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$500,000 in 2013 Killam Prizes are announced


Ottawa, ON – The winners of the 2013 Killam Prizes are international authorities and pioneers in the fields of vaccinology, conflict resolution, computational intelligence, earth science and cognitive science. Five winners will each be awarded prizes of $100,000 in recognition of outstanding career achievements.

This year, the winning scholars are Lorne Babiuk of the University of Alberta, John McGarry of Queen’s University, Witold Pedrycz of the University of Alberta, Richard Peltier of the University of Toronto and Paul Thagard of the University of Waterloo.

Dr Babiuk won in the Health Sciences category. A global authority in infectious diseases, particularly virology, immunology and vaccine delivery, he has founded an internationally recognized research institute, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), and more recently a $140 million dollar bio-containment facility which is the only one of its kind in Canada. In addition to being the Vice-President (Research) at the University of Alberta, he serves on numerous committees, helping to set science policy in Canada and around the world.

Dr Pedrycz won in the Engineering category. His area of specialization is computational intelligence, a comprehensive framework for analysis and design of human-centric intelligent systems. He has developed fundamental concepts and algorithmic foundations in the disciplines forming the essence of computational intelligence. These include neurocomputing, which provides a wealth of learning mechanisms, and fuzzy sets, which support human-like reasoning by processing linguistic information.

Dr Peltier won in the Natural Sciences category. The physicist is a pioneer in the establishment of the field of Earth system science, which is built on the premise that the Earth and its climate are understandable only through cross-disciplinary research. He is listed by Science Watch as one of the most highly cited earth scientists internationally. He is director of the Centre for Global Change Science, principal investigator of the Polar Climate Stability Network, and scientific director of Canada’s largest supercomputer centre, SciNet.

The Killam Prizes are Canada’s leading prizes for career achievement in the fields of health sciences, social sciences, engineering, natural sciences and humanities. The selection committee members include scholars, researchers and experts.

“Over the course of their careers, these Canadian research leaders have greatly contributed to their fields and to building Canada’s future,” said Joseph L. Rotman, chair of the Canada Council for the Arts. “They are recognized internationally for their work and the Canada Council is proud to award them our country’s most prestigious research prize.” 

The Killam Prize presentation ceremony will be held at Rideau Hall on April 23.