Minister of State Holder announces 150 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs across Canada

Minister of State Holder highlights University of Toronto’s Dr. Leonardo Salmena, whose research could develop new strategies for preventing and treating leukemia

April 9, 2015, Mississauga, Ontario—Chairs Secretariat

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today visited the University of Toronto Mississauga campus with Bob Dechert, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Erindale and Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Justice, where he announced 150 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 36 postsecondary institutions across the country.

This $139 million investment, with an additional $7.6 million in infrastructure support provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, will help promote research and development and will support top-tier talent at Canadian postsecondary institutions.

The University of Toronto will receive $17.6 million for 19 Canada Research Chairs, including Dr. Leonardo Salmena, the new Canada Research Chair in Signal Transduction and Gene Regulation in Cancer at the University of Toronto. Dr. Salmena is researching the molecular basis of acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer originating in bone marrow. Through his role as a chairholder, Dr. Salmena hopes his research can be used to develop new strategies for preventing and treating this form of cancer.

Quick facts

  • The Canada Research Chairs Program was created in 2000. Ongoing annual program expenditures of $265 million have helped attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds.
  • There are nearly 1,700 Canada Research Chair holders working in natural sciences and engineering, health, and social sciences and humanities, at more than 70 postsecondary institutions across the country. Approximately 650 of these chairs are in Ontario.
  • As a new Canada Research Chair, Dr. Salmena will further his work studying cell-signalling, in order to gain a better understanding of the molecular basis of cancer. His research could lead to better cancer prevention and treatment strategies.
  • Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government’s commitment to provide an updated science and technology strategy. The strategy, Seizing Canada’s Moment, is a vision and a roadmap for strengthening Canada’s position as a global leader in scientific research, while looking to harness greater Canadian research and development that create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.
  • The Canada Research Chairs Program corresponds to the Knowledge and People pillars of the Government of Canada’s updated science and technology strategy by developing highly skilled people and building research knowledge.
  • The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) gives researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI is helping to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers.


“Through our government’s updated science, technology and innovation strategy, we are making the record investments necessary to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and opportunities, and improve the quality of life of Canadians. Our government’s Canada Research Chairs Program develops, attracts and retains top talent researchers in Canada whose research, in turn, creates long-term social and economic benefits while training the next generation of students and researchers in Canada.”

- The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

“I am very pleased to celebrate the new Canada Research Chairs at the University of Toronto, including promising minds like Dr. Salmena, whose research into new cancer treatments will improve the health and well-being of Canadians. Our government is proud to support science and technology through these chairholders, who solve some of the most pressing scientific, economic and social challenges in our country.”

- Bob Dechert, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Erindale and Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Justice

“The Canada Research Chairs Program plays a key role in maintaining Canada’s international competitiveness in science and technology. The program allows our universities to support the best researchers in a wide array of fields and gives these researchers the tools and resources they need to achieve real progress towards discoveries that have the potential to transform our lives.”

- Dr. Alain Beaudet, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

“Whether working to improve treatments for leukemia, promote healthy aging or develop a new generation of high-performance materials, top researchers rely on leading-edge infrastructure to make advances that benefit Canadians. By supporting the Canada Research Chairs Program, the Canada Foundation for Innovation is helping Canada maintain its reputation as a strong magnet that attracts and retains top research talent from around the globe.”

- Dr. Gilles Patry, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

“The Canada Research Chairs Program will allow my team to build an infrastructure to conduct excellent science. More importantly, it will allow me have a hand in training the future researchers of Canada.”

- Dr. Leonardo Salmena, Canada Research Chair in Signal Transduction and Gene Regulation in Cancer, University of Toronto

Related products

  • A full list of the chairholders is available here.

Additional links


Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Media Relations
Industry Canada

Anne-Marie Cenaiko
Media Relations Adviser
Canada Research Chairs Program

Michael Bhardwaj
Media Relations Specialist
Canada Foundation for Innovation