Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation

May 15, 2014 15:57 ET

Quebec Student Cameron Lennox Named Manning Young Canadian Innovator at 2014 Canada Wide Science Fair

WINDSOR, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 15, 2014) - A Montreal teen was named one of four major winners of Young Canadian Innovator prize money from the Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards Foundation at the 53rd annual Canada Wide Science Fair held this week at the University of Windsor campus.

Cameron Lennox, 17, a Secondary 5 student at Collège de Montréal, was recognized for his experiments conducted in a chemistry lab to easily separate chiral molecules.

Chiral molecules are compounds that are mirror images of each other. Although they are identical in virtually every chemical aspect, which makes them almost impossible to separate, their effects on the human body are often drastically different. This poses major problems for drug development. One famous example is Thalidomide. This drug, which was made to cure morning sickness, was made as a mixture of two chiral compounds. One of them alleviated the symptoms of morning sickness while the other caused debilitating birth defects.

Lennox's lab work revealed a novel way of individually separating chiral compounds from a racemic mixture (a solution containing two chiral compounds) with ease. By crystallizing Tartaric acid, a compound found in wine, in its "left-handed" and "right-handed" forms, and placing them in a racemic mixture, he was able to cause selective co-crystallization of each chiral compound in the racemic mixture onto either the left-handed Tartaric acid or the right-handed Tartaric acid. The crystals could be collected yielding two pure forms of each chiral compound.

In addition to his $4,500 Manning Award, Lennox will attend the Foundation's National Innovation Awards Gala October 22 in Ottawa. He also earned the senior Excellence Gold Medal as well as a choice of entrance scholarships to five Canadian universities.

This year the Canada Wide Science Fair brought together 463 young scientists in grades 7-12 to compete for close to $1 million in cash, prizes and scholarships and to showcase bright minds that are innovating for Canada.

"Canada's economic and social future depends on the proper investment and mentorship of young innovators who are emerging visionaries and change agents. The encouragement of organizations like Youth Science Canada and the Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards Foundation is a fundamental commitment to the realization of the economic and social opportunities that innovative minds create for Canada, and indeed globally, starting with our youngest innovators. We are pleased to be recognizing and fostering that mindset among Canadian youth," said Jennifer Diakiw, president, Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards Foundation.

The Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards Foundation introduced its Young Canadian Program in 1992 to recognize innovative Canada-Wide Science Fair projects. Each year a judging team selects eight winning projects, four of which earn the $4,500 Manning Young Canadian Innovator Awards, and four others earn $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Awards. For more information about the Foundation and its awards visit www.manningawards.ca. Follow on Twitter @ManningAwardsCA. Like on Facebook/Manning Awards.

Contact Information

  • Rosemarie Enslin
    Enslin Group
    public relations for Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation
    enslin@enslinpr.com
    403-630-8421 or (Toll free) 1 866 545 6206

    Brad McCabe
    Executive Director
    Youth Science Canada
    brad.mccabe@youthscience.ca
    (Toll free) 1 866-341-0040