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Ontario Celebrates Exceptional Researchers with Polanyi Prizes
January 22, 2019

Ontario is recognizing the province's leading researchers for their contributions to the fields of chemistry, physiology or medicine, physics and economic science.

The John Charles Polanyi Prizes are awarded annually to five researchers who are in the early stages of their careers and pursuing post-doctoral research at an Ontario university. Recipients of the Polanyi Prizes represent the province's next generation of innovators.

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training Colleges and Universities and Dr. John C. Polanyi, Nobel Laureate in chemistry presented the prizes.

"It is an honour to recognize the recipients of this year's Polanyi Prizes," said Minister Fullerton.  "Polanyi Prize winners represent some of the best researchers across Ontario universities. Their research encourages innovation and positively impacts the everyday lives of Ontarians."

The research conducted by this year's recipients includes work that has led to a better understanding of the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy, the transformation of chemicals to create sustainable, low-cost materials and the reduction of cardiovascular disease in cancer patients.

The 2018 Polanyi Prize winners are:

  • Dr. Aron Broom, Chemistry, University of Ottawa
  • Dr. Christopher Caputo, Chemistry, York University
  • Dr. Jiaying Gu, Economic Science, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Jason Hunt, Physics, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Husam Abdel-Qadir, Physiology/Medicine, University of Toronto

"Alfred Nobel, the visionary Swedish inventor, may not have heard of Ontario, but thanks to the farsightedness of a succession of Ontario Governments, Ontarians have heard of Nobel," said Dr. John C. Polanyi. "This year, the Government of Ontario adds the names of five outstanding scholars in Nobel fields to the roster who, over the past thirty years, have been designated 'Polanyi Prize Winners'. They join over a hundred previous winners currently enriching the lives of Ontarians through discovery and innovation."

Quick Facts

  • Ontario established the Polanyi Prizes in 1987 to honour the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, a 1986 Nobel Prize Laureate in chemistry.
  • Over the past 31 years, 153 young researchers have received this honour.
  • A panel directed by the executive heads of the Council of Ontario Universitiesselects prize recipients from a collection of nominees each year.

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