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Discovery and innovation saluted by NSERC at its annual awards


Ottawa, ON – Some of Canada’s most prestigious science prizes are being awarded by NSERC, as part of its support for discovery and innovation in Canada. The organization supports both basic university research through research grants, and project research through partnerships among postsecondary institutions, government and the private sector.

The awards are being presented at a gala ceremony on December 6, and include:

The Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, being won this year by John P Smol, a Canada Research Chair at Queen’s University.

The Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering. Awarded for the first time this year, this prize honours the late Canadian Nobel laureate and physicist Bertram Brockhouse. It recognizes outstanding achievement by a team of researchers from different disciplines. The team shares the research prize of $250,000. The winners this year are Sajeev John and Geoffrey Ozin, both at the University of Toronto.

NSERC Award of Excellence 2004 Herzberg Gold Medal Finalists. Along with Dr Smol, Andr Salama of the University of Toronto and David Dolphin of the University of British Columbia were selected as finalists for the 2004 Herzberg Gold Medal. Drs Dolphin and Salama each receive the NSERC Award of Excellence, as well as an additional $50,000 in research support. Dr Dolphin conducts groundbreaking research on porphyrins, which include heme and chlorophyll. His research has resulted among other things in the creation of the drug VisudyneTM, the world’s first treatment for age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness. Dr Salama is recognized for contributions to microchip design that helped fuel the global information technology revolution, and for his pioneering role and leadership in promoting university-industry interaction within the Canadian microelectronics sector.

NSERC Steacie Fellowships. These fellowships are awarded to the most outstanding Canadian university scientists or engineers who have earned their doctorates within the last 12 years. Receiving fellowships this year are Mosto Bousmina, Universit Laval; Thomas Brabec, University of Ottawa; George Eleftheriades, University of Toronto; Eric Hessels, York University; Lisa Jeffrey, University of Toronto; and Patrick Keeling, University of British Columbia

NSERC Howard Alper Postdoctoral Prize. This $20,000 prize was created by the first winner of the Herzberg Gold Medal. It is awarded each year to an outstanding individual in NSERC’s science and engineering postdoctoral fellowship competition. This year it is being awarded to Aneil Agrawal of the University of British Columbia.

NSERC Doctoral Prizes. A medal and a $10,000 cash prize are awarded for the best doctoral work completed in science and engineering at a Canadian university last year. This years winners are Alexandre Blais, Universit de Sherbrooke; Marie Evangelista, Queen’s University; Karim S Karim, University of Waterloo; and Arindom Sen, University of Calgary.

NSERC Andr Hamer Postgraduate Prizes. Created by last year’s Herzberg winner, Dr Arthur McDonald, to honour a former colleague, these awards go to the most outstanding students in NSERC’s master’s and doctoral scholarship competitions. This year’s winners are Sharonna Greenberg, graduate student at University of Windsor and Selena Smith, a doctoral candidate at University of Alberta.