The Vederas Group
Department of Chemistry
The University of Alberta
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Recent Previous Group Members



Randy Sanichar
Graduate Student (2018)
Thesis: Syntheses of Probes for the Elucidation of Biosynthetic Pathways

Current Location: Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Mark Lautens, University of Toronto, Ontario, CA

Contact:

Alex Yeong-Chan Ahn
Graduate Student (2018)
Thesis: Mechanistic Studies of PLP-Independent Racemases

Current Location: Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr.
Walter Fast, University of Texas, Austin, USA

Contact:

Alireza Bakhtiary
Graduate Student (2018)
Thesis: Mechanistic Studies on Antibiotic Peptides: Lantibiotics and Lipopeptides

Contact:

Jeella Acedo
Graduate Student (2017)
Thesis: Structure Elucidation and Biosynthetic Enzyme Characterization of Bacteriocins

Current Location: Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Wilfred van Der Donk, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, USA

Contact:

Sean Larade
Graduate Student (2017)
Thesis: Biosynthetic Study of CcsA and a Polyketide Synthase with Homology to Carnitine Acyltransferase

Current Location: Pharmacy Student, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, CA

Contact:

Kaitlyn Towle
Graduate Student (2017)
Thesis: Structural Studies of Bacteriocins, Peptide Virulence Factors & Antimetastatic Peptides

Current Location: Research Associate at Alberta Glycomics Center, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, CA

Contact:

Christian Foerster
Postdoctoral Fellow (2017)

Current Location: Product Compliance Officer - Chemical Substances at Lumileds subsidiary of Phillips, Germany

Contact:

Eva Rodriguez Lopez
Graduate Student (2017)
Thesis: Inhibition Studies of DapL Enzymes Orthologs and Synthesis of Proposed Biosynthetic Intermediates of Tabtoxin and Synthesis of a Hexaketide as a Standard for Lovastatin Studies

Current Location: Research Scientist at 48 Hour Discovery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, CA

Contact:

Amy Norquay
Graduate Student (2017)
Thesis: Investigations of Fungal Highly Reducing Polyketide Synthases: The Biosyntheses of Lovastatin and Hypothemycin

Current Location: MD/PhD Student, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, CA

Contact:

Shaun McKinnie
Graduate Student (2015)
Thesis: Enhancing the Stability of Biologically Active Peptides Apelin and Lactocin S

Current Location: Postdoc with Prof. Bradley Moore, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California in San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA

Contact:

Stephen Cochrane
Graduate Student (2015)
Thesis: Structural and Mechanistic Studies on the Antimicrobial Lipopeptide Tridecaptin A1

Previous Location: Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. Benjamin G. Davis, Chemistry Research Laboratory, University of Oxford, UK

Current Location: Lecturer, School of Chemistry and Engineering, Queen's University Belfast, UK

Contact:

Rachel Cochrane
Graduate Student (2015)
Thesis: Biochemical investigations of two polyketide synthase subclasses highly reducing/non-reducing pairs, and polyketide synthase non-ribosomal peptide synthetases

Current Location: Belfast, UK

Contact:

Justin Thuss
Graduate Student (2015)
Thesis: Investigation into lovastatin and cytochalasin E, two polyketides assembled by PKS-NRPS enzymes

Previous Location: Patent Agent Nissen Patent Law, Edmonton, AB

Current Location: Patent Agent Trainee at Gowling WLG, Ottawa, ON

Contact:

Brandon Findlay
Postdoctoral Fellow (2015)

Current Location: Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Concordia University, Montreal, QC

Contact:

Christopher Lohans
Graduate Student (2014)
Thesis: Structural Characterization of Bacterial Antimicrobial Peptides

Current Location: CIHR postdoc with Prof. Christopher J. Schofield, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, UK

Contact:

Keyur Pandya
Graduate Student (2013)
Thesis: Synthetic studies on novel facially amphiphilic sesquiterpenoid- and 11B-steroid-amino acid conjugates; and transition metal mediated steroid-amino acid derived biometallosurfactants

Current Location: Applications Chemist, Ascend Performance Materials, Decatur, AL, USA

Contact:

Zhizeng Gao
Graduate Student (2013)
Thesis: Biosynthetic Studies of Resorcylic Acid Lactones, Hypothemycin, Radicicol, and Dehydrocurvularin

Previous Location: Postdoc with Prof. Withers S., Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia at Vancouver, BC

Current Location: Assistant Professor, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, CN

Contact:

Dave Dietrich
Postdoctoral Fellow (2013)

Previous Location: Postdoc with Prof. Jon Clardy, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA

Current Location: University of British Columbia Business School, Vancouver, BC, CA

Contact:

Jing Li
Graduate Student (2013)
Thesis: Functional characterization of recombinant hyoscyamine 6-beta-hydroxylase and isolation of antimicrobial compounds

Previous Location: Postdoctoral Associate with Dr. Chang-Chun Ling, University of Calgary

Current Location: Instructor, Department of Chemistry, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, CA

Contact:

Zedu Huang
Graduate Student (2012)
Thesis: Chemical Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Unusual Sulfur-Containing Peptides and Efforts Toward Chemical Synthesis of Crocin

Previous Location: Postdoc with Prof. Wilfred A. van der Donk, Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA

Current Location: Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China 

Contact:

Jennifer Chaytor
Postdoctoral Fellow (2012)

Current Location: Associate Professor of Chemistry, Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, MI, USA

Contact:

Chenguang Fan
Graduate Student (2012)
Thesis: Structural and Inhibitory Studies of LL-Diaminopimelate Aminotransferase and Investigation of Methods for Small Peptide Crystallization

Previous Position:Senior Research Chemist, Toronto Research Chemicals

Current Position: Associate Director Process R&D Hutchinson MediPharma, Shanghai China

Contact:

Avena Ross
Graduate Student (2011)
Thesis: Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of the Lantibiotic Peptide Lactocin S and its Analogues

Previous Location: Postdoc with Prof. Bradley Moore, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California in San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA

Current Location: Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department, Queens University, Kingston, ON

Contact:

Clarissa Sit
Graduate Student (2011)
Thesis: Structure Elucidation of Thuricin CD, Thurincin H and a Leucocin A Mutant

Previous Location: Postdoc with Prof. Jon Clardy, Dept. of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA

Current Location: Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, NS

Contact:

Wei Liu
Postdoctoral Fellow (2009-2011)

Current Location: Scientist, Johnson Matthey

Contact:

Jesse Li
Graduate Student (2011)
Thesis: Investigation of Highly-Reducing Polyketide Synthase Enzymes that Produce the Fungal Polyketides Lovastatin, Fumonisin B1, and Hypothemycin

Previous Position: Postdoc with Prof. Craig Townsend, Dept. of Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

Current Location: Research Scientist at Gilead Sciences, Edmonton, AB

Contact:

Sabesan (Jay) Yoganathan
Graduate Student (2010)
Thesis: Lantibiotic Conjugates Targeted at Gram-negative Bacteria and Studies Towards the Total Synthesis of 2-Aminovinyl-Cysteine Containing Peptides

Previous Position: Postdoc with Prof. Scott J. Miller, Dept. of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

Current Location: Assistant Professor at St. John's University, New York, NY, USA

Contact:

Hongqiang (Patrick) Liu
Graduate Student (2010)
Thesis: Chemical synthesis and biological evaluation of naturally occurring cyclic peptides and their analogues: Lacticin 3147 A2 and Neopetrosiamides

Current Location: Research Scientist, Gilead Sciences, Edmonton, AB

Contact:

Leah Martin-Visscher
Graduate Student (2010)
Thesis: Examining the structure, function and mode of action of bacteriocins from lactic acid bacteria

Current Location: Associate Professor of Chemistry, The King's University College, Edmonton, AB

Contact:

Miyyapuram Venugopal Rao (Venu)
Graduate Student (2010)
Thesis: Synthesis and Investigation of Viral Cysteine Protease Inhibitors and Biosynthetic Studies on Subtilosin A

Current Location: Clinical Scientist, Fischer Bio Services, Rockville, MD

Contact:

Christine Otter
Administrative Assistant

Current Location: Retired - and travelling across North America with her husband.

Matthew Clay
Postdoctoral Fellow (2006-2008)

Current Location: Chair, Natural and Mathematical Sciences St. Mary's University College, Calgary, AB

Contact:

Viji Moorthie
Postdoctoral Fellow (2006-2008)

Current Location: Secondary school teacher, UK

Contact:

Marc Boudreau
Graduate Student (2007)
Thesis: Nucleoside Dicarboxylates as Mimics of Diphosphate and Disulfide Bond Replacement in Pediocin PA-1

Previous Position: Postdoc with Prof. Shahriar Mobashery, University of Notre Dame

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department, University of New Hampshire

Contact:

Darren Derksen
Graduate Student (2007)
Thesis: Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Bacteriocin Analogs and the Analgesic Peptide Crotalphine

Previous Location: AHFMR Postdoc with Prof. Ian Paterson, Chemistry Dept, University of Cambridge, UK

Current Location: Associate Professor, Chemistry Dept, University of Calgary

Contact:

Vijay Pattabiraman
Graduate Student (2007)
Thesis: Chemical Synthesis of Lantibiotics and Their Analogues

Current Location: Research Associate with Prof. Jeffrey Bode, Chemistry Dept, ETH Zurich

Contact:

Jianmin Zhang
Graduate Student (2007)
Thesis: Design, Synthesis and evaluation of SARS 3C-like Protease Inhibitors

Previous Location: Postdoc with Prof. Marco Ciufolini, Chemistry Dept, University of British Columbia

Current Location: Apotex PharmaChem, Toronto, ON

Contact:

Steven Cobb
Postdoctoral Fellow (2007)

Current Location: Lecturer, Chemistry Department, University of Durham UK

Contact:

Jamie Cote
Graduate Student (2007)
Thesis: Alcohol Dehydrognase Catalyzed Diels Alder Reactions and Synthetic Studies Toward Putative Intermediates in the Post-PKS Transformations of Dihydromonacolin L

Previous Location: Postdoc with Prof. Michel Rohmer, University of Strasbourg France

Current Location: Professor, Seneca College, Toronto, ON

Contact:

Mitch Flegel
Graduate Student (2007)
Thesis: Photodecarboxylation of Amino Acids and Synthesis of DAP Analogs to be Tested Against Enzymes Involved in Plant Lysine Biosynthesis

Current Location: Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures

Contact:

Lara Silkin
Graduate Student (2006)
Thesis: Investigations of Bacteriocins from Lactococcus lactic and Bacillus subtilis

Current Location: Real Estate Agent, Edmonton, AB

Contact:

Lucas Gursky
Postdoctoral Fellow (2006)

Previous Location: Postdoctoral Fellowship with Dr. Kevin O'Connor, University College Dublin, Department of Industrial Microbiology, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland

Current Location: Medical Resident, Calgary, AB

Contact:

Douglas Burr
Graduate Student (2006)
Thesis: Studies of the in vitro Activity of Lovastatin Nonaketide Synthase

Previous Location: Postdoctoral Fellowship with Prof. David Sherman, University of Michigan, Life Sciences Institute, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Current Location: Research Scientist, Perkin Elmer, Boston, MA, USA

Contact:

Dan Spantulescu
Graduate Student (2006)
Thesis: Synthetic Methods for Diacyl Peroxides and Peresters Derived from Amino Acids and Hydroxy Acids

Previous Location: Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Neil Branda, Simon Fraser University, B.C., Canada

Current Location: Lab Manager, Glustich Inc, Delta, BC

Contact:

Andrew Scholte
Graduate Student (2006)
Thesis: Chemical Biology Studies of Prenytransferase Enzymes

Previous Location: Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Marc Snapper, Boston College USA

Current Location: Research scientist at Sanofi (Boston, MA, USA)

Contact:

Dr. Chris Diaper
Research Associate (2005)

Previous Location: Research Scientist at Naeja Ltd (Edmonton AB)

Current Location: IP Analyst, TEC, Edmonton, AB

Contact:

Jake Stymiest
Graduate Student (2004)
Thesis: Synthesis of Peptide Analogs with Replacement of Sulfur by Carbon: Effects on Biological Activity and Stability

Previous Location: Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Varinder Aggarwal, University of Bristol, UK

Current Location: Senior Manager R&D at Purdue Pharma (Coventry Site, Rhode Island)

Contact:

Karen Kawulka
Graduate Student (2004)
Thesis: Investigations of Bacteriocins from Carnobacterium piscicola, Brocothrix campestris and Bacillus subtilis

2004-2006: Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC

Nathaniel I. Martin
Graduate Student (2004)
Thesis: Pseudoxazolines as Hepatitis A Virus 3C Proteinase Inhibitors and Bacterially Derived Antimicrobial Peptides

Previous Location: Assistant Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands

Current Location: Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Contact:

Webpage: Nathaniel Martin

Dr. Hanna Pettersson (Wallentin)
Postdoctoral Fellow (2004)

Previous Location: Research Scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital

Current Location: Research Scientist with Dr. Peter Mundel, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Contact:

Kamaljit Kaur
Postdoctoral Fellow (2004)

Previous Location: Assistant/Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Current Location: Associate Professor, Chapman University School of Pharmacy, Irvine, California, USA

Contact:

Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova
Graduate Student (2003)
Thesis: Inhibitors Acting on Bacterial Cell Walls

2003-2006: Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Christopher T. Walsh, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Current Location: Professor, School of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA

Contact:

Mike Pollard
Graduate Student (2003)
Thesis: Synthetic Studies on Cytochrome P450 Mimics

Previous Location: Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Ben L. Feringa, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Previous Location: Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Deceased

John Sorensen
Graduate Student (2003)
Thesis: The Assembly and Elaboration of Lovastatin

2003-2006: Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Christopher J. Schofield, Oxford University, UK

Current Location: Associate Professor, Chemistry Department, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

Contact:
Webpage: John Sorensen

Yeeman Ramtohul
Graduate Student (2002)
Thesis: Design, Synthesis and Testing of Hepatitis A Virus 3C Proteinase Inhibitors

Previous Locations: Research Scientist, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Laval, QC, Canada

Current Location: Research Scientist Paraza Pharma, Montreal, QC, Canada

Contact:

Complete list of former graduate students and group members (pdf)