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: 

Garima Kumar, Ph.D.

Garima Kumar, Ph.D. 

Position: Post Doctoral Fellow

About

I am originally from India. I graduated with my PhD from The University of Alabama where I investigated structure-function relationships in an enzyme superfamily using various bioinformatic and biochemical tools and techniques. I joined the Brown lab in July 2016 to work with the chemical genomics group. Outside the lab I enjoy dancing, cooking and reading a variety of books.

 
 

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:

Jean Philippe Cote, Ph.D.

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Jean Philippe Cote, Ph.D. 

Position: Post Doctoral Fellow

 
 

Publications:

Cullen Myers, Ph.D.

Cullen Myers, Ph.D. 

Position: Post Doctoral Fellow

About

Cullen is originally from St. Lucia, an island nation in the south eastern Caribbean. After obtaining his M.Sc. from the University of Nottingham, Cullen completed his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Waterloo in February 2013, where he investigated resistance mechanisms to the thiopeptide antibiotic thiostrepton and worked on semi-synthetic thiostrepton derivatives as antibacterial agents and biochemical probes. Cullen joined the Brown lab in May of 2013 and is part of the teichoic acid research group. 

 
 

Publications:

Tomasz Czarny, Ph.D.

Tomasz Czarny, Ph.D

About

Tomasz completed his Hon B.Sc. with a specialization in Biochemistry & Chemistry at the University of Western Ontario. He joined the Brown Lab as part of the teichoic acid research group in 2010. Tomasz completed his Ph.D. in the Brown Lab in May of 2016. Outside the lab Tomasz is currently pursuing an MBA at the Schulich School of Business. 

 
 

Publications:

Jonathan Stokes, Ph.D.

Jonathan Stokes, Ph.D.

Position: Research Associate

About: 

I began my PhD in 2011 studying chemical perturbation of ribosome biogenesis. A convoluted path of reasoning has led me to the cell surface...and the golf course.

 
 

Research Interest: 

I spend my time thinking about bacterial ribosome assembly and Gram-negative outer membrane permeability.

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:

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.

Omar El-Halfawy, Ph.D.

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:

Mohammad Ali Khan, B.Sc.

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Mohammad Ali Khan, B.Sc. 

Position: Undergraduate Thesis Student

About:

Mohammad is a 4th year student in the Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization program with a minor in Statistics. Outside of the lab, Mohammad enjoys reading a wide variety of books, playing basketball and trading currencies in the foreign exchange market.

 
 

Research Interest: 

Mohammad is developing a chemical-genetic database under the guidance of Dr. Shawn French and populating it with decades worth of Brown Lab chemical screening data. Analysis of this database will hope to reveal key insights into mechanistic action of unknown bio-active molecules and chemical-genetic fingerprints that will aid in the discovery on novel antibiotics.

Mentor: 

Dr. Shawn French

Nicole Yokubynas, B.Sc.

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Nicole Yokubynas, B.Sc.

Position: 4th Year Undergraduate Thesis Student

About:

Nicole recently completed her Hon B.Sc. in the Integrated Science program at McMaster University with a specialization in Biochemistry. She joined the Brown lab for her undergraduate thesis project in the Nutrient Synthesis group, investigating antimetabolite isolation from Streptomycetes bacteria. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys singing, gymnastics and camping.


Research Interest:

Under the supervision of Dr. Sebastian Gehrke, my project focuses on examining whether or not key nutrients (including vitamins, amino acids and nucleobases) are co-extracted along with desired target antimetabolites from Streptomycetes bacteria. We are interested in investigating if nutrient carryover is responsible for preventing the detection of certain antimetabolites using our current conventional screening protocols.

Mentor:

Dr. Sebastian Gehrke

Madeline Tong, B.Sc.

Madeline Tong, B.Sc.

Position: M.Sc. 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 identifying novel chemical probes and potential drug leads that target bacterial nutrient biosynthetic pathways. A library of 50,000 synthetic compounds was screened for growth inhibition in E. coli grown in media with the minimal amount of nutrients required for its survival. Compounds that inhibit growth of E. coli in these minimal conditions but not when supplemented with nutrients likely target the biosynthetic genes that are only expressed in an environment where the nutrient is not present.

Lindsey Carfrae

Lindsey Carfrae

Position: Undergraduate Summer Student

Kristina Klobucar, B.Sc.

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 chemical genomics group. Outside of the lab, Kristina enjoys reading, playing squash, and nature walks.


Research Interest:

A study of the essential genes involved in vancomycin resistance in E. coli

Shehryar Ahmad

Shehryar Ahmad

Position: 4th Year Undergraduate Thesis Student

About:

I am currently a fourth year undergraduate student in the Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization program. On my free time, I enjoy running, hanging out with friends and watching TV.


Research Interest: 

I am working with Dr. Maya Farha to make use of different screening methods to identify novel inhibitors against various bacterial strains.

Mentor:

Dr. Maya Farha

Kenneth Rachwalski

Kenneth Rachwalski

Kenneth Rachwalski

Kenneth Rachwalski

Position: 4th Year Undergraduate Thesis Student

About:

Kenneth is in his final year of the BDC program and is in the process of conducting his 4th year thesis in Brown Lab. Outside of the lab, Kenneth enjoys playing/reffing soccer, watching movies, and karaoke.

 
 

Research Interest: 

My undergraduate thesis project focuses on the characterization of S.aureus WTA teichoases

Mentor: 

Omar El-Halfawy

Robert Gale, B.Sc.

Robert Gale, Ph.D. Candidate

Robert Gale, Ph.D. Candidate

Robert Gale, B.Sc.

Position: Ph.D. Candidate

About: 

I joined the teichoic acid research group in the fall of 2011 after completing my B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Guelph. When not in the lab, I'm 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: