Supervisors

Dr. Jason Acker
Research Focus: Blood Cell Preservation; Lab-On-A-Chip Devices For Blood Testing
Disciplines: Cryobiology, anhydrobiology, hematology, transfusion medicine, molecular biology, electrical engineering
Current Research Themes:
  • Biological response of blood cells to freezing and desiccation
  • Clinical cryopreservation of blood products (red blood cells, platelets and stem cells)
  • Quality of blood products used in clinical transfusion programs
  • Development of microfluidic devices for blood group genotyping
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

Research Focus: Breast Cancer Genomics
Disciplines: Pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics; genome wide association studies to identify genetic determinants of breast cancer phenotypes, proteomics and metabolomics
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 Micro Array (TMA)-Immunohistochemistry based biomarker validation

Dr. Steven Drews

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 for cellular therapies
  • Cryopreservation of tissues including cartilage and corneas
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
Research Focus: Role of the mucin MUC1 in breast cancer metastasis
Disciplines: Cancer metastasis, cellular signaling, computational modeling of proteins
Current Research Themes:
  • Cellular signaling cascades triggered by MUC1 binding to its ligand, ICAM-1
  • Computational modeling of the MUC1-Src kinase interaction
  • Investigating protein-protein interaction using NMR, cell-free, and cell-based assays
Research Focus: Bacterial Pathogenesis and Antimicrobial Resistance
Disciplines: Microbiology, Gastroenterology, Biochemistry
Current Research Themes:
  • Tetracycline resistance mechanisms that interfere with ribosomal targets
  • Virulence, antimicrobial resistance and treatment of Helicobacter pylori 
  • Characterization of Campylobacter jejuni isolates from human and animal sources
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Alternative approaches to reduce the spread of MRSA
  • Effect of textiles treated with antimicrobial finishes on skin bacterial populations

Dr. Rakesh Kumar (not currently taking students)

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
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
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.
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)
Research Focus: Blood Product Utilization
Disciplines: Blood banking, hematology, education
Current Research Themes:
  • Red cell usage in chronic transfusion recipients
  • Delivery of transfusion medicine continuing education for health professionals
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
Research Focus: Exposure and effects of environmental chemical contaminants
Disciplines: Toxicology, Analytical Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Sciences
Current Research Themes:
  • Tracking the global and local exposure sources of contaminants found in human blood.
  • Neurodevelopmental effects in children arising from perinatal exposure to bisphenol-A, perfluorinated substances, and toxic metals.
  • Monitoring of environmental emissions around oil sands development in Northern Alberta.
  • Effects-directed analysis of complex mixtures, such as oil sands process water
  • Development of new analytical methods for contaminant discovery
Research Focus: Molecular Diagnostics and Infectious Diseases
Disciplines: Molecular biology, clinical virology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, and environmental microbiology
Current Research Themes:
  • Development of molecular diagnostic assays on viral diseases
  • Molecular epidemiology on viral gastroenteritis
  • Monitoring CMV, EBV, and BKV in post-transplantation recipients
  • Detection of viral pathogens in Alberta watershed and its impact on human health
Dr. Consolato Sergi
Research Focus: Molecular Pathology and Mechanisms of Gastrointestinal, Liver and Cardiac Diseases
Disciplines: Translational Research, Gastrointestinal, Heart, and Liver Pathology
Current Research Themes:
  • Histologic and molecular phenotyping of medical diseases
  • Investigating animal models
  • Congenital heart diseases and cholangiopathies of liver
 
Research Focus: Molecular Pathology and Mechanisms of Liver and Kidney Diseases, and Transplant Rejection
Disciplines: Translational Research, Renal, Liver and Transplantation Pathology, Immunology, Applied Genomics
Current Research Themes:
  • Molecular phenotyping of organ tissues with medical diseases
  • Developing animal models
  • Relating molecules to histopathology lesions, diseases, response to treatment, and clinical outcomes
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