Group Members


Mimi McClean (4th year thesis student, 2019 – present). Biosynthesis of a halogenated phosphonate.

Samantha Hollands (accelerated MSc, 2019 – present). Biosynthesis of cyanobactins.

Kendall Hupp (4th year thesis, 2018 – 2019; MSc, 2019 – present). Molecular determinants of substrate specificity in the oxidative PhnY*/PhnZ pathway for phosphonate degradation.

Ola Pasternak (PhD student, 2016 – present). Biosynthesis of nucleocidin by Streptomyces calvus.

Dr. Simanga Gama (postdoctoral fellow, 2018 – present). Characterization of glyphosate degradation enzymes.

Dr. Manisha Patel (postdoctoral fellow, 2018 – present). Biosynthesis of cyanobactins.



PhD Students

David Simon (PhD student, 2013 – 2019, co-supervised with Richard Oleschuk). Influence of the bldA gene on the proteomes and secondary metabolite profiles in Streptomycetes.

Usman Aftab (April – Oct., 2013, visiting Ph.D. student, University of the Punjab). Discovery of anticancer compounds in Streptomyces isolated in Pakistan

Fern McSorley (Ph.D., 2008 – 2013). Enzymatic cleavage of carbon-phosphorus bonds.

Katie Groom (Ph.D., 2005 – 2013, co-supervised with Vic Snieckus). Studies into the Biosynthesis and Chemical Synthesis of Indolocarbazoles and Related Heterocyclic Compounds. Metalation of Indole-6- Carboxamide.

Arne Gessner (visiting Ph.D. student, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität-Freiburg, June-July 2012). The effect of the bldA gene on Streptomyces secondary metabolite production.


MSc Students

Suhayla Sequeira (MSc student, 2017 – 2019). Biosynthesis of the fluorometabolite nucleocidin by Streptomyces calvus.

Isobel Barber (MSc student 2018-2019, on exchange from Durham University, UK). Biosynthesis of cyanobactins.

Jorge Antonio Tzec Interián (MSc student, summer of 2018, on exchange from the  Instituto de Ecología A.C., Xalapa, México). Application of a promoter assay to improve nucleocidin production in S. calvus.

Becky Lo (2017 – 2018). Mechanistic analysis of the phosphonate degrading enzymes PhnY* and PhnZ.

Kaitlyn Pinkett (MSc student, 2015 – 2017). Biosynthesis of the fluorinated natural product nucleocidin by S. calvus.

Jacqueline Séguin (M.Sc., 2013 – 2015). Mechanistic analysis of the organophosphonate degrading enzymes PhnY and PhnZ.

Alyssa Brewer (M.Sc., 2013 – 2015). Analysis of cryptic biosynthetic pathways in Streptomyces calvus.

XiMing Zhu (M.Sc., 2012 – 2014). Exploration of cryptic biosynthetic pathways activated with a functional bldA gene in Streptomyces calvus.

Ryan Latimer (M.Sc., 2008 – 2010 ). Studies on the chloramphenicol halogenase CmlS.

Di Hu (M.Sc., 2007 – 2010, co-supervised with Derek Pratt). Computational Studies of Lipid Autoxidation and Solvent-Mediated Antioxidant Activity and a Kinetic Study of a Halogenase in the Pyrrolnitrin Biosynthetic Pathway.

Meagan Perry (M.Sc., 2006 – 2009). Improving protein solubility via directed evolution.

Shu-Mei He (M.Sc., 2005-2008). Towards the structure and function of CP-lyase enzymes.


Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Daria Trofimova (2008 – 2010). Production of reactive oxygen species by antibodies (joint with Derek Pratt).

Dr. Anupam Bhattarachya (2005 – 2007). Indolocarbazole biosynthesis and halogenases.

Dr. Yan Luo (2004 – 2006). Analysis of bacterial CP-lyase enzymes.


Visiting Scientists

Prof. Bjarne Hove-Jensen, Dept. of Biology, University of Copenhagen (2010 – 2012). Analysis of the pathway for organophosphonate degradation by carbon-phosphorus lyase.



Christina Roesch (diploma  student on exchange from University of Freiburg, summer of 2019). Biosynthesis of a cyanobactin.

Zed Lu (4th year thesis student, summer 2019). Phosphonate specificity of CP-lyase PhnD proteins.

Peter Hall (4th year thesis in biochemistry, 2019). Biosynthesis of nucleocidin.

Eric Lawrence (4th year thesis in chemistry, 2017-2018). Analysis of PhnZ by solid state 17O-NMR spectroscopy (in collaboration with Prof. Gang Wu).

Shauna Deorajh (4th year ENG Chem student, 2017-2018). 4th year thesis project on the functional characterization of nucleocidin biosynthetic enzymes.

Peter Kalistchuk (2017). Exchange student in Biotechnology from St. Lawrence college. Biosynthesis of nucleocidin.

Stephanie Hrab (4th year BSc student, 2016-2017). 4th year thesis project and summer student.

Alexa Torelli (3rd year life science, 2017). Summer student.

Linor Berezin (4th year BSc student, 2016-2017). NSERC summer student and lab volunteer. Biosynthesis of nucleocidin.

Dragos Chiriac (3rd year BSc student, 2016-2017). iGEM Synthetic Biology team leader.

Sophia-Klara Gassenschmidt (exchange student from Freiburg University, Germany, August – September, 2016). Biosynthesis of nucleocidin.

Jessie Hebbert (BSc, 2015-2016, 4th year thesis in Chemistry). Biosynthesis of nucleocidin in S. calvus.

Akpevweoghene Akohwarien (BSc, 2015-2016, 4th year thesis in Chemistry). Identification of the product of a NRPS in S. calvus.

Shane Colborne, 4th year thesis in Chemistry, 2014-2015.

Nathalie Butler, 4th year thesis in Biochemistry, 2013-2014.

Aric Huang, co-op student via McMaster Chemical Biology program and NSERC USRA, Jan – Aug, 2013.

Anne Li, 4th year thesis in Chemistry, 2012-2013

Stephanie Vanner, NSERC USRA, 2012

Christine Klaus, diploma exchange student from Bechthold lab (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität-Freiburg), Mar-June 2012

Hanna Zhao, co-op student from McMaster Chemical Biology Program, Jan-August 2012

Anjuli Szawiola, 4th year thesis in Chemistry, 2011- 2012

Matthew Rankin-Byrne, 4th year thesis in Chemistry, 2011 – 2012

Zhimeng Jia, NSERC USRA, 2010

Matt Wong, 4th year thesis in Chemistry and NSERC USRA, 2009-2010

Joshua Wood, 4th year thesis in Chemistry, 2009-2010

Christina Sun, NSERC USRA, 2009

Stuart Macfie, 4th year thesis in Biochemistry, 2008-2009

Shelly McArthur, 4th year thesis in Chemistry, 2008-2009

Leslie Young, 4th year thesis in Chemistry, 2008-2009

King (Polly) Ho, 4th year thesis in Biochemistry, 2007-2008

Matthew Wathier, 4th year thesis and NSERC USRA, 2007-2008

Mats Junek, NSERC USRA, 2007

Elizabeth Wong, NSERC USRA, 2007

Amelie Menard, 4th year thesis (joint with Prof. D. Pratt)

Fu Yan, 4th year thesis in Biochemistry, 2006-2007

Young Chang, 4th year thesis in Chemistry, 2006

Taila Hartley, NSERC USRA, 2005 and 2006

Dianna Wang, NSERC USRA, 2005

Karin Ho, 4th year thesis in Chemistry, 2005-2006

Julia Kennedy, 4th year thesis in Biochemistry, 2005-2006

Shane Nagle, 4th year thesis in Chemistry, 2005-2006

Allison Tsang, 4th year thesis in Biochemistry, 2005-2006

Christopher Yang, 4th year thesis in Biochemistry, 2005

Sam Molyneux, 4th year thesis in Biochemistry, 2005