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Honouring Ontario's Outstanding Researchers

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Honouring Ontario's Outstanding Researchers

McGuinty Government Celebrates 25 Years of Research Excellence in Ontario

Five of Ontario's top university researchers are being awarded the 2012 Polanyi Prize to recognize their valuable contribution to the fields of chemistry, literature, physics and physiology/medicine. 

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Polanyi Prize which was established to honour the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, a 1986 Nobel Prize Laureate in chemistry.

 The 2012 Polanyi Prize recipients are:

  • Dr. Tao Zeng of the University of Waterloo for chemistry.
  • Dr. Jennifer Esmail of Wilfrid Laurier University for literature.
  • Dr. Alex Hayat of the University of Toronto for physics.
  • Dr. Aristotle Voineskos of the University of Toronto for physiology/medicine.
  • Dr. Darren Yuen of the University of Toronto for physiology/medicine.

The McGuinty government is committed to helping keep postsecondary education within the reach of all families while building the best-educated workforce in the world, creating jobs.

Quick Facts

  • In 2009, Ontario’s higher education sector conducted 41 per cent of the research and development in Canada’s higher education sector.
  • The winners were selected by a panel established by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, which is delegated by the executive heads of the Council of Ontario Universities.

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“Winners of the Polanyi Prizes represent the best researchers our universities have to offer. By honouring these researchers, we recognize the important work being done in our universities. I want to congratulate the recipients of these awards on their contribution to their field of study and to our province’s future prosperity.”

John Milloy

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

“The fact that the Government of Ontario has 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 an historic purpose.”

Dr. John C. Polanyi

“I congratulate the winners of the Polanyi Prize for their contributions to research excellence. Ontarians can be proud of the robust research underway in Ontario universities right across the continuum from discovery research through to commercialization.”

Bonnie Patterson

President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities

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