U of T faculty win Early Researcher Awards
November 15, 2006
Source: University of Toronto
Provincial program recognizes most promising early career researchersNov 15/06by Jenny Hall
Why can humans see in the dark? How can we increase the amount of data wireless communications networks transmit? Why do Canadians have one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world? These are among the questions being investigated by U of T’s latest recipients of the government of Ontario’s Early Researcher Award.
Thirty researchers from the university and its affiliated hospitals each won the award, given by the province to researchers who are within the first five years of an independent academic career. The award is part of the province’s wider research and innovation strategy, which aims to attract and develop the best and most promising researchers.
"Nurturing up-and-coming researchers is as important as recognizing our established leaders," said John Challis, U of T’s vice-president (research) and associate provost. "Investing in this group of investigators is early recognition of their outstanding promise. It is also an expression of faith in the fresh and innovative ideas that our early-career colleagues bring to some of society’s most pressing problems"
This second round of competition saw the government disburse $14 million to 104 researchers - U of T researchers represented about 30 per cent of the awards given out province-wide. In total, the province will invest $51 million in the program over five years.
The province also issued a call for proposals for the third round of competition, which will close Jan. 31, 2007. U of T researchers interested in applying should visit http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/era/program.asp and http://www.research.utoronto.ca/grip/era.html for details.
U of T’s winners of the early researcher award were:
• Belinda Chang of ecology and evolutionary biology;• Darrell Desveaux of cell and systems biology;• Jennifer Gommerman of immunology;• Anthony Hanley of nutritional sciences;• Rene Harrison of life sciences (UTSC);• Arno Jacobsen of electrical and computer engineering;• Ray Jayawardhana of astronomy and astrophysics;• Nazir Kherani of electrical and computer engineering;• Young-June Kim of physics;• Nikolaos Koudas of mathematical and computational sciences (UTSC);• Sheila McIllraith of computer science;• Estaban Parra of anthropology (UTM);• Roman Rafikov of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Physics;• Katreena Scott of human development and applied psychology;• Craig Simmons of mechanical and industrial engineering;• Andre Simpson of physical and environmental sciences (UTSC);• John Stinchcombe of ecology and evolutionary biology;• Yu Sun of mechanical and industrial engineering;• Wei Yu of electrical and computer engineering; and• Zhaolei Zhang of the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research.
Ten other researchers at affiliated hospitals also won the award:
• Nancy Baxter of St. Michael’s Hospital;• Dan Durocher of Mount Sinai Hospital;• Paul Frankland of the Hospital for Sick Children;• Fang Liu of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health;• Jonathan Rast of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre;• Aaron Schummer of the University Health Network;• Vuk Stambolic of the University Health Network;• Lillian Sung of the Hospital for Sick Children;• Agnes Wong of the Hospital for Sick Children; and• Mei Zhan of Mount Sinai Hospital.