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Principal Investigator

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Sachdev Sidhu

Professor, Director of TRAC

Post-doctoral Fellowship Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA
Ph.D. Biochemistry Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC
B.Sc. Biochemistry Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

Appointed Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Cross-appointed Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON; Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON


Contact sachdev.sidhu@utoronto.ca

Research Associates

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Shane Miersch

Senior Research Associate

Post-doctoral FellowshipHarvard, Cambridge, MA, USA
Ph.D.University of Windsor, Windsor, ON
B.Sc.University of Windsor, Windsor, ON
Diploma Chemical Engineering TechnologySt Clair College, Windsor, ON

Research interests Using proteomics techniques to illuminate the fundamentals of disease and to develop tools based upon acquired insights for the treatment of major diseases affecting modern society.

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Hometown Niagara Falls/Windsor, Ontario

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Gang Chen

Senior Research Associate

Post-doctoral FellowshipUniversity of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Ph.D.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
M.Sc.East China University of Science and Technology, China
B.Sc.East China University of Science and Technology, China

Research interests Antibody engineering; High-throughput screening; Generating synthetic antibodies targeting bacterial toxins, pathways critical for viral entry and posttranslational modifications in cell signaling pathway. These antibodies may be used as diagnostic tools and/or potential therapeutics.

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Hometown Jiangsu, China

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Jarrett Adams

Senior Research Associate

Post-doctoral FellowshipUniversity of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Post-doctoral FellowshipStanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
Ph.D.Queen's University, Kingston, ON

Research interestsReceptor-Mediated Pharmacology; Eph/Ephrins; Targeted Tumor Therapeutics.



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Hometown Toronto, ON

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Joan Teyra

Research Associate

Post-doctoral FellowshipUniversity of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Ph.D.Biotechnology Centre, Dresden, Germany
M.Sc.Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
B.Sc.Universitat de Girona, Girona, Spain

Research interestsProtein engineering and ligand design; Systematic inhibition of protein-protein interactions using phage-derived peptides.


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Hometown Girona, Catalonia

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Alex Singer

Senior Research Associate

Post-doctoral FellowshipUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Ph.D.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
M.Sc.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
B.Sc.University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

Research interestsProtein ubiquitination, type III effectors, protein engineering, protein crystallography and protein multidimensional NMR.

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Hometown Hamilton, ON

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Abdellali Kelil

Research Associate

Post-doctoral FellowshipUniversity of Montreal, Montreal QC
Ph.D.University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC

Research interestsExploring the linear information encoding (i) binding of high throughput synthetic antibody libraries, and (ii) human fitness genes with high resolution CRISPR-Cas9 library.



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HometownToronto, ON

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Frederic Fellouse

Senior Research Associate

Post-doctoral FellowshipLunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Toronto, ON
Ph.D.Genentech/University of Provence, San Francisco, CA/Marseilles, France
M.Sc., B.Sc.University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France
Engineering DiplomaEcole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs de Luminy, Marseilles, France

Research interestsFunctionality of synthetic antibody repertoires, intrabody libraries, ion channel antibodies, vaccines and diagnostics for Dengue and East Coast fever.

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HometownAyze, France

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Lia Cardarelli

Senior Research Associate and co-Director of TRAC

Post-doctoral FellowshipUniversity of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Post-doctoral FellowshipHarvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
Ph.D.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
B.Sc.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Research interestsProtein engineering, phage display, diabodies.


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Levi Blazer

Research Associate

Post-doctoral FellowshipUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Ph.D.University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
B.Sc Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA, USA

Research interests Protein-protein interactions; G protein-coupled receptor signalling; protein engineering; pharmacology.


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Hometown Spring Mills, PA, USA

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Maryna Gorelik

Research Associate

Post-doctoral Fellowship University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Ph.D.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Research interestsProtein function; Developing ubiquitin- based binders to the F-box family of SCF E3 ligase





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Hometown Kharkov, Ukraine

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Zvezdan Pavlovic

Research Associate

Post-doctoral Fellowship University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Ph.D.University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
M.Sc.University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Research interestsBiological characterization of synthetic antibodies targeting membrane proteins in cancer.




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HometownValjevo, Serbia

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Isabelle Pot

Senior Research Associate

Post-doctoral Fellowship University of Calgary, Calgary, AB
Post-doctoral Fellowship University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Ph.D.University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
B.Sc.Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

Research interestsDevelopment of biologics as therapeutics; science funding and communication.


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HometownGeneva, Switzerland

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Chao Chen

Research Associate

Post-doctoral Fellowship University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Post-doctoral Fellowship University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA
Ph.D.Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
M.Sc.Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China
B.Sc.Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China

Research interestsDevelopment of therapeutic biologics, protein structure-function relationship, biophysics, antibody engineering.

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HometownWuxi, China

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Jacky Chung

Research Associate

Post-doctoral Fellowship Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Ph.D.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
B.Sc.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON


Research interestsFunctional engineering of intracellular scaffolds.


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HometownToronto, ON

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Reza Saberianfar

Research Associate

Post-doctoral FellowshipUniversity of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Post-doctoral FellowshipAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London, ON
Ph.D.University of Western Ontario, London, ON

Research interests: Engineering and development of synthetic antibodies.



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Hometown Esfahan, Iran

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Serena Singh

Research Associate

Post-doctoral FellowshipUniversity of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Post-doctoral FellowshipUniversity of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Ph.D.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
M.Sc.University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
B.Sc.University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

Research interests: Protein engineering; development of therapeutic antibodies; site-specific bioconjugation.


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Hometown Toronto, ON

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Mindy Maynard

Research Associate

Post-doctoral FellowshipMassachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
Ph.D.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
B.Sc.Queen’s University, Kingston, ON

Research interests: Screening UbV libraries in human cells to identify novel treatments for cancer and regenerative medicine.



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Hometown Markham, ON

Post-doctoral Fellows

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Gianluca Veggiani

Post-doctoral Fellow

Ph.D.Oxford University, Oxford, UK
M.Sc.University of Padua, Padua, Italy

Research interestsProtein engineering to modulate cells.





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HometownVenice, Italy

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Mart Ustav Jr.

Post-doctoral Fellow

Post-doctoral FellowshipIcosagen, Ülenurme, Estonia
Ph.D.University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

Research interests: Development of therapeutic proteins and antibodies.




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Hometown Tartu, Estonia

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Ning Yang

Post-doctoral Fellow

Ph.D.University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
M.Sc.Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China

Research interests: Cell-based assays, pre-clinical studies, therapeutic drug discovery.





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Hometown Shan Dong, China

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Karim H. Shalaby

Post-doctoral Fellow

Post-doctoral FellowshipNational Institutes of Health, NIEHS, Research Triangle, NC, USA
Ph.D.McGill University, Montreal, QC
B.Sc.McGill University, Montreal, QC

Research interests: Evaluation of bispecific T cell-engaging antibodies that target Ephrin Receptors as potential cancer immunotherapeutics, using cell-based assays (such as, tumor cell line : T cell co-cultures), antibody and cellular profiling techniques, and in vivo solid tumor models. A secondary research interest is to develop an in-house CAR T cell program.

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Judith Palà

Post-doctoral Fellow

Ph.D.University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
M.Sc.University of Barcelona and University of Valencia, Barcelona and Valencia, Spain
B.Sc.University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Research interests: Phage display of enzymes participating in the ubiquitin proteasome system.




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Hometown Barcelona, Spain

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Jonathan Labriola

Post-doctoral Fellow

Ph.D.McGill University, Montreal, QC
M.Sc.University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON

Research interests: Protein structure, biophysics, and engineering. Biologics development for targeting B-cells implicated in autoimmune disorders.





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Hometown Whitby, ON

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Guillermo de la Rosa

Post-doctoral Fellow

Ph.D.National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
M.Sc.National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
B.Sc.Autonomous Mexico State University, Toluca, Mexico

Research interests: Development and evaluation of synthetic antibodies against snake toxins. Protein design based on consensus sequence. Ultralong CDR-H3 antibodies for tropical diseases.


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Hometown Morelos, Mexico

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Luciano Costa e Silva

Post-doctoral Fellow

Ph.D.University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
M.Sc.University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Research interests: Antibody Engineering. Generation and assessment of the functionality of multispecific antibodies that combine anti-angiogenic agents with immune checkpoint inhibitors.




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Hometown Belo Oriente, Brazil

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Gia-Khanh Luu

Post-doctoral Fellow

Ph.D.University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK
B.Sc.Brigham Young University-Idaho, Rexburg, ID, USA

Research interests: Tools to identify small molecules targeting the ubiquitin system.





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Hometown Vietnam

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Heather Bruce

Post-doctoral Fellow

Post-doctoral FellowshipUniversity of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Ph.D.University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
B.Sc.University of York, York, UK

Research interests: Application of structural and biophysical techniques to characterize antibody and antigen interactions.



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Hometown Warrington, UK

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Suryasree Subramania

Post-doctoral Fellow

Ph.D.Laval University, Quebec, QC
M.Sc.SASTRA University, Thanjavur, India
B.Sc.Kerala University, Kerala, India

Research interests: Antibody engineering, development of virus-like particle (VLP)-based therapeutics targeting novel candidate proteins in immune pathways.




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Hometown Kerala, India

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Nhan Huynh

Post-doctoral Fellow

Ph.D.University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
B.Sc.Murray State University, Murray, KY, USA

Research interests: Engineering ubiquitin variants and peptides to inhibit COVID PLpro and non-structural proteins.





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Hometown Dalat, Lam Dong, Vietnam

Graduate Students

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Keshna Sood

Graduate Student

B.Sc.York University, North York, ON

Research interestsSynthetic antibody development to control cellular behavior in cancer and regenerative medicine contexts.





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HometownToronto, ON

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Greg D. Martyn

Graduate Student

M.Sc.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
B.Sc.University of Western Ontario, London, ON

Research interestsSH2 domain engineering to investigate the phosphoproteome.





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HometownMarkham, ON

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Jason Q. Tang

Graduate Student

B.Sc.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Research interestsEngineering ubiquitin variants (UbVs) to interrogate the ubiquitin proteome system.





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HometownScarborough, ON

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Shreya Mishra

Graduate Student

B.Sc.SRM university, Chennai, India

Research interestsDevelopment of therapeutic antibodies.






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HometownNew Delhi, India

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Arvid Chowdhury

Graduate Student

M.Eng.Ryerson University, Toronto, ON
B.Sc.York University, Toronto, ON

Research interestsEngineering inhibitors of a deubiquitinating enzyme.





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HometownBangladesh

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Michael Lee

Graduate Student

B.Sc.University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Research interestsSynthetic antibody generation and evolutionary genetics.






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HometownVancouver, BC

Technicians

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Danielle Carranza

Lab Coordinator

M.Sc. Molecular and Cellular Biology University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
B.Sc. Molecular Biology and Genetics University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

Research interests Antibody development by high throughput phage display technologies.



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Hometown Barbados, West Indies

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Alevtina Pavlenco

Technician

M.Sc.Institute of Ecological Genetics, Academy of Sciences, Moldova

Research interestsNew applications of antibody in research and medicine; Affinity reagents development; Antibody phage display against various targets.




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Hometown Chisinau, Moldova

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Wei Ye

Technician and Interim Lab Coordinator

B.Sc.Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Research interestsEngineering protein domains based on natural proteins to recognize the N-terminal residues of polypeptides. Find antibodies for RNA-binding proteins to determine the RNA-binding specificities of RBPs, their locations and analysis of mechanisms involved in transcriptional regulation.


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Hometown Shanghai, China

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Jun Gu

Technician

M.Sc.Concordia University, Montreal, QC
B.Sc.Zhongshan University, Guangzhou, China

Research interestsProtein expression and purification. Developing ubiquitin variants (Ubvs) for E3 ligases and DUBs using high throughput phage display technology.




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Hometown Yichun, China

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Julia Garcia

Technician

M.Sc.University of Havana, Havana, Cuba

Research interestsProtein expression and purification. Functional validation of synthetic antibodies using cell-based assays.





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Hometown Havana, Cuba

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Lynda Ploder

Technician

M.Sc.McMaster University, Hamilton, ON

Research interestsGenerating synthetic antibodies to a wide range of targets using phage display technology.






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Hometown Mississauga, Ontario

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Nick Jarvik

Technician

B.A.University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Research interestsSPR, BLI, biophysical characterization of antibodies.






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Hometown Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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Mehrnaz Amani

Technician

M.Sc.University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

Research interestsDevelopment of therapeutic antibodies, VLP expression, purification, mammalian cell culture, phage display.





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Hometown Tehran, Iran

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Galina Khutoreskaya

Technician

M.Sc.The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

Research interestsAntibody and protein production and characterization, therapeutic drug development.





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Hometown Moscow, Russia

Alumni and Lab Member News



Christine Misquitta


Dr. Christine Misquitta joined the Sidhu lab as a program manager in 2011. Christine had completed her B.Sc. and Ph.D. at McMaster University, and then a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto. She then worked as a research associate with a number of groups at the Donnelly Centre, before taking on the role of program manager for several large-scale grants from Genome Canada, OICR and MRI's ORF program. Christine has been critical to the smooth running of the Sidhu lab. She was also instrumental in setting up and running communication and administration for the Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (CCAB). In summer 2019, Christine took on the position of Director, Strategy & Partnerships at the PRiME initiative at the University of Toronto, which aims to align research efforts in the area of precision medicine. We wish her the best in her new role!



Congratulations to Deelaka and Mitsue for successfully defending their M.Sc. theses!


Deelaka Wellappili joined the Sidhu lab in 2017 after completing a B.Sc. at McMaster University. Being interested in cytokine pathways, he characterized synthetic antibodies and assessed their effects on IL-23 downstream signaling in cultured cells. In January 2019, he defended his M.Sc. thesis entitled "Developing receptor-directed synthetic antagonists against the IL-23 signal transduction pathway". Deelaka is now a research associate at Angle Biosciences Inc.
Mitsue Mariam Zaman joined the Sidhu lab in 2017 after completing a B.Sc. in Biotechnology & Molecular Biology at the University of Toronto. She was interested in studying CD200/CD200R antagonists as potential cancer immunotherapeutics. In April 2019, she defended her M.Sc. thesis entitled "Development of CD200/CD200R antibodies and assessment of their anti-tumorpotency".

Congratulations to both and we wish you success in your future endeavours!



Congratulations to Wei Zhang as he starts independent career at Guelph


Post-doctoral fellow Dr. Wei Zhang joined the Sidhu lab in 2012 after completing a Ph.D. in Dan Durocher's lab at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. Wei took the lead of the UbV project in the lab and advanced it very productively with a total of of 13 publications, 3 of which as first author in high impact journals and one on which he is a corresponding author. While Wei worked on the goal of targeting most enzymes of the human ubiquitin system with UbVs, he also branched out into a new area where the concept could be applied, by targeting viral ubiquitin-binding proteins where UbVs could be developed as potential compounds against infection. Wei participated in writing a number of high profile grant applications (CIHR, Genome Canada, CCSRI), many of which were successful. On a personal level Wei successfully applied for a CIHR post-doctoral fellowship, which was followed by a Mitacs Elevate fellowship. His success was also recognized with a Mitacs Outstanding Innovation award, and with coverage in the media. In his final year, Wei obtained a highly coveted CRS "Scholarships for the Next Generation of Scientists" that includes new investigator start-up funds.
Wei is therefore more than ready to start his career as an independent researcher and we are thrilled that he got a position at the University of Guelph starting July 2018. Visit his new lab page for more information on his projects.
Congratulations Wei and best wishes for success in your new lab!



Congratulations to Max for graduating with his PhD!


Max London joined the Sidhu & Boone labs of the Donnelly Centre in 2011, after completing a B.Sc. in Biopharmaceutical Science at the University of Ottawa. Max worked on a collaborative project that used phage display, yeast display, and mammalian overexpression technologies to develop new antibodies to the human receptor tyrosine kinase family. He successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled "Phage Display for the Development of Synthetic Antibodies Targeting Receptor Tyrosine Kinases" in June 2018.
Way to go Max and we wish you continued success in your career!



Congratulations to Natasha for a successful PhD defense!


Natasha Pascoe joined the Sidhu lab in 2012 after completing a B.Sc. in Immunology at the University of Toronto. In collaboration with Charlie Boone (Donnelly Centre), she worked on developing intracellular screening systems to identify inhibitors of deubiquitinating enzymes. In April 2018 she successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled "Yeast Two-Hybrid is an Effective Platform for the Discovery of Novel Inhibitors of Human Deubiquitinases".
We wish Natasha all the best in the next phase of her career.



Congratulations Pankaj and Amy, the Sidhu lab's most recent graduates!


In July 2017, Pankaj Garg successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled "Development of E2 enzyme modulators using phage-displayed ubiquitin variants". After completing a B.Sc. in Biotechnology from the University of British Columbia, during which he visited the Sidhu lab as a summer student, Pankaj joined the lab in 2010 first as a technician and then as a graduate student to investigate specificity profiles of peptide recognition modules, and later to engineer novel protein-based modulators of the ubiquitin pathway.
Amy H. joined the Sidhu lab in January 2015 as a graduate student co-supervised by Drs. Sidhu and Moffat. She optimized technology that uses synthetic antibodies and mass cytometry to study brain cancer heterogeneity and successfully defended her Master's thesis entitled "Coupling synthetic antibodies with mass cytometry allows the development of a highly tailored, multi-parametric single cell analysis strategy" in September 2017.
Congratulations to both of you, and all the best for your continued scientific career.


Moshe Ben-David


Originally from Pardes Hanna-Karkur, Israel, Dr. Moshe Ben-David joined the Sidhu lab as a post-doctoral fellow in 2013 after completing an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Dr. Ben-David's interests were to design protein-based affinity reagents as tools for manipulating protein-protein interactions and studying signalling pathways, and to engineer protein hydrophobic cores in order to manipulate their conformational diversity and activity. Dr. Ben-David returned to Israel to take up a position in a biotech company.


Congratulations, Dr. Leung!!!


Originally from Hong Kong, China, Isabel Leung completed her B.Sc. at the University of Toronto and then joined the Sidhu lab as a graduate student in 2010. She worked on projects aiming to develop intracellular inhibitors of signaling. In October 2016, she successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled "Ubiquitin Engineering: Understanding Ubiquitin Recognition and Generating Affinity Reagents". Way to go Isabel!!! We wish you the best in your future endeavours.



Haiming Huang


Dr. Haiming Huang joined the Sidhu lab as a post-doctoral fellow in 2008, and became a research associate in 2011. Originally from Jiangxi, China, Haiming completed his Ph.D. at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (Peking Union Medical College) and post-doctoral training at the University of Western Ontario. Haiming worked on large-scale characterization of peptide domains such as SH3, and then moved on to develop synthetic antibodies to these domains. He is now a scientist at Innovent Inc. (Suzhou, China).


Lori Dawn Moffat


Dr. Lori Moffat joined the Sidhu lab as a post-doctoral fellow in 2012, and became a research associate in 2015. Originally from Halifax, NS, Lori completed her B.Sc. at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) and her Ph.D. at the University of Calgary (Calgary, AB). Lori worked on antibody discovery projects and technology optimization. She is now the IgG platform leader at the CCAB.




Welcome to our new lab coordinator, Danielle Carranza


As of April 2016, Danielle has taken over duties from Linda and will now be in charge of keeping things in check in the Sidhu lab with ordering and organizing. Danielle joined the Sidhulab as a technician in 2010 and has since gained a wide experience in most of the techniques employed in our lab. We're counting on you Danielle!




Congratulations to Hayoung Yoo!


Graduate student Hayoung Yoo successfully defended her M.Sc. thesis in April 2016. Originally from Vancouver, BC, Hayoung completed her undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC). She joined the Sidhu and Moffat labs in 2013 to work on functional screening of antibodies. She was a great member of the lab these past few years. Way to go, Hayoung!




Lab Manager Linda Beatty retires after 8 years in the Sidhu Lab!


Linda was a pillar of the Sidhu lab since Dr. Sidhu started at the University of Toronto in 2008. A graduate of York University and a senior technician with many years experience, she helped set up the lab and participated in many projects. In the last few years, due to the large size of the lab, Linda spent most of her time doing purchasing, organizing, trouble-shooting and generally trying to help the lab run smoothly. Lab members celebrated Linda at a lively party in March 2016. Linda was a valued lab member and we will miss her! We wish her the best!


Hong Na


With much sadness, we had to say goodbye to our esteemed colleague and friend, Dr. Hong Na, who suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in March 2016. Originally from Kunming, China, Hong completed his B.Sc. at Zhongshan University (Guangzhou, China) and his M.Sc. at East China University of Science and Technology (Shanghai, China). He then obtained his Ph.D. at York University (Toronto, ON) and completed post-doctoral training at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB) before joining the Sidhu Lab in 2012 as a post-doctoral fellow. Hong became a research associate in 2015 and has made valuable contributions to our team. He worked on projects related to the use of protein engineering for the development of therapeutic and diagnostic antibodies, and some of his work was recently published in RNA (Na, H., et al. (2016) A high-throughput pipeline for the production of synthetic antibodies for analysis of ribonucleoprotein complexes. RNA 22, 636-55. PMID: 26847261). Hong will be missed and our thoughts are with his family.


Johan Nilvebrant


Dr. Johan Nilvebrant was a post-doctoral fellow in the Sidhulab until January 2016. Originally from Stockholm, Sweden, Johan completed his M.Sc and Ph.D at the Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden). He joined the Sidhu Lab in 2014 and worked on projects focusing on autonomous antibody domain libraries and strategies to improve their properties.