Until Death Do Us Part: The Charitable Nature of Canadian Science

November 14, 2011 at 10:44 am Leave a comment

Chalk one up for the compassion of the Canadian people. University of Toronto reported that it is conferring a posthumous PhD degree to PhD candidate Sara Al-Bader who died in a tragic car accident in November of last year. Al-Bader was a student in University of Toronto’s Institute of Medical Science, (the same department I graduated from), studying African health care as an example of African innovation. Her thesis will be edited by Assistant professor Jocalyn Clark, editor at PLOS Medicine and published shortly after.

This is only one of several times in recent history that an award has been given posthumously to a Canadian scientists. Last month, the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine awarded Professor Ralph M. Steinman a Nobel prize for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity prior to discovering that he had died three days earlier. Fortunately for Canadian science, the Nobel committee went forward with their decision to award the prize to Steinman despite their policy of only awarding prizes to living people.

Similarly, in November 2009, the University of Ottawa awarded the Rutherford Medal to Professor Keith Fagnou who had been touted to be the potential future of Canadian chemistry.

In my mind, these awards represent the charitable nature of the Canadian people and make me proud to be a Canadian!

Entry filed under: Biotechnology News and Info from Canadian Universities. Tags: , , , .

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