Posted on Nov. 19: Polanyi Prize awarded to McMaster biophysicist

November 19, 2003

    Cecile Fradin
McMaster's Cicile Fradin is among five budding Ontario researchers to receive the prestigious John Charles Polanyi Prize.

The biophysics professor, who is conducting research into cellular dynamics in a newly renovated research lab in the Arthur Bourns Building, will receive $15,000 from the province.

Fradin's research involves using laser optics to study the dynamics of biological systems such as cells. Her research has the potential to aid the understanding of how defects in membrane composition and integrity are affected by disease, drugs and toxic substances.

"The Polanyi prize recognizes the promise and potential of our young researchers. Cicile Fradin is acknowledged as a world-class leader in her field of research and I am delighted she has received this honour," says Mamdouh Shoukri, vice-president, research & international affairs. "She is the twelfth outstanding scholar from McMaster to be awarded this prize and it certainly speaks to the excellence of our University's research community."

The prize was established in honour of the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The Province of Ontario established the prize to provide annually up to five awards to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their career who are continuing to post-doctoral studies at an Ontario university. The prizes have a value of $15,000 each and are available in the areas broadly defined as physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and economic science.

"In celebrating the research excellence of one of Canada's most distinguished scientists, we are also recognizing the ongoing achievements of our most talented young researchers who are helping to establish Ontario's reputation as a centre of university research excellence," said minister of training, colleges and universities Mary Anne Chambers. "Investing in research today not only encourages the best and brightest to stay here in Ontario, it contributes directly to a stronger Ontario  one prepared for success in the knowledge-based economy."

The other 2003 recipients are: Keith Fagnou, University of Ottawa, for chemistry; Mark Stabile, University of Toronto, for economics; Deanne Williams, York University, for literature; and Joseph Thywissen, University of Toronto, for physics.

The recipients will be honoured on Nov. 28 at a reception at Massey College, 4 Devonshire Place, Toronto, in the presence of the honourable James Bartleman, lieutenant governor of Ontario.