Molly Shoichet receives honorary doctorate from uOttawa

June 7, 2022 by Jennifer Hsu

University Professor Molly Shoichet is one of nine recipients of an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa (uOttawa). An honorary doctorate from uOttawa acknowledges that the recipient deserves to be recognized for their unsurpassed abilities due to life’s learning and experiences.

Shoichet is a professor at the University of Toronto, where she is one of less than 2% of the faculty at the institution to hold the title University Professor. She also holds an appointment to the Department of Chemistry. In 2018, she served as Ontario’s first (and only) chief scientist, working to enhance the culture of science.

Shoichet has published over 650 papers, patents and abstracts and has given over 420 lectures worldwide. She currently leads a laboratory with 30 members and has graduated 220 researchers. Her research is multidisciplinary and highly collaborative, focused on drug and cell delivery strategies in the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, retina) and 3D hydrogel culture systems to model cancer.

Shoichet has co-founded four spinoff companies. She is actively engaged in translational research and science outreach, including co-founding AmacaThera, a therapeutics platform delivery company, and Research2Reality,  a national social media initiative that engages the public in research. She is chair of TERMIS-Americas and sits on the boards of Martinrea, a $4 billion global auto parts manufacturing company; MaRS,  the largest tech incubator in North America; and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre,  dedicated to eradicating racism.

Shoichet has received many prestigious distinctions and is the only person to be inducted into all three of Canada’s national academies of science: the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2011, she was inducted into the Order of Ontario and 2018, she was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

In 2015, Shoichet was the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award recipient for North America. She was elected a foreign member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2016, received the Killam Prize in engineering in 2017 and was elected to the Royal Society (U.K.) in 2019. In 2020, she was awarded the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal — Canada’s top prize in science and engineering — as well as the Margolese National Brain Disorders Prize.

Shoichet received her SB from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1987) and her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1992), in polymer science and engineering.