News

New SSSC Director Appointed

U of S chemistry professor Dale Ward has been appointed director of the Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre (SSSC) beginning Jan. 1st, 2006 for a three-year term.

Reporting to Vice-President Research Steven Franklin, Ward will oversee the work of the SSSC, promote interactions among users, and seek contracts with potential private sector users. He succeeds Marek Majewski in the position.

Ward holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Alberta, and completed his post-doctoral work at Harvard University under the tutelage of Nobel laureate R.B. Woodward. He joined the University of Saskatchewan in 1985.

His own research aims to develop ways of controlling molecular chirality, that is, where structures (like hands) occur in two distinct "mirror image" forms.. One of the most difficult factors to control in chemical synthesis, it is nevertheless crucial for applications from pharmaceuticals to electronics. For example, one chiral form of the drug thalidomide is a sedative, while its opposite causes birth defects. Ward's research group currently includes nine Canadian and international students, and has produced about 30 alumni.

The SSSC, a $11.4-million multi-disciplinary research centre located in the Thorvaldson Building, was opened in 2003. It provides a broad spectrum of instrumentation and techniques for structure determination that serves academic, government and private sector researchers. Its state-of-art-instrumentation is also used in several undergraduate and graduate courses.

A growing group of more than 200 researchers from numerous disciplines use the SSSC's unique capabilities to probe the structure of matter. Scientists use the centre's tools to track environmental toxins, build semiconductors, create new plastics, and develop new drugs to fight cancer and heart attack, to cite a few examples. The centre complements research tools available at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron.

The SSSC was established with funding from the Canada/Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the U of S, and the Saskatchewan government's Innovation and Science Fund.


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