News Releases - 2000
Paul Brumer, Fergus Craik, Tony Pawson and John Jonas recipients of $75,000 Killam Prizes
Ottawa, 11 April 2000 -- Jean-Louis Roux, Chairman of the Canada Council for the Arts, and Shirley L. Thomson, Director, are pleased to announce the winners of the 2000 Killam Prizes, Canada’s most distinguished annual awards given in recognition of outstanding career achievements by Canadians in the natural sciences, health sciences and engineering.
Dr. Paul W. Brumer, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Fergus I.M. Craik, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, are the winners of this year’s Killam Prizes for the Natural Sciences. Dr. Tony Pawson, head of the Programme in Molecular Biology and Cancer at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital and Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Toronto, is the winner of the Killam Prize for the Health Sciences; and Dr. John Jonas, Professor of Metallurgy at McGill University and Co-Director of the McGill Metals Processing Centre, is the winner of the Killam Prize for Engineering.
The winners will be presented with their prizes at a special awards ceremony and dinner on 9 May at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, in the presence of Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada. The awards dinner is being made possible with the generous support of Scotiabank., whose sponsorship also allows the Council to place celebratory announcements in newspapers across Canada.
The Killam Prizes, inaugurated in 1981, are financed through funds donated to the Canada Council for the Arts by Mrs. Dorothy J. Killam before her death, in memory of her husband, Izaak Walton Killam. The prizes were created to honour eminent Canadian scholars and scientists actively engaged in research, whether in industry, government agencies or universities. They are not related to a particular accomplishment, but are given in recognition of distinguished lifetime achievement and outstanding contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of the natural sciences, health sciences and engineering. Scientists may not apply for the prizes, but must be nominated by specialists in the field. The value of the Killam Prizes was recently increased from $50,000 to $75,000.
Paul W. Brumer - Natural Sciences
Paul Brumer was born in 1945. He received his B.Sc. with honours in chemistry from Brooklyn College (1966) and his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard University (1972). He came to Canada in 1975 to take up a faculty position at the University of Toronto, where he is currently University Professor and Roel Buck Chair in Chemical Physics in the Department of Chemistry, as well as Principal Investigator in Photonics Research Ontario.
Professor Brumer has made major contributions to theoretical chemical physics, an area of research dedicated to using physics, mathematics and computer modeling to understand the nature of chemical processes. He has been at the forefront of studies on statistical theories of chemical reactions, on the relationship between classical and quantum laws of motion, on the study of quantum chaos and on the utility of semi-classical mechanics in chemistry.
Most significantly, in 1986, Paul Brumer and his colleague, Weizmann Institute Professor Moshe Shapiro, introduced an area of research now known as "coherent control of molecular processes." This field is dedicated to using the quantum laws of molecules in order to control their motion and alter chemical reactions. Numerous studies by Brumer and Shapiro over the past 14 years have shown how lasers can be used to encode quantum mechanical information into molecules so that they evolve towards a desired target. Their research has opened up an entire new branch of science, not to mention a minor scientific industry.
Dr. Brumer has received many awards, including a Sloan Fellowship (1977-81), two Killam Research Fellowships (1977-81, 1994-96), the Noranda Award (1985) and the Palladium Medal (1993), the latter two from the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC). He is a Fellow of the CIC and the American Physical Society. Paul Brumer was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1994.
Fergus I. M. Craik - Natural Sciences
Fergus Craik was born in 1935 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He obtained his B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh in 1960. He then worked at the Medical Research Council research unit at the University of Liverpool, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1965. His thesis was on age-related changes in confidence and decision-making.
Dr. Craik was on the faculty of Birkbeck College, University of London (1965-71). Since 1971, he has been at the University of Toronto, where he is a Professor of Psychology and holds the Max and Gianna Glassman Chair in Neuropsychology. He is also an Associate Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute of Baycrest Centre.
Dr. Craik's research work involves the experimental study of human memory processes; a second interest is the effects of aging on learning, attention and memory. In 1972, he and his colleague Robert Lockhart proposed a ‘levels of processing’ framework for human memory research, which had a considerable impact on the field. In outline, memory is characterized as a set of qualitatively different processes rather than as a collection of stores or structures. This approach led to a series of experiments showing very large differences in memory performance as a function of the type of processing carried out during initial acquisition of the information. Extensions of this approach have also been applied to research on age-related changes in memory.
Dr. Craik’s honours include Fellowships of the Canadian and American Psychological Associations; Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University (1982-83); Killam Research Fellowship (1982-84); Guggenheim Fellowship (1982-83); Fellowship, Royal Society of Canada (1985- ); Award for Scientific Achievement, Ontario Psychological Foundation (1987); Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, Canadian Psychological Association (1987); William James Fellow Award, American Psychological Society (1993); Hebb Award, Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science (1998); and Honorary President, Canadian Psychological Association (1997-98).
Tony Pawson - Health Sciences
Tony Pawson was born in Maidstone, England in 1952. He received a B.A. in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge (1973) and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from London University (1976). He pursued postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley (1976-80). He came to Canada in 1981 when he was appointed assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Pawson took up his present position as Senior Scientist at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto in 1985.
Dr. Pawson has produced seminal studies of the basic mechanisms of cellular activity. Through an innovative combination of genetic, biochemical and structural experiments, he has defined a fundamental molecular language through which cells in the body communicate with one another. His work is important in understanding a number of diseases including cancer, immune deficiencies, cardiovascular disorders and diabetes.
Dr. Pawson heads the Programme in Molecular Biology and Cancer at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital and is a Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology, University of Toronto. He is a Distinguished Professor of the Medical Research Council of Canada, holds the Apotex Chair in Molecular Oncology and is an International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Among the many awards he has received are the Gairdner Foundation International Award (1994); the Robert L. Noble Prize, National Cancer Institute of Canada (1995); the Boehringer Mannhein Prize, Canadian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology (1997); the Henry Friesen Award, Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation (1998); the AACR-Pezcoller International Award for Cancer Research (1998); and the Dr. H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (1998). Dr. Pawson is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Canada.
John J. Jonas - Engineering
John J. Jonas was born in Montreal in 1932. He graduated from McGill University with a B.Eng. in Metallurgical Engineering in 1954 and received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Sciences from Cambridge University in 1960. He then began teaching mechanical metallurgy at McGill, where he established a major research laboratory in the field of high temperature deformation.
Dr. Jonas is known internationally for the ground-breaking studies that he, his students and colleagues have carried out at McGill on the hot rolling behaviour of metals. Their work has resulted in a new understanding of the softening processes involved in steel processing. They have published over 500 technical papers dealing with the scientific and engineering aspects of metal shaping and forming.
Dr. Jonas and his collaborators have received numerous awards, including: the Réaumur and Gold Medals, French Metallurgical Society; the Hatchett Medal and Award, Metals Society (U.K.); the Dofasco and Alcan Awards, Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy; the Gold Medal, Canadian Metal Physics Association; the Michael Tenenbaum Award, American Institute of Metallurgical Engineers; the Hunt Silver Medal, U.S. Iron and Steel Society; the Barrett Silver Medal, American Society for Metals; the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award (Germany); the Sawamura Award, Iron and Steel Institute of Japan. Dr. Jonas is a Fellow of the American Society for Metals, the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
In 1985, Dr. Jonas was appointed to the CSIRA/NSERC Chair of Steel Processing at McGill. He also holds the Birks Chair of Metallurgy and is Co-Director of the McGill Metals Processing Centre. He has served on the Conseil de la science et de la technologie du Québec (1987-90). He is an Officer of the Order of Canada (1993) and a recipient of the 1995 Prix du Québec (Marie-Victorin).
The Canada Council for the Arts, in addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts in Canada, administers and awards a number of distinguished prizes in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and health sciences, and engineering. Among these are the Glenn Gould Prize, the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes, the Governor General's Literary Awards and the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.
The names of the 15 members of the 1999-2000 Killam Selection Committee are available on request.