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Quebec names four research stars for 2011

Montreal, QC – Last week at the Palais de congrès Recognition Award Gala, the Rendez-vous du Savoir partners announced the winners in the second edition of the “Ça mérite d’être reconnu!” contest.

The “Ça mérite d’être reconnu!” contest was created to honour and promote the best researchers from academic institutions across Quebec in three distinct categories: social sciences and humanities; arts and literature; and natural science, engineering and health. This year, four leading researchers were selected from a pool of 43 candidates representing 13 different Quebec universities. The 11-person multidisciplinary selection committee, with leaders from economic, scientific, and political fields, is chaired by Dr Pavel Hamet, a professor at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Medicine.

The four researchers stand out for the excellence of their work, which contributes to the advancement of knowledge in their respective fields; their work’s respective applications have already, or are likely to have significant positive impacts on society.

This year’s four Research Stars are:

Caroline Boudoux, Ph.D., junior engineer. Caroline Boudoux is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Physics and at the Biomedical Engineering Institute at the École Polytechnique de Montréal, and she is a researcher at the CHU Sainte-Justine’s Research Centre. Her work in engineering physics is at the leading edge of microscopy and endoscopy, using new fibre optic components with less invasive and more precise instruments to allow the observation of internal organs in 3D through a simple needle. Her work has already attracted Univalor’s interest in finding applications for this technology in orthopaedic and otolaryngologic fields.

Krista Byers-Heinlein, Ph.D. Krista Byers-Heinlein is an assistant professor at the Department of Psychology at Concordia University, and a member of the Center for Research on Language, Mind, and Brain. Her work aims to provide a better understanding of the language acquisition process in young children by using cutting edge experimental techniques such as non-invasive brain imaging technology using near-infrared spectroscopy. This research has revealed a form of bilingualism at birth in children that are exposed to two languages during prenatal development.

Éric Deneault, MSc. Éric Deneault is a doctoral student in molecular biology at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) at the University of Montreal. His research on in vitro stem cell growth will greatly increase the amount of stem cells that can be harvested from umbilical cord blood and bone marrow. Finishing his PhD soon, he plans on continuing his career in research by taking on a postdoctoral fellowship at Boston’s Harvard University.

Samuelle Ducrocq-Henry, Ph.D., communications. Samuelle Ducrocq-Henry is a professor in the Department of Design and New Media at the University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), and is the head of the Montreal UQAT Centre for undergraduate 3D design. Her research focuses on new uses for video game technology, developing an application model called “LAN Pédagogique”. This model reuses video games as a tool to promote learning and therapeutic intervention.

The Rendez-vous du Savoir forum on higher learning is one of the numerous activities being undertaken by the province’s leaders to promote the importance of knowledge in Quebec’s economy.