August 2021, Volume 39
  1. BioZone Graduations!
  2. BioZone Paint in the Park
  3. Welcome to the newest BZ baby!
  4. RECAP: BZ Waste Week
  5. New BZ Startup: Liven
  6. CREATE for BioZone
  7. NEW: EDI Page on BZ Portal and Teams Channel
  8. BZ Graduates named 2021 Grads to Watch
  9. New Publications

1. BioZone Graduations

A number of students have graduated from BioZone over the past few months:
  • Nicolas Carunungan (MASc, Allen lab)
  • Dylan Mendonca (MASc, McGuigan lab)
  • Tian Ai Zhu (MASc, Saville lab)
  • Amardeep Singh (MEng, Allen lab)
  • Ian Johnson (Gu lab)
  • Ka Yee (Shirley) Lam (Passeport lab)
Congratulations to all of you, and best of luck in all your future endeavours!

2. BioZone Paint in the Park

Join your fellow BioZoners for a Paint in the Park session. Come over to Queen's Park at 3 pm on August 26 to see if your fine motor skills from all that pipetting translate to the brush. Art supplies will be provided. 

Please sign up here to ensure we have enough art supplies for everybody. See you there!

3. Welcome to the newest BZ baby!

Teme (Edwards lab) and his wife Meski welcomed their new baby Luke to their family (and the BioZone family) on Saturday, July 24, shortly after midnight.

Congratulations Teme and Meski, we know he’s going to do big things!

4. RECAP: BZ Waste Week 

Big thanks to all participants of Waste Week events!

Waste Week Tea Time

  • We had a wonderful discussion about the fate of solid waste with BioZone alumnus and adjunct professor, Dr. Nigel Guilford!
  • Do you think something we do in BioZone is wasteful? Let us know!
  • We will be scheduling an event with Scott Hendershot from the UofT Sustainability Office soon... stay tuned!

Documentary Screening: Shoreline – The Paddle Against Plastic

  • BioZone had an exclusive screening of a local documentary, a story of a 430 km paddle journey across Lake Ontario to raise awareness about plastic pollution under the looming shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Our Q&A with Rochelle Byrne, founder of A Greener Future, brought on a great discussion about community involvement and environmental stewardship – you can watch the Q&A recording in the “BioZone_green_initiatives” channel on Teams

Trash Talk

  • We talked about the trash we collected from our Woodbine Beach clean-up, as part of the A Greener Future: Love Your Lake program!
  • We were joined by Samantha Santoro who gave us a rundown on the UofT Trash Team initiatives – if you want to check out her presentation, you can find it in the “BioZone_green_initiatives” channel on Teams
  • Check out photos from our Woodbine beach clean-up below! (Photo credits to Anupama Sharan)

Gift Card Draw

  • Our winner of the $15 gift card was Sofia Bonilla Tobar – thanks for joining our events!

5. New BZ Startup: Liven

The $1.4 trillion animal agricultural industry cannot scale to provide sufficient protein for the next billion population, but vegan protein alternatives do not always provide the bouncy and meaty mouthfeel that meat lovers crave. Liven is solving this problem using synthetic biology and precision fermentation. We engineer microorganisms to make proteins that provide identical nutrition, texture and functionality as animal-sourced ingredients. Taking it one step further on the sustainability front, we use by-products in the food industry as raw materials, enabling a circular economy in the food value-chain.
Liven is co-founded by BioZone alumni Fei Luo (PhD 2016, Edwards lab) and Pratish Gawand (PhD 2014, Mahadevan lab). Ondrej Halgas is also joining BioZone as Liven’s Lead Protein Scientist.
The Liven team is excited to call BioZone its home base to develop version 1 of protein ingredients to replace animal-sourced gelatin for food applications. This project is co-invested in by Protein Industries Canada.

6. CREATE for BioZone

CREATE for BioZone: Call for Proposals for Research and Knowledge Mobilization

The CREATE for BioZone is currently accepting proposals (from graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research associates) with ideas to advance the impact of biotechnology in the circular bioeconomy. Up to $15,000 of funding over one year is available for student entrepreneurs who are seeking opportunities to mobilize new knowledge and translate research activities to practice. Proposals will be awarded on a competitive basis and can be used to support, for example, the development of business plans, market assessments, and customer surveys.
To apply, interested members should submit their completed application form to Robert Lam ( by 5 pm on September 30, 2021.

2021 CREATE for BioZone Open Science Summer Project Student Presentations

Open Science can accelerate knowledge creation and innovation, and ensure potential benefits are widely distributed by putting ideas and data sets into the public. This summer, our CREATE trainees from the Faculty of Law have teamed up with BioZone personnel to study the potential of Open Science practices to increase the pace of biotechnology innovation. The student project leaders (Alison Yu, Ellen An and Ian Harbell) will present the findings from their summer projects in a Zoom seminar on August 27, 2:00 - 4:30 pm. Please mark your calendars. All BioZone members including students, postdocs, staff, and principal investigators are encouraged to attend and participate in the discussions. We look forward to your support and participation!
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID:       846 9753 2796
Passcode:         899300

7. NEW: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Page on BioZone Portal and Teams Channel 

The BZ Council is pleased to announce the new BioZone EDI page on the BioZone portal. Do you have questions about UT policies on harassment and discrimination? Or want to learn more about what the Faculty is doing to distribute opportunities more equitably? Or need someone to talk to? Check out the new BioZone EDI page and join the conversation in the recently launched BioZone EDI Teams channel. We welcome your feedback on ways to make BioZone an even stronger and more inclusive community.

8. BZ Graduates Named 2021 Grads to Watch

BZ's Samantha Cheung (PhD, Allen lab) and Fletcher Han (BASc, Diosady lab) were named 2021 Grads to Watch by U of T Engineering during the university's virtual convocation ceremony on June 23. 

Congratulations, Sam and Fletcher! 

9. New Publications

  1. Inglis, A.M., Head, N.A., Chowdhury, A.I., Garcia, A.N., Reynolds, D.A., Hogberg, D., Edwards, E., Lomheim, L., Weber, K., Wallace, S.J. and Austrins, L.M. (2021). Electrokinetically-Enhanced Emplacement of Lactate in a Chlorinated Solvent Contaminated Clay Site to Promote BioremediationWater Research, p.117305.
  2. Modupe, O., Siddiqui, J., Jonnalagadda, A. and Diosady, L.L. (2021). Folic acid fortification of double fortified salt. Scientific Reports. 11(1):1-10.
  3. Vatandoust, A., Mannar, M.G. and Diosady, L.L. (2021). Organoleptic Effects of Salt Fortification with Iron and Iodine: A Review. The Journal of Nutrition. 151(7):1690-1702.
  4. Turner, M. and Saville, B. (2021). Technoeconomic evaluation of protein‐rich animal feed and ethanol production from palm kernel cake. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining
  5. Toth, C.R., Luo, F., Bawa, N., Webb, J., Guo, S., Dworatzek, S. and Edwards, E.A. (2021). Anaerobic Benzene Biodegradation Linked to the Growth of Highly Specific Bacterial Clades. Environmental Science & Technology. 55(12):7970-7980
  6. Hameleers, L., Penttinen, L., Ikonen, M., Jaillot, L., Fauré, R., Terrapon, N., Deuss, P.J., Hakulinen, N., Master, E.R. and Jurak, E. (2021). Polysaccharide utilization loci-driven enzyme discovery reveals BD-FAE: a bifunctional feruloyl and acetyl xylan esterase active on complex natural xylans. Biotechnology for biofuels. 14(1):1-16.
  7. Vuong, T.V. and Master, E.R. (2022). Enzymatic upgrading of heteroxylans for added-value chemicals and polymers. Current Opinion in Biotechnology73: 51-60.
  8. Zhu, L., Pei, W., DiCiano, P., Brands, B., Wickens, C.M., Le Foll, B., Kwong, B., Parashar, M., Sivananthan, A. and Mahadevan, R. (2021). Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Model for Predicting Blood and Tissue Tetrahydrocannabinol Concentrations. Computers & Chemical Engineering. 154: 107461.
Please email us if you have something to add to the next edition of the BioZone Newsletter
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