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Academic/Industrial Partnerships: A Perfect Marriage for Discovery?

  • Life Sciences Building, Room 103, York University 6 Thompson Road North York, ON M3J 1L3 Canada (map)

From Human Needs, to Basic Science, and Back Again


Research has evolved over the years, particularly in the way that industry and academic scientists collaborate. Hear the story of two research projects that began as very fundamental science, but ended up by developing commercially available products that helped solve long-standing problems spanning industries from pharmaceuticals to electronics.

Dr. Michael Organ is the 2018 NSERC Polanyi Prize Winner, named for John Polanyi, Nobel Prize recipient and one of Canada’s most prominent scientists. Currently, Michael is the Director of the Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation (CCRI) at the University of Ottawa.

Michael G. Organ.jpg

Dr. Organ’s research pioneered the concept of microwave-assisted, continuous flow organic synthesis as well as several unique technologies that underpin these efforts. These include new microwave applicator design, metal-film coated flow reactors to promote organic transformations, extreme temperature and pressure reactor and process design, continuous in-line analysis, and hands-free, intelligent process optimization and monitoring using in-house created software. His group’s effort in catalysis has led to the creation of a broadening series of N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC)-based organometallic complexes that have shown unsurpassed reactivity and selectivity in a wide number of cross-coupling applications. This family of catalysts (coined PEPPSI for pyridine-enhanced precatalyst preparation, stabilization, and initiation) has been commercialized and is used widely including at scale in the commercial manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).

Dr. Organ received his PhD at the University of Guelph before becoming an NSERC Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University. He has worked at Indiana University-Purdue University and York University.

Features a social event 6-7pm, followed by a presentation from Dr. Organ 7-8pm.

Reserve your spot here.


Closest subway: Pioneer Village (a 4-5 minute walk due south to LSB).

York University station is approximately a 10 minute walk west to LSB.

There is a smallish pay and display parking lot immediately west of the main entrance to LSB. Alternatively, the Arboretum parking structure is very close and convenient to LSB and indoors.

More transit and driving directions can be found on the York University website or through their interactive campus map.

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