On Sept. 5, the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) announced the election of five UCalgary faculty members to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. This is the greatest number of college members to be elected in one year at the university. The college recognizes multidisciplinary early-stage career scholars from across the country who have demonstrated a high level of achievement in advancing Canadian intellectual leadership.
Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD; Dr. Gina Dimitropoulos, PhD; Dr. Kirsten Fiest, PhD; Dr. Joe Harrison, PhD; and Dr. Aaron Phillips, PhD, will be formally inducted into the college at a ceremony in November.
“I extend my congratulations to Drs. Arrieta, Dimitropoulos, Fiest, Harrison and Phillips on joining the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists,” says Dr. Ed McCauley, president of the University of Calgary and Fellow of the RSC.
“We are proud of our renowned early career researchers and the contributions they have made to harness the power of research and innovation to tackle society’s biggest challenges.”
2023 is UCalgary’s most successful year for RSC nominations in institutional history. In addition to the five new RSC College Members listed below, there are seven UCalgary scholars who have been selected as Fellows of the RSC. These 12 scholars also make up the largest variety of faculties UCalgary has ever had represented in one year, hailing from seven different faculties.
Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD
Associate professor, Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology, and Paediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine (CSM)
Arrieta’s research program combines clinical and experimental research to find measures that support healthy immune and metabolic development in children. With 58 publications in top journals, over 7,700 citations and an h-index of 32, she has established an international reputation in the human gut microbiome field. As an advocate of science communication to the public, Arrieta has also written a bestselling book, Let Them Eat Dirt.
Arrieta is a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases.
Dr. Gina Dimitropoulos, PhD
Associate professor, Faculty of Social Work; Departments of Psychiatry and Paediatrics, CSM
Dimitropoulos is an award-winning scientist, clinician, and a global expert on youth mental health.
She has pioneered innovative treatments for youth with mental-health concerns across community and clinical contexts. Her patient-oriented and knowledge-mobilization approaches ensure youth and families are co-creators in the research process. She fosters national and international partnerships across academic and community settings to drive research with a translational impact on policy and practice.
Dimitropoulos is a member of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education.
Dr. Kirsten Fiest, PhD
Associate professor, Departments of Critical Care Medicine, Community Health Sciences and Psychiatry, CSM
Fiest is the associate scientific director - health systems at the O’Brien Institute for Public Health and the director of research and innovation in the Department of Critical Care Medicine at CSM. She leads an internationally recognized research program focused on advancing the science of patient and family-centred critical care research. She has over 200 publications, over 11,000 citations, and an h-index of 51. She is leading the field in integrating families into patient care within the ICU, improving care for critically ill patients and their families.
Fiest is a member of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education.
Dr. Joe Harrison, PhD
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science
Harrison holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Biofilm Microbiology and Genomics at the University of Calgary. He has made pivotal contributions to the field of microbiology, biochemistry, and molecular genetics through the study of biofilms. His discovery of heat-sensing enzymes and biofilm susceptibility to toxic metals informs new approaches in chronic infectious diseases treatments.
Harrison is a member of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases.
Dr. Aaron Phillips, PhD
Associate professor, Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology, Clinical Neurosciences, and Cardiac Sciences, CSM
Phillips is director of the RESTORE Network, an internationally recognized research program that developed a therapy for treating spinal cord injury using advanced research techniques, bioinformatics, and control engineering that was published in Nature. He has had success commercially through these discoveries through ONWARD Medical. His research is leading the world in the field of hemodynamic dysfunction in after spinal cord injury. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters Calgary.
Phillips is a member of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.