Featured Award Recipient

Yolanda Hedberg: Wolfe-Western Fellow

Yolanda Hedberg looking through microscopeOf the seemingly infinite list of things to which people can be allergic, metals do not usually come to mind. After all, we hold railings and cook with utensils, and certainly have a hand or two on an electronic device at all moments of the day. But the entire periodic table of elements can cause allergic reactions, according to Yolanda Hedberg, professor in Western University’s Department of Chemistry and Canada Research Chair in Corrosion Science. “About 35 per cent of the population is allergic to a metal,” said Hedberg, who came to Western from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden in October 2020 to continue her ground-breaking work on humans’ physiological reactions to metals, and has just been named the Wolfe-Western Fellow At-Large, an award acknowledging the work and promise of a young researcher and newly recruited faculty member. “Many common allergic reactions can be traced to cosmetics, toiletries, clothes and jewellery – all of which also contain metals, whether in small or large amounts,” said Hedberg, who is studying how the human body can cause metal surfaces to corrode and how this morphing metal causes different reactions over time. Read the full story on Western News.


Canada Research Chairs

The Canada Research Chairs Program fund some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds. Meet the Canada Research Chairs at Western Science:

Peter Brown | Canada Research Chair in Planetary Small Bodies

Peter Brown 
Research Focus: Dr. Peter Brown studies small bodies of the solar system with particular emphasis on meteors, meteorites, meteoroids, and asteroids answering basic questions about the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system.

Katsuichiro Goda | Canada Research Chair in Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment

Katsuichiro Goda 
Research Focus: Dr. Katsuichiro Goda is developing an integrated multi-hazard framework for enhancing disaster risk preparedness and management related to earthquakes. He and his research team will integrate a wide range of new, state-of-the-art hazard and risk models into a comprehensive methodology by considering uncertainty associated with predictions of hazards and risks. The resulting assessment tools will improve current practices related to preparing multi-hazard maps. They will also improve the ability of households, municipalities, and insurers to bear financial risks.

Yolanda Hedberg | Canada Research Chair in Corrosion Science

What do three things as diverse as medical implants, drinking water quality, and that metallic smell in the subway have in common? They are all influenced by the never-ending interface between metals and biomolecules, where physical, chemical and electrochemical reactions happen constantly and influence each other.

By understanding these materials and their reactions, we can make better use of them in areas like health care. Dr. Yolanda Hedberg, Canada Research Chair in Chemistry, aims to increase the safety and use of biomedical materials. She and her research team are doing this by predicting reaction mechanisms and rates at metal-bio interfaces, such as for metallic implant materials and metal nanoparticles used in medicine. In particular, they are trying to understand these metal devices’ corrosion mechanisms, which depend on their composition, design and manufacture as well as on a patient’s infection status.

Mikko Karttunen | Canada Research Chair in Computational Materials and Biomaterials Science

Miko Karttunen 
Research Focus: Dr. Karttunen is developing reliable, quantitative, predictive and faster computer simulations capable of accurately modelling bio-based materials. He uses computational modelling to understand biomaterial properties, to demonstrate how bio-inspired materials interact with biological materials, like cell membranes, and uses simulations to inform the development of biocompatible materials for drug delivery.

Fred Longstaffe | Canada Research Chair in Stable Isotope Science

Fred Longstaffe 
Research Focus: Dr. Fred Longstaffe's main focus is environmental chemistry and climate reconstructions of past environments. A recent advancement, however, has allowed his laboratory to expand into new research areas including the investigation of anthropological materials to examine past diet and agricultural practices, as well as the investigation of meteoritic material to better understand the building blocks of our solar system.

Stanimir Metchev | Canada Research Chair in Extrasolar Planets

Stanimir Metchev
Research Focus: Stanimir Metchev's research is on planetary systems around nearby stars and on the atmospheres of brown dwarfs and exoplanets. He also uses the spectra of extrasolar planets to directly probe the physical extent of planetary systems and of the chemistry of exoplanetary atmospheres.

Natasha Mhatre | Canada Research Chair in Invertebrate Neurobiology

Natasha Mhatre
Research Focus: Interested in understanding how different animals, particularly invertebrates, perceive sounds and also vibrations. Natasha's research uses different experimental techniques like laser vibrometry and 3D uCT imaging, and couples them with physics and mechanics based modelling to understand how these two types of mechanosensory systems function.

Patrick O'Donoghue | Canada Research Chair in Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment

Patrick O'Donoghue
Research Focus: The O’Donoghue lab investigates how proteome diversity, generated by either protein modification or mistranslation, impacts pathways to cancer and neurodegeneration. My lab established a leadership role in the area of genetic code expansion to investigate the role of disease-linked protein modifications. The lab engineers new methods to produce proteins with programmed modifications and elucidates their role in signaling pathways linked to disease. We recently developed novel fluorescent reporters to visualize errors in protein synthesis or mistranslation in live cells. The lab is now leading efforts to reveal the ability of naturally occurring transfer RNA (tRNA) mutants to induce proteome-wide mistranslation in models of neurodegenerative disease.

Arghya Paul | Canada Research Chair in Advanced Cell-instructive Materials and Biotherapeutics

Over the past decade, the demand for transplant tissues and organs has greatly exceeded available donor organs. But tissue engineering and regeneration therapy are slowly becoming viable alternatives for clinicians, who may soon be able to replace injured tissues with living tissues designed and constructed to meet the specific needs of individual patients.

Dr. Arghya Paul, Canada Research Chair in Advanced Cell-instructive Materials and Biotherapeutics, is applying his expertise in bioactive nanomaterials and cellular engineering to design a new class of cell-instructive hydrogels (synthetic materials that can absorb large quantities of water or biological fluids). These hydrogels can be used to precisely control cell behaviour and 3D bioprint complex living tissue structures that can be implanted in our bodies.

By improving our understanding of how different materials influence cell behaviour at the cellular and molecular levels, Paul and his research team will shed light on how to design and develop new biomaterials for tissue engineering applications. In particular, his team uses acellular tissue components to engineer new hydrogels. Polymeric networks of these hydrogels are then reinforced with nanoparticles to enhance their structural stability and printability, and to introduce specific functions.

Manufacturing custom-made living tissues for musculoskeletal disorders is one of several applications Paul’s team is currently investigating. Ultimately, Paul’s innovative research will advance the field of regenerative tissue engineering and pave the way to developing fully personalized tissue implants for patients who need organ transplant or tissue replacement.

Cristian D. Bravo Roman | Canada Research Chair in Banking and Insurance Analytics

Christian Bravo Roman
Research Focus: Credit Scoring,  Artificial Intelligence,  Profit-driven Analytics .

Tsun-Kong Sham | Canada Research Chair in Materials & Synchrotron Radiation

TK Sham
Research Focus: E xperimental and theoretical investigation of the electronic structure of matter and its interplay with materials properties, materials performance in a designed functionality, and spectroscopy. Emphasis is placed on nanomaterials in general and energy materials and nanocarrier for drug delivery in particular. Major ongoing thrusts are (1) synthesis, assembly and characterization of nanomaterials and composites; (2) development and applications of synchrotron capabilities at the  Canadian Light Source , a national facility in Saskatoon, and the  Advanced Photon Source  at Argonne National Laboratory. A detailed description of research areas can be found at the research group homepage.

Grace Yi | Canada Research Chair in Data Science

Grace Yi
Research Focus: With the rapid advancement of technology in acquiring data, large data sets are becoming more accessible than ever before. However, the quality and complexity of data make it challenging to extract useful information for sensible decision-making. Yi’s work addresses these issues in an effort to generate valid, evidence-based results. This research aims to develop novel and flexible modeling, estimation, and learning tools to handle multi-dimensional data that has measurement error and missing observations. Through innovative methodology, this research targets to advance foundational work that leads to scientific applications in public health, medical studies, and data science.

Archive: Previous Industrial Research Charis

Previous Industrial Research Chairs Listing
Name Project Dates Active
Atkinson, Gail NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Hazards from Induced Seismicity 2014-2018
Banerjee, Neil NSERC/Yamana Gold Inc. Industrial Research Chair in advanced Mineral Exploration 2015-2020
Chronik, Blaine NSERC/Synaptive Medical Inc. Industrial Research Chair in Magnetic Resonance Systems Development 2015-2020
Mitchell, Ian NSERC/AECL Industrial Research Chairs in Surface and Materials Science 1991-1996
Norton, Peter NSERC/AECL Industrial Research Chair in Surface and Materials Science 1991-1996
Osinski, Gordon NSERC/MDA/CSA Industrial Research Chair in Planetary Geology 2010-2015
Osinski, Gordon NSERC/MDA/CSA/CEMI Industrial Research Chair in Earth and Space Exploration 2015-2020
Shoesmith, David NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Nuclear fuel and waste container corrosion processes under permanent waste disposal conditions 2000-2005
Shoesmith, David NSERC/Ontario Power Generation Industrial Research Chair in Nuclear Fuel and Waste Container Corrosion under Waste Disposal Management Conditions 2005-2010
Shoesmith, David NSERC/Nuclear Waste Management Organization Industrial Research Chair in Nuclear Fuel and Waste Container Corrosion under Waste Disposal Management Conditions 2010-2015
Tiampo, Kristy NSERC/Benfield/ICLR Industrial research Chair in Earthquake Hazard Assessment 2006-2011
Wren, Clara NSERC/AECL Industrial Research Chair in Radiation Induced Chemical Processes in Nuclear Reactor Environments 2005-2015
Wren, Clara NSERC/NWMO/UNENE Industrial Research Chair in Radiation Induced Corrosion 2015-2020

Faculty of Science Distinguished Research Professorship

Recipients 1980s

Distinguished Research Professorship - 1980s
Date Recipient Department
1987 J.D. Landstreet Astronomy
1987 V.P. Snaith Mathematics
1987 D.B. Walden Plant Sciences
1988 R.J. Puddephatt Chemistry
1988 R.F. Mereu Geophysics
1989 B.G. Atkinson Zoology
1989 F.J. Longstaffe Geology

Recipients 1990s

Distinguished Research Professorship - 1990s
Date Recipient Department
1990 J.M. Marlborough Astronomy
1990 G.M. Kidder Zoology
1991 W.J. Meath Chemistry
1991 R.B. Podesta Zoology
1992 S. Caveney Zoology
1992 P.J. Schultz Physics
1993 N.P.A. Huner Plant Sciences
1993 J.F. Jardine Mathematics
1994 H. Jüngensen Computer Science
1995 W.K. Hocking Physics
1995 A.C. Weedon Chemistry
1996 G.M. Bancroft Chemistry
1997 V.W. Elias Applied Mathematics
1998 X. Wu Computer Science
1999 R.M. Corless Applied Mathematics

Recipients 2000s

Distinguished Research Professorship - 2000s
Date Recipient Department
2000 C.D Ankney Zoology
2001 N.O. Petersen Chemistry
2001 H.W. Nesbitt Earth Sciences
2002 P.R. Norton Chemistry
2002 S. Watt Computer Science
2003 S.M. Singh Biology
2003 J.P. Guthrie Chemistry
2004 D.W. Shoesmith Chemistry
2004 J. Mináč Mathematics
2005 V.A. Miransky Applied Mathematics
2005 T.K. Sham Chemistry
2006 M.A. Lachance Biology
2007 J.S. Millar Biology
2007 J.D. Christensen Mathematics
2008 R. Lipson Chemistry
2009 M. Karttunen Applied Mathematics

Recipients 2010s

Distinguished Research Professorship - 2010s
Date Recipient Department
2010 H.-B. Kraatz Chemistry
2011 Xingfu Zou Applied Mathematics
2012 Chris Guglielmo Biology
2013 Peter Brown Physics & Astronomy
2013 Irena Creed Biology
2014 Blaine Chronik Physics & Astronomy
2014 Charles Ling Computer Science
2014 Yuri Boykov Computer Science
2014 Zhifeng Ding Chemistry
2015 Charles Trick Biology
2015 Clara Wren Chemistry
2016 Lars Konermann Chemistry
2016 Charles Ling Chemistry
2017 Paul Ragogna Chemistry
2018 Lianna Zanette  Biology
2018 Joe  Gilroy Chemistry
2018 Rick Jardine Mathematics
2018 Stan Metchev Physics & Astronomy
2019 Zoe Lindo Biology
2019 Jamie Noel Chemistry
2019 Pauline Barmby Physics & Astronomy
2019 Marcos Escobar Statistical and Actuarial Sciences

Recipients 2020s

Distinguished Research Professorship - 2020s
Date Recipient Department
2020 Brent Sinclair Biology
2020 Clara Wren Chemistry
2020 Jamie Noel Chemistry
2020 Sheri Molnar Earth Sciences
2020 Jan Minac Mathematics

The Hellmuth Prizes for Achievement in Research

Recipients within the Faculty of Science

Hellmuth Prize Recipients in Science
Year Recipient Department
1998 William S. Fyfe Earth Sciences
1999 G. Michael Bancroft Chemistry
2000 Richard J. Puddephatt Chemistry
2001 Michael Locke Biology
2003 Peter Norton Chemistry
2005 Ian V. Mitchell Physics and Astronomy
2015 Shiva Singh Biology
2017 Tsun-Kong Sham Chemistry
2018 Gail Atkinson  Earth Sciences
2020 Jeremy McNeil Biology

Distinguished University Professors

Recipients within the Faculty of Science

Distinguished University Professors in Science - 2005 - 2015
Year Recipient Department
2005 Fred J. Longstaffe Earth Sciences
2005 Richard J. Puddephatt Chemistry
2006 Shiva M. Singh Biology
2006 Robert M. Corless Applied Mathematics
2008 Richard Kane Mathematics
2011 Stephen Watt Computer Sciences
2014 Jeremy McNeil Biology
2015 Tsun-Kong Sham Chemistry
2021 Kim Baines Chemistry

Faculty Scholars

Recipients within the Faculty of Science 2000-2015

Faculty Scholars - 2000 - 2015
Year Recipient Department
2005 Matthew Davison Applied Mathematics
2005 Richard Secco Earth Sciences
2005 Mark Workentin Chemistry
2006 John Corrigan Chemistry
2006 Hanan Lutfiyya Computer Science
2007 Shantanu Basu Physics and Astronomy
2007 David Eaton Earth Sciences
2008 Daniel Christensen Mathematics/ Applied Mathematics
2008 Michael Kerr Chemistry
2008 Mark Muser Applied Mathematics/ Physics and Astronomy
2008 Bryan Neff Biology
2009 Lucian Ilie Computer Science
2010 Robert Hudson Chemistry
2010 Heinz-Bernhard Kraatz Chemistry
2010 David Riley Mathematics
2010 Eugene Wong Physics and Astronomy
2011 Kristy Tiampo Earth Sciences
2012 Jan Cami Physics and Astronomy
2012 Christopher Guglielmo Biology
2012 Paul Ragogna Chemistry
2012 Robert Solis-Oba Computer Science
2013 Brent Sinclair Biology
2014 Masoud Khalkhali Mathematics
2014 Desmond Moser Earth Sciences
2014 Paul Wiegert Physics and Astronomy
2015 Zhifeng Ding Chemistry
2015 Sean Shieh Earth Sciences

Recipients within the Faculty of Science 2015-2020

Faculty Scholars - 2015 - 2020
Year Recipient Department
2016 Liana Zanette Biology
2016 Victor Staroverov Chemistry
2016 Sarah Gallagher Physics & Astronomy
2017 Rogemar Mamon Statistical & Actuarial Sciences
2017 Els Peeters Physics & Astronomy
2018 Margaret Campbell-Brown Physics & Astronomy
2018 Joseph Gilroy Chemistry
2018 Gordon Osinski Earth Sciences
2019 Lars Konermann Chemistry
2019 Zoe Lindo Biology
2020 Martin Houde Physics & Astronomy
2020 Graham Denham Mathematics