International accolades

Scholars most often toil on their research away from the limelight. But as University of Ottawa researchers increasingly build collaborations and extend their reach globally, many of them are emerging as leaders in their field on the world stage. The following are but a few of the researchers who garnered international awards and distinctions in 2012–2013 for accomplishments that cross borders and cover a range of disciplines.


A professor in the Faculty of Engineering, AZZEDINE BOUKERCHE joined an elite group of recipients of the Golden Core Award, given by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society to members who have significantly contributed to the Society. Boukerche, who is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is an international expert in wireless networking and mobile computing.

The University of Oulu, Finland, conferred an honorary doctorate on MONA NEMER, Vice-President, Research, and a researcher in molecular biology. The honorary doctorate was awarded in recognition of her pioneering work on the identification of genes essential for heart development and the impact of these discoveries on understanding and diagnosing heart diseases. Nemer was the only Canadian among about 20 recipients being honoured.

ADOLFO J. de BOLD, a professor of pathology and cellular and molecular medicine, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences of Argentina for his contribution to the advancement of science. The director of the Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute is best known for his discovery that the heart has an endocrine function. On the home front, he will be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2014.

PAUL CORKUM was nominated for and won a number of international awards in 2013, but winning the King Faisal International Prize for Science drew the most attention worldwide. He is only the third Canadian to have received this prestigious Saudi Arabian prize that recognizes scientists whose contributions benefit humanity. A physics professor at the University of Ottawa and scientist at the National Research Council of Canada, Corkum is known internationally for his groundbreaking work in attosecond imaging and for developing the fastest laser light flashes in the world.

LINDA CARDINAL is a world-renowned specialist in Canada’s francophone minorities who has brought an international perspective to research in this field. The professor in the School of Political Studies was named Chevalier (Knight) in the Ordre des Palmes académiques (Order of Academic Palms), a French Order of Chivalry awarded to academics and individuals who make significant contributions to national education and culture in France, or to the expansion of French culture in the rest of the world.

A professor of health informatics at the Telfer School of Management, WOJTEK MICHALOWSKI received a Polish State Professorship from the president of Poland. This is the country’s highest academic title, given for internationally recognized accomplishments. Michalowski’s research interests include medical decision making and health care management. He is currently working on developing clinical triage support systems for mobile devices and other cross-platform applications.

In 2012, ANDREW PELLING was elected as a member of the Global Young Academy, a Berlin-based organization that brings together leading young scientists from 55 countries to address issues of global importance. Cross-appointed to the departments of physics and biology, he leads the Pelling Lab for Biophysical Manipulation, which includes several scientific disciplines, such as cell and molecular biology, optics, physics and engineering.

Geographer ANNE GILBERT was awarded the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique from the Quebec government’s Conseil supérieur de la langue française. Gilbert, who is also director of the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Research on French Canadian Culture, received the international honour for her outstanding insight into the French language in North America. She is one of just a few university researchers to have received this distinction.


by Monique Roy-Sole

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