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We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Partners In Research National Ambassador Awards!
Biomedical Science Ambassador Award
Dr. Frank Plummer
Engineering Ambassador Award
Dr. Hoda El Maraghy
Mathematics Ambassador Award
Dr. Lynda Colgan
Science Ambassador Award
Dr. Jeremy McNeil
Technology Ambassador Award
Dr. Alexander Ferworn
Ronald G. Calhoun Science Ambassador Award
Mrs. Janice Filmon
VROC Participation Award (Co-Awardees)
Dr. Brian Dixon & Dr. Craig Merrett
2013 PIR NATIONAL AWARD RECIPIENTS
- Dr. Chris Brandl, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University
Dr. Chris Brandl was born in Gainsborough, Saskatchewan and raised in Orillia, Ontario. After graduating with an Honors BSc in Biochemistry from Western University in 1981, he began graduate training funded by an MRC Studentship, at the University of Toronto’s Charles H. Best Institute in the laboratory of Dr. David MacLennan. Dr. Brandl’s thesis described the cloning of the cardiac, striated and neonatal forms of the Ca2+ ATPase pumps responsible for muscle contraction. In December 1986 he began a three-year MRC funded postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School with Dr. Kevin Struhl, his studies focused on transcriptional regulation in yeast and led to the characterization of unique promoter structures, the structure of the transcriptional activator Gcn4, and a novel way to determine the DNA binding specificity of DNA binding proteins.
He was recruited back to Western University with an MRC Scholarship in 1990, becoming a Full Professor in 2001. He was Acting Chair from 2005-2006, and Director of the MD/PhD Program from 1995-2004. His research focus has remained the use of the genetic, molecular genetic and biochemical tools in yeast to identify the molecules and mechanisms that control gene expression. His CIHR funded research program has uncovered key components of the SAGA transcriptional regulatory complex and their regulation. SAGA is the prototypical eukaryotic transcriptional regulator. As the equivalent molecules in human cells are implicated in disease processes, their goal is to use the powerful tools available in yeast to provide the insight into how to develop novel therapeutics.
Dr. Greg Gloor and he developed the concept of distributing science modules to secondary school classes in 1997. This evolved into Outreach Science Ontario, a program that allows senior level secondary school biology students to perform molecular cloning experiments in their classrooms. The current program impacts approximately 500 students each year. In 1999, he became the co-ordinator of Bch2280, the introductory course in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The course has grown to have an annual enrolment of close to 1400 students. The demands of this course have led to many new ideas. The latest being the development with Dr. Derek McLachlin, of an iPhone App called Biochemistry Personal Trainer as a learning tool for biochemistry.
He and wife Julie live in London, and have two sons, Tim and Rob. Initially through the interests of his sons, he became involved with coaching for the London Ramblers Basketball program and has done so for the past fifteen years.
James A. Low is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Paediatrics at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He received his MD degree from the University of Toronto in 1949 and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada certified following graduate training at the University of Toronto in obstetrics and gynecology in 1955. Subsequent appointments include Clinical Teacher, University of Toronto (1955-1965); Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Queen’s University (1965-1985); and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Queen’s University (1985 to the present time). Administrative appointments have included the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, and the Council of the Ontario Faculties of Medicine. Research commitments to fetal and newborn asphyxia and fetal development have led to over 100 publications. Editorial Board appointments have included Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
He has served as Executive Director of the Museum of Health Care at Kingston from 1991 to 2011 and Director of the Administrative Record Management and Archival Program at the Kingston General Hospital from 1993 to 2008.
Dr. John P. Smol, FRSC is professor of biology (cross-appointed with the School of Environmental Studies) at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario), where he also holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change. Smol founded and co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), a group of over 30 students and other scientists dedicated to the study of long-term global environmental change, and especially as it relates to lake ecosystems. An ISI Highly Cited Researcher, Smol has authored over 450 journal publications and chapters since 1980, as well as completed 19 books. Much of his research deals with the impacts of climatic change, acidification, eutrophication, contaminant transport, and other environmental stressors. He was the founding Editor of the international Journal of Paleolimnology (1987-2007) and is the current Editor of the journal Environmental Reviews. Since 1990 he has been awarded over 45 research and teaching awards and fellowships, including the 2004 NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal as Canada’s top scientist or engineer, and the Ontario Premier’s Discovery Award for Life Sciences and Medicine, the province’s highest academic award. He has won 9 teaching and mentoring awards, including being named a 3M National Teaching Fellow, considered by many to be Canada’s highest teaching honour, and was recently named by Nature magazine, following a nation-wise search, to be Canada’s Top Mid-Career Scientific Mentor.
- Dr. Ronald Deibert, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
Ron Deibert, (OOnt, PhD, University of British Columbia) is Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary research and development hothouse working at the intersection of the Internet, global security, and human rights. He is a co-founder and a principal investigator of the OpenNet Initiative and Information Warfare Monitor (2003-2012) projects.
Deibert was one of the founders and (former) VP of global policy and outreach for Psiphon Inc. Deibert has published numerous articles, chapters, and books on issues related technology, media, and world politics. He was one of the authors of the Tracking Ghostnet report that documented an alleged cyber-espionage network affecting over 1200 computers in 103 countries, and the Shadows in the Cloud report, which analyzed a cloud-based espionage network. He is a co-editor of three major volumes with MIT Press: Access Denied: The practice and policy of Internet Filtering (2008), Access Controlled: The shaping of power, rights, and rule in cyberspace (2010), and Access Contested: Security, Identity, and Resistance in Asian Cyberspace (2011). He is the author of Parchment, Printing, and Hypermedia: Communications in World Order Transformation (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), and the forthcoming book Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace (forthcoming: McClelland & Stewart/Random House, 2013).
He has been a consultant and advisor to governments, international organizations, and civil society/NGOs on issues relating to cyber security, cyber crime, online free expression, and access to information. He presently serves on the editorial board of the journals International Political Sociology, Security Dialogue, Explorations in Media Ecology, Review of Policy Research, and Astropolitics.
Deibert is on the advisory board of Access Now, Privacy International, and is a member of the board of directors of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.
Deibert was awarded the University of Toronto Outstanding Teaching Award (2002), the Northrop Frye Distinguished Teaching and Research Award (2002), and the Carolyn Tuohy Award for Public Policy (2010). He was a Ford Foundation research scholar of Information and communication technologies (2002-2004). He was named among Esquire Magazine’s “Best and Brightest List of 2007, and in 2010, he was listed among SC Magazine’s top “IT Security Luminaries.” In 2013, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario, for being “among the first to recognize and take measures to mitigate growing threats to communications rights, openness and security worldwide.”
Peter Taylor is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Queen’s University, cross-appointed to the Department of Biology and the Faculty of Education. He is a Queen’s graduate and has a Harvard PhD. His area of research is theoretical evolutionary ecology, particular the evolution of cooperative behaviour. He is a 3M Fellow, is Chair of the Education Committee of the Canadian Mathematical Society, and is a member of the Queen’s University Board of Trustees. In 2011 he was Chair of the Queen’s University Academic Planning Task Force. He has done extensive curriculum writing with the Ontario Ministry of Education and as preparation for this, he taught two semesters in high school.
Dr Thomas Merritt is an associate professor and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair of Genomics and Bioinformatics in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Laurentian University. A transplanted American, Dr. Merritt has called Sudbury, Ontario, home for the last seven years.
In the lab and out, Dr. Merritt seeks to channel his genuine sense of wonder in the world around us into passion for both research and teaching. Dr. Merritt has a dynamic research program that investigates the connection between genotype and phenotype, asking how genetic diversity translates into biological complexity. When talking with students, he focuses on bringing his research to life and bringing his passion for research into the classroom to make science real and learning exciting. Dr. Merritt is active in education outreach in his home of Sudbury and, through VROC and PIR, nationally and internationally.
Merritt balances research and teaching with a life outside the laboratory and classroom. Married to scientist and professor, Dr Jackie Litzgus, he is a devoted father who hopes that science and science education will make the world a better place for his daughter. He is also passionate about sport and access to sport for people with disabilities. Dr. Merritt, and the accessible rowing program he started in Sudbury, have been recognized locally and nationally as leaders in accessible sport.
SPONSORSHIPSponsorship packages for the PIR National Awards 2014…
Includes: Table sign, company logo in program and on event website
Includes: Table sign, company logo in program, on event website, and on slideshow that will play throughout the reception and awards ceremony
Includes: Table sign, company logo in program, on event website, on slideshow that will play throughout the reception and awards ceremony, and social media coverage
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For more information please contact:
Partners In Research
1-877-870-8762 ext 21
2013 PHOTOS FROM THE AWARDS