Polanyi prizes awarded to McMaster researchers

November 25, 2009

    Amelia De Falco, Michael Kiang and Laura Parker, first place winners of this year's Polanyi prizes. Photo by JD Howell.
Three McMaster researchers were awarded Polanyi prizes today, while two others were given second-place honours.

In honour of the 1986 Nobel-prize winner, the province established the John Charles Polanyi Prizes which recognize outstanding researchers in the early stages of their career who are continuing their post-doctoral studies at an Ontario university. The awards cover chemistry, literature, physics, physiology or medicine and economics and recipients receive $20,000 each.

Laura Parker (physics), Amelia De Falco (literature), and Michael Kiang (physiology/medicine) were honoured at an award ceremonies held at Massey College in Toronto in the presence of the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario David Onley, and John Milloy, minister of training, colleges and universities and minister of research and innovation.

In addition, Svetlana Demidova, assistant professor of economics, and Nathan Magarvey, assistant professor of chemistry, placed second in their respective categories.

Laura Parker is an assistant professor in McMaster University's Department of Physics & Astronomy. Her research interests are in the field of observational cosmology and, more specifically, the processes of galaxy and structure formation and how galaxies and the dark matter that surrounds them interact.

Amelia De Falco is a sessional lecturer and post-doctoral fellow in the Department of English & Cultural Studies. She is currently conducting research into the ethics of caregiving in contemporary Canadian literature. Her PhD dissertation is the basis of her forthcoming book Uncanny Subjects: Aging in Contemporary Narrative.

Michael Kiang is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University and a psychiatrist in the mental health & addictions department of St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. Dr. Kiang is currently studying the abnormalities of brain function that cause symptoms of schizophrenia.