U of T Celebrates

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(Photo of Andre Simpson and Myrna Simpson by Ken Jones. Photo of Aaron Wheeler courtesy of NSERC)

Chemistry researchers win RSC Horizon Prize

July 9, 2021

Three researchers from the University of Toronto are behind a new technology that has received the Royal Society of Chemistry’s new Analytical Division Horizon Prize, the Sir George Stokes Award.

Professor Aaron Wheeler of the department of chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science and Professors Andre Simpson and Myrna Simpson of U of T Scarborough, with appointments to the department of chemistry, were part of an international collaboration that integrated digital microfluidics and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for the first time. The technology promises to change the landscape of analytical chemistry with a wide range of uses, from an automated discovery platform in synthetic chemistry, to automated water toxicity testing.

The Horizon Prizes celebrate the most exciting, contemporary chemical science at the cutting edge of research and innovation. These prizes are for teams or collaborations whose ground-breaking scientific developments open up new directions and possibilities in their field.

“We are completely honoured and humbled to receive this award,” Simpson said. “It was so much fun working on this project, as it brought together scientists from a diversity of fields and across industry and academia.

“We all found it extremely rewarding, developing technology with potential applications across a range of disciplines, from chemical synthesis to medical diagnosis.”

Once developed and tested, it is hoped that the research will eventually lead to knowledge of the most problematic stressors impacting environmental and human health, in turn improving monitoring, targeted remediation and prevention as well as informing global environment and health policies.

Read the department of chemistry story