Edgar Acosta, Gisele Azimi, and Frank Gu among 14 recipients of the 2023-24 Connaught Innovation Award

Three professors from U of T’s Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry – Edgar Acosta, Gisele Azimi, and Frank Gu – have been named recipients of the 2023-24 Connaught Innovation Award, recognizing and supporting their groundbreaking contributions to innovative technologies that have meaningful social utility and impact.

The Connaught Innovation Award provides crucial seed funding aimed at advancing the development and commercialization of each professor’s pioneering research. Supported by the Connaught Fund, Canada’s largest internal university research funding program, this award stems from the historic legacy of the Connaught Medical Research Laboratories, renowned for its role in the development and production of insulin. The Connaught Fund continues to empower U of T scholars through various initiatives including the New Researcher Award and the Major Research Challenge for Black Researchers.

Each of the award-winning professors brings a unique research focus:

  • Edgar Acosta’s work on lecithin-based self-micro/emulsifying delivery systems (SM/EDS), which hold promise for enhancing drug and nutraceutical delivery methods.
  • Gisele Azimi’s pioneering research in supercritical fluid extraction for recycling critical materials from electronic waste.
  • Frank Gu’s development of magnesium ion crosslinked hyaluronic acid hydrogels  for biomedical applications.

The Connaught Innovation Award underscores the university’s dedication to supporting its faculty in pushing the boundaries of knowledge and making meaningful contributions to scientific discovery and societal advancement. These projects not only exemplify the innovative spirit of ChemE, but also highlight its commitment to translating cutting-edge research into impactful solutions that benefit society at large.

You can find the full list of award winners here.