Kinesiology Fundraising begins

By Rowena Sampang

A "major beginning to fundraising" occurred in the Faculty of Kinesiology on July 26. The faculty received $3.2 million of the more than $4 million granted to the University of Calgary from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

The federal government established the CFI, a not-for-profit organization, in 1997 to assess the need for state-of-the-art research, focusing on areas in health, sciences, engineering and the environment. The U of C received the grant based on the multidisciplinary approach taken by the Faculty of Kinesiology. The CFI board reviewed the project on Nutrition, Exercise and Genetics by measuring its benefits to Canada as a whole and for innovative quality in research design and infrastructure.

"The grant is providing students with state-of-the-art research equipment [and] better equipment and training, where they are exposed to a better research environment and better opportunities," said CFI Senior Vice-president Carmen Charette. "The funds were part of five successful projects at the U of C, where $3.2 million went to the program in nutrition, $430,000 to establishing a language facility in the Faculty of Humanities, $120,000 for driver simulation research in the Social Sciences, $162,000 towards the purchase of an X-Ray diffractometer for the Faculty of Science, and $150,000 for developing genetics and biology laboratories and research facilities."

Other planned projects using grant money include future expansion of the kinesiology complex. According to Killam Memorial Chair and U of C Professor Roy Gravel, the funds will help develop a suite of research laboratories in a new kinesiology complex.

"The grant will enable us to research topics such as the ability to resist common diseases in adulthood [by] potentially looking at ‘elite athletes’ who are at the far extreme of health," said Gravel. "We want to know if they are different. This is only part of a larger program within nutrition, exercise and genetics."

The grant is intended to facilitate widespread collaboration across faculties by promoting research on health, wellness and human performance that is interdisciplinary in its approach.

"The grant will enable research jointly with faculties in engineering and medicine into the Faculty of Kinesiology," said Gravel.

As well, the funds are expected to sustain Calgary’s leading edge in health and wellness research.

"The CFI grant is a major beginning to fundraising for kinesiology," emphasized Gravel. "It is a very significant contribution, and a very positive thing to get momentum going."

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