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Internal Research Awards: recognizing research excellence

2014 John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship

The John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship, named for the first president of Memorial University College, recognizes faculty who embody the university's mission by demonstrating exceptional teaching, undertaking world-class research and sharing their knowledge and expertise widely.

Dr. Sean Brosnan, is an accomplished educator and one of Memorial's premier scientists and researchers in the Department of Biochemistry. He is considered an international expert in the metabolism of amino acids and the biochemistry of vitamins. Dr. Brosnan is fascinated by metabolism - in particular the metabolism of amino acids. He has explored the many functions they carry out and made significant discoveries with regards to how gluatamine defends the acid-base status of the body and the role of the kidney in the production of amino acids. Dr. Brosnan is a fellow of the Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada and a recipient of the Borden Award from the Canadian Society of Nutritional Sciences.


2014 University Research Professors

The title of University Research Professor is the most prestigious award the university gives for research, and goes to faculty who have demonstrated a consistently high level of scholarship and whose research is of truly international stature.

Dr. Trevor Bell, Department of Geography, studies landscape history from a variety of perspectives, including geomorphic evolution, climate change impacts and human-environment interactions.  His malti-faceted research has had significant impact throughout the many disciplines he crosses as well as in policy and community circles. From exploring the legacy of lead in St. John's to addressing the need for culturally appropriate and environmentally adapted housing in Nunatsiavut - for which he and his team received the 2013 Arctic Inspiration Prize - Dr. Bell translates and communicates scientific knowledge in an effective manner to those who develop policy and has demonstrated the value of partnerships with government departments, industry and community organizations.

The clinical practice of Dr. Christopher Kovacs, Faculty of Medicine, focuses on osteoporosis, disorders of bone metabolism, thyroid disorders and general endocrinology. His basic and translational research focuses on adaptions in calcium and bone metabolism that occur during reproduction and fetal development. He has received over a dozen national and international awards for excellence in research including the Gold Medal in Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Young Investigators Award from the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism and a Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. 

2014 President's Award for Outstanding Research

The President's Awards for Outstanding Research recognizes researchers who have made outstanding contributions to their scholarly disciplines and who have received a graduate degree, or a disciplinary equivalent, within the last ten years.

Dr. Andrew Staniland is one of Canada’s leading contemporary classical music composers. His works have a visceral impact, addressing important social themes and artistic ideas with heart and uncompromising integrity. His is a crucial musical voice for our times. Andrew Staniland’s creative research is on the edge of innovation in modern classical music, blending the traditional craft of musical composition with the new and innovative digital media of the Twenty-first Century.  Sr. Staniland has completed 16 commissioned works and received 12 new ones, including a major commission for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra between 2010 to 2013.  During the same period his compositions received 72 national and international performances from top tier artists and ensembles, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and 65 media reviews.

 2014 Terra Nova Young Innovator Award

The Terra Nova Young Innovator Award recognizes and supports outstanding young faculty members whose research is particularly innovative and whose specific research proposal has real potential for a significant impact on society.

Dr. Bing Chen, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and leader of Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control (NRPOP) Lab, will receive a $50,000 award, presented on behalf of Suncor Energy and Memorial University, to develop a novel microbial waste-to-energy cell (MW2e) with the unique capability to simultaneously treat organic waste and generate electricity. His proposed research will develop a new, highly porous and electrical conductive material leading to a transformative means for integrating wastewater treatment energy and resource recovery. His research is meant to provide an inventive solution to the challenge of treating wastewater which contains high oil contents in a cost effective and eco-friendly way.

2014 Marilyn Harvey Award to Recognize the Importance of Research Ethics

Dr. Larry Felt, Department of Sociology, is the inaugural recipient of the Marilyn Harvey Award to Recognize the Importance of Research Ethics. Dr. Felt's impact on the advancement of research ethics at Memorial is evident in all areas of his professional activity including teaching, research, and service to the university and the community. He was one of the original members of Memorial's Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research (ICEHR) and the chair of this committee from 2007-2011. He became chair of the provincial Health Research Ethics Authority after 2011 and also served as a member of the Government of Canada's Panel on Research Ethics.