April 2019, Volume 25
  1. Chemical Engineering Dinner
  2. Science Rendezvous Volunteers Needed! 
  3. Welcome New BioZoners!
  4. Special Summer Teatime
  5. Toronto Summer Bucket List
  6. Goodbye Spencer
  7. Happy (belated) Easter
  8. New Publications

1. The 34th Annual Chemical Engineering Dinner

On March 29th, the Department of Chemical Engineering held the 34th Annual ChemE Dinner. The evening was kicked off by a special talk given by the department’s Professor Molly Shoichet, who touched upon the Shoichet lab’s interdisciplinary approach to regenerative medicine. The talk was followed by the Poster Gallery and Cocktail reception, where BioZone members from the Diosady, Edwards, Mahadevan and Allen labs presented posters.

Highlights of the evening included an inspiring speech by BioZone’s Prof. Allen, and Prof. Mary Jane Phillips being recognized for becoming the department’s first female member of faculty in 1964. 
A number of the ChemE scholarships were awarded to BioZone members! 

1. BioZone Graduate Scholarship:
  • Paul Chen, PhD student supervised by Prof. Frank Gu
  • Patrick Diep, PhD student supervised by Profs. Krishna Mahadevan and Alexander Yakunin

2. Helen L. Cross (nee Colquhoun) Memorial Graduate Scholarship:
  • Azadeh Vatandoust, PhD student supervised by Prof. Levente Diosady

3. Rein Otson Memorial Graduate Scholarship:
  • Chester Pham, PhD student supervised by Prof. Krishna Mahadevan

Congratulations again to all our award winners!

2. Science Rendezvous Volunteers Needed!

Hey BioZone! We're currently looking for people interested in volunteering at BioZone's booth at Science Rendezvous!

This annual event turns St. George Street into a fantastic learning opportunity for kids and the public alike to get them interested in science!

This year, we will be harnessing the power of synthetic biology to create agar art! At the end of the process they will receive a picture of their creations. Check out Petri Dish Picasso to get an idea!

There are both morning and afternoon volunteer positions on the Saturday, March 11th. On the day of the event, free pizza will be provided for lunch. 

The sign-up sheet can be found here. We hope to see you there!

Some masterpieces by the Petri Dish Picasso Team!

3. Welcome New BioZoners

        We'd like to extend a warm welcome to our newest members of BioZone. 
Remember to say hi if you see these new faces around the halls of Wallberg, and help them out if they have any questions!

4. Special Summer Kick-off Teatime

To celebrate the start of summer and welcome the new summer students, we will host a special teatime at 3:00 pm on May 7th. 

Take an hour out of your Tuesday and head to WB322 to have tea and snacks, chat with friends and make new ones from other groups around BioZone!

Don't forget to bring your own mug!

5. A Toronto Summer To-Do List

New to Toronto? Ready to (finally) enjoy the summer weather? Here is a list of some fun things to do, see, and eat this summer compiled by our in-house Toronto expert Leo Zhu.

"I’ve been to quite a few of these so I’ll just be inserting my commentary on them as well. Feel free to ask me about them if you want more information. Have a great summer!"


1. Woodbine Beach: It’s pretty packed during the summer, but is an awesome place to spend Canada Day, BBQing and watching fireworks! 7/10 because of the crowds, but there are also volleyball nets and space to run around and play frisbee.  

2. Center Island: Take a round-trip ferry to Center Island for $7.87 and spend the day walking around this island! There are three beaches and the view of Toronto on the ferry back is to die for! 8/10 because I was traumatized at the nude beach once. 

3. Sunnyside: Pretty chill vibes. It has a pavilion where you can order food and enjoy a beer. Also has a lot of dragon boaters practice here for their upcoming regattas. Only 6/10 because I used to dragon boat and this place gives me PTSD.

4. Cherry Beach & Promise Cherry Beach: Holds beach parties with local DJs spinning, but also just a good time very close to downtown. I can’t rate it because I’ve never been, but I have heard good reviews! 


1. Canadian National Exhibition (8/16-9/2): You can’t live in Toronto if you have never been to the CNE! Go check it out, it’s a guaranteed good time. Bring cash and be ready to lose a lot of money playing carnival games. There’s a lot of good food as well. 10/10 would recommend checking out. It's a wholesome time for the entire family.

2. Jazz Festival (6/21-6/30): I don’t listen to jazz, but if this is your thing go for it! It seems pretty cool and well run.

3. The Rec Room: Games and food! Super fun for a night out, especially if you collect Scene Points. 8/10. 

4. Pride Parade (6/23): Super fun and really good vibes all around! Would definitely recommend checking it out; the energy is unbelievable. Fun fact: I DJ’ed for RBC last year in this parade. 9/10 because it’s really crowded. 


1. Food Truck Festival (8/2-8/5): It’s exactly what you would expect. 7/10.  

2. Ribfest (5/16-5/19): Right at Yonge and Dundas! It’s delicious and I’d definitely recommend trying once. There’s a lot of pro-vegan people around with signs though. 8/10.  

3. St. Lawrence Market: A cool place to buy fresh farm produce downtown. Make it a half-day trip, and then you can spend the night cooking what you bought. 9/10.

4. Night It Up! (7/12-7/14): This feels like you’re in an actual asian night market! If you don’t have money to travel to Asia, travel to Markham instead. 8/10.

5. Summerlicious (July): Restaurants around Toronto sell expensive foods on prix fixe menus. Good for dates and eating food that would normally be out of budget. 8/10 for saving lots of $$$.

6. Goodbye Spencer!

On Tuesday March 19th, we all said farewell to Spencer Imbrogno, from Prof. Emma Master’s lab. Spencer joined BioZone in September 2016 for his M.A.Sc. which focused on using enzymes to upgrade plant sugar feedstocks into high value bioproducts. Following his defense in December 2018, Spencer stayed on as a Research Assistant until March 2019. Spencer left BioZone after successfully obtaining a new role at Xerox in Scale Up Engineering.
“I will always cherish the great friends and memories that I made during my time in BioZone. It has been such a pleasure to be a part of this community.” 
- Spencer Imbrogno
Congratulations Spencer! You will be greatly missed in BioZone! All the best in your future endeavors!

7. Happy (belated) Easter

We hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend and spent time with family indulging in Easter traditions like Easter eggs, chocolate, and visiting the Easter Bunny! Speaking of bunnies, Chip (right) and Cookie (left) loved the Easter weekend and wanted to share their pictures with you.

Follow these BioZone bunnies' adventures on Instagram @chipncookie for your daily dose of cute!

8. New Publications 

1. Sarch, C., Suzuki, H., Master, E.R. and Wang, W., (2019). Kinetics and regioselectivity of three GH62 α-L-arabinofuranosidases from plant pathogenic fungi. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-General Subjects.1863(6):1070-1078.

2.       Khusnutdinova, A.N., Xiao, J., Wang, P.H., Batyrova, K.A., Flick, R., Edwards, E.A. and Yakunin, A.F., (2019). Prenylated FMN: Biosynthesis, purification, and Fdc1 activation. Methods in Enzymology. [Article in Press]

Please email us if you have something to add to the next edition of the BioZone Newsletter
Copyright © 2019 Biozone Centre for Applied Bioscience and Bioengineering, All rights reserved.

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