UAlberta pioneers awarded Diamond Jubilee Medal

(Edmonton) Eleven University of Alberta pioneers in their fields were awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, a national honour in recognition of the significant contributions citizens from across Canada have made to their communities.

“These medals are a way to thank the great citizens among us and they also are a reminder of the tremendous spirit of service that has long defined the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” said Alberta Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell, who handed out the medals to worthy Albertans in a series of ceremonies across the province throughout July.

“Our talented recipients of the Diamond Jubilee Medal have served the University of Alberta, the province and Canada with immeasurable commitment and deep loyalty,” said President Indira Samarasekera. “Their pioneering efforts have cemented the university’s reputation as a place dedicated to learning, discovery and citizenship at the highest level.”

The recipients represent diverse fields, including arts and international studies, engineering and science, and medicine and health care.

Lorne Babiuk, vice-president of research at the U of A and a world expert ininfectious diseases and their control, has been instrumental in developing many innovative, life-saving vaccines that have improved public health around the world. He is an officer of the Order of Canada.

Brian Evans, a professor emeritus of East Asian studies, has worked to foster greater understanding among the world's peoples. His passion for China studies has benefited generations of students and his commitment to service has benefited many community organizations. He is a member of the Order of Canada.

Cyril Kay, a professor emeritus in biochemistry, is a pioneer and a noted specialist in the structure and function of proteins. He has played a crucial role in fostering collaboration among fellow biochemists, has helped to shape the direction of health research in Alberta and has provided leadership to the U of A and the Alberta Cancer Board. He is an officer of the Order of Canada.

Jacob Masliyah, a professor emeritus of chemical and materials engineering, is a key contributor to the technological and scientific advancement of the energy industry. His work includes important research into the complex interactions between oil, water and sand particles to improve oil recovery from Alberta's oilsands. He is an officer of the Order of Canada.

Tom Noseworthy, a former chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences, is a leading authority in public health-care policy who has been a valued advisor to public and governmental bodies for more than 20 years. He has helped to develop national strategies and served as founding director of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, as well as chair of the Western Canada Waiting List Project. He is a member of the Order of Canada.

Thomas Peacocke, a professor emeritus in drama, is a celebrated actor of stage, film and television who helped the drama department to become one of the best in the country. He has contributed greatly to the development of Canadian actors and playwrights and has been an active supporter of the wider arts community. He is a member of the Order of Canada.

Charlene Robertson, a professor emeritus of neonatal and pediatric intensive care, has been instrumental in developing programs such as the Neonatal Follow-Up Clinic, the Western Canadian Complex Pediatric Therapies Follow-Up Program and the Pediatric Rehabilitation Outcomes Unit. She is a member of the Order of Canada.

Mary Spencer, a professor emeritus of plant science and biochemistry, has been a role model for women scientists in Canada for more than 50 years. She has held many leadership roles within federal scientific research organizations and has had a direct impact on policy and program development in Canada. She is a member of the Order of Canada.

Shirley Stinson, a professor emeritus in nursing, used her talents to raise the profile of nursing and contributed to improved standards of patient care. Her pioneering efforts to establish nursing research as a respected field of study led to one of the first master’s and doctoral nursing programs in Canada, and also served to elevate nursing studies in other countries. Stinson recently received an honorary degree from the U of A, and is an officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence.

Lorne Tyrrell, professor of medical microbiology and immunology, is internationally recognized for his pioneering development of an antiviral therapy to treat chronic hepatitis B. A former dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, Tyrrell became director of the U of A’s Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology after working to secure a $25-million gift from the Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation—the single largest cash donation made to the U of A—and $52.5 million in related funding from the Alberta government. He is an officer of the Order of Canada.

During the Canadian Museums Association�s 65th national conference in April, Janine Andrews, executive director of U of A Museums, was one of 37 museum professionals to be awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal �for her enduring contributions to the development of the museums of the U of A and her contributions to the museum profession.�