McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Michael Kiang receives Polanyi prize

Published: November 20, 2009
Polanyi Prize Winners 2009
Michael Kiang

McMaster University has captured three of five prestigious Polanyi awards given to young university researchers in Ontario.

Dr. Michael Kiang has been awarded a John Charles Polanyi Prize for his innovative work in mental health research. He is an assistant professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and a psychiatrist in the mental health and addictions department of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Kiang is also the first psychiatrist to receive a Polanyi Prize.

"This is a great honour to be recognized for work in mental health research," said Dr. Kiang.  "This award will assist my mental health research, especially in the focused area of the study of brain abnormalities that would lead to symptoms of schizophrenia."

Dr. Kiang is currently studying the abnormalities of brain function that cause symptoms of schizophrenia. Even with current treatments, these symptoms can severely impact a patient’s life, making schizophrenia a leading cause of individuals living with disability. Symptoms of schizophrenia can include delusions, hallucinations, and deficits such as a lack of interest for social, occupational, or recreational activity.

The two other McMaster recipients are Laura Parker and Amelia De Falco. Parker is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy whose interests are in the field of observational cosmology, more specifically, the processes of galaxy and structure formation and how galaxies and the dark matter that surrounds them interact. De Falco, is a sessional lecturer and post-doctoral fellow in the Department of English and Cultural Studies. She is currently conducting research into the ethics of caregiving in contemporary Canadian literature.

Named in honour of the 1986 Nobel-prize winner, the John Charles Polanyi Prize were established by the provincial government to recognize outstanding researchers in the early stages of their career who are continuing their post-doctoral studies at an Ontario university. The awards cover chemistry, literature, physics, physiology or medicine and economics, and recipients receive $20,000 each.

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