U of T Celebrates

The University of Toronto is home to some of the world’s top faculty, students, alumni and staff. U of T Celebrates recognizes their award-winning accomplishments.

(Photos by Sylvie Li)

University of Toronto professors honoured with top research awards from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

November 11, 2020

University of Toronto professors are being recognized with the John C. Polanyi Award, the Brockhouse Canada Prize, two E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships, and the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering – top research prizes from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

“The University of Toronto congratulates these extraordinary researchers on this important recognition of their path-breaking work,” said University Professor Ted Sargent, U of T’s vice-president of research and innovation and strategic initiatives. “Their leadership and dedication is having a significant impact on the lives of people across Canada and around the world.”

The prizes were announced Nov. 10 by Governor General Julie Payette, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains, and Professor Alejandro Adem, president of NSERC.

“These researchers exemplify Canada’s culture of curiosity and innovation, and are making the breakthroughs that have the power to improve the lives of all Canadians,” Bains said.

University Professor Molly Shoichet of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering received the $1 million Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal in recognition of her breakthrough invention of hydrogels which have led to game-changing applications in the areas of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and pharmaceutical testing – and fundamentally advanced biomedical engineering research.

Professor Karen Maxwell of the Termerty Faculty of Medicine received the John C. Polanyi Award in recognition of her ground-breaking discovery and ongoing contributions to the field of biochemistry.

Assistant Professor Tovi Grossman of the department of computer science in the Faculty of Arts & Science and Associate Professor Marc Johnson of the department of biology at U of T Mississauga each received an E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, which recognizes early career achievements of promising scientists and supports their efforts to enhance their research.

The NETCARE project led by Professor Jonathan Abbatt with Professor Jennifer Murphy of the department of chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science received the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering for its contribution to climate research in Canada’s Arctic.