Saying "Bravo" to McGill researchers

Professor Stephen Yue, Chair, Department of Mining and Materials Engineering (left), Ahmad Rezaeian, Postdoctoral fellow, Mining and Materials Engineering  (centre) and Wilson Wong, Master candidate, Mining and Materials Engineering (right), with part of a jet engine’s combustion chamber from their display for the research project Cold spray – hot stuff in aerospace materials engineering. / Photo: Owen Egan
Professor Stephen Yue, Chair, Department of Mining and Materials Engineering (left), Ahmad Rezaeian, Postdoctoral fellow, Mining and Materials Engineering (centre) and Wilson Wong, Master candidate, Mining and Materials Engineering (right), with part of a jet engine’s combustion chamber from their display for the research project Cold spray – hot stuff in aerospace materials engineering. / Photo: Owen Egan

Two events celebrate recent success and future promise

By McGill Reporter staff

You can’t quite call it a song-and-dance routine, but there was prize-winning music in the air and many eyes were dancing over displays of spectacular McGill research at the Feb. 10 Bravo 2009 soirée at the Montreal Science Centre.

Bravo 2009 was both a tribute to the University’s major prize and award winners of 2008 and a showcase for 24 current, groundbreaking research projects. Members of the McGill research community and invited guests were able to explore and examine projects from every McGill faculty and meet the investigators behind them.

Outlining the accomplishments of the University’s many award-winning researchers, Bravo’s host, Denis Thérien, Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations), got a laugh from the audience when he said, only half in jest, “Face it, we’re all better people for hanging around these talented people.”

The evening featured a musical performance by the Schulich Golden Violin trio, composed of the winners of the past three Golden Violin Awards. It was followed by the announcement of Chloé Dominguez as the 2008 Golden Violin Award winner.

The evening wrapped up with a keynote address delivered by Marc LePage, Consul General of Canada for San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.

Two days later, the 24 research displays moved to Redpath Hall, where they were the featured attractions of the first-ever Excellence in Research Exhibition. Nearly 600 members of the McGill community, the general public and Montreal-area CEGEP and high-school students turned out for the event.

The event was designed to stimulate interest in research by demystifying it and making it accessible to all, and judging by the turnout and the reaction of visitors to the Exhibition, it succeeded brilliantly.

“Overhearing high school students telling their friends ‘you have to come see the Management display,’ or ‘you won’t believe what they are doing in Engineering,’ was very gratifying,” said Jacquie Rourke, Communications Officer for Thérien, and organizer of both Bravo and the Research Exhibition.  “Our goal was to share the excitement and relevance of McGill research with our own community and the general public. The response makes it clear that people are very interested in what our researchers are doing. It’s a win-win situation.”

Brad Moffat, a physics teacher from Selwyn House who accompanied 14 of his school’s Honours students to the event, said the members of his party were captivated by both the actual research projects and the researchers and graduate students they met at the various display tables.

“Most of them enjoyed seeing and holding the 4.2 billion-year-old rocks, and some liked the cold welding demo,” he said. “They all found the content interesting, but many were just as enthusiastic about meeting the people who were involved.”

Indeed, it is the quality of researchers at McGill that makes events such as Bravo and the Excellence in Research Exhibition possible in the first place.

“McGill has attracted exceptional people to our University. The talent pool exceeds traditional definitions of excellence, as seen by our list of prizewinners and featured researchers,” Thérien said. “Our excellence is world-class, and we need to reach out to our partners, funding agencies, governments, the private sector, and our students of the future to show them why McGill is so exceptional.”

Bravo 2009 Major Prize & Award Winners

ACFAS Awards

Robin Yates – Prix André-Laurendeau (East Asian Studies)

Michael Kramer     – Prix Léo-Pariseau (Pediatrics)

Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

Ronald Melzack     (Psychology)


Claudia Mitchell  – Innovation in International Education (Education)

International Courts and Tribunals Program – Outstanding  Program Award     (Law)

Gairdner International Award

Nahum Sonenberg (Biochemistry)

Killam Fellowship

Stephen A. Smith (Law)

Henri Darmon (Mathematics and Statistics)

Kyoto Prize

Charles Taylor (Philosophy)

NSERC Synergy Award

James Finch (Mining and Materials Engineering)

Ordre National du Québec

Nicholas Mateesco Matte (Law)

Pavel Hamet (Experimental Medicine)

Sheila Goldbloom (School of Social Work)

Prix du Québec

Paul-André Crépeau – Prix Georges-Émile-Lapalme (Law)

Jean-Marie Dufour – Prix Léon-Gérin (Economics)

Philippe Gros – Prix Wilder-Penfield (Biochemistry)

Royal Society of Canada Medals

Anthony Williams-Jones  (Bancroft Award in Geology)

Henri Darmon (John L. Synge Award in Mathematical Sciences)

Royal Society of Canada Fellowships

Pengfei Guan (Mathematics and Statistics)

Wagdi Habashi (Mechanical Engineering)

Nicholas Kasirer (Law)

Victoria Kaspi (Astrophysics)

Alfonso Mucci (Earth & Planetary Sciences)

Peter Sabor (English)

Research on the cutting edge

The 24 research projects listed below were on display at the first ever Excellence in Research Exhibition held at Redpath Hall Thursday, Feb. 12.

Ellen B. Aitken, Victor Hori, and Torrance Kirby – Faculty of Religious Studies

Religions in Contexts of Cultural Change: East and West

Ulf Bockenholt – Desautels Faculty of Management

Being Nice or Being Honest: How to Get More Truthful Surveys

Timothy Brewer – Faculty of Medicine

Preventing & Controlling Epidemics: Public Health in an Inter-Connected World

Alain Brunet and Karim Nader – Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Science

Can We Erase Memories to Cure People?

Catherine Bushnell – Faculty of Dentistry and Faculty of Medicine

Chronic Pain Changes the Brain

Sylvain Coulombe and Richard L. Leask – Faculty of Engineering

Electrical Plasma – A New Tool in Local Gene Transfer

Alain Dagher – Faculty of Medicine, MNI

Food Addiction: How the Brain Controls Appetite

Mourad El-Gamal – Faculty of Engineering

The Infinite Possibilities of the Infinitely Small

Don Francis and Jonathan O’Neil – Faculty of Science

The Oldest Rocks in the World

Guillaume Gervais – Faculty of Science

Reinventing Electronics with Quantum Physics

Andrew Gonzalez – Faculty of Science

Climate Change-Driven Extinctions and Impacts in Northern Quebec

Murray M. Humphries – Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Environment, Wildlife, & People: Understanding the Changing Face of Canada’s North

Sarah Kimmins – Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

How the Environment Alters Sperm and Male Reproductive Health

Desmond Manderson, Helge Dedek, Tina Piper, and Kirsten Anker – Faculty of Law

Through the Looking Glass: Art as the Mirror of Law

Claudia Mitchell and (the late) Jackie Kirk – Faculty of Education

Negotiating, Constructing and Re-Constructing Girlhood

Madhukar Pai – Faculty of Medicine

The McGill Tuberculosis Research Group: Uniting to Fight a Global Killer

Morag Park – Faculty of Medicine

Friends or Foes? Decoding Breast Tumor Microenvironments

Alain Pinsonneault – Desautels Faculty of Management

Second Life – How Real Is the Virtual World?

Janusz Rak – Faculty of Medicine

Unveiling Microvesicles – Triggers & Messengers of Cancer

Maya Saleh – Faculty of Medicine

Using Genomics to Decode and Cure Infectious Disease

Nico Trocmé – Faculty of Arts

Understanding and Improving Services for Abused and Neglected Children

Jon Wild – Schulich School of Music

A Vanished Renaissance Scale – Reviving the 31-Note Octave

Paul Yachnin – Faculty of Arts

Making Publics: Media, Markets & Association in Early Modern

Stephen Yue – Faculty of Engineering

Cold Spray – Hot Stuff in Aerospace Materials Engineering