2012 ORION Awards

In 2012 ORION announced a new format for the annual ORION Awards. The ORION Leadership Award was created to recognize innovation leadership in Ontario’s vibrant and active e‐Infrastructure, Higher Education, and Kindergarten to Grade 12 sectors. On April 16th at ORION’s inaugural THINK.Conference the Hon. Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation presented Leadership Awards to 16‐year old student Marshall Zhang (K‐12 Schools), Sheridan College’s John Helliker (Higher Education), and University of Toronto professor Dr. Shana Kelley (E‐Infrastructure).

Congratulations to our 2012 Winners!

Category: Kindergarten – Grade 12

Winner: Marshall Zhang
Student, Bayview Secondary School

At the young age of 16, Marshall Zhang is well on his way to establishing himself as one of Canada’s rising stars in research and innovation. In May 2011, Marshall was awarded first place at the 2011 Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge, a national science competition where students across the country develop research projects with the help of mentors. Marshall discovered a new combination of drugs that could be used to treat cystic fibrosis, and utilizing the SCINET High Performance Computing Platform, conducted trials to test if the compounds could help repair defective proteins that cause cystic fibrosis. Currently, Marshall is deciding between Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to study biomedical engineering and applied math.

Category: Higher Education

Winner: John Helliker
Director, Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT)
Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

John Helliker joined Sheridan College in 2005 after 25 years working within the Canadian film and television industry.  His interest in strengthening ties between industry and academia led to the establishment of Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) at Pinewood Toronto Studios, an innovation centre being recognized for its unique blending of applied research, knowledge dissemination and professional development serving the film, television, and gaming sectors.  As principal researcher and Director of SIRT, John has helped build a broad-based collaboration hub that serves as a key convergence centre for industry partners, college and university researchers, and government stakeholders within the screen-based creative cluster in Ontario – all focused on building the Province’s competitive advantage

Category: E-Infrastructure

Winner: Dr. Shana Kelley
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Kelley is a highly acclaimed researcher, professor and Director of Biomolecular Sciences in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. Her lab’s current research involves aspects of diverse disciplines ranging from biomolecular chemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology to materials science and nanotechnology. The Kelley group develops new sensors and probes for the detection and diagnosis of disease and the study of biological function. The ultimate goal of this effort is to produce new tools for medicine and medical research.