Three University of British Columbia researchers have been given some of the most prestigious science and engineering prizes by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
The Honorable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and NSERC President Suzanne Fortier announced 19 recipients of five NSERC prizes in Ottawa this week. The Herzberg Gold Medal is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated sustained excellence and influence in research for a body of work conducted in Canada. One winner and two finalists are named each year.
Chemistry and Biochemistry Prof. Stephen Withers was one of two finalists of the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, NSERC’s top science prize. Withers was recognized for his role as one of the world’s top experts in understanding how carbohydrates – also known as sugars – perform a host of biological functions that include regulating metabolism, storing energy and providing structural support for cell walls.
Zoology Prof. Diane Srivastava was one of six recipients of the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship. Srivastava has been instrumental in shaping emerging yet important areas of biodiversity and ecology research. Her work integrates experimental, analytical and theoretical approaches and will inform policy on animal conservation and ecosystem management.
Zoology post-doctoral fellow Graham Scott is the sole recipient of the NSERC Howard Alper Postdoctoral Prize. His research into the respiratory physiology of bar-headed geese – among the highest-flying birds in the sky – will help understand athletic performance and may provide insight into the prevention of strokes and infarction.
“We are extremely proud of our colleagues for their achievements,” says John Hepburn, UBC’s Vice President Research and International. “They reflect the research excellence here at UBC and the enormous impact and contribution the Canadian research community has on basic and applied research in the world.”
NSERC also announced winners of the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering and the NSERC John C. Polanyi Award. A complete list of winners is available at www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca.