NSERC honours McGill pair


Legendary neuropsychologist Brenda Milner named finalist for NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal; physicist Guy Moore earns Steacie Memorial Fellowship

Two McGill researchers, Prof. Brenda Milner and Prof. Guy Moore, have been recognized for their exceptional contributions to science from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), and Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), announced the winners of the medals and fellowships in Ottawa on June 1.

For the second year in a row, Dr. Milner, the Dorothy J. Killam Professor at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill is a finalist for the Herzberg Medal, Canada's most prestigious science prize. She garnered this honour by pioneering a new field of research, a combination of psychology and neurology known today as cognitive neuroscience. Her research helped this emerging field develop and was invaluable for learning about the human brain. Dr. Milner began her research at the MNI in 1950 as a graduate student designing and carrying out rigorous tests of neurosurgical patients, including the famous patient H.M., whose surgery left him unable to form new memories.  Her work with H.M. and other patients defined different types of memory and helped to characterize functional areas of the brain.

Prof. Guy Moore, Department of Physics will be awarded with an NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship for his research in quantum physics in exploring the fundamental questions about the origins of the universe. Prof. Moore's work involves research into the theory of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), a component of theoretical physics that explains the interactions of quarks and gluons, the fundamental elements that make up matter.

About the Herzberg Medal:

Named for Canadian Nobel laureate Gerhard Herzberg, the annual prize is widely recognized as Canada's most prestigious science award. The Medal will increase the winner's research funding to $1 million over a period of five years.

About the W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship:

The NSERC Steacie Fellowships honour the memory of Dr. Edgar William Richard Steacie, an outstanding chemist and research leader who made significant contributions to the development of science in Canada during, and immediately following, World War II. Dr. Steacie believed young researchers are great national assets and should be given every opportunity to develop their own ideas.

NSERC is a federal agency whose vision is to help make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports some 26,500 university students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 11,800 university professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects.

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