Congratulations to the 2023 recipients of the Faculty of Science Research Awards

July 27, 2023

SFU Faculty of Science is proud to announce this year's recipients of the second annual Faculty of Science Research Awards recognizing excellence in research accomplishments in early career and beyond.


Dr. Amy Lee
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Dr. Lee joined MBB as an Assistant Professor in January 2020 and uses a systems biology approach to study bacterial pathogen virulence and resistance from both the pathogen and host perspectives with the goal of developing strategies to treat and prevent infectious diseases. Her research combines bioinformatics and experimental work to understand how habitat niches influence bacterial virulence and antibiotic resistance and with a goal of developing diagnostic tests for neonatal sepsis. The committee recognized Dr. Lee for her impressive funding and publication record, and international presence in her field, particularly at this early career stage.  

Dr. Jean-Francois Begin
Statistics and Actuarial Science

Dr. Begin’s research lies at the intersection of finance and actuarial science and was recognized for his impressive achievements since joining the faculty in 2017. He has an extensive and varied publishing record, where this impact and productivity recently led to the Canadian Institute of Actuaries Young Researcher Award. Notably, Dr. Begin’s work is both basic and applied, where the former provides methodologies and modeling tools for quantifying financial risks theoretically and statistically, and the latter provides guidance on understanding and managing financial risks to banking and insurance industry leaders. Dr. Begin’s noticeable contributions include modeling of equity returns with complex dynamics and their applications in insurance and pension risk management.


Dr. Karen Kavanaugh

Dr. Kavanagh is an internationally recognized expert on material interfaces for electronics and in nanoimaging techniques, with over 40 years of experience in this area. She is a leading international expert in the field, as evidenced by her election as a Fellow of the Materials Research Society in 2022. Her research ranges from fundamental studies to applications, including topics as diverse as: nano-fabrication of metallic nano-hole arrays; imaging dislocations and strain relaxation at semiconductor interfaces; ballistic electron emission microscopy of metal–semiconductor interfaces; epitaxial electrochemistry of spintronic materials; and nanoscale junctions and contacts, allowing nanowires to be quickly probed without lithographically-patterning electrical contacts. In her time at SFU she has been instrumental in establishing significant research infrastructure, including the Nano Imaging facility, a forerunner of the 4D LABS user facility.

Dr. Ben Adcock

Dr. Adcock is recognized for his groundbreaking work on the mathematics behind imaging technologies. Imaging technologies are central to modern society, including numerous uses in science (e.g., microscopy), healthcare (e.g., MRI) and industry (e.g., seismic imaging). Dr. Adcock approaches questions of how to acquire, store, reconstruct and interpret images by combining compressed sensing, machine learning, and deep learning techniques to transform the field. He is highly published and cited, a major contributor to his field through editorial work and conference organization, and has won numerous awards including the highly competitive Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and the Canadian Industrial and Applied Mathematics Early Career Award.