin Professor Marianne Touchie is one of 20 U of T researchers, including three from Engineering, to be awarded a new Canada Research Chair (CRC). Touchie is the new CRC for Sustainable Urban Housing. Her new research program will focus on improving the performance of multi-unit residential buildings, or “MURBs”, the predominant urban housing form.

Prior rapid deployments of MURBs, such as those following the second world war and our current condo boom, have led to negative environmental consequences and widespread resident health and comfort issues. Prof. Touchie will address these issues by identifying MURB issues from residents’ perspectives, developing integrated solutions to improve indoor environmental quality, controls and spaces and ultimately work to establish the monetary value of the social and environmental co-benefits of these solutions to enable holistic decision-making by the housing industry and policymakers.

“I’m excited to launch this new phase of MURB research focusing more holistically on the co-benefits of good quality housing and how we can make more liveable high-density housing a reality,” says Touchie.

A total of 20 faculty members from the University of Toronto have been awarded Canada Research Chairs in support of their research in areas ranging from LGBTQ2S+ youth mental health to quantum photonic technologies and sustainable suburban housing.

Awarded by the Government of Canada, Canada Research Chair positions are designed to reinforce academic research and training excellence with a view to improving depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthening Canada’s international competitiveness and helping train the next generation of highly skilled people.

“I would like to congratulate all the University of Toronto scholars who have newly been appointed Canada Research Chairs or had their positions renewed in this latest cohort,” said Leah Cowen, U of T’s vice-president, research and innovation, and strategic initiatives. “From cognitive neurobiology to household finance and urban environmental science, these researchers are furthering knowledge and spurring innovation in areas of critical importance.”

The Canada Research Chairs program also collaborates with the Canada Foundation for Innovation to support institutions through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund. Ten projects led by researchers at U of T and partner hospitals received support from the fund this week.

The latest cycle of Canada Research Chair appointees from U of T includes eight new and 12 renewed positions:

New Canada Research Chairs

Alex Abramovich at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health and department of psychiatry in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine – Tier 2 in 2SLGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness and Mental Health

Claire Célérier in the Rotman School of Management – Tier 2 in Household Finance

Natalie Coburn at the Sunnybrook Research Institute and the department of surgery in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine – Tier 1 in Cancer Outcomes

Qian Li in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. department of electrical and computer engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering – Tier 1 in Quantum Photonic Technologies

Alison McGuigan in the department of chemical engineering and applied chemistry and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering – Tier 1 in Tissue Engineering and Disease Modelling

Zahra Shakeri Hossein Abad in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health – Tier 2 in Health Informatics and Precision (Public) Health

Mina Tadrous in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy – Tier 2 in Real-World Evidence and Pharmaceutical Policy

Marianne Touchie in the department of civil and mineral engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering – Tier 2 in Sustainable Urban Housing

See the main CRC announcement for more information.