McGuinty Government Celebrates Research Excellence



    Ontario Researchers Recognized For Excellence In Their Fields

    TORONTO, Nov. 22 /CNW/ - The Ontario government is recognizing some of
the most important research achievements by Ontario scientists and academics
by awarding five researchers with the prestigious John Charles Polanyi Prize
for 2007, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy
announced today.
    "Ontario's future lies in our ability to compete internationally through
cutting-edge research and innovation," said Milloy. "These five individuals
represent some of the best and brightest researchers in our province.
Together, and with the many other dedicated and talented scientists,
researchers and innovators across Ontario, they are helping to keep Ontario at
the forefront of the global economy."
    Each year since 1987, up to five outstanding Ontario researchers are
awarded the Polanyi Prize in the fields of chemistry, literature, physics,
physiology and medicine or economics. The awards are in honour of Dr. Polanyi,
of the University of Toronto, who was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in
chemistry for his work in reaction dynamics. The awards, valued at $20,000,
are targeted to researchers in the early stages of their careers who are
planning to continue post-doctoral studies at an Ontario university.
    "These outstanding researchers stretch our understanding and make a real
difference in our lives," said Premier Dalton McGuinty. "Ontario has long been
home to some of the world's foremost thinkers and innovators. Supporting their
work and celebrating their success helps foster even greater opportunities and
will keep Ontario moving forward."
    "These outstanding young researchers give us an opportunity to showcase
the talent that exists in Ontario," said Minister of Research and Innovation
John Wilkinson. "Their work and dedication will help inspire new generations
of researchers and help foster a culture of innovation that will help improve
the lives of all Ontarians."

    
    Polanyi Prize recipients for 2007 are:

    -   Dr. Quincy J. Almeida, of Wilfrid Laurier University, for physiology
        and medicine
    -   Dr. Sarah Phillips Casteel, of Carleton University, for literature
    -   Dr. R. Darren Gobert, of York University, for literature
    -   Dr. Naomi Matsuura, of the University of Toronto, for
        physiology/medicine and physics
    -   Dr. Derek Andrew Pratt, of Queen's University, for chemistry
    

    The recipients will be honoured on November 27, 2007, from 11:30 a.m. to
2:00 p.m., at a reception at Massey College, 4 Devonshire Place, Toronto.
    "A strong knowledge-based economy is what is going to propel Ontario into
the 21st century and maintain our place as one of the strongest economies in
North America and the economic engine of Canada," added Milloy. "These five
researchers represent a small cross-section of the young men and women that
are destined to be leaders of our next generation. Our government
congratulates them and their many colleagues in universities and other
institutions across Ontario."

    
    Disponible en français
                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                         www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
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              RECIPIENTS OF THE 2007 JOHN CHARLES POLANYI PRIZE
    

    The following five Ontario researchers have been awarded the 2007 Polanyi
Prize, given annually to up to five Ontario researchers in the early stages of
their careers who are planning to continue post-doctoral studies at an Ontario
university.
    Awards have a value of $20,000, and may be awarded in the fields of
chemistry, literature, physics, physiology and medicine or economics.
Recipients are chosen by a panel of experts under the Ontario Council of
Graduate Studies.

    Dr. Quincy J. Almeida, Physiology and Medicine, Wilfrid Laurier
    University

    Dr. Quincy Almeida is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Physical
Education, and Director of the Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation
Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. He received his PhD
in Behavioural Neuroscience and Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo.
He is working on physical exercise as an alternative to drug therapy for the
treatment of Parkinson's Disease.

    Dr. Sarah Phillips Casteel, Literature, Carleton University

    Dr. Sarah Phillips Casteel is an Assistant Professor of English Language
and Literature at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. She received her PhD
in English from Columbia University in New York City. She is breaking new
ground in her interethnic approach to examining the figures of the indigenous
Native and the Jew in writings of immigrant writers in North America.

    Dr. R. Darren Gobert, Literature, York University

    Dr. Darren Gobert is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English
at York University in Toronto. He received his PhD in English and Comparative
Literature from Columbia University. He is combining philosophy, psychology,
theatre and literature in exploring the nature of emotion in tragedy, with the
goal of revising Aristotle.

    Dr. Naomi Matsuura, Physiology/Medicine and Physics, University of
    Toronto

    Dr. Naomi Matsuura is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Medical
Biophysics/Imaging Research at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in
Toronto. She earned her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the
University of Toronto. She is developing ways to use nanotechnology in cancer
research for diagnosis and therapy, to detect, track and treat cancer on a
cellular level.

    Dr. Derek Andrew Pratt, Chemistry, Queen's University

    Dr. Derek Pratt is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Canada
Research Chair in Free Radical Chemistry at Queen's University in Kingston,
Ontario. He received his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Vanderbilt University
in Nashville, Tennessee, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of
Illinois. He combines the tools of organic chemistry, theoretical chemistry
and enzymology to determine the mechanisms of new antioxidants to retard the
aging process.

    Contact:
    Miriam Griffin
    Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
    416-325-2746

    
    Disponible en français
                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Karen Edwards, Minister's Office, (416)
314-0268; Miriam Griffin, Communications Branch, Ministry of Training,
Colleges and Universities, (416) 325-2746; Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or
1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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