Research projects funded at StFX

Photo by Matt Draper Central Nova MP Sean Fraser, fourth from the left, is seen here following a funding announcement at StFX University. The funding will go toward equipment for two research projects at the school.

ANTIGONISH: A pair of research projects got a boost from the federal government last week.

StFX University received over $200,000 in funding for labs and equipment last week. Central Nova MP Sean Fraser announced $156,730 in funding for a pair of projects at St. Francis Xavier University and the university will also receive $47,019 in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Infrastructure Operating Fund.

“It’s very exciting to be me because you get both a short and long-term benefit from these sorts of investments,” said Fraser, who attended StFX. “If we look going forward, the research is going to benefit this region. Anytime I get to be on campus it’s rewarding, not just being an alumni, but to see that we’re making continued investments between the Oland Stadium announcement recently, the infrastructure investment with the Xaverian commons, and multiple research projects taking place on campus…I’m seeing a continued trend of investing in small towns and rural communities, including research in this institution, and it’s an exciting development.”

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Fraser said his government campaigned on a number of priorities, including science and innovation.

“We’re seeing significant investments to encourage young people to take part in STEM professions, science, technology, engineering and math,” said Fraser.

Dr. Mohamed Shajahan Gulam Razul received $67,544 for research equipment for the development and structure-function relationship studies of cryoprotectants in seafood. Dr. Geniece Hallett-Tapley received $89,186 for applications of modified perovskite photocatalysts in fundamental organic transformations.

“It’s always exciting when we have funding that supports research,” said Petra Hauf, Dean of Science for StFX. “It’s important here because we want to show that at a small institution like StFX, you can do outstanding research and you need the support to get there, to get the students a learning experience in the labs, the hands-on experience to prepare them for their jobs later when they need to know state of the art equipment. I’m really pleased to see this funding coming to StFX.”

Hauf explained the projects are separate but students will work in both labs for the courses they are taking.

“Here, research labs are also for the students,” she said. “This funding is only for equipment. It’s infrastructure funding.”