This past April, the Canada Council for the Arts announced the recipients of the 2015 Killam Program. This included six Killam Research Fellowships, three of which went to chemists. The fellowship is valued at $840,000, which will be distributed to the six scholars over a two-year period, allowing them to pursue independent research. 

Queen’s University chemistry professor Cathleen Crudden, FCIC, won a Killam Research Fellowship for her project “Organically Modified Metal Surfaces: Biosensing and Beyond.” Crudden will conduct research that is important for advances in materials science, health care, energy production and the environment. Her research will be applied to the development of biological sensors that could be used by hospitals to improve reliability in the diagnosis of viruses and diseases such as cancer. Other potential applications include solar-cell technology, corrosion prevention and monitoring of environmental pollutants.  

A project by Robert H. Morris, FCIC, from the University of Toronto, titled “Developing Catalysts based on Iron,” will focus on better understanding newly discovered iron compounds that promise to replace the rare, expensive and sometimes toxic platinum metal catalysts that are currently used with hydrogen gas for the synthesis of fuels, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and fragrances. Further development of the syntheses of these valuable chemicals strongly depends on the discovery of green, efficient and selective catalysts.

U of T atmospheric scientist Jonathan Abbatt’s project is “Aerosol Particles and Climate: Addressing Fundamental Connections in the Canadian Arctic.” Abbatt will study pressing issues in climate research, including the role of black carbon in Arctic climate and the effect of changing temperatures and sea ice extent on the aerosol in the Arctic. He is the principal investigator of Network on Climate and Aerosols (NETCARE), a consortium of 50 Canadian researchers and 20 scientists from around the world, and will undertake NETCARE field experiments during the fellowship.