Researchers

Research Associate

Yaldah Azimi

Bioengineering for Sustainable Resource recovery from waste streams

Yaldah’s research focuses on employing light-leaking waveguides for growing algal biofilms for cleaning water and producing value-added products. Her work involves mathematical modelling and ray-tracing for obtaining optimum waveguide designs for maximum light delivery in photobioreactors for growing algal biofilms. In addition, Yaldah is interested in wastewater treatment, UV disinfection, nutrient deficiency, and anaerobic digestion. She works as a postdoctoral researcher in Professor Allen’s group.


Technician

Nancy Bawa

Microcosm set-up and analysis for evaluating benzene bioremediation

Nancy works on anaerobic degradation of benzene, toluene,xylene and scale-up of cultures and application of cultures in in-situ remediation.


Research Associate

Bih-King Chen

Microencapsulation of food ingredients and nutraceuticals

Research Associate with Professor Diosady working on protein extraction and purification from oils seeds.


Rosa Di Leo

Protein and enzyme production and characterization

Rosa’s main responsibilities are to perform high-throughput cloning and test-expression for selected targets in a pET system using E. coli.


Elena Evdokimova

Protein and enzyme production and characterization

Elena is part of Alexei Savchenko’s structural proteomics group and focuses on the expression, purification and crystallization of proteins for the determination of their 3-D structure by x-ray crystallography. Her targets of interest include potential industrial enzymes, effector proteins of pathogenic bacteria and proteins responsible for antiobiotic resistance.


Technician

Robert Flick

Protein and enzyme production and characterization

Robert is part of the team at Structural Proteomics in Toronto where he works primarily on the CRISPR project with a focus on enzymatic characterization as well as protein purification. He is supervised by Alexander Yakunin.


Visiting Researcher

Savia Gavazza

Savia is a visiting scholar in Professor Elizabeth Edward’s research group and holds a position as a Professor in Civil Engineering at Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil.


Technician

Shen Guo

Enhancing and Monitoring Anaerobic Benzene Degradation in Groundwater System

Shen graduated from Mahadevan group with an MASc degree and is currently working on a “benzene project” in Edwards research group. He works on scaling up benzene degrading cultures for pilot-scale bioaugmentation study. He also monitors microbial community composition of benzene degrading cultures through molecular biology techniques and investigates its relationship with benzene degradation.


Yaser Khojasteh-Salkuyeh



Postdoctoral Fellow

Anna Khusnutdinova

Protein and enzyme production and characterization

Anna is working on new oxidoreductases for industrial applications, and the biochemical and structural characterization of new enzymes with a focus on oxidoreductases. Her work is supervised by Alexander Yakunin.


Postdoctoral Fellow

Kiruba Krishnaswamy

Microencapsulation of Iron Premix in Double Fortification of Salt (DFS)

Kiruba is a part of Dr. Diosady’s Food Engineering Research Group. She received her PhD in Bioresource Engineering from McGill University. Kiruba works on the IDRC Food Security Project to develop and optimize iron premix through microencapsulation methods.


Line Lomheim

Bioremediation

In addition to helping keep the BioZone labs working smoothly, Line performs remediation treatability tests using bioremediation technologies such as biostimulation and bioaugmentation. She also works on experiments using chemical reduction as a remediation technology.


Post-doctoral Fellow

Fei Luo

Monitoring and enhancing anaerobic benzene biodegradation in groundwater systems

Fei is a part of the Edwards research group and is investigating anaerobic benzene biodegradation, including characterization of the organisms in the benzene-degrading microbial community and identification of the biodegradation mechanisms involved in the biodegradation process. She is also working on scaling up the benzene-degrading culture for bioaugmentation to facilitate in situ benzene bioremediation.


Research Associate

Torsten Meyer

Bioengineering for maximizing value in forest products

Torsten is part of Elizabeth Edwards’ and Emma Master’s research groups and is working in the area of anaerobic digestion and lignocellulosic biomass biotransformation.


Research Technician

Travis Oakes



Postdoctoral Fellow

Andrew Quaile

Protein and enzyme production and characterization

The remarkable abilities of bacterial effector proteins to mimic, modulate and co-opt diverse and complex host cell pathways makes identifying their target interactors and functional complexes one of the big challenges that must be overcome in order to fully understand their biological roles. The majority of Andrew’s experience has been in the areas of proteomics and mass spectrometry, protein purification and identifying protein-protein and drug-protein interactions. His current research is focussed on identifying in-vitro functional partners of bacterial type 3 and 4 secretion system effectors using an affinity purification mass spectrometry (AP-MS) method. He works under the supervision of Alexei Savchenko.


Research Associate

Christine Romano

Biomining


Post-doctoral Fellow

Juveria Siddiqui

MICROENCAPSULATION OF IRON, FOR SALT AND TEA FORTIFICATION

Dr. Juveria Siddiqui is a post-doctoral fellow in Professor Diosady’s Food Engineering group. Her prime research interest is to understand the function of bioactive dietary components, their beneficial effects in human health, and nutraceutical development. The focus of her present research is the micronutrients fortification through development and optimization of iron-containing reverse-enteric coated micro-particles using spray drying technique.
She is a recipient of research award from prestigious Schlumberger Foundation’s “Faculty for the Future” competition for young scholar.


Post-doctoral Fellow

Sayeh Sinichi


Technician

Tatiana Skarina

Protein and enzyme production and characterization

Tatiana’s expertise lies in the optimization of protein crystallization, a key step in obtaining high quality 3D structures using x-ray crystallography. Her work focuses on the use of crystallization techniques and functional assays to help characterize effector proteins. She works under the supervision of Alexei Savchenko.


Visiting Researcher

Jayesh Sonawane

Microbial fuel cells with self-sustained algal cathode for energy recovery and biohydrogen generation from waste organics

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are promising devices which have a great potential to treat wastewater and also produce electricity simultaneously. To make MFCs commercial the manufacturing cost needs to be as low as possible. The platinum catalysts based cathodes which are costly and it can be replaced with biocathodes which are a cheaper alternative and abundant in nature. Dual chamber hybrid MFC can be fabricated for this purpose comprising of anode chamber containing wastewater and cathode chamber containing green algae Scenedesmus obliquus. In the anode chamber, bacteria produce CO2 from their metabolism by consuming organic matter which is channeled to these algal biocathodes. Meanwhile, protons generated from bacteria in anode chamber pass to algal cathode chamber via proton exchange membrane. The green algae Scenedesmus obliquus has the ability to intake protons and is capable of producing H2 gas under anaerobic environment. A novel modification of MFCs design is being proposed where apart from consumption of CO2 by Algal cathode which makes these MFCs a green energy technology. Also, it has potential to produce H2 which can be used for hydrogen fuel cells.


MS Facility Manager

Andrei Starostine

Mass Spectrometry Facility Manager

Andrei provides technical support and expertise for the application of mass spectrometry to a wide range of biological and inorganic analyses, including high resolution protein identification and small molecules characterization. He has developed experimental methods for chromatographic separation of protein complexes and for organic low molecular structural determination. Andrei is responsible for training students and researchers on the use of LC and GC-MS techniques in chemistry and biology. He operates the Biozone mass spec facility on an open access basis and also supplies services to researchers not affiliated with University of Toronto.


Research Associate

Peter Stogios

Protein and enzyme production and characterization

In biochemistry, “form” = “function”. 3D structure determination of proteins and enzymes is a powerful method for identifying and querying function such as identifying enzyme activity and substrate specificity, facilitating structure-based drug and inhibitor design, and guiding mutational analysis and biochemical characterization. Peter determines and characterizes the 3D structures of proteins produced by the Savchenko lab through Biozone’s x-ray diffraction facility and synchrotron partners, providing valuable functional interpretation and guidance for experimental follow-up.


Post-doctoral Fellow

Caroline Vanderghem

Techno-economic and environmental performance of biofuels

Caroline is part of Prof. Bradley Saville and Prof. Heather Maclean’s research group. She obtained her PhD in Agronomic Sciences and Biological Engineering at Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège. Her current work focuses on modeling the techno-economic and environmental performance of biofuels.


Post-doctoral Fellow

Thu Vuong

Bioengineering for a sustainable forestry industry

Working under the supervision of Emma Master, Thu is investigating oxidase for fiber polymer modification.


Research Assistant

Bin (Bella) Xu



Research Associate

Minquing (Ivy) Yang

Bioengineering for maximizing value in forest products

Ivy studies the cause of degranulation in the anaerobic treatment of pulp mill effluents by investigating the correlation between the microbial and physical properties of granule and wastewater characteristics. She is co-supervised Elizabeth Edwards and Brent Sleep.


Research Associate

Dan Zeng

Design of a Novel Membrane-based CO2 Delivery System for Algal Biofilm Growth

In order to find the most applicable membrane which is both inexpensive and transparent, I intend to build a CO2 uptake kinetic model by algae (for determining critical CO2 flux for maximum algae uptake at various thickness).