July 2016, Volume 3


Limited free tickets to BioZone Horizons Symposium August 12, 2016

Organized by BioZone Association, this one-day symposium will connect current BioZone members with leaders in biotechnology research (in academia and industry), research product commercialization, and those well-established in other careers, most of whom BioZone alumni. This event is an opportunity to learn career experiences and discuss the wide range of career opportunities open to current BioZone members via panel discussions and entrepreneurship talks. The symposium will also provide a platform for strengthening the network within the BioZone community and feature a poster competition, followed by a pub night social at O'Grady's.

Get your limited free entrance ticket at by 5th August

Register your poster to 'Future of Your Research' poster competition by sending a <250 word abstract to by 3rd August to hear constructive feedback from the speakers!

For more information and free registration, visit:

Link to Agenda

Save the Date: Moving to University of Calgary Party!!!
August 12th  @ 5:30PM O'Grady's Pub

BioZone professors, staff, and students will celebrate Alexei's move to Calgary on August 12th after the BioZone Horizons Symposium.

CGEN's Toilet Project

Be a hero and donate your sample to CGEN’s toilet project today!

Access to water, sanitation, and hygiene continue to be a limited essential resource to over 2.5 billion people around the world, resulting in an annual death toll due to diarrhoeal disease greater than that due to AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria combined. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Centre for Global Engineering (CGEN) has been designing an innovative domestic waste treatment device (aka toilet) for the developing world to address these devastating sanitation issues.

Learn more about sanitation with this amazing song, about the technology here, and donate your samples to fuel their meaning work today! CGEN is currently accepting donations in WB washrooms (WB355 and WB431) Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 4:00 pm.

BioZone has been an active contributor to CGEN’s technology by donating human samples (fuel) to enable them to test their systems since March 2015. To date, close to 5 kg of fuel has been fed into the sanitation technology!

News & Events

Congratulations Professors Master and Mahadevan

Dr. Krishna Mahadevan and Dr. Emma Master have been promoted to full professors.  Emma and Krishna provided the following comments about the promotion.

“I’ve been told this means I can now serve on more committees! On a more serious note - I am deeply thankful to my colleagues and students for this important recognition.”

"While I am not sure anything changes, I do feel grateful for the supportive and collegial environment in the department and BioZone and am very thankful to the trainees and colleagues."



The UofT Biomod team is comprised of undergraduate students preparing a bio-nanotechnology project to compete at BIOMOD, an annual bio-molecular design competition hosted by the Wyss Institute for biologically inspired engineering at Harvard University. The purpose of this competition is to challenge undergraduate students from around the world to use their creativity to engineer biomolecules on the nanometer scale and present their findings at the annual Biomod Jamboree. Past projects have focused on bimolecular robotics, logic and computing, and structural bionanotechnology. The UofT Biomod Team is working on a bionanotechnology design for a multi-drug carrier built with DNA origami and will be testing its functions using gold nanoparticles as a payload.

The design is being developed and characterized through wet lab experiments and imaging analysis conducted in the Biozone lab and Christopher Yip’s lab in the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering.


Awards & Grants

Dr. Edwards Awarded Genome Canada Genomics Applied Partnership Program (GAPP) Grant

GAPP aims to:

  • Promote the application of genomics-derived solutions to address key sector challenges or opportunities facing Users – User “pull”;
  • Promote commercialization of genomics technologies by enabling the transfer of genomics-derived solutions from Academia to Users as well as de-risking and incentivizing follow-on investment from public and private partners;
  • Increase the socio-economic impact of genomics research by accelerating its translation to application or market; and,
  • Create and foster a more productive interface between Academia and Users.
Dr. Edward's GAPP project is entitled "Scale-up of Bioaugmentation Cultures and Development of Delivery Strategies and Monitoring Tools for Anaerobic Benzene and Alkylbenzene Bioremediation" or "Tackling Benzene Contamination with Anaerobic Microbes" for short.

This project is a partnership with SiREM and Federated Co-operatives Limited and aims to use mixed cultures of anaerobic microbes to degrade benzene in contaminated industrial sites. Learn more about the project from the UofT press release and on the project website.


Recent Publications

Allen & Edwards Labs
Schnurr P J, Molenda O, Edwards EA, Espie GS, Allen DG. Improved biomass productivity in algal biofilms through synergistic interactions between photon flux density and carbon dioxide concentration.  Bioresource Technology. 2016 July 1. [Epub ahead of print]
Master & Savchenko Labs
Wang W, Yan R, Nocek BP, Vuong TV, Di Leo R, Xu X, Cui H, Gatenholm P, Toriz G, Tenkanen M, Savchenko A, Master ER. Biochemical and Structural Characterization of a Five-domain GH115 α-Glucuronidase from the Marine Bacterium Saccharophagus degradans 2-40T. J Biol Chem. 2016 Jul 1;291(27):14120-33. 

Mahadevan Lab
Correia K, Li P, Yu L, Mahadevan R. Reconstruction of a yeast pan-genome-scale metabolic model for evolutionary systems biology. New Biotechnology. 2016 July 25. [Epub ahead of print]            

Savchenko Lab
Sontag RL, Nakayasu ES, Brown RN, Niemann GS, Sydor MA, Sanchez O, Ansong C, Lu SY, Choi H, Valleau D, Weitz KK, Savchenko A, Cambronne ED, Adkins JN. Identification of Novel Host Interactors of Effectors Secreted by Salmonella and Citrobacter.  mSystems. 2016 July 12. [Epub ahead of print]

McGuigan Lab
McGuigan AP, Javaherian S. Tissue Patterning: Translating Design Principles from In Vivo to In Vitro. Annu Rev Biomed 2016 Jul 11;18:1-24.

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