The Faculty of Science has announced the 2017 recipients of the Vernon Stong Scholarships. Valued at $10,000, the scholarships are available to top graduate students enrolled in their first year of Masters or Doctoral studies in the Faculty of Science.
“It is important for the Faculty of Science to support our outstanding students who have demonstrated academic excellence and shown promise as research leaders,” said Sylvie Morin, associate dean of research and graduate education in the Faculty of Science. “Scholarships like the Vernon Stong enable us to do just that,” she added.
The 2017 Vernon Stong Scholarship recipients are:
Adam Azoulay is a Master’s student in Professor Wendy Taylor’s lab in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and a member of the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC is the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider, and ATLAS is one of two general-purpose detectors at the LHC. Azoulay’s research will focus on setting up a quality assurance testing system for new sensors that will need to be created for the ATLAS detector when the LHC undergoes major upgrades in the next decade.
Nikita Ivanov is completing his PhD under the supervision of Chemistry Professor Sergey Krylov. His research is focused on improving chemical manufacturing and making it eco-friendly. The goal of his research is to develop flexible and adjustable platforms that will allow scientists to design and tailor complex products, such as pharmaceuticals, more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Michael Laurentius is a PhD student conducting his research under the supervision of Professor Edward Jones-Imhotep in the Department of Science and Technology Studies. Michael’s research focuses on the Canadian atomic age, particularly the presence of atomic science and technology during the early Cold War within Canada and how it shaped the production of culture and the means through which the Canadian individual interacted with society.
Lidiya Misyura is a Master’s student supervised by Biology Professor Andrew Donini. Misyura studies mosquitoes responsible for spreading viral diseases like Zika, dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya. Her research is focused on understanding how mosquito larvae that live in freshwater can rid themselves of unwanted excess water—an ability critical to their survival. She is particularly interested in exploring the role of water channel proteins (termed aquaporins) in this process. This area of research may uncover new ways of controlling mosquitoes in areas most affected by mosquito-borne diseases.
Jasmeer Singer Sangha
Jasmeer Singer Sangha is completing his Master’s in the Department of Physics and Astronomy under the supervision of Lassonde Professor John Moores. His research investigates water migration on planets and how and why water collects in certain regions. His first project is focused on understanding how water molecules get trapped near our moon’s south pole, which is home to some of the coldest temperatures in the solar system. His second project extends these questions to unknown exoplanets.
Gil Yerushalmi is a Master’s student supervised by Biology Professor Andrew Donini and Banting Postdoctoral Fellow Heath MacMillan. Yerushalmi studies the physiological mechanisms that cause injury to insects at extreme temperatures, and how insects can respond to temperature changes in their environment. Specifically, he is exploring how enzymes called ion-motive ATPases fail in insects at low temperatures, causing injury or death. Insects represent more than 75 per cent of land animals, and they are important as disease vectors, agricultural pests and invasive species. This research will allow for better predictions of how animals may respond to environmental changes, something that is sorely needed in an era of global climate change.
The Vernon Stong Scholarship program was established in 2008 through a generous donation from the Estate of Vernon Oliver Stong, a seventh generation Canadian pioneer family member who was born in the historical brick house on the York Keele Campus and a generous donor who cared deeply about York University.