Young Faculty Honoured With Early Researcher Awards

Four Perimeter Institute faculty have received Early Researcher Awards from the Ontario government.


Perimeter Institute hosted the Honourable John Milloy, MPP for Kitchener Centre, as he named 20 local recipients of Ontario’s Early Researcher Awards (ERAs), which support highly promising early-career faculty with $140,000 grants. The program’s goal is to improve Ontario’s ability to attract and retain the best and brightest research talent from around the world.

Perimeter Director Neil Turok said, “We are very proud of our young faculty members who are receiving Early Researcher Awards today. They are exploring some of the most basic questions in physics. They are each highly creative thinkers, cutting their own paths across disciplines, questioning established ideas, and moving the whole field forward. History has shown us that time and again, basic discoveries open doors to the future – new technologies, new understanding, and the progress of human society.”

“Kitchener-Waterloo leads some of the most innovative research in this province. I am delighted to announce Ontario’s support for the ground-breaking, world-class work being conducted at three of our fine educational facilities,” Milloy said.

Four Perimeter researchers received ERAs:

Dmitry Abanin, who is a pioneer in the theory of graphene, a revolutionary material now finding its first applications in a wide variety of devices. Abanin is working to develop a deeper theoretical understanding of the broader class of materials to which graphene belongs.

Bianca Dittrich, who is working to discover whether space itself is built out of some kind of fundamental building blocks, called spacetime atoms. This is one promising way to unify the theory of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of gravity, into a theory of quantum gravity.

Davide Gaiotto, who works to extend the basic vocabulary of physics by discovering and defining new classes of quantum field theories. His research has led to unexpected progress in mathematics, and is aimed at a deeper understanding of the laws governing the universe.

Natalia Toro, who has invented ways to use existing particle accelerators to search for possible forces of nature beyond the four we know about, and who is developing a startling new theory about the way known forces might work.

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About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement.

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