May 2016, Volume 1


Online survey for BioZone Portal update and lucky draw

BioZone is updating the BioZone Portal ( so that it better reflects the needs of its users and is an effective internal communication tool. Although we currently have several ideas how to improve the portal’s ease of use, your answers to this survey will allow us to determine how you would like to use the portal and what additional tools and content you require.

Those that participate will have a chance to win a $5 thank you gift card!

Winner will be announced in the next newsletter.

Link to survey:  


Announcing Inaugural BioZone Horizons Symposium

We are delighted to announce the first BioZone Horizons Symposium which we plan to host this August 2016.
This one-day event aims to connect the present and future of BioZone. During this symposium, we will invite guest speakers BioZone alumni or other leaders from academic and industrial R&D organizations to talk about their career path, and introduce future commercialization avenues. We will also provide a platform for networking and reunion of current BioZone members and alumni.

BioZone Horizons is organized by BioZone, for BioZone. Your participation and input to the list of guest speakers is requested!  For more details please email Mabel Wong.

News & Events

Science Rendez-Vous

BioZone paper making workshop at Science Rendez-Vous a success! See pictures here.

Thank you to all our volunteers who helped share our vision for Canada’s forestry sector. We made paper with over 200 kids, and had an amazing time promoting the innovation of value-added forestry products with our friends and collaborators at BioZone, the Pulp and Paper Technical Association student group, and the Industrial Biocatalysis Network.


Killam Prize Award Ceremony
Several BioZone members visited with the Governor General to witness Professor Elizabeth Edwards and other eminent Canadian scientists accept the prestigious Killam Prize.  Read more here.
Weijun Gao
News that is both happy and sad. Weijun is moving to a new position at the Scarborough campus in early June. He will be sorely missed.

Congratulations Weijun and enjoy the 15 minute commute!
Newcomers to BioZone

Allen lab: Qinyuan Gong (S), Onasvi Kharsikar (S), Paulo Povoa (S), Anubhav Singh (P)

Diosady lab: Anurag Agarwal (S), Julie Dompy (S), Elisa Ortigoza (V), Anais Roubot (S), Juveria Siddique (P), Azadeh Vatandoust (G), Eva Xueref (S)

Edwards lab: Rebecca Hough (S), Amy Li (S), Scott Mitchell (S), Yong Yi Lui (S), Tetyana Gilevska (P)*, Jesse Manna (S)*, Garnet Lollar (S)*

Mahadevan lab: Ekamjit Deol (S), Ruhi Choudary (T), Zhiqing Xu (S)

Master lab: Victor Ville Aumala (V), Jurak Edita (V), Muthomi (S)

McGuigan lab: Miranda Carleton (S)

Savchenko lab: Joanna Sandoval (S)

iGem: Quynh Cao, Katariina Jaenes, Marc Li, Bohdan Lukach, Tam Pham, Karim Sarif, Alexander Sullivan, Hamed Tinafar, Omar Ali Zarifah, Celine Zhang

(G) graduate student, (P) post-doctoral fellow, (S) summer student, (T) thesis student, (V) visiting scholars.
* co-supervised with Barabara Sherwood Lollar

Awards & Grants

Camila Londono - Cressy Award
Olivia Molenda – Diran Basmadjian Graduate Scholarship in Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
Jon Obnamia - Eco-Tec Founder’s Fellowship
Darren Rodenhizer – Frank Howard Guest Bursary, NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships
Anubhav Singh- Banting Post Doctoral Fellowship from NSERC
Mabel Wong – William E. Graydon Memorial Graduate Scholarship

Weijun Wang and Emma Master - NSERC Engage Project

Recent Publications

Edwards Lab

Tang S, Wang PH, Higgins SA, Löffler FE, Edwards EA. "Sister Delahlobacter genomes reveal specialization in organohalide respiration and recent strain differentiation likely driven by chlorinated substrates."
Frontiers in Microbiology 2016 (7):100.

Mahadevan Lab

Islam MA, Tchigvintsev A, Yim V, Savchenko A, Yakunin AF, Mahadevan R, Edwards EA. "Experimental validation of perimental validation of in silico model-predicted isocitrate dehydrogenase and phosphomannose isomerase from Dehalococcoides mccartyi."
Microbial Biotechnology 2016 9(1):47-60.

Master Lab

Wang W, Yan R, Nocek BP, Voung TV, Leo RD, Xu X, Cui H, Gatenholm P, Toriz G, Tenkanen M, Savchenko A, Master ER. "Biochemical and structural characterization of a five-domain GH115 alpha-Glucuronidase from the marine bacterium Saccharophagus degradans 2-40T."
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2016 April 18 e-pub.

MacDonald J, Goacher RE, Abou-Zaid M, Master ER. "Comparative analysis of lignin peroxidase and manganese peroxidase activity on coniferous and deciduous wood using ToF-SIMS."
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2016 May 2 e-pub.

McGuigan Lab

McGuigan AP, Javaherian S. "Tissue patterning: Translating design principles from in vivo to in vitro."
Annual Reviews in Biomedical Engineering 2016 Jan 18 e-pub.

Rodenhizer D, Gaude E, Cojocari D, Mahadevan R, Frezza C, Wouters BG, McGuigan AP. "A three-dimensional engineered tumour for spatial snapshot analysis of cell metabolism and phenotype in hypoxic gradients." 
Nature Materials 2016 15(2):227-34.


Savchenko Lab

Stogios PJ, Cox G, Spanogiannopoulos P, Pillon MC, Waglechner N, Skarina T, Koteva K, Guarné A, Savchenko A, Wright GD. "Rifampin phosphotransferase is an unusual antibiotic resistance kinase."
Nature Communications 2016 (7):11343.


Saville Lab

Gerbrandt K, Chu PL, Simmonds A, Mullins KA, MacLean HL, Griffin WM, Saville BA. "Life cycle assessment of lignocellulosic ethanol: a review of key factors and methods affecting calculated GHG emissions and energy use."
Current Opinions in Biotechnology 2016 (38):63-70.


Yakunin Lab

Hajighasemi M, Nocek BP, Tchigvintsev A, Brown G, Flick R, Xu X, Cui H, Hai T, Joachimiak A, Golyshin PN, Savchenko A, Edwards EA, Yakunin AF. "Biochemical and structural insights into enzymatic depolymerization of polylactic acid and other polyesters by microbial carboxylesterases."
Biomacromolecules 2016 May 2 e-pub.

Please email us if you have something to add to the next edition of the BioZone Newsletter
Copyright © 2016 Biozone Centre for Applied Bioscience and Bioengineering, All rights reserved.

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