QUEBEC, Oct. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Université Laval Rector Michel Pigeon inaugurated earlier today the Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods' (INAF) new research infrastructures. These installations, the result of a 15.2 million dollar investment, will strengthen INAF's position as an international leader in research on the links between nutrition, health, and disease prevention.
The investment made possible the renovation of existing laboratories, the building of new ones, and the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment. Thus, INAF now possesses molecular biology and biochemical laboratories, a pilot laboratory for food processing, animal research facilities, and a laboratory dedicated to clinical trials comprising a calorimetric room and physiological analysis units. These rooms are equipped with highly sophisticated instruments necessary for conducting innovative research: mass spectrometry systems, high pressure liquid and gas chromatographs, as well as Canada's only gastric and
intestinal dynamic simulator, which will allow scientists to better understand how beneficial molecules are absorbed in the body.
"When you consider that a substantial number of illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are linked to what we eat, it becomes all the more important to encourage research that maximizes the preventative and curative potential of functional foods and nutraceuticals," declared Rector Pigeon.
The development of these infrastructures was made possible by contributions from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) ($6.1 million), the Minister of Education ($6.1 million), Université Laval ($1.8 million), the Minister of Economic and Regional Development and Research ($1.3 million), and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Nutrition ($1 million).
"Today we pay tribute to partnerships and to everything we can accomplish by working together in order to succeed in a knowledge-based economy," declared Carmen Charette, First Vice-President of CFI. "Thanks to INAF's new infrastructures, leading scientists will have the means to conduct groundbreaking research projects."
Francine Gaudet, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education, and Claude Larose, Vice-President of Quebec City's Executive Committee, also took part in the ceremony.
Located in the heart of Quebec's historic capital city, Université Laval is one of Canada's leading universities, offering more than 450 programs to 38,000 students. Among the top ten Canadian universities in terms of research, it received more than $260 million in research funding last year.