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Current Members

Post-Doc
Description:

Adam joined the Nitz lab in 2014 as a PhD student. He was born and raised in Toronto, and completed his BSc in 2011 at the University of Guelph, majoring in Biological & Pharmaceutical Chemistry + Mathematics. In 2014, he completed his MSc in chemistry at Guelph under the supervision of Dr. France-Isabelle Auzanneau, researching glycosylations at O-3 of GlcNAc. His current research in the Nitz lab revolves around developing substrates for bacterial enzymes which are responsible for the synthesis of biofilm exopolysaccharides. Outside of the lab, Adam enjoys hockey, soccer, tennis, and hiking.

PhD Student
Description:

Alex is a PhD student at the University of Toronto. He is exploring the usage of bacterial toxins to generate defined glycoproteins. When not working, he enjoys amateur birdwatching in nice weather or curling up in front of a computer when the weather is lousy. He also heartily recommends checking out some of David Attenborough’s nature documentaries as an escape from reality.

Undergraduate
Description:

Ben is originally from Victoria, BC but is currently an undergraduate biochemistry specialist student at the University of Toronto. He will be working on designing and synthesizing monosaccharide inhibitors for enzymes utilized in the formation of biofilms by pathogenic bacteria. Outside of working in the lab and studying, Ben enjoys going to the gym, hiking, playing computer games and watching films.

PhD Student
Description:

Daniel was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. He completed his undergraduate degree in biological Chemistry at the University of Toronto. Daniel has been working as a research assistant for the Nitz group since January 2016, and is now a full time PhD student. He is currently working on a new protein conjugation method for antibody drug conjugates. Daniel often spends his spare time playing soccer, socializing, and reading.

PhD Student
Description:

Ehsen is a Toronto local, born and raised in Markham. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biopharmaceutical sciences at the University of Ottawa. For his undergraduate thesis, he worked with Prof. Jean N. DaSilva at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute investigating the role of norepinephrine in heart disease and working in radiochemistry. He then completed his MSc at the University of Ottawa with Prof. Adam Jason Shuhendler investigating methods for characterizing reactive drug metabolites in vivo. As a PhD student in the Nitz lab he works on developing metal based probes for bio-marker detection. In his spare time, Ehsen enjoys watching basketball, listening to hip-hop music, and developing his clothing business.

MSc Student
Description:

Hunter grew up in Ottawa and did his Bachelors of Science in Chemistry at Carleton University.  His 4th year honours thesis was in organic chemistry under Jeff Manthorpe studying the kinetics of diazomethane generation and alkylation of various diazald precursors. He is currently doing his masters working on the biofilm project. The goal of his research is to increase the cellular uptake of 1-phosphate sugars using acyl-phosphate derivatives that will cleave spontaneously within the cytoplasm to give the 1-phosphate sugar. In his spare time he enjoys playing sports and spending time outdoors to explore what the world has to offer.

PhD Student
Description:

Jamie completed her B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Chemistry at the University of British Columbia (2018). Her thesis project involved the synthesis of peptide derivatives as potential ligands for metallic catalysts of the hydroamination reaction. She joined the Nitz group in fall of 2018 and is working on the bio-incorporation of tellurium-containing amino acid analogues/probes. Outside of the lab, you may find Jamie reading (non-scientific literature), doing arts and crafts, terrorizing her friends with pictures of yummy food over instant messaging, or listening to JK Rowling’s inspiring Harvard commencement speech for the nth time. Ten points to Gryffindor!

MSc Student
Description:

Michael is originally from Ottawa, however, was raised in Nepal and Vietnam. As an undergraduate Chemistry and Biochemistry major at the University of Toronto, he is working to explore the bio-orthogonal application of the 1,3 dipolar cycloaddition of nitrones, and to extend the concept of amino acids to synthesize novel beta-turn catalysts. Outside of the lab, Michael enjoys making music, playing volleyball and basketball, and hoping for warm weather.

MSc Student
Description:

Miky is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, but grew up in Winnipeg after moving there at the age of 5. She completed a B.Sc Honours in Chemistry at the University of Manitoba. There she completed her honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Rebecca Davis, where she looked at the molecular docking of conduritol aziridine inhibitors in enzyme GCase. In the Nitz lab, she is working on analyzing the ability of GlmU to catalyze the formation of its own bisubstrate inhibitor. In her free time, Miky enjoys spending time outdoors, going hiking, canoeing and camping in the summer and snowboarding in the winter.

PhD Student
Description:

Nicole completed her B.Sc.(hons.) degree at Memorial University, in her home province of Newfoundland. Three days after her convocation, she headed to Toronto to begin work in the Nitz lab, and officially started her PhD in September 2018. Her research focuses on the development of a tellurium-based amino acid probe, with hopes that it will be incorporated into small peptide drugs for use in bio-distrubition studies. Outside the lab, she can be found searching for new local craft breweries, or dog-watching in Trinity Bellwoods Park.

Undergraduate Student
Description:

Priya is originally from Trinidad & Tobago and is currently a 4th year biological chemistry specialist student at the University of Toronto. She is working on altering the NahK enzyme to preferentially accept a modified version of GlcNAc. In her free time, Priya enjoys yoga, reading in the park, and making desserts while listening to carefully curated playlists.

PhD Student
Description:

Zach was born and grew up in Sydney, Nova Scotia. He completed his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and chemistry at Dalhousie University. His undergraduate thesis, supervised by professor Stephen Bearne, concerned the catalytic mechanism of the enzyme mandelate racemase. He joined the Nitz lab in September, 2016. Currently he is developing inhibitors against the enzymes PgaB and IcaB. In his free time, Zach enjoys cooking, jogging, and drinking tea.