Today, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced that Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) researchers have received almost $400K in funding for two projects through the 2019 John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF).

Dr. Chérif Matta received a $30,638 grant to extend computational quantum chemistry’s arm to resolve fundamental problems in evolutionary biochemistry and in mitochondrial biophysics that cannot otherwise be resolved experimentally. Computational quantum chemistry, along with mathematical and theoretical modeling, will constitute in silico experiments to complement, build upon, extend, and guide wet-lab experiments. Dr. Matta will determine whether thermodynamics has driven the formation of nucleosides and nucleotides, the building blocks of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), into today’s form, instead of other structurally similar choices that were never picked by evolution as the building blocks of contemporary organisms’ nucleic acids. Research Nova Scotia has committed an additional $30,638 in match funding to support Dr. Matta’s research.

Dr. Christine Lackner and Dr. Derek Fisher are cognitive neuroscientists who utilize high-density electroencephalography (EEG) to study cognition in neurotypical and clinical populations. The $129,324 grant will be used to purchase a new EEG system, as well as renovate existing laboratory space. Dr. Lackner and Dr. Fisher are impacting Canadians by advancing clinically meaningful research, training highly qualified personnel, and helping to advance Canada’s position as a leader in neuroscience research. MSVU is pleased that Research Nova Scotia has committed an additional $129,324 in match funding to support this important research.

As stated by CFI, “The JELF aims to help universities attract and retain top talent from around the globe by providing researchers with the highly specialized infrastructure they require to be leaders in their fields… [As well,] investing in research infrastructure creates the spaces to train the new generation of researchers.”

Pictured above (l-r): Dr. Chérif Matta, Dr. Christine Lackner, and Dr. Derek Fisher. 



Jessica Long 
Research Capacity Liaison 
Mount Saint Vincent University 

Lauren Leal
Manager, Communications & Marketing
Mount Saint Vincent University