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The astronomers René Doyon and David Lafrenière are the recipient of the Médaille d'Honneur (Honor medal) of the Québec Parliament.

The professor René Doyon and the postdoctoral researcher David Lafrenière at the Physics Department of the Université de Montréal, both members of the CRAQ, are receiving today the Médaille d'Honneur (Honor medal) of the Québec Parliament, together with Christian Marois, PhD graduate from the UdeM and astronomers at the Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics (HIA-NSERC, in Victoria, BC) for their contribution to astronomy with the first photography of a planetary system, outside of our Solar System.

The medals will be awarded during a ceremony at the Hotel du Parlement, on March 29th, 2011 at 3:30pm. The Médaille d'Honneur of the Québec Parliament is awarded to personalities from Québec, Canada or abroad who deserve the recognition of the members of the Québec parliament, and the entire Québec population.

René Doyon

René Doyon was born in Thetford Mines. He obtained his PhD in astrophysics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology and Medicine in London, UK. He is now a professor at the Physics Department of the Université de Montréal where he holds the Industrial Chair in Experimental Astrophysics. He is also the director of the Observatoire du Mont-Megantic. Finally, he is leading an international scientific team working on the development and construction of one of the four scientific instruments (provided by the Canadian Space Agency) which will be mounted onboard the James Webb Space Telescope (launch expected in 2014).

David Lafrenière

David Lafrenière obtained his PhD in Physics at the Université de Montréal, where he is currently a post-doctoral researcher. He primarily works on the detection of exoplanets via an imagery technique. Specifically, he developed novel observation and image treatment techniques that greatly improved the capabilities of the largest telescopes in the world to observe exoplanets.

In addition to this award, Prof. Doyon obtained several other distinction that he is sharing with his colleagues David Lafrenière and Christian Marois, including the award of the Scientific personality of the year 2008 (attributed by the team of the show "Les Années Lumières" of Radio-Canada), and the John-C. Polanyi Prize 2009 of the NSERC.

On the web

Physics Department of the Université de Montréal
Première observation directe de planètes extrasolaires
National Assembly of Québec

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