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Dr. Mario Pinto heads Canada’s Council for Natural Sciences & Engineering Research

Posted on 28 July 2014 by admin


SJC LOGOSri Lankan born Dr B. Mario Pinto has been appointed President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The announcement was made by James Moore, Minister of Industry, and Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), recently. Sri Lankan born Dr B. Mario Pinto has been appointed President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), effective fall 2014.

Dr Pinto is completing his second term as Vice-President, Research at Simon Fraser University, where he is a professor of chemistry and also served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry from 1999 until 2004. He completed his post-doctoral work at the Centre national de la recherchescientifique in France and the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa before joining Simon Fraser University in 1983.

A past student of St Joseph’s College, Dr Pinto emigrated to Canada when he was just 13 years old. His paternal great grandfather, J. B. Pinto hailed from Goa and set up the first ever apothecary shop on Chatham Street, and his grandfather C. F. X Pinto did the same, while teaching medical students phramaceuticals at the University, Dr Pinto’s father Frank worked for the Government Analysis Department, and was also an avid cricketer.

Dr Pinto also hails from a long line of playwrights, actors, editors, poets, and musicians on his maternal side. His uncle, James Tambimuttu was founder and editor of Poetry London, Poetry Londona, Poetry London/Apple. His uncle Augustine was a teacher and actor, while another uncle, Paulinus was fascinated with tracing the roots of Europeans to the Dravidians.His mother Josephine was a singer while his cousin Christine Fernando was a singer and actor and performed the lead in My Fair Lady. The Tambimuttus and Pintos and friends put on shows in the 1940s as the troupe, The Aeolians. Dr. Pinto too won a silver medal in elocution while at St. Joseph’s College, showing that the artistic streak still runs in the family.

“In my own career I have maintained the ethos of both the arts and sciences and, as Vice-President Research at Simon Fraser University, I have promoted scholarship in all areas, from the humanities and performing arts to the natural and applied sciences,” Dr Pinto said commenting on his commitment to the arts.

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