Connaught awards over $900K to U of T researchers

January 28th, 2015

Paul Fraumeni

U of T researchers have been awarded a grand total of $933,800 from the university’s own research funding source, the Connaught Fund.

The new awards are through Connaught’s Innovation Award, Summer Institute, and Cross Divisional/Cross Cultural programs.

Founded in 1972, the Connaught Fund was created from the sale of the Connaught Laboratories. The labs mass-produced insulin, the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of U of T’s Frederick Banting, Charles Best, John Macleod and Charles Collip. The university has stewarded the fund in the years since, awarding more than $130 million to U of T researchers.

Today, the fund invests approximately $4 million annually in emerging and established scholars from the full spectrum of research and scholarship throughout U of T.

“Thanks to the innovation of the U of T researchers who discovered insulin, the Connaught Fund continues to enable innovation to thrive today,” said Professor Vivek Goel, Vice President, Research and Innovation. “Each of the projects being funded through these new awards will, in its own way, move global society forward on fronts that affect us all every day. Thanks to all of our Connaught researchers for their excellent work.”

The Innovation Awards are designed to help accelerate the development of promising technology and promote commercialization and/or knowledge transfer.

AcostaEdgar Acosta, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, “Microencapsulated self-microemulsifying drug delivery system” 




ChristopoulosConstantin Christopoulos, Civil Engineering, “Implementation of the GIB system for the seismic upgrade of a real soft-storey building retrofit”




LeviOfer Levi, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, “Miniature, implantable multimodality optical imaging systems for drug screening in awake rodents”




MojahediMo Mojahedi, Electrical and Computer Engineering, “Multimode spectroscopy with plasmonics and hybrid plasmonics sensors”




MradRidha Ben Mrad, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, “A cell phone camera module incorporating a micro-electrostatic actuator enabling autofocus (AF) and optical image stabilization (OIS) capabilities”




MahadevanRadhakrishnan Mahadevan, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, “Production of bio-based 1,3-butanediol”




OzinGeoffrey Ozin, Chemistry, “Energy Transition: Engineering solar enabled CO2 conversion technology”




SargentEdward Sargent, Electrical and Computer Engineering, “Commercialization of a highly efficient hybrid quantum dot/silicon solar cell”




SteinmanDavid Steinman, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, “A disruptive, physics-based ultrasound simulation platform for accelerating sonographer training.”




youngThe Connaught Summer Institute award brings together international graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and other scholars to foster rich interdivisional collaboration and creative new methods for research and innovation. This year’s award for $50,000 goes to Young-June Kim, Physics, “Connaught Summer Institute in Thermoelectrics: Science and applications.”

pilcherThe Connaught Committee also awarded a $150,000 Cross-Divisional/Cross-Cultural Seminar award to Jeffrey Pilcher of Historical and Cultural Studies at U of T Scarborough, for “City Food: Lessons from People on the Move.”




Photos: E.J. Acosta (Chemical Engineering website), Constantin Christopoulos (Civil Engineering website), Ofer Levi (Biophotonics website), Mo Mojahedi (Electrical & Computer Engineering website), Ridha Ben Mrad (Mechanical & Industrial Engineering website), Radhakrishnan Mahadevan (Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry), Geoffrey Ozin (Chemistry website), Ted Sargent (Faculty of Applied Engineering website), David Steinman (Mechanical & Industrial Engineering website), Young-June Kim (University de Montreal website), Jeffrey Pilcher (University of Toronto Scarborough website). Please inform us if you require a more detailed photo credit