Nano Ontario Awards Program for Scientists and Engineers

AWARDS FOR Scientists and Engineers

NanoOntario 2022 call for Awards in Nanosciences for Scientists and Engineers

We are pleased to launch the 2022 call for awards in nanoscience.

NanoOntario Award Recipients

Professor of Chemical Engineering, Western University. Recipient of the 2022 Honorary Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario

Dr. Xueliang (Andy) Sun is a Full Professor and senior Canada Research Chair (Tier I) for the development of nanomaterials for clean energy, at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Dr. Sun received his Ph.D degree in Materials Chemistry at the University of Manchester, UK, in 1999.
Dr. Sun’s research is focused on advanced materials for energy conversion and storage including Li batteries and fuel cells. Dr. Sun is an author and co-author of over 600 refereed-journals with citations of over 50,000 times and H-index of 117. Dr. Sun received various awards such as Professional Achievement Awards from Cross-cultural Professionals Association of Canada (CPAC, 2016), Fellow of Royal Society of Canada (2016), Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (2016), Award for Research Excellence in Materials Chemistry Winner from Canada Chemistry Society (2018), Award of Merit of the Federation of Chinese Canadian Professionals (2018), Western Hellmuth Prizes (The highest Research Achievement Award in the University, 2019) and IBA Battery Technology Award (2021) and Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (2021). Dr. Sun is a Vice Chairman of the International Academy of Electrochemical Energy Science (IAOEES). He also serves as an Editor-in-Chief of “Electrochemical Energy Review” (IF=32) under Spring-Nature.

NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Waterloo. Recipient of the 2022 Postdoctoral Award for Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario.

Dr. Danielle McRae is an NSERC postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physics at the University of Waterloo. Her research in the Nanoscale Biophysics group focuses on atomic force microscopy and related techniques to study model lipid membranes and protein interactions in relation to Alzheimer’s Disease. She completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry & Physics at Carleton University before earning her PhD in Chemistry at Western University in 2020. There, in the group of Prof. Lagugné, she studied tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and plasmon-mediated reactions, and performed simulations of the electromagnetic field near plasmonic nanostructures. She has co-authored thirteen peer-reviewed publications on this research. During her graduate studies, she was awarded the L’Oréal Canada France Canada Research Fund Fellowship, the Faculty of Science Teaching Assistant Award, and a Mitacs Globalink Research Award. She is dedicated to science outreach, including as a long-time volunteer and former coordinator with Let’s Talk Science.

Professor of in Engioneering Physics and biomedical engineering, McMaster University. Recipient of the 2022 Award for Outstanding Mid-career Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario.

Dr. Leyla Soleymani received her PhD from University of Toronto in 2010 in Electrical and Computer Engineering and joined McMaster University in 2011. Dr. Soleymani is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Physics and School of Biomedical Engineering at McMaster and is a University Scholar and the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Miniaturized Biomedical Devices. Dr. Soleymani was inducted to the Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists in 2022. Dr. Soleymani’s research is focused on developing biomedical technologies for rapid disease diagnostics and health monitoring, as well as solutions for reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Dr. Soleymani has over 75 high-impact publications and holds several patents in the areas of biosensing and biointerfaces with multiple technologies licensed to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Dr. Soleymani’s research has been covered in mainstream media and she frequently appears on media outlets promoting the Biomedical Engineering research field.

Professor of Chemistry, University of Waterloo. Recipient of the 2022 Award for Outstanding Early Career Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario.

Dr. Klinkova has been a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo since 2017. Her awards and recognitions are too numerous to name in this short citation, but it suffices to say that she is among the top-tier of Canadian early stage professorate.. Dr. Klinkova’s area of research is in nano electrocatalysis with important themes in CO2 reduction which will be drivers for chemical industry renewal towards better sustainability. Her commitment to science includes membership on several boards, including for the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, as well as others in the Netherlands and Russia. Amongst all of this, I am personally most excited by Dr. Klinkova’s impact is her tireless work to diversify STEM. To date, her group has trained over 50% of women-identifying people, she is a long-serving member of her Union’s Gender and Sexual Diversity Alliance and regularly participates as a speaker to promote women and non-binary scientists working in STEM such as the Out to Innovate Career Summit and Soapbox Science.

Professor of Chemistry, York University. Recipient of the 2021 Honorary Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario

Dr. Yousaf is currently a Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at York University (2011).  He previously was a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA) (2005-2011).  His research interests are in interfacing organic, bioanalytical, bioengineering and cell biology research to study fundamental cell behavior and to develop new nano-biomaterials and tools for regenerative medicine applications.  As a PI since 2005, he has published more than 100 original papers, proceedings, and book chapters, given over 200 seminars at universities and conferences including plenary and named lectureships and has been elected to serve on 5 journal advisory and editorial boards.  Dr. Yousaf has received several national USA and Canada awards including, a Damon Runyon Fellowship, Burroughs Wellcome Interface Career Award,  NSF CAREER award and a NSERC Discovery Accelerator Award.  Dr. Yousaf is very proud of his highschool, undergraduate and graduate students who have also received numerous national awards including, Barry Goldwater Award, Churchill Scholar (Cambridge), NSF Predoctoral Fellowship, American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship, NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, Lymphoma and Leukemia Postdoctoral Fellowship, Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Fellowship, High School State and National Westinghouse Awards and a Nobel Laureate Lindau Meeting award.

Professor of Chemistry, University of Windsor. Recipient of the 2021 Award for Outstanding Mid-career Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario.

Tricia Breen Carmichael is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Windsor. After receiving her PhD in 1996 from the University of Windsor with Professor Douglas W. Stephan, she spent two years as an NSERC postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Professor George M. Whitesides at Harvard University where she pioneered new methods for the 3D self-assembly of electrical connections. She then took up the position of Research Staff Member at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York from 1999-2005. Her current research program at the University of Windsor focuses on new materials and methods for the fabrication of stretchable and wearable electronic devices. She has published influential papers in the field, with highlights that include new stretchable and conductive textile-based wearable electronics, wearable electroluminescent fabrics, soft and stretchable light-emitting devices and transparent conductors, and the first transparent butyl rubber for next-generation stretchable electronics. Dr. Carmichael is also the co-director of the NSERC Green Electronics Network, a national strategic network developing new functional materials and printing methods for smart packaging. Dr. Carmichael holds more than 25 worldwide patents and has won numerous awards. She is an Editorial Board Member of the journal Flexible and Printed Electronics (Institute of Physics) and Chem (Cell Press).

Professor of Chemistry, University of Ottawa. Recipient of the 2021 Award for Outstanding Early Career Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario.

Dr. Emilio Alarcón, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa and Scientist, University of Ottawa Heart Institute. His unique research program, engaging with medical specialists, bridges fundamental and applied sciences redefining the use of nanomaterials in medicine. Dr. Alarcón’s distinctive discipline-bridging research program has earned him the prestigious Ontario Early Researcher Award and secured excellent levels of funding from several Canadian funding agencies. As an immigrant and person with Autism, Dr. Alarcón is a fierce champion for EDI at the Heart Institute and leads initiatives to create a more inclusive research environment. He is also a leader of the uOttawa Disability Justice group and member of the CIHR External Advisory Committee on Accessibility & Systemic Ableism. In 2019, he launched an innovative science radio program, BEaTS Research Radio, which has interviewed over 100 scientists. In 2021, he chaired the Bio and Nanomaterials in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Conference, interfacing bio and nanomaterials for the medical sciences. Dr. Alarcon’s team studies the development of biomaterials for new translational therapies for the treatment of damaged cardiac tissue, cornea and skin. The lab also develops new nanomaterials to overcome the current limitations of biomimetic tissue scaffolds for regenerative medicine. At the fundamental level, the work includes the effects of metal nanoparticles in biomolecule oxidation and degradation of hybrid nanomaterials for tissue engineering.

Research Associate, Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy. Recipient of the 2021 Postdoctoral Award for Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario.

Dr Isobel Bicket’s research focuses on studying the hybridization behaviour of surface plasmon and surface phonon polariton resonances using a highly focused, monochromated electron probe, which allows her to map the near-field distribution of the whole spectrum of surface modes. She did her undergraduate degree in the Nanotechnology Engineering program at the University of Waterloo before moving to graduate school at McMaster University, where she defended her PhD thesis (“Electron Spectromicroscopy of Multipole Moments in Plasmonic Nanostructures”) in early 2020. Her research interests expanded during her post-doctoral research at McMaster University to include the behaviour and coupling of surface phonon polaritons and their role in the thermal transport properties of nano- and micro-structures. She has co-authored nine peer-reviewed publications on plasmonics and electron microscopy since the beginning of her career. She has presented her work at numerous local, international, and virtual conferences, including the 19th International Microscopy Congress in Sydney, Australia, where she was selected by the International Federation of Societies for Microscopy for their Young Scientist Award. Isobel’s research continues in her position as a research engineer at the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy, where she is excited to expand her polaritonic horizons using the new high energy resolution scanning transmission electron microscope.

University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the University of Toronto and Canada Research Chair in Advanced Polymer Materials. Recipient of the 2020 Honorary Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario.

Prof. Kumacheva’ primary research interests are in the materials science of soft matter, including polymer and nanoscience, and microfluidics.
Eugenia has published over 260 manuscripts (h-index=85). She holds 40 patents and is a founder of a company FlowJEM. She has given >300 invited, keynote and plenary lectures, as well as public lectures.
Among her numerous awards are De Gennes Prize, Killam Fellowship, Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award, Clara Benson Award (CIC), Schlumberger Scholarship (U.K.), International Chorafas Foundation Award in Physics and Engineering (Switzerland), Humboldt Research Award (Germany) and the 2009 L’Oreal-UNESCO Award “For Women in Science” (given to 5 laureates in the world). In 2017, she was recipient of the Canada Institute for Chemistry (CIC) medal, “a mark of distinction and recognition to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the science of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada, this is the CIC’s top award.” She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Royal Society (U.K.).

Neurosurgeon and Scientist at Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa. Recipient of the 2020 Award for Outstanding Mid-career Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario.

As one of the few neurosurgeon scientists, Dr. Eve Tsai has distinguished herself as one of the even fewer female neurosurgeon scientists focused on developing nanoparticles for clinical application. Her expertise lies in the translation of promising nanotechnology towards a relevant clinical problem with respect to brain and spinal cord diseases. Currently, her group’s research themes include the design and development of nanocomposites for stroke diagnostics and therapeutics into the clinical realm, and the development of nanoparticles for non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging of axon regeneration. Dr. Tsai has an H-index of 24 and has published over 50 papers, including Development of multifunctional nanoparticles towards applications in non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging and axonal tracing. She has received the Presidential Achievement Award from the Republic of China, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40® from the Globe and Mail/Caldwell and Partners and the Top 25 Women of Influence from Women of InfluenceTM for an unprecedented three years. She is on the executive of clinical and basic science societies and has co-chaired international meetings of upwards of 1200 attendees. She is on the editorial board for AANS Neurosurgeon and is an Associate Editor for Operative Neurosurgery. Her work is currently moving forward towards clinical trials for stroke therapy.

Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa and recipient of the 2020 Award for Outstanding Early Career Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario.

Dr. Eva Hemmer’ research focuses on new designs of lanthanide-based nanoparticles for bioimaging, optoelectronic and optomagnetic applications, accompanied by chemically controlled synthesis, surface chemistry, and understanding of structure-property relationships. Her innovative contributions in materials chemistry and nanophotonics led to an invited presentation as an Emerging Materials Chemistry Investigator at the 2020 Canadian Chemistry Conference and the 2014 Global Young Investigator Award of the ACerS. Dr. Hemmer has published 35 peer-reviewed journal articles accumulating over 1,200 citations, including contributions in well-recognized journals such as ACS Central Science, Chemical Science, Journal of Materials Chemistry C and Nanoscale, and has delivered more than 80 conference presentations. She shows leadership within the community through the establishment of international collaborations, while her commitment to higher-level education and to the broader materials community – e.g. as active member of the ACerS or as Chair of the Student Engagement Sub-Committee of the MRS – was recognized with the Du-Co Ceramics Young Professional Award of the ACerS.

Post-doctoral Fellow at McMaster University and recipient of the 2020 Postdoctoral Award for Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario.

Dr. Erin McConnell is an NSERC postdoctoral fellow at McMaster University in Hamilton. Her research is
focused on using DNA nanotechnology to develop tools for the detection of bacterial pathogens. She
earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Carleton University in 2016, where she was awarded a Senate Medal
for Outstanding Academic Achievement. She has also been recognized with the L’Oreal‐UNESCO
Women in Science award in 2018. She is dedicated to science outreach, including with Let’s Talk Science
and Science Rendezvous, and she has been recognized by IUPAC by being chosen as “Helium” on the
Periodic Table of Younger Chemists. She is the Trainee Representative of the Oligonucleotide
Therapeutics Society Board of Directors.
Erin is currently a postdoctoral fellow at University of Ottawa.

Principal Research Officer in the Metrology group and recipient of the 2018 Honorary Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario

Linda Johnston obtained a BSc from Acadia University, a PhD from the University of Western Ontario and then joined the National Research Council where she is currently a Principal Research Officer in Nanoscale Measurement, Metrology Research Centre. Her research interests include the development and applications of multi-modal imaging and spectroscopy tools to study nanoscale materials and biological assemblies. Current projects focus on the characterization of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), the development of CNC reference materials and standards and quantification of nanomaterial surface functional groups. She is an adjunct professor at University of Ottawa and has co-authored over 150 refereed publications. Outreach activities include participation on ISO TC 229- Nanotechnologies, IUPAC Division V11, the Canadian Society for Chemistry Board of Directors, conference organization and grant review panels.

Associate Professor in Chemistry and Associate Dean of Science, Research and recipient of the 2018 Award for Outstanding Mid-career Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario

Professor Xiaowu (Shirley) Tang is an enthusiastic, long time contributor to nanotechnology research and education in Canada. Her lab has conducted ground-breaking research on hybrid nanobio-materials and devices, particularly in the topics of material, surface, and physical chemistries dealing with carbon nanostructures. Prof. Tang has undertaken numerous administrative and service roles within the University of Waterloo and in the larger scientific community, including serving as the Director of the Nanotechnology Engineering (NE) Program, Canada’s only undergraduate NE program, and the Associate Dean of Science, Research. She has devoted extensive time and effort to promote women in STEM, to bridge over disciplinary boundaries, to facilitate real-world impact of nanotechnology, and to educate the next generation of nanoengineers.

Associate Professor in Chemistry and recipient of the 2018 Award for Outstanding Early Career Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario

Dr. Jennifer I-Ling Chen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at York University. Her research focuses on nanostructured materials and physical chemistry of nanostructures for applications in catalysis, solar energy conversion and biosensing. Her innovative contributions in unconventional biosensing platforms based on morphological changes of plasmonic nanoparticles have led to her recognition by Analytical Scientist in their Top 40 Under 40 Power List of 2018, an invited presentation as an Emerging Materials Researcher at the 100th Canadian Chemistry Conference in 2017, and a Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award in 2013. Dr. Chen has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles accumulating over 1,500 citations, including contributions in top-tier publications such as Journal of the American Chemical Society, Advanced Materials, ACS Nano and Nano Letters, and has contributed to more than 35 conference presentations.

Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences and recipient of the 2017 Honorary Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario

Dr. Foldvari is an internationally recognized expert in nanomedicine. Her research program is focusing on pharmaceutical nanotechnology, non-invasive drug, protein and gene delivery system design for regenerative medicine in dermatology, ophthalmology and immunology.
Dr Foldvari’s contributions to the drug delivery field include both basic and applied research accomplishments with a total of 230 publications, 26 patents, 110 invited conference presentations, 90 abstracts, about $23M in grant funding. She established the first pharmaceutical company, PharmaDerm Laboratories Ltd. Her pioneering work in topical protein delivery system development led to clinical trials and currently under commercial development.
Dr. Foldvari currently serves as Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Controlled Release, Associate Editor for Frontiers in Neuroscience, OA Drug Design and Delivery and for the past ten years served as Associate Editor for Nanomedicine. Dr Foldvari is one of the Founding Directors of the American Society for Nanomedicine d the International Society of Nanomedicine.

Associate Professor in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and recipient of the 2017 Award for Outstanding Mid-career Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario

Dr. Zhang’s research activities are related to the development of new biocompatible nanocomposites with enhanced magnetic, optical, electric, and mechanical properties. Her expertise lies in the interface between multifunctional nanostructures and biological systems. Currently, the Zhang group’s research themes include (1) design and development of multifunctional nanocomposites through chemical and laser-assisted processes; (2) nanosystems for theranostics by combining therapeutics and diagnosis; and (3) nanostructured biosensors.
Dr. Zhang has published over 66 peer-reviewed papers, including Biosensor & Bioelectronics, J. Eur. Cells & Mater. J. Mat. Chem. B, Langmuir, RSC Advances, Appl. Phys. Lett., J. Phys. Chem. B, J. Colloid interface Sci., etc,; her group has given over 90 presentations at national and international conferences. In 2014, Dr. Zhang was rewarded the Early Research Award of Ontario. She was recently recognized as the Grand Challenges Canada- Canadian Rising Stars in Global Health for her research work on “Non-invasive Diagnostic Tool for Diabetes”. The device of non-invasive glucose sensor for diabetes invented by Jin Zhang has been successfully tested on animal model, and is moving forward for the clinical trial. Her research work was reported by the worldwide media, including the Discovery Channel, CTV, the Institute of Nanotechnology (IoN), and Nanotechnology Now, etc. In addition, Jin Zhang is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Nano and Biomaterials. She has/had served as a guest editor for different journals, e.g. Journal of Nanomaterials.

Associate Professor in Chemistry and recipient of the 2017 Award for Outstanding Early-career Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Ontario

Since joining the University of Ottawa in 2010, Dr. Jaclyn Brusso has successfully established a research program focused on addressing key challenges in the development of smaller, lighter, cheaper and more efficient optical, magnetic and electronic materials. Through design and development of finely tuned new organic systems she is achieving an exquisite understanding and control of the self-assembly process at the nanoscale. Her research extends to include tunable nanoscale metal complexes utilizing conjugated organic semiconductors and radical based materials as non-innocent ligands capable of controlling their magnetic and conductive properties, essential for the nano- electronic devices of the future.
Jaclyn Brusso works to raise the profile of materials chemistry at the University of Ottawa through her success as an early researcher (such as Ontario Early Researcher Award, France Canada Research Fund and CNC-IUPAC Award) and as a founding member of uOttawa’s Centre for Advanced Materials Research and part of the CFI teams that raised over $25M. Jaclyn Brusso shows her leadership within the scientific community by dedicating time and effort to community and youth outreach activities (e.g., Women in STEM, Science Rendezvous, PopChem). Jaclyn is a rising star with an exceptional aptitude for innovation and academic leadership.

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