Maya Farha, Ph.D.

Maya Farha, Ph.D. 

Position: Research Associate

About

Maya completed her PhD in September 2014 in Biochemistry at McMaster University where she worked on using chemical-chemical combinations as tools of biology and as routes to drug discovery. She joined the Brown lab as a Research Associate shorty thereafter where she continues to explore strategies for novel antibacterial drug discovery.

 
 

Publications: 

Shawn French, Ph.D.

 
Shawn French, Ph.D.

Shawn French, Ph.D.

Shawn French, Ph.D.

Position: Research Associate

About:

Shawn completed a Ph.D in Biophysics at the University of Guelph. He joined the Brown lab in January 2012, and is working on applying his knowledge of cell structure and membrane physicochemistry towards cutting-edge methods in antimicrobial development. Outside of the lab, Shawn builds scientific computing systems that are tailored to interfacing with analog/legacy equipment. He prefers, however, to spend his free time cooking and reading books about warlocks.

 
 

Research Interests: 

My research revolves around finding new screening phenotypes, and exploring their potential in screening for new bioactive molecules. Further, I have been creating new platforms for novel chemical-genomics screening. In increasingly high throughput, we can now assess whole genome responses to stimuli such chemical or environmental pressures.

Publications:

Jean Philippe Cote, Ph.D.

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Jean Philippe Cote, Ph.D. 

Position: Post Doctoral Fellow

 
 

Publications:

Omar El-Halfawy, Ph.D.

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Omar El-Halfawy, Ph.D.

Position: Post Doctoral Fellow

About: 

Originally from Egypt, Omar received his B.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Alexandria University. After working as a Community Pharmacist, he received his M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Microbiology from Alexandria University. He then moved to Canada and completed his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Western Ontario focusing on mechanisms of intrinsic antibiotic resistance mediated by metabolites and other bacterial small molecules. Omar joined the Brown Lab in October 2015.

 
 

Research Interest:

Omar is part of the wall teichoic acid research group. He is searching for novel therapeutics against the notorious methicillin-resistant S. aureus. He is exploring the wall teichoic acid biosynthetic pathway as one of the potential targets.

Publications:

Garima Kumar, Ph.D.

Garima Kumar, Ph.D. 

Position: Post Doctoral Fellow

About: Originally from India, Garima completed her Ph.D. from The University of Alabama in 2015. Her graduate work involved investigated structure-function relationships in an enzyme superfamily using various biochemical and bioinformatic tools. Garima joined the Brown Lab in 2016. Outside of the lab, she enjoys cooking, dancing, and, reading.

 
 

Research Interest: Garima currently works on screening natural product libraries to identify novel compounds that could affect the permeability of the cell membrane of gram-negative bacteria. These compounds can putatively be used potentiate gram-positive antibiotics in gram-negative bacteria.

Brent Weber, Ph.D.

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Brent Weber, Ph.D. 

Position: Post Doctoral Fellow

About: Brent obtained his PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Alberta in 2016 where he investigated bacterial secretion systems. Brent joined the Brown Lab as a post-doctoral fellow in November 2016, and is currently investigating new ways to treat antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. He was awarded a Michael G. DeGroote Fellowship and a CIHR Post-doctoral Fellowship. Outside of the lab, Brent enjoys playing soccer and hockey. 

 

 
 

 

 

Mike Ellis, Ph.D.

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Mike Ellis, Ph.D. 

Position: Post Doctoral Fellow

About: Mike obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from Western University in 2016 where he investigated mechanisms of post-transcriptional regulation of bacterial transposons in the lab of David Haniford. Mike joined the Brown Lab as a post-doctoral fellow in January 2017 and is part of the chemical genomics group where he is discovering new ways to treat bacterial infections. Mike is currently supported by a CIHR Post-doctoral Fellowship. Outside of the lab Mike enjoys cooking, reading about commercial aviation, and spending time with his family.

 

 
 

Research Interest: My overarching research interest lies in exploring bacterial stress responses to develop platforms for antibacterial drug discovery and new tools for studying mechanism(s) of action for novel antibiotics. Some of my work is part of a collaboration with the lab of Dr. Brian Coombes where we are identifying fresh leads for antimicrobial treatments effective against systemic infections by Salmonella spp. Other ongoing projects revolve around using chemical genomics to study the function of small non-coding RNAs (sRNA) in E. coli and Salmonella Typhimurium and developing next-generation sequencing based platforms for chemical genomics in a number of Gram-negative bacteria.

 

Robert Gale, B.Sc.

Robert Gale, Ph.D. Candidate

Robert Gale, Ph.D. Candidate

Robert Gale, B.Sc.

Position: Ph.D. Candidate

About: 

Rob joined the teichoic acid research group in the fall of 2011 after completing his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Guelph. When not in the lab, he's likely to be painting, lifting or reading.

 
 

Research Interest:

My research is focused on wall teichoic acid (WTA) assembly. I've been synthesizing new chemical tools to study WTA biosynthetic enzymes ; these resources have allowed us to ask interesting questions about enzyme catalytic efficiency, processivity and mechanism.

Publications:

Craig Macnair, B.Sc.

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Craig Macnair, B.Sc.

Position: Ph.D. Candidate

About: Craig received his Hon B.Sc. with a specialization in Molecular Biology at the University of Western Ontario.  He is currently working towards his Ph.D. as part of the Brown lab chemical genomics group.  Outside of the lab, Craig enjoys tossing around a football and wilderness adventures.

 
mailto:macnair.craig@gmail.com
 

Publications:

Sara El Zahed, B.Sc.

Sara El Zahed, B.Sc. 

Position: Ph.D. Candidate

About: 

Sara completed her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a Bio-organic concentration at McGill University. She then joined the chemical genomics group at the Brown lab to pursue her graduate degree. Outside the lab, Sara enjoys playing basketball, jogging, and reading a variety of books.

 
 

Research Interest: 

Under nutrient stress, E. coli requires an additional set of 119 genes to be able to cope and to survive. The 119 genes become essential under nutrient limitation as they encode enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of amino acids, nucleotides, and vitamins. My project aims to study the interactions between these metabolic biosynthetic pathways under nutrient limitation. Since genetic deletions of the 119 genes result in lethality under nutrient-limited conditions, I apply chemical-chemical combinations of probes and antibiotics to map out and to understand the interactions between these pathways.

Madeline Tong, B.Sc.

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Madeline Tong, B.Sc.

Position: Ph.D. Candidate

About: Maddy completed her Hon B. Sc. at Queen's University in Life Sciences with a specialization in biomedical sciences in 2015. Outside the lab she enjoys spending her time cooking, baking and playing board games with friends.


Research Interests: Maddy currently works on understanding how different carbon sources affect the genes required for bacterial growth. 

Lindsey Carfrae, B.Sc.

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Lindsey Carfrae

Position: Ph.D. Candidate

About: Lindsey completed her Hon B.H.Sc. in Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization at McMaster University. She joined the Brown lab in 2016 and is currently part of the nutrient stress group. Outside of the lab, Lindsey enjoys basketball, reading, and hiking.

Kristina Klobucar, B.Sc.

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Kristina Klobucar, B.Sc. 

Position: M.Sc. Candidate

About: Kristina completed her Hon B.Sc. in Molecular Biology & Genetics at McMaster University. She joined the Brown lab in 2016 and is currently part of the outer membrane group. Outside of the lab, Kristina enjoys reading, watching cooking shows, and the outdoors.


Research Interest: Kristina is studying the Gram-negative outer membrane. She is investigating ways to potentiate Gram-positive antibiotics in Gram-negative bacteria using the principles of synthetic lethality.

Kenneth Rachwalski, B.Sc.

Kenneth Rachwalski

Kenneth Rachwalski

Kenneth Rachwalski

Position: M.Sc. Candidate

About:Ken comes to us from the BDC program at McMaster University, and started his graduate work in 2017. In his spare time he adores skateboarding and ice dancing, and one day wants to explore the mountains in Peru.

 
 

Research Interest: Ken's project revolves around exploring the complicated biology of bacterial sRNAs, but he has a keen interest in all aspects of chemical biology. 

 

Zaid Sameer, B.Sc.

Kenneth Rachwalski

Kenneth Rachwalski

Zaid Sameer, B.Sc.

Position: M.Sc. Candidate

About: Zaid received his Hon B.Sc. with a double major in Chemistry & Health Sciences Biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Outside of the lab, Zaid enjoys playing soccer and playing the guitar.

 

 
 

Research Interest: Zaid is currently interested in discovering molecules that disrupt the outer-membrane of gram negative bacteria. By interacting with Lipopolysaccharide molecules in the outer-membrane, those molecules permeabilize the bacteria to antibiotics, and overcome resistance.

 

 

Amelia Guo

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Amelia Guo

Position: 4th Year Undergraduate Thesis Student

About: Amelia is a 4th year BDC undergraduate student currently conducting her senior thesis at the Brown lab. When she's not busy trying to befriend her bacteria cultures in lab, she likes to visit new food spots in Hamilton and binge watch movies all day. 

 


Research Interest: My research interest lies in exploring untapped phenotypes as new targets for large scale small molecule screens. 

 

Mentor:

Dr. Shawn French

Kaan Balta

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Kaan Balta

Position: 4th Year Undergraduate Thesis Student

About: Kaan is in his senior year of the Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization program at McMaster University. During his free time, Kaan enjoys cooking, high fashion, and watching movies.

 


Research Interest: 

 

Mentor:

Madeline Tong

Varsha Jayasankar

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Varsha Jayasankar

Position: 4th Year Undergraduate Thesis Student

About:

 


Research Interest: 

 

Mentor:

Dr. Garima Kumar

Daniella Bui

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Daniella Bui

Position: 4th Year Undergraduate Thesis Student

About: Daniella is a fourth-year undergraduate thesis student in the Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization program. Aside from being a full-time student, she is also a primary reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces. When she is not working in the lab or training with the military, Danielia enjoys good work-outs, vegan donuts, and new experiences.

 


Research Interest:  Danielia is focused on circumventing rifampicin resistance in E. coli.

 

Mentor:

Craig Macnair

Jacob MacKinnon

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Jacob MacKinnon

Position: 4th Year Undergraduate Thesis Student

About: Jacob is currently in level IV of the Biomedical Discovery & Commercialization program at McMaster University. In his free time Jacob likes to keep up to date with the latest pharma and biotech news, get involved with a variety of extra-curriculars at McMaster and listen to electronic music. 

 


Research Interest: Jacob’s current research interests lie in the field of chemical genomics. His current work involves the use of comparative genetic analysis to elucidate mechanisms of action (MOA) for compounds with potential antimicrobial properties. He is also evaluating the use of transposon libraries as more efficient means of determining unknown MOAs in prospective antimicrobials.

 

Mentor:

Dr. JP Côté