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2009 Polanyi Prize awarded to top Ontario researchers

Toronto, ON – Five Ontario university researchers have been awarded the 2009 Polanyi Prize, recognizing their outstanding contributions in the areas of chemistry, physiology/medicine, literature, physics and economics.

The Polanyi Prizes were established in 1987 by the Ontario government to honour the achievements of John Charles Polanyi, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Five prizes are awarded annually to outstanding young researchers in the early stages of their careers at Ontario universities.

The 2009 Polanyi Prize recipients are:

CHEMISTRY – Dr Nicholas Jay Mosey, is an assistant professor of chemistry at Queen’s University. He received his PhD from the University of Western Ontario. Dr Mosey’s current research uses computer simulations to isolate the process in which motor oil transforms from a liquid to a film that protects car engine’s from wear and tear.

PHYSIOLOGY/MEDICINE – Dr Michael Kiang is an assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster University. He received his MD from the University of Toronto and his PhD from the University of California, San Diego. Dr Kiang is studying the brainwaves of schizophrenic patients to better understand the abnormalities that cause “delusions.”

PHYSICS – Dr Laura Catherine Parker is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University. She received her PhD from the University of Waterloo. Dr Parker is an observational astronomer focused on exploring the unaccounted matter in the universe – the so-called dark matter.

LITERATURE – Dr Amelia DeFalco is a postdoctoral fellow at McMaster University in the Department of English and Cultural Studies.

ECONOMICS – Dr Gustavo Javier Bobonis is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto.