Marianna-NewkirkThrough its Catalyst and Emerald Key Awards, the Office of Sustainability is proud to recognize the significant efforts that take place at McGill to grow toward campus sustainability. The awards acknowledge the students and staff who have gone above and beyond in their work to integrate sustainability into McGill’s knowledgebase, operations, and culture. Dr. Marianna Newkirk is the 2014 winner of the Catalyst Award for staff contribution to sustainability.

Dr. Marianna Newkirk retired from the role as Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University at the end of 2013 after almost 6 years in that position. She did her PhD in Immunology at the University of Toronto, and then post-doctoral studies at the University of Texas Health Sciences Centre in Dallas prior to her recruitment to McGill. As a member of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill since 1987 she maintained an immunology / rheumatology research laboratory at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre until her retirement. Dr. Newkirk was instrumental in attracting and organizing the highly successful International Congress of Immunology held in Montreal in 2004. She was council member and then treasurer of the International Union of Immunological Societies for a total of 12 years. She was also President of Immunology Montreal for 8 years which brought together Immunologists from several universities in the greater Montreal area in order to promote collaboration and education about Immunology which extended to the community at large.

While Associate Dean, Dr. Newkirk was involved in many different activities that helped to promote Research excellence at McGill. She was instrumental in establishing a sustainability project on laboratory practices with the focus on better and environmentally friendly biobanking and freezer use. This project has had broad uptake and has the potential to lead to considerable financial savings to the university while being kinder to the environment.  Of note, this project has led to inclusion of these concepts in the curriculum. It is anticipated that a paper outlining the McGill experience with this project will be submitted for publication in the coming months.

To learn more about the Catalyst Awards, click here.

April 8, 2014