The E.B. Eastburn Postdoctoral Fellowship Fund

Hamilton industrialist and philanthropist Eugene B. Eastburn believed in the power of education to make a difference to people and to their communities.

Half a century later, his legacy to help young scientists pursue their research studies continues through the E.B. Eastburn Postdoctoral Fellowship,” said HCF Board Chair Dr. Gary Warner during the presentation of the 2011 fellowship to McMaster researcher Dr. Constance O’Connor.

Mr. Eastburn, who died in 1962, was president of National Hosiery Mills in Hamilton and also served on the HCF Board. Through a gift in his will, the Foundation has awarded 32 fellowships since his death to researchers located at universities across Canada. Fellows have come from a diverse spectrum of scientific fields ranging from biology and medical sciences to mathematics and zoology.

In presenting the award at the university, Dr. Warner also announced that in future the fellowship will be offered exclusively at McMaster, representing “another level of partnership between the two organizations.”

Considered one of Canada’s most prestigious research fellowships, it provides $80,000 over two years to fund Dr. O’Connor’s research into the genetic makeup of cichids, a highly social fish native to Lake Tanganyika in east Africa. She hopes to provide an evolutionary picture of how social behaviour evolved, and establish a mechanism for underlying social disorders that could apply to mice, birds and mammals.

“Our postdoctoral fellows are members both of the McMaster community and of the Hamilton community,” said Dr. Allison Sekuler, McMaster’s dean of graduate studies. “This partnership with HCF greatly increases our ability to attract the best researchers to Hamilton.”

Excerpt from Spring 2012 Newsletter