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"In recognizing those who create and advance innovation in Canada, we must reserve
our greatest appreciation and admiration for our nation's researchers."

Dr. David W. Strangway, president and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

President's Award for Outstanding Research

The President's Award for Outstanding Research recognizes researchers who have made outstanding contributions to their scholarly disciplines. Each award includes a $5,000 research grant. Recipients of this year's President's Award for Outstanding Research are Dr. Christopher Kovacs, Medicine, and Dr. Sharon Roseman, Anthropology.

Dr. Christopher S. Kovacs

{Dr. Christopher Kovacs}
Dr. Christopher Kovacs

As an endocrinologist in the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Christopher Kovacs has established his own laboratory and independent research career during the five years he has been at Memorial. His main research is on calcium and bone metabolism, in part exploring the regulation of mineral transfer across the placenta in late gestation and the formation of the fetal skeleton.

Dr. Kovacs uses genetically engineered mice to examine how skeletal and placental physiology is disrupted when a hormone or receptor of interest is deleted.

"The work has been especially challenging because I am attempting to obtain physiological data from fetuses that are typically about one centimeter in length."

Dr. Kovacs' research might one day affect how osteoporosis and similar conditions are treated in humans. He is also studying how calcium is temporarily borrowed from the mother's skeleton during lactation (breastfeeding). "In mice, mothers can lose a full one-third of their skeleton in three weeks of lactation, but this skeletal mass is later regained. Studying what happens to mice during pregnancy and lactation will give some clues as to what happens in humans."

The success of Dr. Kovacs' research efforts has been recognized in a number of ways. He received a five-year Scholarship Award from the Medical Research Council of Canada (now Canadian Institutes of Health Research) in 1999 and a three-year operating grant; in 2002 he received a five-year renewal of that operating grant worth more than $766,000. He has received eight Young Investigator and Travel awards by international organizations since 1995, and many of his research abstracts have been selected by meeting committees for oral presentations. He has been an invited speaker at national and international meetings, and is a peer reviewer for several scientific journals.

Dr. Kovacs has collaborations with researchers in the bone field throughout the world, and he is a principal investigator for several multi-centre clinical trails involving therapies for osteoporosis and diabetes. Separately, he spends about 20 per cent of his time in clinical practice, specializing in endocrinology and metabolism.

Dr. Kovacs is also proud that he has recently supervised two graduate students in basic research projects that involved studying fetal calcium homeostasis in genetically engineered mice. Among them, the two students won four awards for excellence in research, including an award for the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

Dr. Sharon Roseman

{Dr. Sharon Roseman}
Dr. Sharon Roseman

For Dr. Sharon Roseman, being a social anthropologist is more than a career. "Social anthropologists often think about our discipline as a way of life," she said. "We understand the contrast between being immersed in the discipline's literature and being embedded in the messy, often contradictory circumstances of people's lives in the field. To understand a culture, you must experience it."

Dr. Roseman is an associate professor in Memorial's Department of Anthropology. She joined Memorial in 1995, after holding a two-year SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Since 1989, her research has focused on economic and social change, as well as on gender, language, and class consciousness in Spanish Galicia, an Atlantic region in northwestern Spain.

"Through living in the village of Santiago de Carreira as a participant-observer, I learned about the expectations and meanings associated with the most subtle aspects of interpersonal interactions; about the metaphorical use of language; about the ways in which historical consciousness intrudes on everyday life as well as on ideas about the future; about the full significance of gender, family, and class relationships; about friendship; and about defending one's home," said Dr. Roseman.

She considered the economic and social significance of the labour that women villagers have expended in paid labour as well as in unpaid housework, child and elder care, subsistence agriculture, animal husbandry, inter-household exchange and community-wide projects within the context of late 20th century global capitalism. She has also explored the tensions between documentary and oral history and has written about how the villagers from Santiago de Carreira construct and recount politicized historical narratives to contradict "official" understandings of local economic development projects. Her current research project deals with the impacts on rural areas of the obligatory "social service" that unmarried Spanish women between 18 and 35 years of age performed under the Franco dictatorship as a counterpart to men's military service.

Through her research in the Galician context, Dr. Roseman's aim has been to contribute to a comparative project of deepening our understanding of rural Europeans' reactions to the processes associated with labour migration, economic globalization, increased governmental regulation and surveillance, and urban-based social movements.

Dr. Roseman has edited or co-edited three volumes of papers and her publications have appeared in major international journals including American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, Dialectical Anthropology, Anthropologica, Cultural Anthropology, Feminist Studies, and the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. She is currently completing a book manuscript about Santiago de Carreira and is involved in a number of team publishing projects.

Dr. Roseman is also dedicated to supporting the next generation of researchers. "One of the most gratifying aspects of my job is to pass on my research skills to others. I enjoy hearing about students' fieldwork and working with them on their analysis of field data and ethnographic writing."

{Memorial University of Newfoundland}