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Polanyi Prizes won by five Ontario researchers


Toronto, ON – Five top Ontario university researchers have won 2013 Polanyi Prizes for their research, which ranges from studies on infidelity, to breakthroughs in quantum physics, and examinations of blood-feeders as transmitters of disease.

The prizes were created to celebrate John Charles Polanyi’s 1986 Nobel Prize, and the areas of research they recognize mirror those of the Nobel Prizes. Polanyi Prize winners are awarded $20,000 by the Ontario government.

“The Polanyi Prizes are among the most coveted in Ontario, and recognize our most talented young researchers,” says Max Blouw, chair of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and president of Wilfrid Laurier University. “These awards contribute tremendously to the research they acknowledge while elevating the status of research in our province and globally – we thank the Ontario government for this recognition.”

Winners of the 2013 Polanyi Prizes are:

  • Economic Science: Dr. Roland Pongou, University of Ottawa, is being recognized for his research into fidelity networks, which involve people who might choose to be unfaithful to their partners while expecting fidelity in return.
  • Physiology/Medicine: Dr. Jean-Paul Paluzzi, York University, wins the award for research into the biology of blood-feeders such as mosquitoes and ticks, which can transmit various animal and human diseases. His findings could help control these organisms as transmitters of disease.
  • Physics: Dr. J. Patrick Clancy, University of Toronto, is being recognized for his research into quantum materials using advanced X-ray and neutron scattering techniques. He is examining the physics of iridium-based quantum materials, which could lead to innovations in quantum technology.
  • Physiology/Medicine: Dr. Diane Gregory, Wilfrid Laurier University, wins the award for examining spinal health in relation to the development of lower back pain. Her research is expected to improve the understanding and treatment of spinal injuries.
  • Literature: Dr. David Francis Taylor, University of Toronto, is being recognized for his study of the role that political cartoons played in 18th-century Britain.