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Past Winner
2020 NSERC Synergy Awards for Innovation

Synergy Award for Innovation

Yu Sun

Synergy Award for Innovation

Category: Small and Medium-Sized Companies

University of Toronto
Hitachi High-Tech Canada, Inc.

Since 2008, Dr. Yu Sun and colleagues at the University of Toronto have partnered with Hitachi High-Technologies Canada (HTC) Inc., the country’s leading electron microscopy company, to develop precision instruments capable of accurately measuring, maneuvering and identifying the properties of materials at the nano scale. HTC has commercialized a number of products developed in collaboration with Sun, including the LifeForce Nanomanipulation System that has transformed the traditional process of joystick-controlled single transistor probing into an automated robotic operation with a tenfold improvement in testing throughput. This versatile nanorobotic system is also capable of performing challenging life sciences tasks at the subcellular level, such as extracting a single chromatin from within a cell nucleus without disturbing other nuclear structures. Ultimately, Sun’s innovations with HTC will help medical researchers unlock the secrets to personalized health care that increase effectiveness of treatments for major diseases and reduce the chance of side effects. The creative potential unlocked by Sun and HTC’s collaboration has strengthened Canadian talent and innovation, and advanced Canada’s standing in high technology.

In recognition of an outstanding partnership with Hitachi High-Technologies Canada Inc., Dr. Yu Sun of the University of Toronto is awarded a 2020 NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation.

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