- Ianoul, Anatoli I.
Research in the Ianoul Lab focuses on developing novel plasmonic nanomaterials for sustainability, investigating molecular processes at the interface in search for safer medications, and developing analytical methods for sensing. The Lab uses advanced spectroscopic and microscopic techniques to investigate the molecular mechanisms of action of novel antimicrobial peptides. We design nanomaterials with unique optical and electronic properties for applications in photo-induced catalysis, photovoltaics, and sensing. We develop novel ultrasensitive analytical methods based on surface enhanced optical techniques to monitor the presence of environmental contaminants.
For more information, visit the Ianoul Lab.
- Tsopmo, Apollinaire
The Tsopmo Lab is interested in the structures of food molecules and their functionalities. Our research focuses on the hydrodynamic properties of proteins and peptides obtained from by-products of food processing and study how they can be used to improve the texture of foods by performing structural characterization using spectroscopic and microscopic techniques.
We investigate the role of antioxidant molecules on health, lipid, and glucose absorption and metabolism. Oxidative damage to biological molecules increases the risks of developing many chronic diseases, and antioxidants molecules are useful in mitigating the risks. Using cellular models and molecular dynamics, the Lab is involved in the discovery of new antioxidant compounds from foods and human milk that reduce inflammation, inhibit lipid and glucose absorption, or decrease the differentiation of fat cells.
Vitamins and minerals are important for various physiological functions, and the Tsopmo Lab examines how the bioavailability of these nutrients is affected in foods grown in soil-less environments (i.e. vertical farming).
Metals such as hexavalent chromium and arsenic are toxic because of their oxidative stress induced damage to nucleotides and biomolecules. We are interested in finding peptides in foods that can reduce their toxicity by converting them to stable, non-toxic species.
For more information, visit The Tsopmo Lab.
- Rowley, Christopher
The Rowley Group uses computer simulations to study biological and materials chemistry. We use a combination of molecular simulation, quantum chemistry, and machine learning to understand complex chemical systems and then to use these ideas to predict and design new chemical systems. Our core areas of interest are protein–drug binding, covalent modifier drugs, membrane permeation, and cryo-EM structure refinement. To make our models more accurate and to explore new types of chemistry, we develop new methods for computational chemistry, such as our hybrid neural network potential / molecular mechanical model.
For more information, visit the Rowley Group.
- Lai, Edward P.C.
Using analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, the Lai Group focuses on the instrumental analysis of biochemical and environmental samples for public health using capillary electrophoresis, dynamic light scattering, fluorescence spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry and 3D microfluidics. New photochemical, electrochemical and optical phenomena are developed into analytical methods for enhanced sensitivity and selectivity: (a) molecularly imprinted polymers for the selective determination of therapeutic drugs in serum, ochratoxin A in red wine, and estrogenic compounds in wastewater treatment by solid-phase extraction with differential pulsed elution; (b) self-assembled monolayers and electropolymerized thin films for adsorption of toxic metals (Hg2+) and mycotoxins; (c) functionalization of colloidal nanoparticles for removal of endocrine disrupting compounds in environmental water and radioactive nuclides (Pu-238, Sr-90, Y-90,) in urine; (d) detection of nanoparticles in environmental water and air samples; (e) DNA binding with inorganic oxide nanomaterial surfaces; (f) interaction of nanoparticles with graphene quantum dots and simulated lung fluid; (g) surface chemistry/biochemistry of nanoparticles as related to electrochemical analysis by cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.
- Hosseinian, Farah
The Hosseinian Group conducts research in the area of phytochemistry/food biochemistry, focusing on:
- The extraction and characterization of novel biomolecules (mainly phenolic lipids and their interaction with dietary fibre) from agri-food by-products/waste;
- Investigating their structure-function relationship (biotransformation) in microemulsions/encapsulations in food and biological membranes (liposomes/artificial cell membranes);
- Enhancing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory activity for human health and well-being;
- Applying techniques (e.g. fermentation and germination) to reduce anti-nutritional factors in foods;
- And developing biomaterails from agri-food by-products/waste.
These novel biomolecules can have considerable potential for food science, agriculture, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, animal science and health science applications. Our lab is now more than 90% solvent free with innovative green techniques (SC-CO2 and Ultrasound) used to extract biomolecules.
- Manthorpe, Jeffrey
Our group is broadly focused on synthetic organic chemistry, particularly on applications in biochemistry and engineering. Our approach to research is highly collaborative with other academic researchers and corporate partners.
In partnership with Prof. Jeff Smith in Chemistry, we developed TrEnDi (Trimethylation Enhancement using Diazomethane, which uses innovative applications of diazomethane to enhance the analysis of certain biological molecules, particularly certain lipids and peptides, via mass spectrometry through the introduction of fixed, permanent positive charge(s). Extension and expansion of this work is ongoing, with current directions focused on the development of new derivatization reagents, expansion of the scope of substrates suitable for derivatization, and facilitating new fragmentation pathways in tandem mass spectrometry that will facilitate structure identification.
Our group is also currently engaged in a collaboration with Prof. Ron Miller (Carleton University, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) to understand the chemical fate of antioxidants in lubricating oils. This work involves the synthesis of various compounds proposed to be the oxidized antioxidants. This work is aimed at improving the understanding of how lubricants are oxidized and their functional lifetimes.
Our group’s expertise and previous work encompasses the total synthesis of natural products, including lipids, polyketides and terpenes; as well as methodologies, including metal-catalyzed organic processes.
For more information, visit the Manthorpe Lab.
- Storey, Kenneth B.
The Storey Lab investigates the basic biochemical principles of how animals endure and flourish under extreme environmental conditions. Our research seeks out the molecular mechanisms that underlie unique animal adaptations through the study of enzyme properties, gene expression, protein posttranslational modifications, and signal transduction mechanisms. The Lab is particularly well-known in the field of Cryobiology for its studies of animals that survive whole body freezing during the winter, especially the frozen “frog-sicles” that have made our research popular with many TV shows and magazines.
Storey Lab research is linked by two main themes: (1) biochemical adaptations that aid survival of environmental stress, and (2) metabolic rate depression – the ability to suppress metabolism and transition into a torpid state when times are tough. In addition to freeze tolerance, we also study mammalian hibernation and stress-induced metabolic suppression under arid or oxygen-restricted conditions. We use a range of modern molecular tools to explore these themes including enzyme kinetic analysis, protein purification, PCR, immunoblotting, differential scanning fluorimetry, Luminex technology, and computer-based bioinformatics of phosphoproteomes and mRNA/microRNA transcriptomes.
For more information, visit The Storey Lab.
- DeRosa, Maria C.
Dr. DeRosa’s Lab, the Laboratory for Aptamer Discovery and Development of Emerging Research (LADDER), seeks to develop biosensors and “smart” materials based on DNA aptamers, single stranded DNA or RNA sequences that specifically bind to a diverse variety of targets. Projects in our lab draw on inorganic, organic, materials, and nucleic acids chemistry. Several main research themes are outlined below:
1) Human and Ecosystem Health: We have several projects where we apply our aptamer technology to problems in health. We have developed MRI and CT contrast agents that use aptamers for targeting. Working with colleagues in neuroscience, we have developed an aptamer-based tool to study, and perhaps one day treat, Parkinson’s Disease. We have also discovered aptamers for cancer detection.
2) Molecules and materials for sustainability: Our research on aptamers for controlled release applications is being to “smart” fertilizer technology. Fertilizers play a critical role in increasing agricultural outputs but at high economic and environmental costs. The smart fertilizer concept involves the use of aptamers to recognize chemical signals that are exuded from crop roots to trigger the release of nutrients on demand, lowering costs for the farmer and lessening environmental impact.
3) Food Safety, Security, and Analytical Methods: The presence of unsafe levels of contaminants in food is a growing public health problem that requires new technology for monitoring the food continuum from production to consumption. Aptamers for food safety targets, such as parasites, bacteria, and mycotoxins, have been discovered and tested in the LADDER. Our main interest is to develop low‐cost, sensitive, robust biosensors for the detection of targets, mycotoxins in particular, at early stages in the food production chain (e.g. farm and grain elevator).
For more information, visit the LADDER.
- Barry, Sean
The Barry Lab is interested in the development of precursors and processes for atomic layer deposition (ALD) and was the first academic research group in Canada to work in this field.
We have previously discovered processes for the deposition of the coinage metals (Cu, Au), used in microelectronic chip manufacturing and sensing applications. Our present research is centred on earlier transition metals (Co, Ni, Mo, W) for next-generation nano-electronic interconnects, as well as upgrading additive manufacturing processes through thin film coating and sequential infiltration.
As synthetic chemists, we try to determine the mechanism of the surface chemistry and thermal decomposition routes to better design precursors and tune our processes. We look at many different processes and target films, but the theme of mechanistic inorganic chemistry can broadly be drawn through our work.
For more information, visit the Barry Lab.
- Avis, Tyler J.
The Avis Lab studies both fundamental and applied aspects of food and plant microbiology. More specifically, we are interested in microbial food spoilage and plant pathology. Our main focus is the use of alternatives to synthetic chemicals to control the growth of microorganisms on crops and during food storage. The resulting effects of this research is meant to increase food yield and reduce food loss, which can have a positive impact on food security and environmental sustainability.
We are investigating the use of beneficial microorganisms (biological control agents), as well as microbial and plant extracts and purified natural antimicrobial compounds as potential alternatives to control harmful microorganisms. These novel control measures are meant to mitigate problems associated with some synthetic control measures such as risks to health and the environment as well as to delay or eliminate the onset of resistance development in the targeted microorganisms.
Our laboratory uses a multidisciplinary approach including basic microbiology, biochemistry, bio-analytical and bio-physical chemistry, membrane and lipid chemistry, as well as molecular biology, genetics, and genomics.