How do we develop materials for human health and sustainable future?

How do we develop materials for human health and a sustainable future?

The solution to many of the most pressing global problems in human health and sustainability involves developing new materials that may one day allow us to reliably diagnose and treat diseases, make fuels and fertilizers from air and sunlight, store energy at will, or create super-strong and lightweight structural materials.

In the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, we are developing the know-how to make these materials. Our research ranges from developing of diagnostics and therapeutics to devising clean ways to make chemical feedstocks, to designing and synthesizing molecules that act as tiny, functional machines. 

Virgis Barzda

Virgis Barzda

Studies collagen based materials and develops harmonophores (i.e., novel visualization and theranostic probes for in vivo imaging).

Andrew Beharry

Andrew Beharry

Constructs small molecule probes to understand and treat various types of cancer.

Ulrich Fekl

Ulrich Fekl

Synthesizes functional molecules, many of which contain metals, for future materials and for green and sustainable chemistry.

Claudiu Gradinaru

Claudiu Gradinaru

Uses single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy to reveal conformations, interactions and dynamics of intrinsically disordered proteins and GPCR receptors.

Patrick Gunning

Patrick Gunning

Designs scaffolds to artificially suppress or up-regulate specific gene expression via manipulation of protein-protein interactions to treat cancer.

Voula Kanelis

Voula Kanelis

Uses NMR spectroscopy and other biophysical tools to obtain molecular-level details of proteins (e.g. ABC transporters), and understand how genetic changes in proteins cause disease.

David McMillen

David McMillen

Uses synthetic biology approaches to design cell-based solutions to problems in sensing and human health, in Canada and in under-resourced global communities.

Paul Piunno

Paul Piunno

Provides interdisciplinary research opportunities for undergraduates for the development of sensor technologies within microfluidic constructs for diagnostic applications.

Scott Prosser

Scott Prosser

Uses NMR Spectroscopy to understand protein folding and misfolding, how enzymes function, and the dynamics of GPCR receptors.

Leigh Revers

Leigh Revers

Cultivates scientists as innovators and entrepreneurs. Champions renewal of student engagement in organic chemistry through holistic approaches. Co-founder of two biotechnology start-up companies. 

Jumi Shin

Jumi Shin

Designs proteins that serve as a template for synthesis of new drugs with potentially lower carbon footprint and waste.