Award Lectures

CIC Award Lectures

Linda NazarCIC Medal
Sponsored by the Chemical Institute of Canada
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Linda Nazar, FRSC, O.C.
University of Waterloo

Abstract: Electrochemical Energy Storage For A Sustainable Energy Future
The widespread integration of renewable, intermittent energy sources such as wind or solar is dependent upon the development of efficient large-scale energy storage systems for load-levelling the electric grid.  Similarly, the acceptance of electric vehicles hinges on the availability of intermediate scale, safe, low-cost energy storage batteries that can provide long driving ranges. In this context, it is widely acknowledged that traditional Li-ion batteries are starting to approach their limits. This talk will present a perspective on the challenges, and opportunities for future strategies for electrochemical energy storage.  The topics will encompass promising new developments in Li metal batteries, solid state batteries, holistic approaches towards electrolytes for Li-sulfur cells, and advances in Li-oxygen batteries that double the cell capacity and provide close-to-theoretical reversible electron transfer. Such step-changes require tailor-designed materials for the electrodes, and new electrolyte strategies. These topics will be the subject of the presentation along with our unfolding new understanding of the underlying chemistries.

W. Stephen McNeil

CIC Award for Chemistry Education
Sponsored by the CIC Chemical Education Fund
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W. Stephen McNeil
University of British Columbia at Okanagan

Abstract: What’s Next? The Ongoing Impacts of CSC Chemistry Education Symposia on Scholarly Teaching, Curriculum Reform, and Educational Research 
My professional career has entered its third decade, with most of that time spent at a small but rapidly-growing campus of a research-intensive university. During this period I have developed my abilities as a chemistry educator, transitioned my research program from organometallic chemistry to chemistry education, and undertaken significant work on undergraduate curriculum reform, including an ongoing multi-year project and research study to develop, implement, and assess a dramatic revision to the content and delivery of our general chemistry courses. This evolution of my career activities has paralleled – and has been strongly influenced and directed by – an increase in the quality of scholarship and research discussed at CSC (now CCCE) Chemistry Education symposia. These symposia have been regular sources of inspiration and ideas that have supported, refined, or wholly redirected my own teaching and research practice. This presentation will recall some of the most significant presentations, interactions, and discussions at Chemistry Education Division symposia that have inspired and influenced me over the last 12 years, and will describe their direct impacts on my own educational and education research activities. Each meeting, multiple ideas discussed at Chemistry Education symposia change both the conversation among Canada’s Chemistry Education community and my own plans for teaching and research in the following year. So, what’s next? You tell me!

Parisa AriyaEnvironment Division Research and Development Dima Award
Sponsored by Dima Technology Inc.
Parisa Angéline Ariya 
McGill University


Abstract: Urban Air Quality in the Age of Emerging Contaminants
Cities are the hot spots for the emission of green house gases (GHG) and airborne particles (aerosols). Indeed, it has been estimated that 50-80% of all global GHGs and aerosols are produced in urban regions.
There has been increasingly evidence that the existence of snow and ice surfaces, in combination with cold-temperatures alter air quality. Indeed, snow and ice surfaces have been shown to be effective surfaces for photo(bio)physicochemical processes. These surfaces add to the complexity of heterogeneous chemistry in atmosphere in cold-urban regions.
Airborne particles, or aerosols, have been shown to have severe implications on air pollution and on global climate change, as they absorb solar radiation and can alter cloud properties. As such, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has thereby singled out aerosols and aerosol-cloud interactions as one of the most uncertain areas of research in climate change. Interesting the World Health Organization (WHO), identifies aerosols, particularly airborne nanoparticles the major area of research, and a dominant source of premature death in our planet. Indeed, WHO has estimated that c.a. 8 millions premature deaths per year is linked to air pollution. Interestingly the challenging physicochemical processes, such as size, composition, surface properties, hygroscopicity, photochemical reactions, contact angle, etc., which are significant in climate change research are also those in health studies. Our lab addresses several of these identified challenges by IPCC and WHO by pioneering laboratory, field and modeling approach. We also develop energy neutral sustainable technology based on airborne particles, for pollution remediation and as smart sensors. We will herein discuss selected examples of our field, laboratory and modeling research on aerosol-cloud interaction processes in a cold-urban climate center, Montreal over the last decade, and evaluate their impact on remote sites such as the Arctic. We focusing on aerosols (including nanoparticles and bio-organic particles), as well as emerging contaminants focusing on airborne metals (including mercury and various emerging metals), organic aerosols (including bioaerosols) and anthropogenically produced airborne nanomaterials. We demonstrate that in cold-regions, there are additional complex processes, to the already known photochemical processes. We will discuss the potential of such reactions and their impact known processes such as atmospheric oxidation, ice nucleation and aerosol-cloud interactions, and will present future research directions, including sustainable technology, to address open questions in cold-climate air quality research.

Christopher BarrettMacromolecular Science and Engineering Award
Sponsored by NOVA Chemicals Corporation
Nova Chemicals
Christopher Barrett
McGill University


Abstract: Azo-Dye-Containing Soft Polymers for Optical Control at the Bio Interface
Developing new materials for two-way communication at the bio-interface represents an emerging interdisciplinary research challenge, and brain-machine interfaces in particular hold exciting promise, with recent breakthroughs achieved from various labs around the world towards localized neuro-sensing and signaling.   Key to many of these collaborative interface projects is developing new materials which are compatible with biological tissue, and sensitive to fast and subtle signals, yet can also interface with traditional technologies for readout and interpretation.  This can be achieved by using light as opposed to electrical signals, and in using softer bio-compatible materials for implants in place of hard metal electrodes. At McGill Chemistry, in collaboration with Montreal’s Neurological Hospital, we have designed polymers based on molecular azobenzene opto-switches as a potential direct interface between living cells and optical technologies. Inspired by the natural rhodopsin/retinal photo-switch that enables vision, these azo polymers respond mechanically when irradiated by changing shape, size, and orientation, to enable visible light to be converted to mechanical work, and bio-triggering.  When applied as bio-coatings, reversible changes in surface energy and stiffness are also inducible as a result, for a variety of reversible surface switching applications via light, which we have demonstrated to be able to control and guide adjacent cells. The mechanism for this next-generation optical signaling lies with the ability to photo-orient the azo groups on the surface of the coating, and we will show recent characterization of this photo-alignment effect, completely underwater in a wet biological environment. Tuning the materials and surfaces to match various cells and tissues can be achieved via multi-layering of host polyelectrolytes, where relevant properties can be fine-tuned with aqueous deposition parameters.  High throughput screening of surface properties can be achieved with multi-dimensional combinatorial surfaces, where the equivalent of many hundreds or thousands of discrete surface physico-chemical properties can be combined on a single well plate coating for efficient testing. We will also present here recent work of incorporating azobenzene into silk scaffolds, which still retain the ability to be photo-switched and photo-patterned in 2D and 3D, yet provide improved bio-compatibility over traditional artificial synthetic polymers.

Cathleen CruddenMontréal Medal
Sponsored by the Chemical Institute of Canada
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Cathleen Crudden, FCIC
Queen’s University

Abstract: Learn, listen, lead: The importance of being involved in your community
In this presentation, I will discuss my vision for becoming involved in society. I will include the challenges that taking a leadership role brings, counterbalanced with the advantages that accrue.

CGCEN Award Lecture

Francesca KertonCanadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Network Award (Individual)
Sponsored by GreenCentre Canada
GreenCentreCanada Logo
Francesca Kerton
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Abstract: Materials and molecules from carbon dioxide and biomass
We have been investigating catalytic reactions of epoxides and carbon dioxide to produce cyclic and polymeric organic carbonates for several years. The rate of ring-opening of the epoxide can be critical, as polyethers will form if this is more rapid than the carbon dioxide insertion step. Reaction pathways can vary not only with the catalyst used but also with process conditions. We have obtained mechanistic information via several methods including kinetic studies using in situ IR spectroscopy and stoichiometric reactions. After observing an intriguing color change when using iron catalysts, we have obtained evidence for an epoxide deoxygenation step occurring during these reactions. Deoxygenation of epoxides is an overlooked reaction and should be considered when investigating catalysts in these reactions. We will present our most recent results using iron amino-phenolate complexes in these reactions. Our group has recently begun studying the reactivity of arylborane catalysts in this reaction, and related tandem catalytic processes (e.g. to prepare functional polycarbonates and terpolymers). BPh3 and B(C6F5)3 can be used, in the presence of a suitable co-catalyst or as a pre-formed Lewis acid/base adducts, to prepare either the cyclic product or polycarbonate. Selectivity towards cyclic or polymer products is dependent on the substrate used. Lower activity was observed using B(C6F5)3 due to its greater Lewis acidity. Kinetic studies of this ‘metal-free’ reaction reveal a process that is first order in all reagents with the surprising exception of carbon dioxide, where an inverse dependence was discovered. Mechanistic studies on the use of aluminum amino-phenolate complexes in these reactions will also be presented. With aluminum, our group has focused on determining the role that ligand design and metal nuclearity can play in controlling these reactions and increasing reactivity and selectivity. In more applied research, we have studied the use of oxidized biochar (a renewable material) as a heterogeneous catalyst in these reactions. We have also used fish oil obtained from the discard stream in fish processing plants to prepare new bio-derived non-isocyanate polyurethanes. Epoxidized fish oil can be made using hydrogen peroxide and catalytic amounts of formic or acetic acid. The epoxidized fish oil is then reacted with carbon dioxide and finally crosslinked using an amine.

CSC Award Lectures

ToddLLowaryAlfred Bader Award
Sponsored by the CSC Organic Chemistry Division
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Todd Lowary
University of Alberta


Abstract: Synthesis of Complex Microbial Glycan Probes
Synthetic glycoconjugates are essential biological probes. This seminar will describe ongoing investigations focused on synthesizing three classes of complex glycans: 1) fragments of capsular polysaccharides from Campylobacter jejuni, an important food borne pathogen; 2) N-linked glycans from chlorella viruses; and 3) glycosylphosphoprenols that are intermediates in the assembly of lipopolysaccharide in gram-negative bacteria.

Tomislav FriscicAward for Research Excellence in Materials Chemistry
Sponsored by the CIC Materials Chemistry Division |
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Tomislav Friščić
McGill University

Abstract: Metal-organic frameworks: from mechanochemistry to mineralsemistry
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have emerged as one of the most exciting and versatile classes of modern materials, combining microporosity with a wide range of functional properties. This lecture will outline how our focus on developing more efficient, cleaner and environmentally-friendly routes to MOFs has led to several new synthetic strategies, based on solvent-free mechanochemistry, geochemically-inspired low-energy accelerated aging and, most recently, MOF assembly in supercritical carbon dioxide. These developments have also been accompanied by advances in fundamental understanding of not only different routes for MOF synthesis, but also of the geological role of MOFs as minerals, and of factors that relate thermodynamic stability of MOFs to their topology and even fine details of chemical structure. Notably, the interest in thermodynamics of MOFs has led to a deeper understanding of the energetic properties of conventional MOFs and, with it, the development of designs for hypergolic MOFs - a new class of materials with potential applications as cleaner and safer alternatives to popular, but highly dangerous hydrazine-based fuels used in aerospace applications.

Bernard Belleau Award
Sponsored by Paraza Pharma, Inc.
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David Perrin
University of British Columbia

Abstract: Total Synthesis of Alpha-amanitin: Lessons for Natural Product Inspired Peptides
Alpha-amanitin is a classic natural product was first isolated 80 years ago1 from the notorious death-cap mushroom, A. phalloides, which, since Roman times, has been an agent of murder and suicide. Alpha-amanitin, a potent, orally available, highly selective allosteric inhibitor of RNA polymerase II (Pol II), has been featured in thousands of publications, most notably: x-ray2-4 and NMR total structure elucidation5,6, affinity chromatography for the purification of RNA Pol II7, co-crystallization with RNA Pol II8, recent cryo-EM studies9, and as a promising toxic payload for antibody-drug conjugates10. Its bicyclic octapeptide structure contains two key oxidized amino acids: trans-4-hydroxy-proline (Hyp) and notably (2S,3R,4R)-4,5-dihydroxy-isoleucine (DHIle). In addition, a crosslink comprising 6-hydroxy-tryptathionine-(R)-sulfoxide is unique among natural products. The assembly of these key structural motifs has represented a long-standing synthetic challenge in total synthesis. By addressing a delicate three-fold oxidation of tryptophan to deliver the key 6-hydroxy-tryptathionine-(R)-sulfoxide along with the first enantioselective DHIle, we sealed the first total synthesis of amanitin in the synthetic record11 (at right). This work now provides access to derivatives to probe critical structure-activity relationships as well as a means of accessing scalable quantities of the toxin. Hence, we have applied aspects of this methodology to the synthesis of a prototypical phalloidin library as well as other monocyclic peptides of clinical interest12. The underlying methods that provided the synthesis of this venerated toxin along with other medicinally important peptides will be discussed

Robert BrittonBiological and Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship Award
Sponsored by the Biological/Medicinal Chemistry Division and the Organic Chemistry Division
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Robert Britton
Simon Fraser University


Mita DasogCanadian Journal of Chemistry Best Paper Award
Sponsored by the Canadian Journal of Chemistry and Canadian Science Publishing (CSP)"
Canadian Journal of Chemistry    Canadian Science Publishing
Mita Dasog
Dalhousie University

Abstract: Mesoporous Silicon for CO2 Reduction: Is the Reaction Catalytic or Stoichiometric?
Mesoporous silicon (mp-Si) has been extensively explored as an optical material, drug delivery vehicle, sensor, gas storage medium, anode material for Li-ion batteries, and in other energy conversion systems. The utility of mp-Si is highly dependent on the surface area, crystallinity, morphology, and pore volume, which are often dictated by the synthetic methods used to prepare them. Magnesiothermic reduction has gained significant attention as it allows for straightforward synthesis of mp-Si using inexpensive precursors such as glass, sand, sol-gel polymers, and biomaterials. Despite its widespread utility, the effect of reaction conditions on the physical properties of the mp-Si formed during the magnesiothermic reduction has not been mapped. This presentation will highlight optimized magnesiothermic reduction conditions to prepare high surface area and crystalline mp-Si nanoparticles. Prepared mp-Si was further investigated for CO2 reduction under illumination and dark conditions. The effect of light, temperature, and pressure on CO2 conversion using mp-Si nanoparticles is also highlighted.

Tito ScaianoCanadian Light Source TK Sham Award in Materials Chemistry
Sponsored by Canadian Light Source Inc., the Materials Chemistry Division and Western University, Department of Chemistry
Canadian Light Source    CIC
J.C. (Tito) Scaiano, O.C. FCIC
University of Ottawa

Abstract: Design of Heterogeneous Photocatalysts for Free Radical Generation and for Hydrogen Production: Just a Game of Free Energy Management?
The cleavage of C-H bonds in molecules such as tetrahydrofuran, toluene and acetonitrile presents different challenges as many free radicals are electrophilic. Thus, THF and toluene are ‘willing’ H-donors, but acetonitrile is not. The photochemically generated hole in some semiconductors can be powerful electrophiles, where even reluctant acetonitrile is prepared to donate hydrogen to produce the •CH2CN radical. This reactivity can be exploited to promote free radical reactions or to generate fuels such as hydrogen. Among common semiconductors TiO2 has been the subject of many studies and the ease with which it can be decorated with metal and metal oxide nanostructures has converted it into an affordable tunable material. In fact, examples of free radical or hydrogen generation, and work on water remediation can all be viewed as directed storage or utilization of free energy available following light absorption. Viewing these problems, from carbon materials to semiconductors and beyond as mechanisms to create versatility and time for free energy utilization provides a framework to understand and guide the development of new materials. This presentation will concentrate of the development of novel materials that can perform as excellent photocatalysts, but where separation and reutilization are part of the design of the materials and thus glass wool, TiO2 fibres and hybrid cotton-like materials are viewed as the desirable photocatalysts of the future.

Soren MellerupCCUCC Chemistry Doctoral Award
Sponsored by the Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC)
Soren K. Mellerup
Institut fűr Anorganische Chemie, Julius-Maximillans- Universität Wűrzburg
For research carried out at Queen’s University under advisor Suning Wang



Abstract: Boron Shines Above the Rest: Harnessing Asymmetry in Photoresponsive Boron Systems for New Reactivities and Next-Generation Smart Materials
Boron-containing π-systems have long been known to possess interesting and unique properties compared to their all-carbon analogues, with the photochromic behaviour of four-coordinated N,C-chelate oragnoborates being a shining example (A; Figure 1). Despite rapid progress in this field over the past ten years, only the effects of different π-conjugated backbones have been well documented, with the impact of the aryl substituents being virtually unknown. This was primarily due to synthetic challenges associated with preparing the necessary prochiral organoboranes, which precluded the implementation of such systems as next-generation smart materials. Very recently, we have demonstrated the significance of the aryl groups on boron by developing synthetic methodologies for the preparation of unsymmetric (chiral) derivatives B. This presentation will provide an overview of our recent efforts to understand and exploit the underlying excited-state processes within this class of compounds. Emphasis will be placed on newly discovered photochemical reactivites such as heteroaromatic C–X (X = S, O) bond activation and chiral, photochromic boron systems with completely selective photoswitching at a single site. The implications and utility of these findings will also be discussed, as well as the bright future for organoboron photoresponsive materials.

Clara Benson Award
Sponsored by the Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC)
Diane Beauchemin 
Queen's University




E.W.R. Steacie Award
Sponsored by the E.W.R. Steacie Endowment Fund, supported by the CSC Board and some Divisions of the CSC and CIC
Douglas Stephan
University of Toronto


Jennifer ChenFred Beamish Award
Sponsored by the CIC Analytical Chemistry Division
Jennifer I-Ling Chen
York University
Unable to attend conference



Christopher BoddyIntelliSyn Pharma Research Excellence Award 
Sponsored by IntelliSyn RD
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Christopher Boddy
University of Ottawa


Wolfgang JaegerJohn C. Polyani Award
Sponsored by the Physical, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Division, University of Toronto Department of Chemistry and Xerox Canada CSC logo   University of Toronto Chemistry Department   xerox
Wolfgang Jäger
University of Alberta


Jean-Philp LumbKeith Fagnou Award
Sponsored by the University of Ottawa and the Organic Chemistry Division
UniversityOfOttawa    CSC logo
Jean-Philip Lumb
McGill University


Pavle RadovanovicKeith Laidler Award
Sponsored by the Physical, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Division
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Pavle Radovanovic
University of Waterloo


Roberto ChicaMelanie O'Neill Young Investigator Award in Biological Chemistry
Sponsored by the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Division and Simon Fraser University
CSC logo   SFU logo
Roberto Chica
University of Ottawa


John HeadleyRicardo Aroca Award
Sponsored by the University of Windsor
John Headley
Environment Canada


George ShimizuRio Tinto Award
Sponsored by Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto
George Shimizu
University of Calgary



Andrei YudinR. U. Lemieux Award
Sponsored by Gilead Alberta ULC
Andrei K. Yudin
University of Toronto


Tim StorrStrem Chemicals Award for Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry
Sponsored by Strem Chemicals, Inc.
Strem Chemicals
Tim Storr
Simon Fraser University


Artur IzmaylovTom Ziegler Award
Sponsored by Software for Chemistry & Materials B.V.
SCM Software for Chemistry & Materials
Artur Izmaylov
University of Toronto


Jean-Francois MassonW. A. E. McBryde Medal
Sponsored by AB Sciex


Jean-François Masson
Université de Montréal