Sunday, April 21, 2024

Scientist and inventor from Edmonton

Do we often ask ourselves the question: “Who invented sugar?” or “Is there a person who was able to do anything serious without starting with a significant background?” Agree that this is not the topic we often think about, but it doesn’t make it any less interesting.

It turns out that a smart philanthropist lived in our city, a biochemist, who contributed a lot of effort to the things that the modern generation uses. For more information, please visit the website edmonton-future.

To make your acquaintance with the hero more colorful, we will not reveal all the cards at once and gradually tell about all the achievements of our compatriot, who is worth your attention. We will only inform you in advance that our hero was not born in Edmonton, but he can be considered our fellow countryman to the fullest extent. Why? The answer is further below!

Meet Raymond Lemieux

Raymond was born on June 16, 1920, in Lac la Biche, Alberta. Let’s mention Raymond’s father, who gave life to seven children, with Raymond being the last one on the list.

At six, the boy’s foot touched the ground in Edmonton for the first time. It was here that the future scientist first fell in love with chemistry at school, and this love lasted a lifetime.

At 19 years old, he became a student at the University of Alberta for four years and then spent two more years studying in Montreal.

The first significant event in Raymond’s career was the study of the structure of the antibiotic streptomycin, which took place at Ohio University in the United States. Who knew that here the scientist would meet his love, Virginia, and eventually they celebrated their wedding in New York in 1928.

In 1949, he returned to Canada and continued to work on the characterization of carbohydrates in his homeland.

In 1953, Raymond successfully carried out the synthesis of sucrose (cane sugar) with the help of a talented student.

After just one year, he began working in Ottawa, where he established the Chemistry department at the local university. In the capital of Canada, he focused on utilizing nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to determine the structure of natural products.

In 1961, Raymond moved one step closer to Edmonton and began working in Alberta. With the best technologies available at that time and full carte blanche, he continued working and in 1981 eventually earned the title of professor.

During these 30 years, he made many discoveries and conducted numerous experiments.


Our fellow countryman has accomplished numerous remarkable things for Edmonton. It is in the field of medicine where Raymond’s career shines particularly brightly and vibrantly.

The companies R&L Molecular Research, Raylo Chemicals, and Chembiomed were all founded by Raymond’s vision and hard work within our city’s borders. Throughout his career, he has worked on important issues of organ transplantation, focused on disease diagnosis, collaborated with blood banks, and conducted medical activities not only in Edmonton but also for the good of all humanity.

In his final years, the scientist devoted himself solely to Edmonton, and it was here where the heart of a great person who did a lot for world medicine stopped beating. We should be proud of a such fellow countryman.

He is known in the history of medicine and science as:

  • Companion of the Order of Canada 
  • Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Society of London 
  • Recipient of the Wolf Prize and the Albert Einstein World Award of Science 
  • Recipient of the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal 
  • Recipient of the King Faisal and Gairdner prizes.

Of course, these are far from all the scientist’s awards and achievements, but these are certainly the most outstanding. However, no matter how much Raymond worked as a scientist, he achieved his goal in life. He and his wife brought six children into this world, who continue to live in the city of Edmonton.

The famous expression “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” did not apply to our hero, as he managed to accomplish two things in life: living skillfully and with dignity. So there’s no need to be afraid of multiple tasks. Don’t believe it? Ask Raymond’s children, they’re right beside you.

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