Canada Research Chair in Protein Engineering
Professor, School of Medicine
Dept of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences
Dr. Laurie Graham – Senior Research Associate
Dr. Qilu Ye - Research Associate (more)
Robert Eves – Research Assistant (more)
Sherry Gauthier – Research Assistant (part-time)
Dr. Heather Tomalty
Dr. Shuaiqi (Phil) Guo
Saeed Rismani Yazdi – PhD candidate (more) (linkedin)
Connor Scholl – MSc candidate (more)
Hossein Zahiri – MSc candidate (more) (linkedin)
Brett Kinrade – MSc candidate (more)
Jordan Forbes - MSc candidate
Audrey Gruneberg – 4th year student (more) (linkedin)
Emily Lind - 4th year student
Jung Yeon Min - 4th year student
Mustafa Sherik - 4th year student
Hi, my name is Rob. I have worked in the department with many of the current and former members of the Davies Lab members since 1999. In 2016, with Sherry Gauthier's 'semi-retirement', I joined the Davies lab as full-time Research Assistant. I help to keep the lab running smoothly by ordering supplies, maintaining and repairing equipment, and ensuring Health and Safety compliance through persononnel training and updating standard operating procedures. My roles include being familiar with all techniques and protocols used by the Davies lab to ensure that knowledge remains with the lab when researchers move on. I help train newcomers to the lab in techniques and protocols. My current research projects include studying the structure-function relationships of ice-binding proteins, and the use of antifreeze proteins for cell, tissue and organ preservation.
Dr. Qilu Ye
In Dr. Davies' Lab, I specialize in using X-ray crystallography and complementary small-angle X-ray scattering to study structure-functional relationship in a variety of proteins. These include the calpain family of calcium-dependent proteases, ice-binding proteins and bacterial adhesins. My research generally starts with recombinant protein production and purification, protein crystal growth, followed by solving the protein structure. The 3D-structures provide valuable information for further investigations on these proteins by our group. Although the path to determine the protein crystal structure is not even, I truly like science and enjoy my research achievements. My hobbies include swimming and gardening.
Saeed Rismani Yazdi
My name is Saeed and I joined the Davies lab in 2018 to continue my PhD. I received my MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Politecnico Di Milano in 2015. During my masters, I did an internship at Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, where I used microfluidics and 3D cell culturing to study cancer cell mechanics. I conducted my thesis project at ETH Zurich, where I developed a microfluidic platform for "Body-on-a-Chip" applications. My PhD research is focused on developing microfluidic systems to study bacteria-environment interactions. Particularly, I have shown that magnetotactic bacteria can be guided to swim against strong flows and migrate effectively through porous micromodels. Besides, we have used their power to actuate microdroplets. I am also studying the interactions of oil-degrading bacteria at the oil-water interface during biofilm formation and oil degradation.
Hello, my name is Hossein. I joined the Davies lab as a Master's student in September 2018, so I am the most recent member of the group. Sherry calls me a 'newbie'! My work is focused on how bacteria associate in communities called biofilms, and how we can manipulate these associations. in particular, I am working on the protein engineering of adhesins, which enable bacteria to attach to different surfaces and other microorganisms. A future goal is to construct novel multicellular biofilms for specific applications.
Hello! My name is Connor and I am a MSc student in the Davies lab. I completed my undergraduate degree here at Queen's in Biochemistry, but four years wasn't enough time here! My current research involves identifying and characterizing antifreeze proteins from different Collembola (springtails) all over the world. Using ice-affinity chromatography we can collect the native AFP proteins to look at their activity, sequence, and structure. From this gold-mine of AFPs we hope to characterize new families of AFPs that may be used in cryotechnologies. You can often find me scorekeeping and full of school sprit at Queen's Gaels sporting events!
Hello hello, my name is Brett Kinrade and I'm pursuing a MSc in the Davies lab. Last year I had the opportunity to work for one of Peter's previous PhD students for an internship at Sanofi Pasteur. I have returned to Queen's University to complete my 4th year of Biochemistry and begin my graduate studies. With guidance from Tyler Vance, my goal in the lab is to characterize adhesion proteins structurally through X-ray crystallography, and functionally through various ligand-binding assays. Want to know more? I hail from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and I also have a twin brother. I'm currently playing bass and singing in Kingston's own 'Local Band'. You can see us play at the Brooklyn, Mansion, and Clark Hall almost every Thursday (see pics under the "Recent News" page). I'm also working in the residence buildings as a Don!
4th Year Student
I'm a Hello! I'm Audrey, a 4th-year Life Sciences Specialization student at Queen's. I've worked in the Davies Lab since the summer of 2017 as a research assistant on a few projects, with a focus on the structure-function relationship of antifreeze proteins, particularly with regard to their ability to inhibit ice re-crystallization (IRI). while keeping up with this research, I'm working on a 4th-year thesis project, for which I'm examining a bacterial artificial chromosome library of the Sea Raven genome in an effort to deduce the origin of the type II antifreeze protein, which has previously been suggested to have been passed to other related fish via lateral gene transfer. Between projects, I'm often found tending our Tenebrio molitor colony as I've done since I started here, or feeding my hungry lab mates my "accidental-/procrasti- baking" (bug-free, of course)!
Hi, I’m Emily and I am an MSc student in the Davies lab. I also completed my undergraduate degree at Queen’s in Biochemistry, during which time I participated in an internship at a pharmaceutical company. Currently, I am researching the evolution of type II antifreeze proteins in fish. We are interested in learning how highly similar, lectin-like antifreeze proteins evolved to be present in several divergent fish species. This investigation will provide valuable information on how gene duplication and dissemination occur in vertebrate species. Aside from my lab duties, I volunteer as the managing editor of the Canadian Science Fair Journal, which publishes the work of students in grade and high school via an age-appropriate peer reviewed process.
Hi! I’m Jordan, a 2nd year Master’s student who - like many on the 6th floor of Botterell Hall - completed a biochemistry undergrad degree at Queen’s. My research project explores a protein responsible for the lesser-known phenomenon of bacterial ice nucleation. Approximately 10 Gram-negative species express ice nucleation proteins (INPs) on their outer membranes to organize water molecules in an ice-like manner, thereby nucleating freezing in the extracellular milieu. Ice-nucleating bacteria, of which Pseudomonas syringae is the most well researched, can be found on the surfaces of plants, where ice formation enables plant nutrient access. The function of INPs is therefore opposite to that of antifreeze proteins, indicating that nature has evolved elegant ways to both initiate and resist ice formation. In my spare time, I enjoy most sports (Peter and I make a good tennis duo, though I’m definitely not the one with the team on my shoulders), video games, bike rides, and cooking - or really the end result, which is eating!
Hello! I’m Mary, a 1st year MSc student who joined the Davies lab in summer 2020. I came to Canada during high school and finished my biochemistry undergrad degree at McGill. My research project is on plant bacterial adhesins, which are large, multidomain proteins that bacteria uses to attach to plant root surfaces and form biofilms. Their functions include promoting plant growth and preventing pathogenic fungal infection.. Recently we are focusing on the large adhesion protein family (Lap) from Pseudomonas fluorescens, but we are also studying other exciting adhesin systems in nature.I am particularly interested in the structure of the adhesin ligand-binding domains and identification of the substrates to which they bind. During my spare time, I enjoy music, films, and watching soccer (officially signed up for Bayern Munich membership from Jan 2021!)