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Sponsored by Gilead Alberta ULC


The R.U. Lemieux Award is presented to an organic chemist who has made a distinguished contribution to any area of organic chemistry and who is currently working in Canada.

Masad J. Damha, FCIC 
McGill University

Masad Damha attended McGill completing a B.Sc. in Honours Chemistry (’83) and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry (’88) during his time there.  In 1987, he accepted an Assistant Professorship at Erindale College, U of Toronto, where his research group optimized methods for the chemical synthesis of RNA and its analogues.  In 1992, Damha returned to his alma mater, where as Distinguished James McGill Professor currently, continues to contribute to oligonucleotide chemistry.  His research is bearing fruit in the development of new therapeutic drugs based on RNA targeting. With his students, he has authored 200 publications, and filed/received several patents worldwide.

Damha is a Fellow of both the Chemical Institute of Canada and the Nicaraguan Academy of Science.  He is currently President of the International Society of Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids (IS3NA), and recently served as President of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutic Society (2012-2014).  He is the recipient of 1999 Merck-Frosst Award (CIC), the 2007 Belleau Award (CSC), and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (Governor General of Canada).  His approach to student supervision and teaching has earned him the Faculty of Science’s Leo Yaffe Teaching Award and McGill’s David Thomson Award for Graduate Supervision and Teaching.