2008 Polanyi Prize Recipients Honoured

Archived Release

2008 Polanyi Prize Recipients Honoured

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

McGuinty Government Fosters Ontario's World-Class University Research
TORONTO, Dec. 4 /CNW/ -
NEWS
Five outstanding Ontario university researchers were presented today with the 2008 Polanyi Prize in recognition of their work in chemistry, physiology/medicine, literature and economics.
The annual Polanyi Prize was established by the Ontario Government in 1986 after University of Toronto Professor John Polanyi (http://www.utoronto.ca/jpolanyi) was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Polanyi Prizes, valued at $20,000 each, are awarded to researchers planning to continue postdoctoral studies at an Ontario university.
The Polanyi Prize recipients are: Dr. Mark Taylor of the University of Toronto, for chemistry; Dr. Warren Lee of the University of Toronto, for physiology/medicine; Dr. Katherine Larson of the University of Toronto, for literature; Dr. Philip DeCicca of McMaster University, for economics; Dr. Nadine Kolas of the University of Toronto, for physiology/medicine. They were honoured in Toronto at a ceremony at Massey College.
QUOTES
"Supporting their research is key to developing and keeping talented knowledge workers. In honouring these researchers' early achievements and confidently anticipating their future discoveries, we are cultivating a unique resource benefiting all Ontario," said Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/biography/tcu_minister.html).
"The fact that the Government of Ontario has, through two decades and many changes, continued to sponsor these prizes carries a clear message: 'If you are an ambitious scholar, this is the place to be.' The prizes cover a broad spectrum of subjects from the sciences to the humanities, making the further point that excellence is indivisible; creativity in the arts supports that in science; and basic understanding is essential for innovation. If the province can succeed in making these points, the prizes will have served a historic purpose," said Dr. John C. Polanyi.
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QUICK FACTS
- The Polanyi Prizes, $20,000 each, are presented annually to up to
five outstanding university researchers in Ontario.
- The selection process is administered by the Ontario Council on
Graduate Studies (http://ocgs.cou.on.ca/_bin/home/polanyi.cfm), an
affiliate of the Council of Ontario Universities.
LEARN MORE
Backgrounder: Biographies of the 2008 Polanyi Prize recipients (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/nr/08.12/bg1204.html)
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BACKGROUNDER
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THE 2008 POLANYI PRIZE WINNERS
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Dr. Mark Taylor, an Assistant Professor in Organic Chemistry at the University of Toronto, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Taylor's research involves finding new catalysts to control organic chemical reactions, and developing polymer-based sensors.
Dr. Warren Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, and a staff physician in the Department of Clinical Care at St. Michael's Hospital. He trained as a clinician/scientist at the university and pursued a post-doctoral fellowship at Cornell University. His research involves phagocytosis (the process by which immune cells degrade microbial pathogens); this could lead to a better understanding of inflammatory and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and sepsis, and possibly lead to new therapies.
Dr. Katherine Larson is an Assistant Professor in English at the University of Toronto. She has a degree from the University of Oxford and an undergraduate degree in vocal performance from St. Olaf College, Minnesota. She will study how song was used to persuade 16th- and 17th-century literary and musical audiences. Her work looks at the connections between social space, language and personal and political agency.
Dr. Philip DeCicca, an Assistant Professor of Economics at McMaster University, received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2005. He has published extensively in the field of health economics, with particular attention to the economics of smoking. His current research focuses on the impact of early childhood education on sustainable academic achievement.
Dr. Nadine Kolas is a post-doctoral fellow at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto. She received her Ph.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, in 2005. Her research uses state-of-the-art molecular genetic techniques to identify and characterize novel genes involved in DNA repair; this may shed new light on chromosome instability in human disease such as cancer and congenital abnormalities.
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For further information: Annette Phillips, Minister's Office, (416) 326-5748; Greg Flood, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2746