Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press London North Centre Liberal candidate Deb Matthews.

Research at Western University can continue to lead the world, Deb Matthews, London North Centre MPP told staff Friday as the institution was awarded more than $7.4 million.

“You’re making a difference in the lives of people and you’re making me very, very proud to be a Londoner,” said Matthews.

The health minister was at Western to announce the funding, which will buy state-of-the-art equipment for a variety of research projects and at Lawson Health Research Institute.

The money is from the Ontario Research Fund’s research infrastructure program and will support six teams, totalling almost 200 investigators and their staff.

It will give research teams the tools for ground-breaking research in areas including the development and testing of medical devices, audiology, imaging for biomechanics and clinical orthopedics research, movement ecology of free-living birds, neuroimaging research and imaging research in oncology and cardiology.

Since it began in 2004, the province’s fund has given $760 million towards 1,755 research infrastructure projects, which has trained 20,617 people, including 4,803 researchers.

Western, according to Matthews, has totaled more than $92 million from the fund.

“London is clearly on the map when it comes to research,” she said.

Dr. David Holdsworth, whose team is receiving $1.3 million to investigate bone and joint disorders, said the “tremendous impact” of provincial funding helps Western stay at the forefront of research.

“It’s important to realize just how critical it is for researchers to have access to state-of-the-art equipment,” he told an audience of staff and invited guests.

Grants awarded

Lead researcher: Blaine Chronik
Project: Set up a centre to develop and test medical devices
Grant: $705,911

Lead researcher: Dr. Prudence Allen
Project: Research into hearing loss
Grant: $765,565

Lead researcher: David Holdsworth
Project: Develop a facility to image bone and joint tissues
Grant: $1,342,675

Lead researcher: Christopher Guglielmo
Project: Study of factors influencing the movement of birds, globally, regionally and locally
Grant: $1,171,999

Lead researcher: Dr. Ravi Menon
Project: Neuroimaging research in “challenging” patients, such as people with involuntary movements
Grant: $2,494,098

Lead researcher: Dr. Tim-Ying Lee
Project: Develop CT scanning methods to measure blood flow
Grant: $961,524

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