One of my most significant contributions at Carleton has been in the leadership of the health initiative. I chaired the development committees for the Health: Science, Technology and Policy (HSTP) graduate program and the Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) undergraduate program, as well as establishing the Department of Health Sciences. I was also a co-founder and am the current Director of the HSTP Research Centre. Leadership of the broadly interdisciplinary and collaborative Carleton health initiative represents a unique contribution with the potential to change the research and academic profile of the University.
Chair, Department of Health Sciences
Director, Institute of Health: Science, Technology and Policy (replaced by the Dept of Health Sciences in 2014)
Associate Chair – Graduate Programs – Department of Biology
2007 – 2014:
Department of Biology and Institute of Biochemistry
2003 – 2007:
Department of Biology and Institute of Biochemistry
2000 – 2003:
Postdoc – enzymology (Dr. Jack F. Kirsch)
Molecular and Cellular Biology Department
University of California, Berkeley
PhD – Biochemistry and Biophysical Chemistry
Thesis: Inhibition and Inactivation of Prostaglandin Synthase-2 and Horseradish Peroxidase
Co-op at Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Concordia University
MSc – Biochemistry Molecular Biology
Thesis: Cloning and Structure-Function Analysis of Farnesyl Pyrophosphate Synthase and Geranylgeranyl Pyrophosphate Synthase from Lupinus albus
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
BSc (Agr.) – Crop Science
Department of Plant Science
BSc – Biochemistry
Department of Biochemistry
2013 – Research and Academic Excellence Award (2013 was the inaugural year of this award at Carleton University)
This award, established in 2013, recognize efforts that go beyond the specific research programs of individual faculty. It is for activities and initiatives that are integral to continuing to support and enhancing the vibrant research culture at Carleton, as they build a broad and sustainable foundation that supports research excellence, student engagement, and Carleton’s impact on real world issues. The research and academic excellence award is sponsored by the Vice-President (Research and International) and the Provost and Vice-President (Academic). This award specifically recognizes outstanding contributions as an all-round citizen of Carleton in the domains of research, teaching, and service by playing a notable role in building institutional strengths and outreach, and making a difference for Carleton’s leadership as a comprehensive University.
2010 – The Faculty Graduate Mentoring Award (2010 was the inaugural year of this award at Carleton University)
“The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs, in partnership with the Office of the Vice- President (Research and International), has established (in 2010) an annual Graduate Mentoring Award for Faculty. The award is intended to recognize faculty who render exceptional service to graduate students as supervisors and research mentors. The effect of these faculty on the careers of students is frequently transformational.”
2008 – Carleton University Teaching Achievement Award
2007 – Faculty of Science Teaching Award
2007 – The undergraduate newspaper (the Charlatan) surveyed students and selected 14 Professors to feature as Carleton’s “Most Awesome Professors” as the center page for the frosh week publication in the Aug. 30, 2007 edition of the Charlatan. This is not a formal teaching award, but rather a spontaneous selection by undergraduate students.
2005 – Petro Canada Young Innovator Award
(Notation: Bold = graduate student or Post-Doctoral Fellow, underline=undergraduate, italic= collaborator, asterix* = principal investigator and corresponding author)
Jaworski, A.F. and Aitken, S.M.* 2014. Expression and Characterization of the Arabidopsis thaliana 11S globulin family. Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1844:730-5.
Hughes, P.W., Jaworski, A.F., Davis, C.S., Aitken, S.M., and Simons, A.M.* 2014. Development of polymorphic microsatellite markers for Indian Tobacco, Lobelia inflata (Campanulaceae). Applications in Plant Sciences. Apr 4;2(4). pii: apps.1300096. doi: 10.3732/apps.1300096.
Hopwood, E.S.M., Ahmed, D., and Aitken, S.M.* 2014. A Role for Glutamate-333 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Cystathionine γ-Lyase as a Determinant of Specificity. (Manuscript No. BBAPRO-13-333R1. Revised manuscript accepted Nov 22, 2013) Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1844: 465-472.
Jaworski, A.F., Aitken S.M.* 2013. Exploration of the Six Tryptophan Residues of Escherichia coli Cystathionine β-Lyase as Probes of Enzyme Conformational Change. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 538: 138-144
Manders, A.L., Jaworski, A.F., Ahmed, M., Aitken S.M.* 2013. Exploration of structure-function relationships in Escherichia coli cystathionine γ-synthase and cystathionine β-lyase via chimeric constructs and site-specific substitutions. Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1834: 1044-1053.
Morneau, D.J.K., Jaworski, A.F., and Aitken SM. 2013.* Identification of cystathionine γ-synthase and threonine synthase from Cicer arietinum and Lens culinaris. Biochem Cell Biol, Apr;91:95-101.
Jaworski, A.F., Lodha, P.H., Manders, A.L., and Aitken, S.M.*. 2012. Exploration of the Active Site of Escherichia coli Cystathionine γ-Synthase. Protein Science, 21:1662-71.
Morneau, D.J.K., Abouassaf, E., Skanes, J.E., and Aitken, S.M.* 2012. Development of a continuous assay and steady-state characterization of Escherichia coli threonine synthase. Analytical Biochemistry, 423: 78-85.
Lodha, P.H. and Aitken, S.M.* 2011. Characterization of the Side-Chain Hydroxyl Moieties of Residues Y56, Y111, Y238, Y338 and S339 as Determinants of Specificity in E. coli Cystathionine β-Lyase. Biochemistry, 50:9876-85.
Aitken, S.M.*, Lodha, P.H. and Morneau, D.J.K. 2011. The enzymes of the transsulfuration pathways: characterization of the active sites. Invited review paper for special issue on pyridoxal 5’-phosphate enzymes. Invited review for special issue on pyridoxal 5’-phosphate. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1814: 1511-17.
Lodha, P.H., Hopwood, E.M., Manders, A.L., and Aitken, S.M.* 2010. Residue N84 of yeast cystathionine β-synthase is a Determinant of Reaction Specificity. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1804, 1424-31.
Lodha, P.H., Jaworski, A.F., and Aitken, S.M.* 2010. Characterization if site-directed mutants of residues R58, R59, D116, W340 and R372 in the active site of E. coli cystathionine β-lyase. Protein Sci, 19, 383-91.
Lodha, P.H., Shadnia, H., Woodhouse, C.M., Wright, J. and Aitken, S.M.* 2009. Investigation of Residues K112, E136, H138, G247, Y248, and D249 in the Active Site of Yeast Cystathionine b-Synthase. Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 87: 531-40.
Farsi, A., Lodha, P.H., Skanes, J.E., Los, H., Kalidindi, N., and Aitken, S.M.* 2009. Interconversion of a Pair of Active-Site Residues in E. coli Cystathionine g-Synthase, E. coli Cystathionine g-Lyase and S. cerevisiae Cystathionine g-Lyase. Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 87: 445-57.
Quazi, F.I. and Aitken, S.M.* 2009. Characterization of the S289A,D Site-Directed Mutants of Cystathionine b-Synthase from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1794: 892-7.
Belew, M.S., Quazi, F.I., Willmore, W.G.* and Aitken, S.M.* 2009. Kinetic Characterization of Recombinant Human Cystathionine b-Synthase Purified from E. coli. Protein Expression and Purification, 64: 139-145.