The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) recently announced that Oliver Ernst, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Structural Neurobiology at the University of Toronto, and Adrian Owen, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at Western University, are both finalists in its Global Call for Ideas.
Last April, CIFAR invited the global research community to submit proposals for ideas for long-term, collaborative research into complex, fundamental questions of importance to Canada and the world. There was a strong response, with 280 letters of intent submitted from researchers all over the world.
Ernst and Owen are among seven finalists selected for Stage 2 of the project.
“We believe that these seven have the potential to create transformative new knowledge that will benefit humanity,” said Lorne Tyrrell, former dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of Alberta, and chair of the international panel of research leaders which selected the finalists.
Ernst is part of a team of four working on a project that will explore how the molecules responsible for biological processes are formed and interact. Their work would lead to a deeper understanding of the minimum structural elements required to support life.
Owen will work with colleague Melvyn Goodale, Canada Research Chair in Visual Neuroscience at Western University, to develop a network of neuroscientists, philosophers, ethicists and clinicians to focus on creating a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of human consciousness.