Pioneering work by uOttawa researchers earns prestigious NSERC Prize

Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Photo of André Longtin and Leonard Maler

Dr. André Longtin and Dr. Leonard Maler. Photo credit: NSERC

A team of researchers from the University of Ottawa was rewarded today with the prestigious Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering. The award, sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, recognizes outstanding teams that engage in research based on their combined knowledge and skills to produce a record of excellent research achievement in the natural sciences and engineering. The prize comes with a research grant of $250,000.

The award will be presented to Leonard Maler of the University of Ottawa’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and André Longtin of the Department of Physics. The two researchers are affiliated with the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute and will receive their prize from Governor General David Johnston during an official award ceremony to honour Canada's top scientists and engineers this evening at Rideau Hall.

Maler and Longtin have combined their expertise to uncover key features of the neural code that underlies the operation of the brain. The University of Ottawa researchers use electric fish, whose brains are fundamentally similar to ours, to trace signals as they move through the entire sensory process, observing the hidden traits of brain activity in moments of focus.

“On behalf of the University of Ottawa, I would like to congratulate both of our outstanding researchers for the curiosity that has earned them the prestigious Brockhouse prize,” said University of Ottawa VP Research, Mona Nemer. “Their exemplary interdisciplinary research inspires us all to look beyond our own disciplines to find answers to the unknown.”

Read about Maler and Longtin’s research.

About the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute
The University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute (uOBMRI) is Ottawa’s largest collection of basic researchers and clinician scientists that are focused on brain and mind related health. The uOBMRI helps orchestrate research in a collaborative and innovative fashion by overcoming the barriers that exist between research at the basic and clinical levels. It does so by helping to coordinate research efforts of its research members at the various uOttawa faculties, resident hospitals, affiliated networks and local research institutes. The uOBMRI supports its members by enhancing the research environment, facilitating access to resources and expanding programs in order to attract the best candidates. We are working together to promote awareness and education of brain and mind related health in the community.

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