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Dr. Suresh Narine Awarded $2.25 Million as Senior NSERC Industrial Research Chair

Third consecutive appointment allows Trent professor to continue groundbreaking research on lipid derived biomaterials


One of the world’s foremost authorities and leading scientist in the groundbreaking field of biomaterials, Trent University professor Dr. Suresh Narine was recently awarded a multi-million dollar Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada Industrial Research Chair (IRC), for a third consecutive term.

Professor Narine, a Trent alumnus, professor in Physics & Astronomy and Chemistry, and the director of the Trent Centre for Biomaterials Research (TCBR), received over $500,000 in new NSERC funding, which when combined with new matching funding from industrial partners, Elevance Renewable Sciences, Northwater Capital and the Grain Farmers of Ontario, will see a $2.25 million funding infusion for his biomaterials research program over the next five years.

“I’m honoured to be a three-term NSERC Industrial Research Chair and extremely appreciative of NSERC and our industrial partners who continue to support our research.  This latest funding will help to maintain Trent’s biomaterials research program among the top one per cent of centres in the world focused on biomaterials research,” said Prof. Narine. “This additional funding will allow us to continue to create new highly qualified personnel for Canada in this crucial area of study and will allow us to begin to realize the transformative commercial potential of our work, which has a triple bottom line impact – profitability, environmental good, and public good.”

Since the inception of the TCBR in 2009, the centre has filed 24 patents, published nearly 90 publications in peer reviewed journals and has trained six PhD graduates and five MSc. graduates. The biomaterials research program is focused on the conversion of vegetable oils into high value materials—both edible and industrial and focuses on end market uses such as functional polymers, lubricants and specialty waxes, phase change energy storage materials and healthful edible materials. The TCBR conducts its work in 15, 000 square feet of state of the art research laboratories at Trent University and its work is a major strategic focus of the university’s research strategy.

“The bold direction taken by Trent University in 2009 to embark on the ambitious creation of the Trent Centre for Biomaterials Research, led by Dr. Narine, now enables Trent University to actively compete with the best in the world in this area of study,” said Dr. Neil Emery, vice president, Research and International at Trent University. “We congratulate Prof. Narine on the transformative biomaterials research his team is conducting which not only makes an impact at local, national and global levels, but which also pivotally contributes to Trent’s standing as a leading research university.”

“NSERC is delighted to support Dr. Suresh Narine in his second term as Senior Industrial Research Chair at Trent University. Dr. Narine has demonstrated remarkable leadership and established strong and highly productive partnerships. He will continue to focus on both fundamental and applied research on the conversion of vegetable oils to products and technologies in the green sector,” said Dr. B. Mario Pinto, NSERC president.

“Grain Farmers of Ontario is pleased to continue our support of Dr. Narine and the Trent Centre for Biomaterials Research,” said Barry Senft, CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “Dr. Narine is a pioneer in research in this area and his program has done a tremendous job developing new market opportunities for the commercialization of new bio-products utilizing soybean oil.”

“The breakthroughs that are coming out of Dr. Narine’s labs have many commercial applications from everyday household products to grid level energy storage to new food products,” said David Patterson, chair and CEO of Northwater Capital. “We congratulate Professor Narine, Trent University and NSERC for extending this research chair thereby ensuring these important contributions to the Canadian economy will continue.  We are proud to have a small part in this work.”

To learn more about the Dr. Narine’s research and the Trent Centre for Biomaterials Research, visit trentu.ca/tcbr

Posted on Monday, November 23, 2015.

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