Research must connect with community and industry, says new VPR

While government belts may be tightening, there are still plenty of new and untapped sources of research funding, especially for those able to clearly demonstrate their work has relevance for their surrounding community and industries, according to Michael Siu.

“The traditional pie is shrinking, but there are newer pies available and it is up to use to seize the opportunity and get our fair share of those new pies,” says the University of Windsor’s new Vice President, Research. “I’m an optimist. I think there are still opportunities and that we can all make use of them for the benefit of humanity.”

Dr. Siu, who comes to UWindsor from York University where he was Associate VP, Research, began his new term on Dec. 1. He’ll appear this afternoon on a weekly talk show on CJAM 99.1 FM to discuss his plans for enhancing the university’s research activities.

In the short time he’s been here, Siu said he’s already seen some excellent examples of top quality research programs. He added that continued efforts must be made to support research that can be applied to bettering our communities through forming new partnerships.

“There is an expectation by governments and by citizens that the results of our research be actually put into use, and we in academia may, or may not, have the best way of doing that,” he said. “So by connecting with community organizations, industries, hospitals, and NGOs, we’ll have a better way to mobilize our research knowledge to the outside world.”

While making the world a better place through research is a priority, Siu emphasized that applied research can’t come at the expense of sacrificing commitments to fundamental research.

“Obviously we need to continue to explore fundamental, basic research,” he said. “Without that, there cannot be an application, but application has been strongly emphasized and that’s where a lot of the new research funding lies. This is part of the new paradigm.”

Siu’s academic career spans more than 30 years. He was a Distinguished Research Professor and NSERC/AB SCIEX Senior Industrial Research Chair in Analytical Mass Spectrometry at York University, where he was also the Founding Director of the Centre for Research in Mass Spectrometry.

His research interests span from fundamentals of mass spectrometry and ion chemistry, to next-generation mass spectrometry instrumentation, and to applications in proteomics and cancer biomarker discovery and verification.

Siu will appear today on Research Matters, a weekly talk show that highlights the work of University of Windsor researchers and airs every Thursday at 4:30 p.m.


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