McGill researchers awarded highest number of newly inaugurated fellowships

Published: 15 September 2011

Banting Fellowships recognize nine outstanding McGill post-doctoral students with major research awards

McGill University’s standing as a leading institution for post-doctoral research was reinforced today as the Canadian government announced the first 70 recipients of the Banting Fellowships. More fellowships were awarded to McGill than any other institution in the country. The fellowships provide elite postdoctoral researchers from Canada and around the world with $70,000 per year for two years in support of their research.

This year’s nine McGill-based fellows hail from Canada, France, the United States, Benin and Australia. Their research is focused on a broad range of areas in health, natural sciences and engineering, and social sciences, including the relationship between gas flow and galaxy evolution, legal access to water, war and ethics in the age of robotics, the effects on memory and emotions on children with sleep disorders, and what tadpoles can tell us about human vision.

“The awarding of these Banting Fellowships to McGill researchers is an affirmation of the value of their cutting-edge research. It also highlights the resources and support available to these exceptional post-doctoral students from here and abroad who have made the decision to pursue their research in Canada and at McGill,” said Professor Heather Munroe-Blum, McGill’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

Aurelie Cobat, who comes from France and studies in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine, is researching tuberculosis infection. “My postdoctoral work will identify an entirely new set of targets for clinical and public health interventions that can have an enormous impact for one of the most pressing global health problems,” she said. “The Fellowship gives me a unique opportunity to complete my development in the human genetics of infectious disease at the McGill Centre for the Study of Host Resistance. In this unique setting, I will be able to improve my understanding of methodological and functional aspects of the genetic control of infectious diseases.”

The Fellowship is named in memory of Sir Frederick Banting, the Canadian physician, researcher, Nobel laureate and war hero who, with his assistant Dr. Charles Best, is credited with the discovery of insulin. Funding for the awards is delivered through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Below is a complete list of this year’s McGill-based Banting Fellows. To learn more about their research, see’s-2011-banting-fellows/

Aurelie Cobat, McGill Faculty of Medicine: Genetic resistance to tuberculosis bacterium

Cory Harris, McGill School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition: Plants as drugs, foods, and placebos: An interdisciplinary approach to traditional medicine and Aboriginal health

Jim Geach, McGill Department of Physics: A Cosmic census of molecular hydrogen: the link between galaxy evolution and environment

Marion Van Horn, McGill Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery: Studying tadpoles to show how glia are active players in brain development

Jessica Coon, McGill Department of Linguistics: Understanding the nature of human language through the commonalties between the endangered languages of the Maya and Austronesia

Jean-Baptiste Jeangène-Vilmer, McGill Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism: The Changing Nature of War and its New Moral and Legal Challenges: Privatization, Robotization, Ecologization

Armel Brice Adanhounme, McGill Faculty of Law: Juridical origins of exclusion at work

Melodee Mograss, McGill University Health Centre: Episodic memory and emotional processing in children with REM-related OSA

Mark Lewis Shepheard, McGill Faculty of Law: The stewardship debate and the role of virtue in regulating water management for agriculture


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