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Faculty of Science alumni

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The Faculty of Science honours alumni

Created in 2015, these awards of excellence recognize the outstanding achievements of Faculty of Science alumni. In 2016, the Faculty introduced a new category aimed at recognizing young alumni.

Anne-Marie Mes-Masson

2022 Alumni Award of Excellence

Dr. Mes-Masson obtained her BSc from the Department of Biology at the University of Ottawa in 1979 and subsequently trained as a molecular oncologist and obtained her PhD from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University in 1984. From 1984 to 1986, she completed postdoctoral studies at the Molecular Biology Institute, University of California Los Angeles, where she was the first to clone the full-length BCR-ABL transcript implicated in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. After a short period as a research associate at the Biotechnology Research Institute, Dr. Mes-Masson joined the Institut du cancer de Montréal and the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal in 1989. A full professor since 2001, Dr. Mes-Masson was the Scientific Director of the Institut du cancer de Montréal and Director of cancer research at the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM) from 2003 to 2018 and in 2017, accepted the position of Associate Director, Basic and Translational Research, at the CRCHUM. In 2003, Dr. Mes-Masson was named the Director of the Réseau de recherche sur le cancer du Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS), a provincial cancer network of over 200 scientists focused on translational and clinical cancer research. Dr. Mes-Masson is a founding member of the Canadian Tissue Repository Network that focuses on enhancing capacity and quality of biobanking to support research.

Dr. Mes-Masson has authored over 250 publications in cancer research. While maintaining an active basic research program that focuses on the molecular events that contribute to cancer initiation and progression, her laboratory has pioneered the development of novel cell line-based models for ovarian cancer that have been widely shared with the larger scientific community. More recently, Dr. Mes-Masson pursues research largely focused on delivering personalized medicine and her research focuses on the prediction of therapeutic responses and the development of new therapeutic agents for ovarian, breast and prostate cancers. She also leads a multidisciplinary team in the development of empirical testing using microfluidic-based ex vivo tumor explants as a cutting-edge alternative for the delivery of personalized medicine. Dr. Mes-Masson has been recognized by numerous awards and is both a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Maryam Haghighi

2022 Young Alumni Award of Excellence

Maryam Haghighi is a visionary leader in data, technology and transformation in the public and private sectors. She has held a wide range of positions in areas of policy development, research, innovation and community engagement. She is the first Director of Data Science at the Bank of Canada, responsible for the vision and development of strategies in data, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and emerging technologies. She has built globally recognized groups integrating scientific discoveries, cutting-edge research and innovation into policy making.

Previously, she was Canada’s delegate to international advisory panels under the United Nations. As a member of the international Mathematicians Working Group, she helped develop the current global standards for air navigation safety. Her experience is at the confluence of science and policy and crafting compelling narratives for innovation within the context of complex ecosystems, such as within central banking and transnational organizations.

Maryam formulated the largest budget analytics memorandum to cabinet for the enhancement of our nation-wide aviation security program. This led to the employment of thousands of diversely talented people across Canada. She led the team that pioneered the first ever space-based analytics system in a low-earth orbit satellite constellation. She has a reputation of building consensus and has a thorough understanding of labour relations and collective bargaining, skills honed during her years at the University of Ottawa.

Maryam obtained her PhD in Mathematics from the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Dr. Sylvia Boyd. She further completed her postdoctoral fellowship in computational genomics under the supervision of Dr. David Sankoff at the University of Ottawa.

Maryam is a board member at philanthropic and not-for-profit organizations and has been a consultant for start-ups. She is a strong advocate of equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM. She is active in community outreach and has served on grants advisory panels and as a judge for scientific competitions. Maryam is frequently invited as a speaker to share her experience at national and international academic and industry events.

Past Recipients

Over the years, the Faculty of Science has honored alumni who have distinguished themselves through their achievements and contributions.

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