Parex Resources Innovation Fellowships

We believe our researchers and students can change the world – one discovery and innovation at a time.

The Parex Resources Innovation Fellowships were launched in October 2019 for researchers from across the university who are immersed in academic research and community partnerships leading to start-ups or technology advancement based on new discoveries, insights, and innovation.

These fellowships are supported by a $3.24 million endowment from alumnus Wayne Foo and Parex Resources Inc. with the goal of enabling researchers to focus on innovation and technology-transfer activities. Parex Resources Inc. is a Calgary-based company engaged in oil exploration, development, and production in Colombia. The fellowships have been established to honour Parex’s 10-year anniversary, as well as the company’s commitment to innovation in the energy sector and beyond.

Grounded in the University’s research-intensive environment, the Fellowships will provide researchers and students resources to focus on how their science and expertise will positively impact society and solve some of the world’s most complex challenges in areas such as data science and analytics, cybersecurity, precision medicine and energy sources.

The 2020-2021 cohort of Innovation Fellows

Dr. Colin Dalton

Dr. Colin Dalton, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering
Director, Microsystems Hub


Dr. Dalton is a biomedical engineer specializing in advanced micro/nano manufacturing technologies for biomedical applications. His research outcomes often include opportunities to develop customized medical micro-devices for clinical use. Furthermore, his extensive background in knowledge translation, supports his collaborative and interdisciplinary research approach to advancing healthcare solutions.

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Dr. Belinda Heyne

Dr. Belinda Heyne, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science


Dr. Heyne’s research focuses on photochemistry and photobiology with an emphasis on the production and detection of singlet oxygen. Her research incorporates nanotechnology, and is highly multidisciplinary encompassing synthesis to cell culture, with an aim to understand and control the production of reactive oxygen species in biological environments.

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Dr. Chris Hugenholtz

Dr. Chris Hugenholtz, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts


Dr. Hugenholtz’s expertise covers the interface between meteorology and geoinformatics. His current research focuses on developing innovative technologies to locate, measure and quantify fugitive methane emissions to help mitigate environmental impacts in the energy sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

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Dr. Amir Sanati-Nezhad

Dr. Amir Sanati-Nezhad, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering
Tier II Canada Research Chair, Bio-Micro/electromechanical Systems (BioMEMS)


Dr. Sanati-Nezhad’s research focuses on the development of integrated bioinspired microdevices using microfluidics, biosensors and tissue engineering approaches for disease modeling, biological systems modeling, and drug discovery. This research has commercial potential by developing new assays to address the challenges to detect, monitor, and screen molecules and bioparticles that are sensitive and selective.


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Dr. Carrie Shemanko

Dr. Carrie Shemanko, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science


Dr. Shemanko’s research focuses on breast cancer, with an emphasis on bone metastasis (when the cancer has spread to the bone) related to early detection and therapeutic interventions for this disease. Bone metastasis is painful and not curable. It’s estimated between 30 – 50% of patients who are given the standard treatment for bone metastasis relapse. The need for better patient treatment is essential. Therefore Dr. Shemanko’s research innovation includes drug repurposing to accelerate and improve current drug treatments for patients, as well as developing a blood-based predictive test for bone metastasis.

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Dr. Venkataraman Thangadurai

Dr. Venkataraman Thangadurai, PhD
Professor, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science
Associate Head, Faculty of Graduate Studies


Dr. Thangadurai’s research area is in solid-state materials science and technology. His current research includes the development of next generation all-solid-state batteries for energy storage, and solid oxide fuels cells (SOFCs) for energy conversion. Not only will his research impact the future of electrical mobility, it also has positive implications for our environment by reducing greenhouse carbon dioxide emissions, and economic benefits by creating advanced technologies for a sustainable future.

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