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Ontario Recognizes Research Excellence with Polanyi Prizes

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Ontario Recognizes Research Excellence with Polanyi Prizes

Province Supporting Innovation at Ontario Universities

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

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

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 and drive practical advancements in technology, industry, healthcare and more that could benefit the people of Ontario.

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities and Dr. John C. Polanyi, Nobel Laureate in chemistry presented the prizes at a ceremony held at Massey College, University of Toronto.

"Recipients of the John C. Polanyi Prizes represent the best researchers our universities have to offer," said Minister Romano. "Their work helps advance Ontario's innovation economy, strengthening our province's reputation in research, while changing the way we approach and understand issues that impact the people of Ontario."

The research conducted by this year's recipients includes the study of compounds and materials to develop new ways to process nuclear waste; promoting a better understanding of the long-term survival rates of liver disease patients who undergo transplants; and the economic causes and consequences of terrorism, among others.

The 2019 Polanyi Prize winners are:

  • Dr. Ramon Alain Miranda Quintana, York University, Chemistry
  • Dr. Audrey Walton, University of Toronto, Literature
  • Dr. Maria Drout, University of Toronto, Physics
  • Dr. Abel Brodeur, University of Ottawa, Economic Science
  • Dr. Mamatha Bhat, University of Toronto, Physiology/Medicine

"Successive governments of this province have, through their continuing support of these prizes, encouraged over 150 talented young researchers to launch their careers at Ontario universities," said Dr. John C. Polanyi. "We owe a debt of gratitude to the province for this far-sighted initiative, which will benefit us for years to come."

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 32 years, 158 young researchers have received this honour.
  • A panel directed by the executive heads of the Council of Ontario Universities selects the recipients from a collection of nominees each year.

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