NSERC to fund a training program in milk quality

A major grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has been awarded to the principal investigators of the Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program (CREATE) in milk quality, Professor Mario Jacques and Professor Simon Dufour of Université de Montréal's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The NSERC funding is for $1.65 million over the next six years.

 

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) announced today the creation of this new national program. The objective of the CREATE program in milk quality is to create an innovative, remarkable, and sustainable program for graduate students conducting research on mastitis and milk quality. In addition to traditional academic training, the program will promote the acquisition of key professional skills that will allow these students to become industry, government, and academic leaders in Canada and abroad.

"Our team includes researchers from several Canadian universities and federal research centres, members of the international scientific community, and decision makers in the dairy industry from across the country. Our synergy will accelerate the implementation of advanced practices and innovations emerging from research outcomes," Jacques explained. "It is also a powerful national lever for concerted and collaborative research leading to direct knowledge transfer to end-users, mainly Canadian dairy producers," said Dufour. The program will also enjoy the support of the industry and many academic and government partners.

Geneviève Tanguay, the univeristy's Vice-Rector of Research, Creation, and Innovation added that "the team led by Mario Jacques and Simon Dufour is extremely dynamic and Université de Montréal can be proud. The quality of research and training and solid relationships with the dairy industry will be key factors in the success of this program, and I congratulate them for this achievement."

With more than $6 million in net farm cash receipts and $16.4 billion in food sales in 2013, the Canadian dairy industry is a pillar of the economy. This proactive industry is recognized worldwide for its leadership and commitment to research. Mastitis (or inflammation of the mammary gland) is a high priority research area for the global dairy industry. It affects milk quality, reduces milk production, has an impact on animal well-being, and is the main cause of antibiotic use on dairy farms. Mastitis is among the most serious animal health problems with major economic impacts for the dairy industry, with losses estimated at $400 million annually in Canada.

Source: Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network

About Mario Jacques and Simon Dufour

Professor Mario Jacques is Executive Director of the Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network, and Professor of Microbiology, Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal. Professor Simon Dufour is Scientific Director of the Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network, and Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal. Mario Jacques is recognized for his work on animal bacterial pathogens, while Simon Dufour is recognized for his research on the risk factors associated with udder health.

About the Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network (CBMQRN)

Created in 2006 through the NSERC Strategic Networks Program and the support of partners in the dairy industry, the Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network (CBMQRN) brings together numerous Canadian and international researchers. The main objective of the program is to provide the Canadian dairy industry with new tools and knowledge to improve udder health and reduce the significant economic losses due to bovine mastitis: www.reseaumammite.org

Media contact:
Simon Dufour Scientific Director, CBMQRN
Université de Montréal
Tel.: +1 514 345-8521 ext. 8605
simon.dufour@umontreal.ca

BCRP contact: William Raillant-Clark