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Chemist awarded Polanyi Prize


Hamilton, ON – McMaster University’s Dr Chrif Matta has been recognized for his pioneering research in theoretical chemistry with a John Charles Polanyi Prize. The province of Ontario established the prestigious awards to support outstanding researchers in the early stages of their careers.

In his current research in the department of chemistry at McMaster, Dr Matta is using computational chemistry to study how electrons are distriubted in biological molecules. One of his interests is studying the interaction of electromagnetic radiation and genetic material to determine how electric fields from cell phones, television sets, computers, and power lines can alter our DNA.

“The Polanyi prize recognizes the promise and potential of our young researchers. Chrif Matta is acknowledged as a leader in his field of research and I am delighted he has received this honour,” says Mamdouh Shoukri, the university’s vice-president, research & international affairs.

Established in 1986, the Polanyi Prizes recognize the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, who received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The prizes have a value of $15,000 each and are available in the areas broadly defined as physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and economic science.