Nov. 24, 2004

McMaster researcher awarded prestigious Polanyi Prize

Chemist Chérif Matta recognized for pioneering research

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McMaster researcher Chérif Matta has been awarded a 2004 John Charles Polanyi Prize. One of Matta's interests is studying the inter-action of electro-magnetic radiation and genetic material to determine how electric fields from devices such as cell phones can alter our DNA.

Hamilton, ON - McMaster University’s Chérif Matta has been recognized for his pioneering research in theoretical chemistry with a John Charles Polanyi Prize. The Province of Ontario established the prestigious awards to support outstanding researchers in the early stages of their careers.

In his current research in the Department of Chemistry at McMaster, Matta is using computational chemistry to study how electrons are distriubted in biological molecules. One of his interests is studying the interaction of electromagnetic radiation and genetic material to determine how electric fields from cell phones, television sets, computers, and power lines can alter our DNA.

"The Polanyi prize recognizes the promise and potential of our young researchers. Chérif Matta is acknowledged as a leader in his field of research and I am delighted he has received this honour," says Mamdouh Shoukri, vice-president, research & international affairs. "Chérif is the thirteenth outstanding scholar from McMaster to be awarded this prize and it certainly speaks to the excellence of our University's research community."

Established in 1986, the Polanyi Prizes recognize the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, who received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The prizes have a value of $15,000 each and are available in the areas broadly defined as physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and economic science.

McMaster University, named Canada’s Research University of the Year by Research InfoSource, has world-renowned faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities. McMaster's culture of innovation fosters a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University has a student population of more than 20,000 and more than 112,000 alumni in 128 countries.