Numerous notable University of Toronto professors and alumni received the Order of Canada award at the end of December. A total of 125 recipients were announced by Julie Payette, a former astronaut and current Governor General of Canada.

The Order was created in 1967 and is the highest civilian honour in Canada. It was designed to reflect the recipient’s outstanding achievement and dedication to the community and nation.

Several of the recipients are current members of the U of T faculty. Among the individuals awarded was professor Molly Shoichet. Named an Officer of the Order, she was recognized for her research in biomedical engineering, and her work to promote women in the science field as well as to advance scientific literacy.

Professor Sajeev John from the Department of Physics in the Faculty of Arts and Science was also named an Officer due to his research in optical sciences. According to U of T News on January 5th, “He is known for his groundbreaking research on the localization of light and the invention and development of what are known as new photonic band gap materials.”

From the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, professor Michael Sefton was named officer for his achievement of launching the field of tissue engineering thanks to his work in biomedical engineering.

From the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering, professor Geoffrey Fernie was named a Member of the Order for his work in improving the lives of people with disabilities and older generations. Fernie is also the senior scientist and research director at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.

Poet and author, professor Lee Maracle, an Indigenous Elder and instructor at U of T’s Centre for Indigenous Studies was named an Officer for her influential relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Dr. Kathleen Pritchard from the Faculty of Medicine was recognized as a Member for advancing the treatment of breast cancer in women and has lead important clinical trials. According to the article by U of T News, “She was the first to show that tamoxifen, a hormonal drug used to treat breast cancer, is effective in premenopausal women who have cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.”

The rest of the names of U of T alumni and other recipients is available on the U of T news page.

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