University of Guelph microbiologist Gisèle LaPointe has been named the Industrial Research Chair in Dairy Microbiology.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada/Dairy Farmers of Ontario sponsored research position is worth $2 million over five years, and will serve to advance LaPointe’s international caliber work into controlling certain microbial properties in dairy products.
NSERC and DFO are each providing $1 million.
LaPointe is an international expert in the way microbes interact in food systems, particularly in milk and dairy products.
“Our goal is to increase efficiency and add value to dairy processes,” LaPointe said in a U of G release. She will investigate the effect of dairy ingredients on the gut microbiota, and on the development and addition of probiotics and other functional components to dairy products.
Industrial Research Chairs in Canada are granted to academics who are considered top people in their fields internationally.
In LaPointe’s case, the research being conducted through the chair has direct implications for the dairy industry and the economy, Bettina Hamelon of NSERC indicated in a press release.
Malcolm Campbell, U of G’s vice-president (research), said in the release that LaPointe’s research will explore innovations and strategies that enhance the benefits of dairy products, and help sustain the strength’s of Canada’s dairy industry.
The Canadian dairy sector contributes nearly $20 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product, and employs about 220,000 people. U of G’s research environment is deeply rooted in the dairy field.
LaPointe joined U of G in 2015, and was previously at Laval University.