News Releases - 2010
Canada Council for the Arts announces 2010 Killam Prizes
Toronto, April 13, 2010 – Five prominent scholars have been awarded Canada’s most distinguished annual awards for outstanding career achievements in health sciences, engineering, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. Each Prize is worth $100,000 to the recipient.
The Canada Council for the Arts, which administers the Killam program, announced today the scholars include Professor Ellen Bialystok of York University, Dr. R. Mark Henkelman of University of Toronto, Dr. Ming Li of University of Waterloo, Dr. Arthur McDonald of Queen’s University, and Dr. James Tully of University of Victoria.
Download images of the winners.
The Killam Prizes were inaugurated in 1981 with a donation by Mrs. Dorothy J. Killam 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. The Killam Fund at the Canada Council was valued at approximately $46 million as of March 31, 2009. The Killam Trusts, which fund scholarship and research at four Canadian universities, a neurological research and clinical institute and the Canada Council, are valued at approximately $400 million.
“Mrs. Killam’s purpose was to help build Canada’s future through advanced study and research. She aimed to increase the scientific and scholastic attainments of Canadians and their universities, and to promote sympathetic understanding between Canadians and the peoples of other countries,” said George Cooper, Managing Trustee of the Killam Trusts, on behalf of the Estate’s four Trustees. “She would have been immensely proud of the Killam Prize winners announced today, each one an outstanding Canadian researcher and scholar.”
Mr. Joseph L. Rotman, Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts, noted, “The 2010 Killam Prizes are awarded for the highest achievement in research and it is an honour to be able to provide such worthy recognition of their work and what it means for Canada. I continue to be amazed at the depth of innovation and creativity that exists within our borders.”
Professor Ellen Bialystok – York University –
Professor Ellen Bialystok of York University’s Department of Psychology has changed how we think about language acquisition and literacy, how we teach literacy, and our understanding of the cognitive processes that anchor our learning of a second language.
A pre-eminent and internationally known researcher in the field of language, bilingualism and cognitive development, she has developed new methodologies to study both the role of cognitive processes on second language learning and the impact of knowing a second language on cognitive processes.
Professor Bialystok was the first to research claims of cognitive deficits in bilingual children only to find that bilingual children – and adults – have marked advantages over their unilingual counterparts in the completion of both linguistic and nonlinguistic tasks. Her ongoing research into the effects of bilingualism on cognitive aging is beginning to reveal to what extent this advantage also holds for bilingual people as they grow older.
Over and above her widely regarded and highly quoted research on the cognitive consequences of bilingualism, Dr. Bialystok’s studies of literacy acquisition and her work on metalinguistic awareness have also earned her significant praise from the international linguistics community. Her impressive body of work has had major impacts on theories of language processing and on practical issues surrounding the design and development of foreign and second language education around the world.
Professor Bialystok’s recent distinctions include her election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and her appointment as Distinguished Research Professor at York University. She was awarded a Killam Research Fellowship in 2001. Most recently, she was awarded the York University President’s Award of Merit in recognition of her research contribution. A graduate of the University of Toronto, she completed her PhD studies in Applied Psychology in 1976.
Dr. R. Mark Henkelman – University of Toronto – Health Sciences
Internationally renowned biomedical imaging researcher
Dr. R. Mark Henkelman is using state-of-the-art digital imaging technologies to research human diseases. This is just the latest endeavour by this groundbreaking Canadian scientist in the field of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
After introducing Canada’s first MRI equipment to the Ontario Cancer Institute in the early 1980s, Dr. Henkelman shifted his focus to the application of modern imaging technology to the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases, including spearheading the development of
real-time MRI for use in neurosurgery. A graduate of the University of Toronto, where his post-graduate studies centred on medical biophysics, he also earned a Master of Science degree in theoretical physics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
As Canada Research Chair in Imaging Technologies in Human Disease and Pre-clinical Models and senior scientist, Dr. Henkelman’s current research is centred at the Mouse Imaging Centre at The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute in Toronto. Recipient of the
Robert Noble Prize awarded by the National Cancer Institute (2008) and the Gold Medal of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (2005), he is also a professor in the departments of Medical Biophysics and Medical Imaging at the University of Toronto and senior scientist in Imaging Research with Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. In 2005, Dr. Henkelman was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Dr. Ming Li – University of Waterloo – Engineering
Dr. Ming Li is one of a handful of internationally acclaimed computer scientists whose research has had major impacts outside his own discipline. His work is now finding new applications in computer science, bioinformatics, philosophy, physics and statistics.
A 2001 recipient of a Killam Research Fellowship and professor with the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, Dr. Li’s innovative work in the fields of computer science and bioinformatics has already moved well beyond theoretical investigation into exciting new ways to examine the sequence, structure and function of living cells.
With co-author Paul Vitanyi, Dr. Li wrote the book on the Kolmogorov complexity, a measure of the amount of information needed to specify an object. Li’s 1997 publication, Introduction to Kolmogorov Complexity and Its Applications examined the dominant modern theory of randomness and information and introduced the incompressibility method, a way of analyzing algorithms which are used in computer programs.
In addition to his many other duties, Dr. Li is Canada Research Chair in Bioinformatics at the University of Waterloo and currently serves as
co-managing editor of the Journal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.
Ming Li received his PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University in the United States and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. He is a professor at the University of Waterloo and also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Dr. Arthur McDonald – Queen’s University –
Dr. Arthur McDonald’s achievements in the areas of nuclear and particle physics span more than four decades. For the past 20 years, he has been the scientific and operational leader of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) project, a major experiment which has provided revolutionary insight into the properties of neutrinos and energy generation in the sun’s core.
Funded by an international group of agencies, including the National Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Province of Ontario, the U. S. Department of Energy, and the U.K. Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, and including public- and private-sector partnerships with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and Vale-INCO, the project has enabled Canada to secure a leading role internationally in neutrino physics and astrophysics.
As SNO Project Director, Dr. McDonald led the extensive international collaboration to accomplish the analysis and presentation of scientific results. These results are helping to guide theoretical studies of how neutrinos are to be included in the Standard Model of Elementary particles and are motivating experiments at the new SNOLAB for further understanding neutrino properties and their effects in the early universe.
Now the Gordon and Patricia Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Dr. McDonald’s numerous awards include a 1998 Killam Research Fellowship, the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics, the Tom W. Bonner Prize of the American Physical Society and a Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the Canadian Association of Physicists. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the UK and Commonwealth, he holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Physics from Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, and a PhD from the California Institute of Technology.
Dr. James Tully – University of Victoria – Humanities
Professor James Tully is one of the foremost political theorists of our age and has made substantial contributions to scholarly research that have been illuminating and influential.
Tully’s A Discourse on Property: John Locke and his Adversaries (1982) and Locke in Contexts (1992) provided a major reinterpretation of the English philosopher’s thought that helped to reshape the field and established Tully as a pre-eminent Locke scholar. His publications on constitutional theory in an age of cultural and legal pluralism, especially Strange Multiplicity (1995), have dominated political debate and were translated into French, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. He has applied his vision of diverse democratic constitutionalism to the issue of Quebec within Canada and articulated an ethic of recognition and reconciliation with Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.
His latest publication, Public Philosophy in a New Key (2008), prompted a number of special workshops and panels, including for the American Political Science Association and the European University Institute.
He is working on a new type of public philosophy that links academic research and teaching on local/global problems with creative, cooperative and non-violent citizens responding to these problems on the ground.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2000, Dr. Tully earned a PhD in the History of Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, in England, just three years after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of British Columbia. He is a Professor of Political Science, Law, Indigenous Governance and Philosophy at the University of Victoria.
In addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts in Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts administers and awards a number of distinguished prizes in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences and engineering. These prizes and fellowships recognize the achievements of outstanding Canadian artists, scholars, and administrators. The Canada Council for the Arts is committed to raising public awareness and celebration of these exceptional people and organizations on both a national and international level.
For a list of the 15 members of the selection committee, which included scholars, researchers and experts, please click here. The list also includes the Killam trustees who monitored the selection process.
Find a complete listing of these awards.
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