Chemistry's winning streak continues: Department lands three awards from Canada's top chemistry association

- March 1, 2021

Left to right: Alison Thompson, Mark Stradiotto and Laura Turculet all received awards from the Canadian Society for Chemistry this year. (File photos)
Left to right: Alison Thompson, Mark Stradiotto and Laura Turculet all received awards from the Canadian Society for Chemistry this year. (File photos)

The Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) released the names of their annual award winners this week, and three faculty members from Dalhousie’s Faculty of Science were announced as of some of the prestigious honourees.

Mark Stradiotto, Arthur B. McDonald Research Chair and the Alexander McLeod Professor of Chemistry, Laura Turculet, an associate professor, and Alison Thompson, professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Pyrrole Chemistry for Chemical Biology and Energy, all received awards from the CSC.

“This is a remarkable achievement and demonstrates the research strength we have in our Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science at Dal,” says Chris Moore, dean of the Faculty of Science. “These professors are driving research which is making a real impact in the world and inspiring the next generation of scientists through innovative teaching and mentorship.”

While not unheard of, it is not common for a single chemistry department to win three awards from the CSC in one season and it is the first time it has happened in Dal’s department. The recognition follows on the heels of a string of other significant awards for the department last year, including:

On top of that, four individuals from the department received university-wide teaching awards last year.

The Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) is a national, not-for-profit, professional association that unites chemistry students and professionals who work in industry, academia and government. The CSC is recognized by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) as the technical organization for Canadian chemists.

Compelling contributions

Dr. Stradiotto won the Rio Tinto Award, which is presented to a scientist who has made a distinguished contribution to the fields of inorganic chemistry or electrochemistry while working in Canada.

A major focus of Dr. Stradiotto’s research is the development of new ancillary ligands to support highly effective cross-coupling catalysts based on nickel and other more-sustainable elements.

Dr. Turculet won the Strem Chemical Award for Pure and Applied Inorganic Chemistry, which is presented to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant who has made an outstanding contribution to inorganic chemistry, demonstrating exceptional promise, while working in Canada.

Research in the Turculet group spans the areas of synthetic organometallic chemistry, catalysis, and materials. These efforts emphasize a ligand design approach for the preparation of transition metal complexes that exhibit new reactivity properties by virtue of their unique construction, with the goal of utilizing such complexes as catalysts for chemical transformations.

Dr. Thompson won the Montreal Medal, which is presented as a mark of distinction and honour to a resident of Canada who has shown significant leadership in or has made an outstanding contribution to the profession of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada.

Her research focuses on the synthesis of pyrroles and polypyrroles to enable evaluation of new compounds with unique biological, physical and optical properties: applications target functional materials and improved pharmaceutical function. She is also heavily involved with the non-profit SuperNOVA, helping to fund and enable hands-on STEM programming to more than 16,000 youth annually including 40 percent rural, low-income, newcomer, African-Canadian, Indigenous and hospitalized youth.

Outstanding impact

“Congratulations to Drs. Stradiotto, Turculet and Thompson,” says Alice Aiken, Dalhousie’s vice president research and innovation. “Receiving three awards in a single year is recognition of the outstanding impact these researchers are making in their field and the world-class work happening in our Chemistry department.”

All three individuals will be invited to deliver award lectures at the upcoming combined 2021 IUPAC/Canadian Chemistry Conference being held virtually in August with Thompson’s lecture being a plenary one.

“We look forward to seeing what else these faculty members can accomplish — but what we do know is that they’ll continue to lead world-class research at Dal,” says Dr. Moore.

For more information about the Canadian Society for Chemistry, visit the website.


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