University of Calgary

University of Calgary

September 09, 2011 11:37 ET

University of Calgary: Scholars honoured by Royal Society of Canada

University of Calgary celebrates prestigious national recognition

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2011) - Two University of Calgary researchers have been recognized by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) for their outstanding scholarly achievements.

Viola Birss, a professor in the department of Chemistry, has been elected an RSC Fellow, the country's highest academic honour in Arts, Humanities and Sciences. Dr. Morley Hollenberg, a professor in the department of Physiology and Pharmacology, has been awarded the RSC's McLaughlin Medal in recognition of distinguished achievement in medical sciences in Canada.

"All of us at the University of Calgary are tremendously proud of Dr. Hollenberg and Prof. Birss," said Elizabeth Cannon, President, University of Calgary. "This recognition by the Royal Society of Canada is a great honour to them, and also highlights the quality of research and scholarship at the university."

Birss is an international leader in electrochemical materials science. She has made highly significant contributions to the deposition of useful oxide films on metal surfaces, the synthesis and application of nanoparticles, and in enhancing the performance of fuel cells.

"It is a very great privilege to be elected as a Fellow of this prestigious organization." said Birss. "I am hopeful that our research efforts in the area of developing clean and efficient energy options will continue to translate into useful technology."

"I would also like to acknowledge the strong support I've had from the University of Calgary, from a range of granting agencies, and from many industry partners that I have worked with over many years."

Since the late 1960s, Dr. Hollenberg has been responsible for sustained and original contributions related to the molecular pharmacology of hormone action. His work has led to a new understanding of "hormone-like" roles that proteolytic enzymes can play in the setting of inflammatory diseases like arthritis, colitis, asthma and neurodegenerative disorders.

"It is humbling in terms of the current stature now reached by previous awardees," said Hollenberg. "The award sets further high expectations, and I am proud to be a member of the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine."

Hollenberg says the award rewards his efforts to live up to the confidence that others have had in his work and the confidence he has had in following his instincts with the research. Hollenberg says the award validates the rich and cooperative/supportive group of investigators with whom he works in Calgary and around the world.

For a complete list of newly elected RSC Fellows and Award Winners, please visit the Society's website at:

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Contact Information

  • University of Calgary - Media Contact:
    James Stevenson
    Senior Communications Manager, University Relations
    403.210.6308 or Cell: 403.512.6756