Canada Excellence Research Chairs

The Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program aims to support world-renowned researchers and their teams to establish ambitious research programs at Canadian universities.

Visit the CERC website

Current Cercs at UBC

Orlando Rojas

Canada Excellence Research Chair in Forest Bioproducts

The Canada Excellence Research Chair in Forest Bioproducts will deliver next-generation materials from renewable, forest-based resources. These sustainable and cost-competitive, advanced materials are key for the success of the bioeconomy and the reinvention of the Canadian forest industry. Benefits to Canada include a cleaner environment and reduced dependency on non-renewable resources. Leveraging genetics, synthetic biology and polymer chemistry/physics, the Chair will produce materials, products and devices that will reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonize our economy and improve our quality of life. These research discoveries will help control the interactions involving lignocellulosic structures at the micron- and nanoscales to achieve enhanced structural, optical and other properties. The effort will involve cellulose- and lignin-based particles, filaments, films and composites. Leading a multidisciplinary team and integrating strong local and global networks, the Chair will produce world-leading science, innovative products and processes, accelerating demand for forest bioproducts with high societal impact.


Sriram Subramaniam

Canada Excellence Research Chair in Precision Cancer Drug Design

While many drugs induce responses and prolong survival, most cancers adapt through clonal evolution to develop treatment-resistant, lethal disease. The discovery of drugs targeting newly identified cancer drivers remains a slow, challenging and costly process. The Canada Excellence Research Chair in Precision Cancer Drug Design will use state-of-the-art tools in genomics, cryo-electron microscopy and computer-aided drug discovery in a precision oncology framework to lead an internationally unique research program. The aim is to revolutionize the way we discover and develop effective anti-cancer treatments. The program will be interdisciplinary, capitalizing on transinstitutional collaborations, including engineering, chemistry and biology, with a variety of partnerships with the private sector. We seek to be the global leaders in the emerging era of integrating genome-derived target discoveries and their translation to patient-oriented research for cancer drug discovery in a timely and cost-effective manner.



Erik Snowberg

Erik Snowberg

Canada Excellence Research Chair in Data-Intensive Methods in Economics

Erik Snowberg plans to make The University of British Columbia into the world leader in empirical political economy research. The Canada Excellence Research Chair in Data-Intensive Methods in Economics at the university is using innovative data to understand the effects of politics and policy on the economy. Snowberg and his team’s research will explore how business and environmental groups can collaborate with government to simultaneously improve economic productivity and quality of life.


Previous CERCS

  • Matthew Farrer, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Neurogenetics and Translational Neuroscience (2010 Award)
  • Jennifer Hoffman, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Materials and Devices Based on Oxide Heterostructures (2015 Award)

2022 Competition

The results of the 2022 competition are expected to be announced in fall 2023.

Learn more about the UBC competition process for 2022 and the resulting recruitment opportunities.