John Purdy, chair of the CIC Toronto Local Section, introduces Hanadi Sleiman, this year's E. Gordon Young Lecturer. The lectureship is designed to both recognize excellence in research and engage the general public. Her talk on the structural applications of DNA was delivered last fall at Ryerson University.
Building public understanding with ‘molecular lego’
Deoxyribonucleic acid, the blueprint of evolution, is arguably the world’s most famous molecule. But as McGill University’s Hanadi Sleiman explained to Toronto audiences last fall, the possible applications of DNA range far beyond merely encoding and decoding genetic information. Her public talk, entitled “Molecular Lego with DNA: Building Structures for Medicine and Materials Science,” was delivered as part of the prestigious E. Gordon Young Lectureship, administered by the CIC Chemical Education Fund, and hosted this year by the CIC Toronto Local Section.
The annual lectureship was established in the early 1990s by a bequest from the estate of E. Gordon Young, one of the early pioneers of Canadian biochemistry and a former CIC president.
“Professor Sleiman’s work on the chemistry of DNA molecules is brilliant on a scientific level, and also easily adapted for public presentation,” says John Purdy, chair of the CIC Toronto Local Section. The presentations described her group’s groundbreaking work using synthetic molecules to control and modify DNA self-assembly, allowing for the formation of cages and nanotubes. These structures can encapsulate ‘cargo’ such as gold nanoparticles, and can be opened or closed on demand, making them extremely useful as potential drug delivery tools or cellular probes. “Sleiman is an outstanding speaker,” says Purdy. “Her lectures held the audience in rapt attention. After one of the lectures, I asked the audience if their understanding of the science of chemistry had been changed by what they had seen, and the response was a unanimous ‘yes.’ ”
More information about the E. Gordon Young Lectureship, including how to apply for next year’s award, can be found at www.cheminst.ca/cef.
CIC and CSC award winners announced
This year’s CIC award recipients are: Mark Lautens, University of Toronto, CIC Medal; Robert Prud’homme, Université de Montréal, Montreal Medal; Stan Skonieczny, University of Toronto, CIC Award for Chemical Education; Janusz Pawliszyn, University of Waterloo, Environment Division Research and Development Award; Yue Zhao, Université de Sherbrooke, Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award.
This year’s CSC award recipients are: B. Mario Pinto, Simon Fraser University, Alfred Bader Award; Alex Adronov, McMaster University, Award for Research Excellence in Materials Chemistry; William Lubell, Université de Montréal, Bernard Belleau Award; Zachary Hudson, University of Bristol, Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC) Chemistry Doctoral Award; Jillian Buriak, University of Alberta, Clara Benson Award; Lewis Kay, University of Toronto, E.W.R. Steacie Award; Jean- François Masson, Université de Montréal, Fred Beamish Award; Ronald P. Steer, University of Saskatchewan, John C. Polanyi Award; Roman Krems, Lakehead University, Keith Laidler Award; Pierre Harvey, Université de Sherbrooke, Rio Tinto Alcan Award; Marco Ciufolini, University of British Columbia, R. U. Lemieux Award; Mark MacLachlan, University of British Columbia, Strem Chemicals Award for Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry; Aaron Wheeler, University of Toronto, W.A.E. McBryde Medal.
More information about all these awards can be found at www.cheminst.ca/awards
CIC/SCI Canada award winners announced
This year’s winners of the CIC/SCI Canada awards, presented in recognition of those who have made outstanding contributions to the chemical industry are: Grant Thomson, NOVA Chemicals, Canada Medal; John Bianchini, Hatch Ltd., International Award; Jon Hantho, Maxxam Analytics, Purvis Memorial Award; Janusz Pawliszyn, University of Waterloo, LeSueur Memorial Award; R. Tom Baker, University of Ottawa, Kalev Pugi Award; and Julian Adams, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Julia Levy Award. To attend the awards banquet go to cheminst.ca/awardsdinner.
Honorary Fellow of the CSC named first Canadian honorary member of Chemical Society of Japan
Howard Alper, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Ottawa and an Honorary Fellow of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC), has been made an Honorary Foreign Member of the Chemical Society of Japan (CSJ). He is the first Canadian to receive this major recognition, which is the highest honour that can be bestowed on a foreigner by the CSJ. The investiture took place at a formal ceremony held at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Society, in Shiga prefecture, Japan, on March 23, 2013. Kohei Tamao, President of the CSJ, presented the award to Howard Alper.
In making the presentation, Tamao commended Alper for being a champion of science and cooperation between the two countries. He referred to Alper's significant contributions to Japanese science through mentoring numerous Japanese scientists, who are now themselves leaders in Japan, as well as his role as Chair of Pacifichem 2010 in Hawaii. This conference — the largest chemistry conference worldwide — experienced a record high number of participants (>12,000) during his tenure.
Alper is also well known for advising both governments on science policy. In Canada he is the chair of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Council and in Japan he serves as vice-chair of RIKEN, Japan’s counterpart to the National Research Council of Canada.
Japan is one of the leading nations globally for research and innovation in chemistry, including six Japanese Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry since 2000. With nearly half of the Honorary Foreign Members of the CSJ being Nobel Laureates, this is clearly a significant honour.
Fifty years ago this month, the Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario (ACPO) was formed by members of the Ontario Branch of the CIC, including Albert E.R. Westman (pictured) who served as the organization’s first president. The organization’s goal was to guarantee competency and accountability among chemical professionals, and in 1984 a provincial law gave its members the right to the designation of Chartered Chemist (C. Chem).
Things to know
The call for papers for EnviroAnalysis 2013 is open from April 8 to June 6, 2013. To submit your abstract visit www.enviroanalysis2013.ca.
The call for papers for the 63rd Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference to be held October 20-23, 2013 in Fredericton, N.B. will be open from March 12 to June 4, 2013. Visit www.csche2013.ca to submit your abstract.
The date for the Canadian Society for Chemistry AGM has been changed to Monday May 27, 12:20-14:00 in Québec city held in conjunction with the 96th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition.
The CIC Recruitment Zone will return to the National Job Fair and Training Expo, to be held April 3-4, 2013 in Toronto, Ont. For more information visit www.cheminst.ca/careerfair.
The deadline to submit designs for the CSChE SNC-Lavalin Plant Design Competition is May 31, 2013. For competition guidelines see www.csche2013.ca.
The 2012 audited financial statements for the CIC, CSC, CSChE, CSCT, Chemical Education Fund and Gendron Fund will be posted online in April and can be found at www.cheminst.ca.
The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) announced in November that it will terminate the national license agreement it has with the American Chemical Society effective at the end of 2013. Since CRKN provides scholarly content to universities, this decision could result in some university libraries no longer having access to ACS's journals. The CSC will be following up on this matter in the coming months.
ACCN goes to Parliament Hill
All of Canada’s 308 federal Members of Parliament are now being provided with a subscription to ACCN, the Canadian Chemical News, starting with the November/December 2012 issue. “It is critical that we continue to reach out to MPs and staff on Parliament Hill to impress upon them the important role that science and technology play in any advanced society,” says Cathleen Crudden, president of the CSC and chair of the Advocacy Task Force. “While programs such as [PAGSE’s] Bacon and Eggheads are absolutely essential in this regard, the CSC also plans to take on a stronger leadership role this year and in the future.”
Speaking chemistry to power
In 2014 the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is planning implement a new methodology for the allocation of budgets between Evaluation Groups under the Discovery Grants Program. As this program is the major source of support for a large majority of its members, the Advocacy Task Force of the CSC has been actively providing feedback to NSERC around this process. Last summer, following the release of the Council of Canadian Academies report “Informing Research Choices: Indicators and Judgment”, the Task Force reviewed all documentation and formulated a series of recommendations, which were sent to members. These recommendations will form the basis of a brief to NSERC on the CSC position with regard to reallocation of funds. The CSC is also working with other societies in the physical sciences to come up with a united set of recommendations.
Copper (II) sulfate was the medium of choice for the 2012 National Crystal Growing Competition, which took place from October 8 to November 12, 2012 and was sponsored by Anachemia Science (a VWR company). The best overall crystal (pictured) was grown by Sarah Dérosby, Myriam Beaudin and Alexandre Fallu of École Mgr-Labrie, Havre-St-Pierre, Que. Second place overall went to George Sung, Benny Tang and Ian Shan of Point Grey Secondary School, Vancouver, B.C., and third place to Josh Lee of Fredericton High School, Fredericton, N.B.
The award for best quality crystal wen to Susan Ma, Cecilia Cui and Jessica Lin of Point Grey Secondary School, Vancouver, B.C.
The best crystal grown by a teacher was a tie this year, awarded jointly to Éric Fallu of École Mgr-Labrie, Havre-St-Pierre, Que. and James Burbidge, North Hastings, High School, Bancroft, Ont.
Arthur Carty and Karen Burke, both former CSC presidents, will serve on an expert panel designed to assess the state of Canada’s science culture. The panel was convened by the Council of Canadian Academies and met for the first time February 7-8, with Carty as its chair and Burke serving as one of its members. The panel aims to understand the factors that lead to a strong public understanding of science, as well as its connections to entrepreneurship and innovation.
The 2012 NSERC awards were recently announced and recognized many Canadians in chemistry, chemical engineering and related disciplines. Greg Scholes (Chemistry, University of Toronto) won the John C. Polanyi Award, while Melanie Mastronardi (Chemistry, University of Toronto) won the Gilles Brassard Doctoral Prize for Interdisciplinary Research. E.W.R Steacie Fellowships went to Paul W. Ayers (Chemistry, Mc- Master University) and Warren Chan (Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto). Derek Gray (Chemical Engineering, McGill University), Jean Bouchard (FPInnovations), Ron Crotogino (ArboraNano) and Richard Berry (CelluForce) shared a Synergy Award for Innovation (Two or More Companies). Another Synergy Award for Innovation (Small and Medium-Sized Companies) went to J. Paul Santerre (University of Toronto and Interface Biologics, Inc.). A third Synergy Award, the Leo Derikx Award, was shared by Arthur Pelton, Patrice Chartrand and Christopher Bale (Chemical Engineering, École polytechnique de Montréal) and In-Ho Jung (Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University). Christina Natalie Nona (Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto) took home an André Hamer Postgraduate Prize. To read more about NSERC award winners from the chemical sciences and engineering, visit our blog at ChemistryMatters.ca.
Bridging the science-society gap
In October, the CIC Vancouver Local Section hosted the 2012 Chemistry in Society Lectureship, which aims to bridge the distance between chemistry, business and the general public. The University of Toronto’s Geoffrey Ozin delivered an energetic presentation called “Photonic Colour: Lab to Market” that traced his journey from discovery to commercialization in the field of photonically active materials.
CNC-IUPAC travel awards help young researchers
Three promising young chemists have received funding to travel to international conferences as part of the Canadian National Committee of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (CNC-IUPAC) travel awards program:
Dennis Hore, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Victoria, will use his award to participate in the 19th European Conference on Polymer Spectroscopy in Prague, Czech Republic, July 2013.
Jung Kwonn Oh, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Concordia University, will travel to Pisa, Italy in June 2013 to take part in the Congress of the European Polymer Federation (EPF-2013).
Tim Storr, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Simon Fraser University, will use his award to travel to the 16th International Symposium on Relations between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysis in Sapporo Japan, set to take place in August 2013.
CNC-IUPAC is the only national committee of IUPAC that offers travel awards of this kind. These awards are financed jointly by the CSC’s Gendron Fund and by CNC-IUPAC’s company associates. The deadline for the 2014 awards is October 16, 2013. For more information, visit www.cnc-iupac.ca and click on “Awards.”
Save the date
March 22-23, 2013
Atlantic Inorganic Discussion Weekend
April 4, 2013
CIC Green, Clean and Sustainable Chemistry Seminar & SCI Canada Awards Dinner
May 7-10, 2013
Surface Canada 2013
May 27-29, 2013
3rd Climate Change Technology Conference
May 26-30, 2013
96th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition
June 6-8, 2013
College Chemistry Canada
Corner Brook, Nfld.
June 15-19, 2013
World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing
July 14-19, 2013
14th International Conference on the Coordination and Organometallic Chemistry of Germanium, Tin and Lead (ICCOC-GTL2013)
Inverary Resort, Baddeck, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada
July 14-17, 2013
12th International Conference on Calixarenes ("Calix2013")
Memorial University, St. John's, NL.
July 28 - August 1, 2013
August 11-16, 2013
44th World Chemistry Congress
August 18-23, 2013
9th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (WCCE9)
Coex, Seoul, Korea
September 15-18, 2013
October 20-23, 2013
63rd Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference
The CIC wishes to extend its condolences to the families of M. F. Amos, MCIC, Henry I. Bolker, FCIC, H. M. McFarlane, MCIC, Michael S. McKinnon, MCIC and H.D. Webber, FCIC. Full obituaries received by the CIC can be found at www.accn.ca/inmemoriam.
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