The first three signature areas to be endorsed by Deans’ Council are: Precision Health, Energy Systems, and Research at the Intersections of Gender. The Signature Area Development Panel recommended these areas as they clearly met the criteria that were established at the start of the process.
Precision Health is an emerging healthcare model that leverages data, new technologies, and the study of factors such as genomics, metabolomics, nutrition and environment, to better understand and address diseases and disabilities. Precision Health also includes the study of population data to deliver approaches to disease prevention, health promotion, rehabilitation, and reduction of health disparities in populations.
The university’s Precision Health strength spans discovery, applied, clinical research and is supported by significant infrastructure and assets (omic technologies, biological and computational sciences, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, imaging, clinical trial infrastructure, health outcomes, public health and health policy research, etc). Precision Health will also capitalize on assets and infrastructure across the provincial health sector.
Faculties Engaged: 18
Signature Area Director: Health Sciences Council
Contact: Dean Zaragoza, Executive Director of the Health Sciences Council
Energy is more than just fuel―it involves large and complex systems incorporating society and the environment. These systems must meet society’s expectations of type, quality, quantity, reliability, and accessibility within a diverse cultural framework of urban centers, Indigenous nations, smaller communities, and rural regions. They must operate in an environmentally sustainable manner with appropriate reclamation and management.
The university’s energy expertise, capacity and capability involves more than 200 researchers, across 23 departments and ten faculties and make us the hub of a provincial, national―and increasingly international―cluster of companies, government organizations and universities seeking energy-related collaborations.
Faculties Engaged: 10
Signature Area Director: Anne Naeth, Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies), ALES
Contact: Anne Naeth
Intersections of Gender
More than 250 researchers across all 18 faculties at the U of A already conduct gender-themed, interdisciplinary, and intersectional research. Their expertise is pivotal to tackling today's most complex challenges: from health care delivery in refugee camps and water security on Indigenous reserves to automated transport and institutionalized sexual harassment.
Intersections of Gender recognizes that gender and other aspects of identity and social belonging—race, class, age, religion, indigeneity, language, citizenship etc.—intersect and interweave. Considering gendered intersections is essential for designing successful, impactful, and socially relevant research.
By mobilizing the world-class gender expertise that we have at the university, Intersections of Gender will build new capacity for small and large interdisciplinary research collaborations for both established and emerging researchers. By making gender a strategic priority in teaching and research, Intersections of Gender will help the U of A to meet the new benchmarks that granting agencies are setting for intersectional gender analysis and inclusive excellence.
Faculties Engaged: 18
Signature Area Director: Susanne Luhmann (Director, Intersections of Gender)