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Sheref Mansy

Sheref Mansy, BS, PhD

Professor

Science

Chemistry

About Me

Sheref S. Mansy completed his BS and PhD degrees from Ohio State University with JA Cowan and postdoctoral work at Harvard with JW Szostak. After winning a career development award from the Armenise-Harvard Foundation, he began his independent career at the University of Trento in Italy. In 2019 he moved to the University of Alberta. He is a Simons Investigator.


Research

We explore the life-like chemistry that emerges from mixtures of prebiotically plausible molecules. In particular, we probe the metabolic-like chemistry of one of life’s most ancient cofactors, iron-sulfur clusters. The fact that life as we know it is completely reliant on metal ions likely reflects a primordial dependence on these natural catalysts. We also construct protocells, and investigate how the chemistry of iron-sulfur peptides could have helped sustain the existence of protocells. Students working with us have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of spectroscopic techniques, collaborate with scientists from disparate disciplines, and enjoy the challenge of trying to solve one of life’s greatest mysteries.


Teaching