Plenary Lectures

Eugenia Kumacheva, University of Toronto

Eugenia Kumacheva

Bio: Professor Kumacheva is the Canada Research in Advanced Polymer Materials (Tier 1) at the University of Toronto with an international reputation for her interdisciplinary research in the field of "soft matter". Current research in the Kumacheva group includes six major themes: polymer materials science (including gels and hybrid polymer-inorganic materials), nanoscience, self-assembly, microfluidics, and fate of CO2 in liquid environments. Her achievements have been recognized by the University of Toronto by being named the Inventor of the Year (2012) and a University Professorship (a distinction reserved for <2% of the Faculty) in 2013. She has received many national awards and honours including the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award and the Clara Benson Award of the CIC. She was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Canada in 2007 and received a Killam Research Fellowship in 2010. Her international awards include a Humboldt Research Award, the 2009 L'Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science and a Schlumberger Scholarship (UK).

Abstract: Chemistry in "lab on a chip": Discovery and development

Stephen G Withers, FCIC, University of British Columbia - CIC Medal Winner

Stephen G. Withers

Bio: Stephen Withers completed his PhD in chemistry with Michael Sinnott at the University of Bristol in 1977 and came to Canada as a postdoctoral fellow (Madsen and Sykes) in biochemistry at the University of Alberta, where he used heteronuclear NMR to probe enzyme mechanisms. In 1982 he joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia as assistant professor, and moved through the ranks to full professor in 1991 and Khorana professor in 1997. He has served as scientific director of the Protein Engineering NCE (PENCE), founding director of UBCs Centre for High-Throughput Biology and co-director of the new Genome Science and Technology Graduate program. He is the author of over 450 scientific articles that centre on the mechanisms of the enzymes that assemble and degrade glycan structures. Based on these insights he has developed and optimised new classes of engineered enzymes for the synthesis of glycosidic bonds, through site-directed mutagenesis and directed evolution. He has also designed several new classes of glycosidase inhibitor, including novel inhibitors of therapeutically relevant targets such as the influenza neuraminidase and human alpha-amylase, which are in pre-clinical trials for treatment of influenza and diabetes. Withers has been recognised for this work through election as Fellow of the Royal Societies of Canada (2002) and London (2012).

Abstract: Design and Discovery of Enzyme Inhibitors Towards Therapies for Diabetes and Influenza

Kim M Baines, FCIC, Western University - Montréal Medal Winner

Kim Baines

Bio: Kim Baines received her BSc in 1982 from St. Mary’s University in Halifax and her PhD under the tutelage of the late Adrian Brook from the University of Toronto in 1987. She then spent one year as an NSERC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Dortmund, Germany with the late Wilhelm Neumann. She joined the faculty at the University of Western Ontario in 1988 where she is now professor of chemistry. Her research focuses on the synthesis and reactivity studies of fundamentally interesting, low valent main group molecules with new and interesting bonding paradigms with the goal of providing materials for future innovations. She was awarded the inaugural J.C. Polanyi Prize for Chemistry from the Government of Ontario in 1988, the Clara Benson Award from the Canadian Society of Chemistry in 2002, the Florence Bucke Prize for Science from the University of Western Ontario in 2004 and a Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany in 2015. She was recently appointed as chair professor at Soochow University in Suzhou, China, and has been named to the University Students Council Teaching Honor Roll at the University of Western Ontario several times. She also won 1st Prize with Melanie Lui in the inaugural CSC Inorganic Mixer Dance Competition (2015). She served as chair of the Department of Chemistry (2005-2014), chair of the Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs (2005-2007), on Grant Selection Committee 24 (2002-05) at NSERC, as group chair for the NSERC Chemistry Evaluation Group (2008-2011) and on the Canadian Society of Chemistry Board of Directors (2005-2008) where she was director of conferences. She also served as the scientific program chair for the 87th CSC Conference and Exhibition in London, Ont. in 2004.

Abstract: Leadership Matters: What They Didn't Tell You about a Career in Chemistry