Molly Shoichet

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Molly Sandra Shoichet

Born1965 (age 57–58)[1]
Toronto, Ontario, Canada[2]
EducationUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst 1992, Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Scientific career
FieldsBiomedical Engineering, drug delivery, tissue regeneration
InstitutionsUniversity of Toronto, Cytotherapeutics, Inc., Brown University

Molly S. Shoichet FRS, is a Canadian science professor, specializing in chemistry, biomaterials and biomedical engineering. She was Ontario's first Chief Scientist.[3][4] Shoichet is a biomedical engineer known for her work in tissue engineering, and is the only person to be a fellow of the three National Academies in Canada.


Shoichet studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received her bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1987. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst for her doctoral studies and earned her PhD in polymer science and engineering in 1992.[5]


After receiving her doctorate, Shoichet joined the faculty of Brown University as an adjunct professor, while simultaneously working in industry. Shoichet joined the University of Toronto in 1995, where she remains as of 2019. Her work includes tissue and polymer engineering, focusing on drug delivery and tissue regeneration. Early in her career, she studied the blood–brain barrier.[5] Her lab's methods involve using a gel to deliver drugs to a specific location in the central nervous system and to bypass the blood-brain barrier. The drugs delivered in this way include chemotherapy drugs and agents to slow or reverse damage from a stroke. This delivery method is also being tested with stem cells,[6] and include studies on the use of hydrogels that deliver stem cells to nonfunctioning retinas.[7] These hydrogels are designed to be easily injectable into the tissue and they then form a scaffold for cells to grow in the appropriate three-dimensional shape.[8]

In 2015, Shoichet co-founded Research2Reality to showcase scientific research in Canada through a combination of accessible blog posts and short videos.[9] She has also curated the "Artful Science" exhibit at the Toronto Pearson International Airport.[9][10][11]

In November 2017, Shoichet was named as Ontario's first Chief Scientist by then Premier Kathleen Wynne.[3] She was leading a team of six to build connections between the federal government, science and business sectors, and promote the use of evidence in policy development.[9]

On 3 July 2018, Shoichet was dismissed from her position by the newly elected Conservative government of Ontario[4] when the office of chief scientist was eliminated.[12]

Honours and awards[edit]

In 2010, Shoichet was one of 30 people to be awarded the Order of Ontario.[13]

Shoichet was the North American recipient of the L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science in 2015 for her work on regeneration of nerve tissue, and in developing direct drug delivery methods for the spinal cord and brain using novel materials. She has advocated for women in science and women professors.[14][15]

The University of Toronto designated her a "University Professor" in 2014. She is the only person to be a fellow of the three National Academies in Canada.[5] The University of Toronto also honored her in 2013 as an "Inventor of the Year".[16] She is the 2017 winner of the Kalev Pugi Award of the Chemical Institute of Canada.[17] She holds the Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering.[9]

In 2017, she was also awarded the Killam Prize for engineering.[18] She was awarded Officer of the Order of Canada (OC) as per Government House of 29 December 2017.

In 2020, she was the winner of the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).[19][12]

Other honours[edit]

Selected publications[edit]

See also[edit]


  2. ^ Silcoff, Sean (22 February 2021). "Out of the lab, into the marketplace: How one of Canada's most celebrated scientists, Molly Shoichet, is bringing her key discovery to market". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Molly Shoichet named Ontario's first Chief Scientist". University of Toronto News. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b Giovannetti, Justin (4 July 2018). "PCs dismiss Ontario's chief scientist amid broad effort to undo Liberals' legacy". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "The Shoichet Lab | Molly's Bio". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Canadian researcher Molly Shoichet wins L'Oreal/UNESCO For Women in Science Award". CBC. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  7. ^ Semeniuk, Ivan (14 May 2015). "Injectable gel makes inroads against blindness and stroke". Globe & Mail. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Molly Shoichet Receives TERMIS Senior Scientist Award". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d "Molly Shoichet, science's symphony conductor". University Affairs. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Metro Morning | New art and science exhibit at Pearson Airport". CBC Listen. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Artful Science exhibit takes off at Toronto Pearson Airport". The Varsity. 30 September 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  12. ^ a b Semeniuk, Ivan (11 November 2020). "University of Toronto researcher awarded Canada's top science prize". The Globe and Mail (Canada). Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  13. ^ "30 Appointees Named To Ontario's Highest Honour". 21 January 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  14. ^ "2015 L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards". UNESCO. Archived from the original on 20 March 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  15. ^ "U of T biomedical engineer wins women in science prize". Globe & Mail. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Meet U of T's Inventors of the Year | U of T News". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  17. ^ Kalev Pugi Award Chemical Institute of Canada. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  18. ^ Prestigious Killam Prize for engineering awarded to female scientist second year in a row By Nicole Mortillaro, CBC News, 2 May 2017
  19. ^ "Molly Shoichet". NSERC Prizes. Gerhard Herzberg. Winners. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. 10 November 2020. Retrieved 31 January 2021.