Dr. Jason Acker ( - Currently recruiting graduate students and PDFs
Research Focus: Manufacturing and Preservation of Cell-based Therapeutics
Disciplines: Cryobiology, anhydrobiology, hematology, transfusion medicine, molecular biology, cell therapies
Current Research Themes:
  • Biological response of cells, tissues and organs to freezing and desiccation
  • Clinical cryopreservation of cell-based products
  • Mechanisms and implications of sex dimorphism in transfusion medicine
  • Quality of blood products used in clinical transfusion programs
Dr. Carmen Charlton (
Research Focus: Vaccine preventable diseases and congenital infections
Disciplines: Infectious disease epidemiology and disease modelling, immunology, biochemistry, molecular biology
Current Research Themes:
  • Epidemiology of rubella, varicella, hepatitis B, HIV, and syphilis in prenatal women in Alberta and Canada.
  • Identification of protective immunity levels in prenatal populations
  • Identification and characterization of HPV genotypes in Alberta and Canadian populations
  • Efficacy of human papillomavirus vaccines in vaccinated cohorts

Dr. Linda Chui ( - Currently not accepting new students, PDFs, and trainees

Research Focus: Enteric bacteria, pathogen reduction in food chain
Disciplines: Molecular biology, molecular epidemiology, biochemistry, Interdisciplinary (Chemical and Material Engineering and Medicine)
Current Research Themes:
  • Abundance of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in cattle and association with clinical infections in the same geographical region
  • Virulence factors associated with STEC (O157 and non-O157)
  • Detection, identification, and surveillance of STEC
  • Development of viable PCR as a diagnostic tool
  • Development of antimicrobial surface for application in the agriculture/food industry and hospital setting
Dr. Sambasivarao Damaraju ( - No longer accepting new students, PDFs, and trainees
Research Focus: Breast Cancer Genomics, Skeletal muscle omics in cancer setting and application of statistical and machine learning tools to mine BigData, Clinical trials
Disciplines: Pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics; genome wide association studies to identify genetic determinants of breast cancer phenotypes, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics, machine learning tools for identification of complex biological processes and phenotypes
Current Research Themes:
  • Whole genome SNP and CNV association studies
  • Genomic markers for adverse drug reactions in response to chemotherapy
  • Identification of breast cancer susceptibility alleles in populations
  • Predictive models for disease/phenotype prediction
  • Tissue Microarray (TMA)-Immunohistochemistry based biomarker validation
  • Non coding RNAs and gene regulation
  • Human skeletal muscle transcriptome profiling of all coding and non-coding RNAs
  • Molecular characterization of skeletal muscle in patients with cancer
  • Preclinical models for cancer associated muscle wasting
Dr. Andrei Drabovich ( - Currently recruiting graduate students and PDFs
Research Focus: Clinical Proteomics, Cancer, Biomarker Discovery, Molecular Diagnostics
Proteomics, Mass spectrometry, Bioanalytical chemistry, Biomarkers, Molecular Biology
Current Research Themes:
  • Quantitative proteomics and mass spectrometry
    • Method development
    • Targeted proteomic
  • Prostate cancer
    • Proteogenomics
    • Diagnostics
  • Pathobiology of male infertility
    • Function of testis-specific proteins
    • Protein-protein interactions
  • Protein biomarker discovery and translational research
Dr. Janet A. W. Elliott ( - Currently not accepting new students
Research Focus: Interdisciplinary (Engineering and Medicine) Cryobiology and Cryopreservation of Cells and Tissues
Disciplines: Cryobiology, thermodynamics
Current Research Themes:
  • Computer modelling of cell and tissue cryopreservation procedures
  • Interrupted cooling strategies to cryopreservation
  • Cryopreservation of cells in suspension
  • Cryopreservation of tissues including cartilage and corneas
Dr. Jelena Holovati (
Research Focus: Quality of blood products for transfusion and tissue allografts for transplantation
Disciplines: Blood banking, biopreservation, transplant medicine
Current Research Themes:
  • Biopreservation approaches for red blood cells and tissues
  • Red blood cell membrane storage lesion
  • Tissue banking quality processes
Dr. Raymond Lai ( 
Research Focus: Studies of Cell Signaling in Cancer
Disciplines: Translational cancer research, Molecular biology, Pathology
Current Research Themes:
  • Using anaplastic large cell lymphoma as a study model, we investigate the mechanisms by which fusion gene tyrosine kinases cause cancers, with a focus on their effects on cell signaling
  • Mantle cell lymphoma - identification of novel therapeutic targets and prognostic markers
Dr. X. Chris Le (
Research Focus: Bioanalytical chemistry and environmental toxicology of arsenic
Disciplines: Bioanalytical Technology, Environmental Chemistry, Analytical and Environmental Toxicology, Public Health
Current Research Themes:
  • DNA-protein binding assays
    • DNA damage
    • Novel aptamers
  • Bioanalytical technology
    • Molecular recognition
    • Laser-induced fluorescence
    • Nanomaterials
  • Environmental chemistry
    • Metal speciation
    • Drinking water and food quality
    • Human influence on environment
  • Arsenic health effects
    • Environmental carcinogenesis
    • Cancer treatment
Dr. Roger Leng (
Research Focus: Regulation of p53 and p53 families (p73 and p63); Integrated genomic and proteomic analysis of cancer; and Mouse models of cancer
Disciplines: Molecular Biology, Mouse Genetics, Cancer Biology
Current Research Themes:
  • Understanding the catalytic function of Pirh2 and Mdm2 as Ub ligases for p53.
  • Identifying small molecular weight inhibitors to restore the p53 tumor suppressor function.
  • The generation of animal models of human cancer.
Dr. Elaine Leslie ( - Currently accepting new graduate students and PDFs
Research Focus: Biotransformation and transmembrane transport of carcinogens
Disciplines: Toxicology, Cellular Transport , Physiology, Pharmacology, Molecular Biology
Current Research Themes:
  • Hepatobiliary transport of arsenic
  • The role of multidrug resistance proteins (ABCCs) in arsenic detoxification
  • Cellular localization of glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1)
Dr. Xing-Fang Li (
Research Focus: Analytical Development and Applications
Disciplines: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Environmental Microbiology and Health, Water Research, In vitro Toxicology

Current Research Themes:

  • Analytical Technology
    • New chromatographic separations
    • Tandem mass spectrometry
    • Protein-drug interactions
  • Water Disinfection Byproducts
    • Ultra sensitivity determination
    • Formation and occurrence
    • New DBP toxicity
  • Pathogen Detection
    • Affinity capture techniques
    • Detection Techniques
    • Culturable and VBNC bacteria
  • Cell Electronic Sensing
    • New In vitro techniques
    • Nanoparticles and air particulates
    • Drug screening and biomonitoring
Dr. Gregory J. Tyrrell (
Research Focus: Streptococcal pathogenesis and epidemiology of Streptococci
Disciplines: Bacterial Pathogenesis, molecular biology, epidemiology, biochemistry
Current Research Themes:
  • Group B streptococcal (GBS) pathogenesis
  • How GBS invade cells, proteins involved.
  • Novel GBS virulence factors
  • Epidemiology of Streptococcus pneumoniae in Alberta and Canada.
  • Effects of pneumococcal vaccines.
  • Identification of new pneumococcal strains in Canada
  • Invasion of host cells by Group A streptococci
  • Identification and characterization of new Group A streptococci in Canada
  • Identification of novel streptococcal species in Canada.
Dr. Hongquan Zhang (
Research Focus: Bioanalytical technology, Ultrasensitive detection, Homogeneous assays, DNA nanomachines.
Disciplines: Bioanalytical chemistry, DNA nanotechnology, Functional nucleic acids, Point-of-care testing, Molecular diagnosis, Early detection of disease
Current Research Themes:
  • Exploration of binding-induced DNA assembly to develop bioanalytical tools for ultrasensitive and point-of-care detection of biological targets.
  • Development of fluorescent nanosensors for real-time detection of specific biological targets under cellular environment.
  • Construction of target-triggered DNA nanomachines and nanodevices.
  • Development of novel affinity ligands by generation, modification, and manipulation of functional nucleic acids.