Dr. B. Mario Pinto has been appointed President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), effective fall 2014. This was announced on June 17 by James Moore, Minister of Industry, and Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology). Dr. Pinto is the current Vice-Chair of the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) and was president of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) in 2010-2011. In addition to the CIC and CSC he is a member of several organizations, including the Royal Society of Canada, the American Chemical Society, and the American Society for Microbiology. He is a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada.
“On behalf of the CIC, I congratulate Mario on his appointment,” says CIC Chair, Bruce Lennox. “With his national and international reputation as a researcher and administrator extraordinaire, he is well positioned to lead Canadian science and engineering into the next decade. I am delighted that the entire science and engineering community in Canada will benefit from what the chemical sciences community has known for many years: Mario Pinto is a person of exceptional vision, energy, and thoughtfulness.”
NSERC, the primary funding agency supporting Canada's science and engineering research community, often turns to chemists to fill these vital leadership positions. Of the four NSERC presidents in the past 25 years, three have been chemists: Peter Morand, Suzanne Fortier, and now Mario Pinto. The agency supports almost 30 000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows in their advanced studies.
Dr. Pinto is completing his second term as Vice-President, Research at Simon Fraser University, where he is a professor of chemistry and also served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry from 1999 until 2004. He completed his post-doctoral work at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique in France and the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa before joining Simon Fraser University in 1983.
Dr. Pinto received the Horace S. Isbell Award of the American Chemical Society in 1992, the Merck Frosst Award of the CSC in 1993, the Bernard Belleau Award of the CSC in 2002, the Frontiers in Research Award of the British Columbia Innovation Council in 2005, the R.U. Lemieux Award of the CSC in 2012, the Alfred Bader Award of the CSC in 2013, and the Montréal Medal of the Chemical Institute of Canada in 2014.