Molly Shoichet receives Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering

University Professor Molly Shoichet of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, a world-leading researcher in tissue engineering, has received the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering – Canada’s most prestigious award for science and engineering research.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council award recognizes research contributions characterized by both excellence and influence.

“There are so many exceptional people who’ve won this award,” said Shoichet, a professor of chemical engineering. “To think of my peers putting me in that same category is really incredible.”

A pioneer in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and drug delivery, Shoichet and her team are internationally known for their discovery and innovative use of 3D hydrogels, biomaterials that provide a soft, three-dimensional environment in which to grow cells. Her lab is using these biomaterials to discover drugs for breast and brain cancer and a rare lung disease.

“What’s really wonderful for me in getting this Herzberg Gold Medal is the recognition of the importance of interdisciplinary research, and the recognition of the team – of the brilliant graduate and undergraduate students, post-doctoral fellows, technicians and collaborators with whom I have the privilege to work,” Shoichet said.

Shoichet’s lab has been equally innovative in regenerative medicine strategies to promote repair of the brain after stroke and overcome blindness.

Professor Chris Yip, dean of U of T Engineering called Shoichet “a trailblazer and an inspiration to the engineering and science community, here at U of T, across the country and around the world.

“Her research continues to advance knowledge towards practical, and incredibly vital, applications in human health,” Yip said. “On behalf of the Faculty, my enthusiastic congratulations to Molly on receiving this tremendous honour.”

“The University of Toronto is delighted to see University Professor Molly Shoichet’s ground-breaking work, her leadership and innovation recognized with Canada’s highest honour for science and engineering research,” said University Professor Ted Sargent, U of T’s vice-president, research and innovation, and strategic initiatives. “She has been a passionate advocate for science, generously sharing her expertise with federal and provincial governments, colleagues and students – and her contributions to the cancer community have made a significant impact in Canada and around the world.”

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