Oct. 25, 2022

2022 Killam Awards celebrate academia and leadership at UCalgary

48 faculty, postdocs and doctoral students honoured for their achievements.
Dana Lowry standing in a lab next to her equipment.
Dana Lowry, winner of a Pre-doctoral Laureate Award. Advancement Staff

With expertise in probiotics to antibiotics, biometric security to biodiversity, the biographies of the 2022 Killam Awards recipients are blooming with innovative stories of transdisciplinary research.

More than 25 University of Calgary faculties and departments were represented at this year’s Killam Awards celebration, which commemorates excellence in research and education. UCalgary is distinguished as one of only five post-secondary institutions to receive such endorsement from the Killam Program.

The award winners were honoured for their outstanding efforts with a ceremony and luncheon, which took place Oct. 20 at the MacEwan Ballroom.

Dr. Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor, took to the stage to congratulate these professors and students for their high-impact scholarship achievements.

“You’d think I would stop being amazed by the accomplishments of UCalgary’s people, but every year I am. We are a place to start something and so many of you are doing just that,” said McCauley.

“We salute the scholars whose innovations make for a better world. By enabling collaboration and exploration, we can empower brilliant minds then watch their bold ideas flourish.”

Among this year’s faculty winners was Dr. David Nicholas, PhD, a professor and associate dean of research and partnership, Faculty of Social Work. Nicholas was recognized with an annual professor award for his work with neurodivergent individuals and research into finding equitable pathways to employment for those with autism spectrum disorder.

According to Nicholas, the award goes beyond just his work: “To me, it really recognizes the amazing partners with whom I work — fellow researchers, community members, individuals with neurodivergence and their families.” Nicholas says the award serves as an encouragement to “move this work forward to even greater impact.”

Dana Lowry, a first-year kinesiology doctoral student and winner of a Pre-doctoral Laureate Award, said the experience was both “humbling and exciting.”

Lowry received the award for her research on how obesity risk can be transferred from pregnant or breastfeeding mother to child when taking antibiotics, and the potential use of probiotics to decrease the risk of metabolic disease in children. She noted how meaningful the award is to her as a second-generation Killam Awards winner, following in her father’s footsteps.

“The Killam Awards are important to people like me because it gives us an opportunity to not only continue our research, but to also dive deeper into it.”

Dr. Kathy McCoy, PhD, remains the current holder of the Killam Memorial Chair. McCoy is a professor at the Cumming School of Medicine’s department of Physiology and Psychology and scientific director of the International Microbiome Centre. The Killam Memorial Chair is currently the most prestigious research chair at UCalgary, and McCoy intends to use this time to perform what could be groundbreaking research on immunology and microbiomes — both topics on which she is a global expert.

Dr. Melanie Noel, PhD, continues as the Killam Memorial Emerging Leader Chair. Noel is an associate professor of clinical psychology, and a full member of the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. She has been celebrated for her work as the director of the Alberta Children’s Pain Research Lab, where her research provides compelling evidence that how a child remembers pain impacts their development and health across a lifetime.

To learn more about the Killam Awards and see the full suite of awards visit the Killam Awards web page.

2022 Killam Awards recipients

Killam Annual Professor Awards

  • Dr. Naser El-Sheimy – Schulich School of Engineering
  • Dr. Marina Gavrilova – Science
  • Dr. Walter Herzog – Kinesiology
  • Dr. Gilaad Kaplan – Cumming School of Medicine
  • Dr. Lina Katten – Schulich School of Engineering
  • Dr. David Nicholas – Social Work

Killam Emerging Research Leader

  • Dr. Carly McMorris – Werklund School of Education
  • Dr. Amir Sanati Nezhad – Schulich School of Engineering
  • Dr. Aaron Phillips – Cumming School of Medicine

Killam Research and Teaching

  • McCaig-Killam Teaching Award: Dr. Cari Din – Kinesiology
  • Killam Undergraduate Mentorship Award: Dr. Mindi Summers – Science
  • Killam Graduate Supervision and Mentorship Award: Dr. Christine Walsh – Social Work
  • Killam Research Excellence Award: Dr. Suzanne Tough – Cumming School of Medicine

Killam Postdoctoral Scholars

  • 2022-2024: Dr. Meaghan Perdue – Cumming School of Medicine
  • 2021-2023: Dr. Catriona Hippman – Nursing
  • 2021-2022: Dr. Shirin Moossavi – Cumming School of Medicine
  • 2020-2022: Dr. Abhijeet Alase – Science

First Year Killam Pre-doctoral Laureates

  • Rachel Katherine Eirich – Clinical Psychology
  • Amy Janna LeBlanc – English
  • Dana Lowry – Kinesiology
  • D. Owen Paetkau – Physics and Astronomy
  • Farzaneh Zangeneh-Nejad – Geomatics Engineering

Second Year Killam Pre-doctoral Laureates

  • Tiffany Anne – Educational Psychology
  • Elena Buliga – Psychology
  • Erin Calaine Inglis – Kinesiology
  • Zachary Arthur Moline – Economics
  • Stephen Michael Jerome Pollo – Veterinary Medicine
  • Chene Royan Redwood – Sociology
  • Abdullah Safa Soydan – Music
  • Harrison Michael Campbell – Education Research
  • Ryan Crosschild – Political Science
  • Davor Curic – Physics and Astronomy
  • Luiz Gustavo Nogueira de Almeida – Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Georgina Freeman – Computational Media Design
  • Rahil Ghatreh Samani – Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Madisen Hvidberg – Archaeology
  • Sheliza Ladhani – Social Work
  • Jamie Aaron Stern Michaels – English
  • Maria Pavlova – Clinical Psychology
  • Luis Felipe Ponce Alvarez – Biological Sciences
  • Mary Cecilia Porter – Anthropology
  • Boglarka Soos – Community Health Sciences
  • Vishnu Vasanthan – Medicine, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences
  • Katherine Margaret Webber – Nursing
  • Gerardo Zegers – Geoscience

Nominations for the Killam Annual Professor Awards and the Killam Visiting Scholar Award will open in October 2022, with a deadline of Dec. 15, 2022. Nominations are made by the head or dean of the sponsoring unit. Please contact your faculty awards representative for more information.

The Killam Annual Professors are awarded annually to outstanding nationally and/or internationally recognized professors at the University of Calgary who have demonstrated excellence in research and teaching of undergraduate and/or graduate students. Service to the academic discipline and/or community outside the university will be considered supportive of the primary criteria. 

The Killam Visiting Scholar Award provides sponsorship of a distinguished scholar who will make significant contributions to academic life at the University of Calgary. A visiting scholar is expected to participate in the research and teaching programs of the host department or faculty, as well as to engage in their own research.