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For the second year in a row, Dalhousie researcher receives one of Canada's most prestigious scholarly awards

Posted by Media Centre on May 2, 2017 in News

Media Release: For the second year in a row, Dalhousie researcher receives one of Canada's most prestigious scholarly awards
Dr. Ford Doolittle winner of 2017 Canada Council Killam Prize in the Natural Sciences

Halifax, NS - Dalhousie University is honoured to join the Canada Council for the Arts in celebrating Dr. Ford Doolittle, professor emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, for his pioneering achievements in evolutionary biology.

Dr. Doolittle has been awarded the Canada Council Killam Prize in the Natural Sciences, one of the most prestigious scholarly awards in Canada. Funded by a private endowment from the Killam Trust, these awards recognize career achievements in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, engineering and interdisciplinary studies within these fields. Each year, five researchers are presented with the award, which comes with a $100,000 prize.

This marks the second year in a row that the Killam Prize in the Natural Sciences has been awarded to a Dalhousie researcher. Last year, Chemistry’s Dr. Axel Becke was the recipient. Past Dalhousie Killam Prize winners also include Dr. Susan Sherwin (Philosophy) and Dr. Brian Hall (Biology).

“I'm delighted to receive this prize,” says Dr. Doolittle. “It honours what I have always been (and still am) most engaged with, curiosity-driven research, which is to say science in the service of understanding.”

Considered to be one of the world's top molecular biologists, Dr. Doolittle has been working on the frontiers of research in evolutionary biology for more than 40 years. He has consistently challenged the scientific community to rethink how the genome has evolved and how DNA works, building a critical scientific base along the way that established Canada as an international leader in the field of evolutionary microbiology.

“Ford Doolittle’s research is profound and wide-ranging, and has changed the way the world views evolution and genetics,” says Dr. Richard Florizone, Dalhousie University President. “We are incredibly proud of Ford’s achievements, and congratulate him on receiving this prestigious award.”

Dr. Doolittle has received numerous awards and honours for his research. This includes the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering (one of three awarded to Dalhousie researchers in the past four years), and the Award of Excellence from the Genetics Society of Canada. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and has been inducted into Discovery Centre-hosted Nova Scotia Science Hall of Fame.

The Killam Prize presentation ceremony will be held at Rideau Hall on May 30, 2017.

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Media Contact:


Michele Charlton
Communications Advisor, Dalhousie Research Services
Tel: (902) 494-4148
Cell: (902) 222-2817
Email: michele.charlton@dal.ca


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