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Date: February 22, 2005

UVic Honours Five Top Researchers

Whether they’re developing new drugs to fight cancer, defining the science behind climate change, or communicating the wonders of chemistry to schoolchildren and the general public, UVic researchers continue to make a difference in the lives of Canadians and people around the world.

To honour these achievements, UVic will present its 2005 Craigdarroch Research Awards at a special luncheon at the Fairmont Empress on Feb. 23. The annual awards honour research excellence at UVic and are named for Craigdarroch Castle, home to the university’s predecessor institution, Victoria College, from 1921-1946.

The 2005 Craigdarroch Research Award recipients are:

Dr. Harold Coward
Craigdarroch Gold Medal for Career Achievement in Research
Coward, who joined UVic in 1992, is a world-renowned scholar in religious studies whose work ranges from classical language theories in south Asia to modern ethical concerns of the survival of this planet. He has written 17 books, edited 33, has 57 chapters in books, and is author or co-author of 76 journal articles. He was founding director of UVic’s Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, co-chairs a national research project on coastal communities, and was recently elected president of Academy II of the Royal Society of Canada.
Media contact: Dr. Harold Coward at (250) 721-2976 (home) or hcoward@uvic.ca

Dr. Andrew Weaver
Craigdarroch Silver Medal for Excellence in Research
As one of the world’s leading climate researchers and the Canada Research Chair in atmospheric science, Weaver is at the forefront of the international effort to understand Earth’s climate. At UVic, he has built one of the most sophisticated climate modelling facilities on the planet and has tackled subjects as diverse as the physics of sea ice formation and past abrupt climate change. He works extensively with international climate organizations and is one of a handful of scientists working on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 climate assessment, which will direct global policies related to greenhouse warming. He’s also a prominent and vocal advocate for science-based discussion of climate change and public policy.
Media contact: Dr. Andrew Weaver (Earth & Ocean Sciences) at (250) 472-4001/4006 or weaver@uvic.ca

Dr. Jack Littlepage
Craigdarroch Award for Societal Contribution
For the last 16 years, Littlepage has been a driving force behind programs to establish a community-based mariculture industry in coastal Brazil. In partnership with several Brazilian universities and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), he and his team have provided mariculture training and research opportunities to countless faculty members, technicians, graduate students, undergraduates and extension personnel. The success of these programs, and the sweeping impact they have had on many levels of Brazilian society, earned Littlepage and UVic an Award of Excellence from CIDA in 2002.
Media contact: Dr. Jack Littlepage (Centre for Global Studies) at (250) 472-5173 or littlepg@uvic.ca

Dr. Reg Mitchell
Craigdarroch Award for Research Communication
Whether he’s dazzling schoolchildren as his mad chemist alter-ego “Dr. Zonk” or talking on the radio about chemicals in everyday life, Mitchell is a born communicator. Since joining UVic in 1972 he has dedicated himself to demystifying science, and chemistry in particular, for generations of university and high school students, as well as the general public. His many honours include the Eve Savory Award for Science Communication from the Science Council of B.C., the Academic of the Year Award from the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of B.C. and the UVic Alumni Excellence in Teaching Award.
Media contact: Dr. Reg Mitchell (Chemistry) at (250) 721-7159 or regmitch@uvic.ca

Dr. Tom Buckley
University of Victoria Innovation and Development Corporation Entrepreneurship Award
In partnership with the Innovation and Development Corporation, Tom founded the UVic spin-off company Protox Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 2002 when he genetically engineered aerolysin, a naturally occurring bacterial toxin, for use as a targeted cancer therapy. The Vancouver-based company, now called Protox Therapeutics Inc., made history in fall 2004 when it became the first UVic spin-off listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Tom continues to work with medical researchers across North America to further develop aerolysin as a tool in the treatment of several types of cancer.
Media contact: Dr. Tom Buckley (Biochemistry and Microbiology) at (250) 721-7081 or tbuckley@uvic.ca
Media contacts:
MEDIA ADVISORY: Members of the news media are invited to attend the Craigdarroch Research Awards presentation on Feb. 23 in the Crystal Ballroom at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. The program begins at 11:05 a.m. with the presentation of the Craigdarroch Gold Medal for Career Achievement in Research and a pre-luncheon address by the winner, Dr. Harold Coward. The remaining awards will be presented between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. with an opportunity for short interviews afterwards.

Dr. Martin Taylor (Vice President Research) at (250) 721-7973 or vpr@uvic.ca
Valerie Shore (UVic Communications) at (250) 721-7641 or vshore@uvic.ca

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