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



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

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

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

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)

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

Contact:

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

Previous Location: Instructor, Chemistry Department, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta

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

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: Assistant 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: Postdoc with Prof. Suzanne Walker, Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA

Current Position: Senior Research Chemist, Toronto Research Chemicals

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: Senior Chemist at Toronto Research Chemicals

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: Assistant 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 Pharmacist, Edmonton, AB

Contact:

Christine Otter
Administrative Assistant

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

Matthew Clay
Postdoctoral Fellow (2006-2008)

Current Location: Assistant Professor of Chemistry, 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: Assistant 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 Genzyme (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: Research Scientist 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: Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Michael Marletta, UC Berkeley, USA

Current Location: Assistant Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology, University of Utrecht, 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:

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: Associate 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: Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Brian M. Stoltz, Department of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, California, USA

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research, Montreal, QC, Canada

Current Location: Research Scientist, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Laval, QC, Canada

Contact:

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