Research & Innovation

Alberta’s research and innovation system plays a vital role in Alberta’s future. Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education provides leadership and strategic investments in research and science and technology initiatives that are undertaken in the following priority areas: energy, ICT, nanotechnology, and the life sciences.

Research Excellence

AltierA recent Small Equipment Grants award will help support Christophe Altier to use a combination of molecular biological, electrophysiological, imaging and behavioural assesment techniques, to asses the role of pore proteins in the mebrane of nerve cells that detect pain signals.  Dr. Altier hopes to understand how aberrant function of these proteins is regulated in infammatory disease conditions.

DacksNew RCP funded infrastructure will allow the Dr. Joel Bryan Dacks lab at the University of Alberta to use genome sequencing to explore the range and diversity of cell biology to understand issues of health, the environment, and the origins of the human cell.

ProtznerDr. Andrea Protzner will use her RCP funded EEG and imaging analysis laboratory at the University of Calgary to identify phenomena that characterize individual differences in functional resilience, and the capacity to predict the optimal treatment for individuals with brain disorders such as epilepsy and depression.

HarrisonRCP funded infrastructure will support state-of-the-art research for Dr. Joe Harrison that seeks to understand the process of infectious disease caused by biofilms. Biofilms are slime-covered microbe communities that stick to each other and to surfaces; they account for many chronic infections that defeat the immune system and are highly resistant to antibiotic therapy.

RCP funded infrastructure will enable the development of a unique, state-of-the-art digital imaging facility in Canada dedicated to understanding the anatomy of the brain. By using a high-resolution slide scanner, Dr. Andrew Iwaniuk can provide high resolution images throughout the entire brain, thus allowing other researchrs to reanalyze and reinterpret experimental restults.


An award from RCP's Small Equipment Grants will allow Dr. Matt Hill to further understand how the endocannabinoid system regulates vulnerability and resilience to mood and anxiety disorders. The neural mechanisms involve structural and functional reorganization of neural circuits in the brain. 


Viruses that selectively seek and destroy cancer cells provide innovative candidates for cancer therapy.  Dr. Maya Shmulevitz's RCP funded infrastructure at the Facility for Functional Genomic Analysis of Oncolytic Viruses (FGOV) will apply the latest genomic approaches to improve the therapeutic efficacy of cancer-killing viruses.

NychkaNew materials development is reliant upon understanding failure, and its circumvention. Dr. John Nychka's RCP funded infrastructure will build a high speed camera system to capture, and measure, never before seen failure events in materials research.

PoeschThe RCP funded infrastructure will create a new Aquatic Conservation and Fisheries Management Laboratory at the University of Alberta. Dr. Mark Poesch's laboratory will engage in research on the conservation and restoration of aquatic ecosystems including the capture and measurement of aquatic organisms, analysis of age and growth relationships, measurement of environmental conditions, and field research.

SimmondsThe new infruastructure will update the live-cell imaging instrumentation used by a large number of collaborating laboratories at the University of Alberta. This enhancement will enable Dr. Andrew Simmonds and others to develop technology that will provide new abilities to study the basic pathways of mRNA regulation linked to multiple diseases.

Wozniak_et_allThe Wozniak, Rachubinski, and Melançon laboratories study the structure and biogenesis of cellular membranes and organelles and focus on analysis of the nuclear envelope membrane, peroxisomes and the Golgi complex. Defects in each of these membrane systems can have catastrophic health consequences, including developmental and neurological disorders, cancer and heart disease.

ErbilginDr. Nadir Erbilgin's new RCP funded infrastructure will explore questions of broad relevance to the invasion of jack pine forests by the mountain pine beetle and climate change. The goal is to understand the biological and abiological factors affecting the invasion dynamic, such as tree resistance, competition or climate change, and to provide management opportunities for intervention where direct management is appropriate.

CullyUsing the RCP funded infrastructure, Dr. Christopher Cully will deploy an array of radio instruments across Western Canada to study a region of near-earth space known as the radiation belts. This capitalizes on Western Canada’s unique geography to complement recently launched and future international space missions.  The developed technology will serve as a basis for future spaceflight instrumentation.

Graf_et_allThe customized novel infrastructure funded by a RCP grant will enhance the technology-based learning environment at Athabasca University. The project will enable Drs. Graf, Gasevic & Kumar to study the emerging structures of user-generated content and the dynamic interaction patterns of users for adaptive and personalized learning in desktop based and mobile settings.

GoodarziA recent RCP funded grant will further the development of high-resolution microscopy capabilities at the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute and carry out research into how human cells respond to DNA damage caused by prevalent environmental carcinogens.  Dr. Aaron Goodarzi will also develop practical methods for determining the sensitivity of Albertans to radiation or chemotherapy prior to treatment.

Programs and Services

Alberta’s Research and Innovation System

Alberta Innovates • History  

Research Capacity Planning (RCP)

Research Capacity Program • Financial and Outcomes Reporting • Investment Highlights  • Research Reports  

Science Awareness and Engagement

Learn more about science awareness

Research Publications and Reports

Find research reports


Find more information on AET Research and Innovation initiatives.




Alberta Innovates is the name of Alberta’s newly realigned research and innovation system designed to strengthen the province’s role as a world leader in using science to seek solutions. Read more