Sept. 14, 2017

Four UCalgary scholars named new Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada

Honour recognizes outstanding scholarship in nanomedicine, military history, public health and quantum computing
Four University of Calgary scholars who will be inducted into the Royal Society of Canada 2017 as new Fellows are, clockwise from top left, William Ghali, Pere Santamaria, Barry Sanders, and John Ferris.

Fellows, clockwise from top left, William Ghali, Pere Santamaria, Barry Sanders, and John Ferris.

The Royal Society of Canada announced the 2017 new Fellows in Ottawa Sept. 7. Four University of Calgary scholars — specialists in intelligence history, immunology, public health and quantum computing — will be inducted into this league of prominent intellectuals at a ceremony sponsored by the University of Calgary in Winnipeg on Nov. 24.

“Election to the academies of the Royal Society of Canada is among the very highest honours a scholar can achieve,” says Elizabeth Cannon, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary, who is also a Fellow of the RSC. “The groundbreaking work of these leading researchers has not only made an indelible impression on their academic peers, but also leaves a lasting legacy in their fields of study, deepening our understanding of the world around us.”

The four nationally recognized scholars include renowned immunologist Pere Santamaria. His groundbreaking work using nanoparticles for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases led recently to the signing of a partnership between Parvus Therapeutics, a company founded by the Cumming School of Medicine’s Dr. Santamaria, with the Swiss pharma giant Novartis. The partnership is developing and commercializing nanomedicines to treat disorders including Type 1 diabetes..Santamaria is a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases and member of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases.

William Ghali, also with the Cumming School and scientific director of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, has been recognized for his work in public health and in particular his expertise and research on the impact of digital technologies and electronic health records on health-care systems and health outcomes. Dr. Ghali is a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences.

Theoretical physicist Barry Sanders, director of the university’s Institute for Quantum Science and Technology, is a pioneer in quantum computing whose research is at the frontier of making quantum information work in the laboratory.

And from the Faculty of Arts, historian John Ferris, one of the world’s leading scholars in the area of intelligence history. He is an expert in past and present communications intelligence including cyber intelligence, as well as power politics in Asian and British strategic policy.

The UCalgary scholars are part of a cohort of 89 new Fellows from across Canada who will be inducted into the academies in November. The scholars have been elected by their peers in recognition of their outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievements. After this new cohort has been formally inducted, there will be 68 active fellows at the University of Calgary.

Founded in 1882, the Royal Society of Canada comprises the academies of arts, humanities and sciences, as well as Canada's first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership, The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Its mission is to recognize scholarly, research and artistic excellence, to advise governments and organizations, and to promote a culture of knowledge and innovation in Canada and with other national academies around the world.

University of Calgary 2017 New Fellows

Academy of the Arts and Humanities, Division of Humanities

John Ferris, Department of History
John Ferris is an internationally respected scholar of international and strategic history, and a pioneer and leader in intelligence history. Overcoming attempts by states to conceal the evidence, he demonstrated how communications intelligence worked, and shaped war and power politics, over the past two centuries.

Because of his combination of thorough empirical work, and rigorous and precise study of the interactions between intelligence, perception, politics, policy and action, he has been made the Authorised Historian of the British communications intelligence agency, Government Communications Headquarters.

Academy of Science, Life Science Division  

William Ghali, Cumming School of Medicine
William Ghali is a health systems and public health researcher who has made significant contributions to our understanding of the burden of disease, health service utilization and quality of care. In particular, his cutting-edge research in the domain of health information science (especially health outcomes assessment and e-health innovation) is contributing crucial knowledge toward the development of innovative solutions for enhancing health care.

Pere Santamaria, Cumming School of Medicine
Pere Santamaria  has made seminal contributions to our understanding and treatment of autoimmune diseases. His discovery of a new therapeutic platform for the treatment of autoimmune diseases using nanoparticles led to.. Dr. Santamaria founding Parvus Therapeutics, which earlier this year signed a deal with Novartis to advance the commercialization of nanomedicines. The drugs can be used to treat disorders including Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Academy of Science, Mathematical and Physical Sciences Division

Barry Sanders, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Barry Sanders is a leading expert in quantum physics and quantum computing whose pioneering work connects theoretical quantum information with experimental implementation. He has made major contributions in diverse areas, notably introducing entangled coherent states and determining requirements for practical quantum key distribution.