OTTAWA, February 5, 2015 -- Professors Roland Pongou, from the Faculty of Social Sciences, and Maxim Berezovski, from the Faculty of Science, were honoured today as recipients of the University of Ottawa Young Researcher of the Year Award for their exceptional contributions to research and student mentorship.
“I am proud to recognize these two exceptional researchers for the inspiring work they accomplish in the classroom and in the lab,” said Mona Nemer, Vice President, Research. “Their current success as researchers and professors is a testament of the influential leadership they will exert in the future”.
Professor Roland Pongou, Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences
Professor Pongou holds advanced degrees in mathematics, demographics and economics, and is a highly multidisciplinary researcher whose work focuses on the cutting edge of the economics of networks. His research into the networks of infidelity, which won him the 2013 Polanyi Prize, has provided us with important insights into the the mechanisms by which factors such as ethnicity or gender affect the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly in Africa. He is an active mentor. His teaching philosophy is that every student must be equipped with the conceptual and analytical tools that will allow them to confidently confront any professional or academic challenge that they are faced with after graduation from the University of Ottawa.
Professor Maxim Berezovski, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science
Professor Berezovski’s research bridges chemistry and biology and involves the study of key biomolecular interactions in order to design biosensors and bioanalytical methods. His work focuses on understanding the molecular processes and mechanisms of cancer and immune diseases and on developing innovative biopharmaceuticals called aptamers, which are synthetic antibodies. This research has led to several aptamer technologies that can recognize, track and eliminate cancer cells, viruses and bacteria without harming healthy cells. His highly effective teaching approach provides biology students with an opportunity to acquire a broad knowledge of analytical techniques used in chemistry and physics, and physics and chemistry students with similar knowledge of techniques used in biology.
The Young Researcher of the Year Award was created in 1995 to recognize excellence and encourage leadership and innovation. Two prizes accompanied by a $10,000 research grant are awarded: one in the humanities and social sciences and the other in the pure and applied sciences.
The University of Ottawa is home to over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Our campus is a crossroads of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. We are one of Canada’s top 10 research universities—our professors and researchers explore new approaches to today’s challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 200 in the world, we attract exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe.