June 2, 2013 marked the first annual Partners in Research (PIR) National Awards. We are fortunate they were held right here in London, Ontario and we were able to join in the showcase of incredible scientists dedicated to excellence in both their own work and the PIR mission of "enhancing public understanding of importance of health research in conquering disease and improving the quality of life." The PIR mission has grown to include understanding the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. PIR has developed innovative and accessible resources like Virtual Researchers On Call to help teachers bring these subjects to life in the classroom.
Master of Ceremony John Davidson and Master of Ceremony Remi Quirion presented 6 awards including Biomedical Science Amabassador Award to Chris Brandl of Western University Department of Biochemistry,Schulich School of Medicine &Dentistry. We learned about the Outreach Science Ontario program that allows secondary school biology students to perform molecular cloning experiments in their class rooms. An interesting and innovative development of the OSO program is the development of an iPhone App called Biochemistry Personal Trainer, which was developed by Dr. Brandl in conjunction with Dr. Derek McLachlin. It boasts 6,000 downloads at an average rate of 25 a day. It has been downloaded in over 50 countries around the world.
We had the opportunity to meet more of the PIR staff including Executive Director Kevin Cougler who was quick to see the natural alignment of some of the PIR and RIOT goals, and the potential for a mutually enriching collaboration. We look forward to further exploring ways in which we can work together to get the word out about the important and exciting work that is being done in the world of science today.
We enjoyed the opportunity to meet some of the founding members of PIR and introduce the work of the Research Information Outreach Team. Thank you Partners in Research for a great evening. Congratulations on celebrating your 25th anniversary!