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2018 Polanyi Prize Winners


2018 Polanyi Prize Winners

Ministry of Colleges and Universities


Dr. Aron Broom, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Ottawa

Dr. Broom's research focuses on using a computer to develop a method for changing the structure of enzymes. The results from his project can be used in a variety of ways, including the creation of new chemicals for industry, better pharmaceuticals, production of new biomaterials, conversion of bio-waste to biofuels and decontamination of pollution, all through environmentally friendly green chemistry.


Dr. Christopher Caputo, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair, York University 

Dr. Caputo is working on creating sustainable, low-cost materials developed from readily available chemical elements. The materials will replace toxic and expensive precious metals that are currently used in industry. By removing the precious metal components, the research will help develop more sustainable catalytic processes in order to make new, high technology products.

Economic Science

Dr. Jiaying Gu, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Toronto

Dr. Gu's research projects use statistical techniques to analyze differences that are hard to observe or measure, such as personal tastes, biases and innate abilities. One of her projects proposes a new methodology for teacher evaluation. The other looks at the extent that individuals' choices in different economic environments are driven by market conditions and not on individuals' unique characteristics. An improved statistical method will allow predictions to be made about how consumers might react to changes in the market, such as the introduction of a new product or alterations to a product's price.


Dr. Jason Hunt, Dunlap Fellow, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto

Dr. Hunt studies the structure and changes of the Milky Way Galaxy, mainly using data from the European Space Agency's Gaia mission. The data provides information for approximately 1.5 billion stars in the Milky Way. Dr. Hunt's research seeks to uncover the structure of the Milky Way and address the size and incompleteness of the data.


Dr. Husam Abel-Qadir, Phillipson Scholar, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto; Cariologist, Women's College Hospital

Dr. Abdel-Qadir's research is focused on reducing cardiovascular disease in cancer patients. His research explores methods of early detection and prevention of heart disease in breast cancer survivors treated with chemotherapy. He is also studying how the risk of heart disease relates to patients' life experiences during chemotherapy, which will allow for better methods of preventing, monitoring and treating heart disease in cancer survivors.

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