York University celebrates its leading researchers

York University celebrated its leading researchers last Wednesday for their outstanding achievements during the third annual York U Research Leaders celebration.

Shoukri at the podium

York President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri addresses guests gathered for the 2015 Research Leaders celebration

Hosted by York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and Vice-President Research and Innovation Robert Haché, and led by York political science Professor and event MC Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, associate vice-president research, the University celebrated the exceptional research achievements of faculty and students.

Researchers were recognized for a host of accolades. These ranged from the newly established York Research Chairs program and the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Collaborative Research Training Experience grants to the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair, new members of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists & Scientists and more.

Shoukri praised all of the researchers for their tremendous achievements. “York’s researchers are among some of the world’s leading scholars and experts," he said. "Our researchers are dedicated to the pursuit of new ideas, new innovation and solutions to some of the most pressing local and global issues facing us today.

“This year, we are proud to have established the York Research Chairs program, an initiative that will help to further build, support and intensify world-renowned research taking place at the University. We look forward to the continued development of research excellence at York and to celebrating the accomplishments of our researchers, highlighting how they are helping us to better understand the world.”

Mayor Frank Scarpitti of the City of Markham, the keynote speaker for the evening, added: “York researchers have been recognized locally and globally for their commitment to excellence in research, scholarship and creative activity. As a globally recognized research centre, York has been effective at facilitating and creating mutually productive relationships with businesses, industry, social service organizations and the municipal and regional leadership of York Region and beyond.”

“Of course, what makes York truly special is the people,” noted Haché in his remarks, “the dedicated community of faculty members, students, postdoctoral fellows and other researchers that conceive the ideas, carry out the research and translate the research outputs into impact.

“It is these people and their success that we are here to celebrate today,” added Haché.

Some of the University's research leaders celebrated at the event held last Wednesday

Some of the University's research leaders celebrated at the event held last Wednesday

Several York researchers, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows received special recognition for their outstanding research achievements. Mukherjee-Reed spoke about their individual accomplishments as they were presented with gifts by Shoukri and Haché. From department of Psychology

  • Shayna Rosenbaum, professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health;

Psychology York Research Chairs and Canada Research Chairs:

  • Douglas Crawford, Canada Research Chair in Visual-Motor Neuroscience (Tier I), Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health (reappointed);
  • Rebecca Pillai Ridell, York Research Chair in Pain and Mental Health, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health.

The celebration was preceded by recognition of the winning students from the multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Fair, held in Scott Library earlier that day. “Earlier today, York’s third annual undergraduate research fair took place in the Collaboratory of Scott Library. This year the space was filled with 74 undergraduate student researchers who worked either individually or in groups to present their 56 posters. You will see the incredible diversity and scope of the award winners’ research [in the slides presented], and every fair participant should feel proud of their remarkable accomplishments,” said Catherine Davidson, interim University librarian.

Undergraduate student researchers pose for a cameo with York's President (sixth from the left) and University Librarian Catherine Davidson (back row, third from the left).

Undergraduate student researchers pose for a cameo with York's President (sixth from the left) and University Librarian Catherine Davidson (back row, third from the left).

Barbara Crow followed Davidson and spoke about graduate student research at York  – highlighting the innovative research projects of Banting and Vanier scholarship award winners. Her remarks were presented in front of a slideshow of various students’ achievements.

Above: From left, Shayna Rosenbaum with York University President Mamdouh Shoukri

Above: From left, Shayna Rosenbaum, the recipient of the President's Emerging Research Leadership Award, with York University President Mamdouh Shoukri

Shoukri presented Faculty of Science chemistry Professor Sergey Krylov with the 2015 President's Research Excellence Award and Faculty of Health psychology Professor Shayna Rosenbaum with the 2015 President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award.

Krylov was honoured with the 2015 President’s Research Excellence Award for his outstanding contributions to bioanalytical chemistry and to York University’s research community. The award was accepted on behalf of Krylov by Robert Tsushima, associate dean research and partnerships, Faculty of Science. Krylov recently received a York Research Chair in Bioanalytical Chemistry.

Rosenbaum  was recognized with the 2015 President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award for her transformative contributions to the cognitive neuroscience of memory.

For more information on the President’s Research Award recipients, see the Feb. 26 YFile story.