Canada Research Chair in Protein Engineering
Professor, School of Medicine
Dept of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences
Dr. Laurie Graham – Senior Research Associate (more)
Dr. Qilu Ye - Research Associate (more)
Robert Eves – Research Assistant (more)
Connor Scholl – PhD candidate (more)
Mathias Bell - MSc candidate (more)
Thomas Hansen - MSc candidate (more)
Mary Yang - MSc candidate (more)
Jocelyn Lee - MSc candidate (more)
Trina Dykstra-MacPherson - Undergraduate student (more)
Laila Masalha - Undergraduate student (more)
Dr. Laurie Graham
Senior Research Associate and Adjunct Assistant Professor
I am writing Laurie’s bio because she is too modest to do justice to her many talents and the huge contribution she makes to the smooth running of our lab. Laurie completed her PhD with Dr. Virginia Walker in the Department of Biology at Queen’s and joined us for post-doc research in the 1990’s when we were beginning to isolate and characterize insect antifreeze proteins. Since then, we have published close to 40 papers together including a couple in Science and Nature. Laurie is an expert in molecular biology from the ‘pre-kit’ days. Her amazing skills in bioinformatics are helping us mine the wealth of genomic and transcriptomic data that is being deposited every year. In addition to being a rigorous scientist, Laurie is a spouse, mom, hockey player, and a life-long learner with a passion for science, astronomy, minerology, oceanography, and nature. /Peter Davies
Photo credit: Thomas Hansen
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.
Hello! My name is Connor and I am a PhD 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, my name is Mathias, and I am a Masters student in the Davies lab. I grew up on Vancouver Island on the west coast. After completing an undergraduate biochemistry degree in the French Immersion stream at the University of Ottawa, I came to Queen’s to pursue graduate studies. My research focuses on calpain-3, a member of the calpain family of proteases with a series of unique sequence features. We are studying the interaction between calpain-3 and titin and how calpain-3’s unique sequence features are involved in this interaction. When not working in the lab, I enjoy reading, playing piano, and hiking in Frontenac Park.
My name is Thomas Hansen and I'm a Master's student in the Davies Lab. After obtaining my BSc in biochemistry from the University of Ottawa, I taught high school biology in Colombia for six years, the last four of which were with Colegio Colombo Británico, an IB academy in Cali. ¡Cali es Cali! It had always been my intention to continue my education, so in being here, I'm living the dream! I'm working with ice nucleation proteins (INPs), which as their name suggests, nucleate ice crystal formation at temperatures as warm as -2 °C. INPs have been studied for decades but to date, no one has solved their structure nor their mechanism. I'm doing my best to change that, so I've been at the bench doing functional work and behind the keyboard running simulations. Collaborating with the other talented people on this page has been invaluable in progressing toward our goals.
Hi! I'm Jocelyn, a MSc student in the Davies lab. I am from Markham, Ontario, although I spent my early childhood between Taiwan and Canada. Before joining the Davies lab as a thesis project student, I interned for 16 months at a vaccine company. I also studied abroad in Japan as part of a program centred around intercultural business and collaboration. My MSc thesis project is a study of ice nucleation proteins, which are produced by certain species of Gram-negative bacteria. When I'm not working, you'll find me making music, playing video games, or cheering on the Toronto Raptors!
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!)
Fourth-Year Undergraduate Student
Hello hello! My name is Trina; I am a fourth-year biochemistry specialization student doing some summer research in the Davies Lab before starting my 421/422 project this fall. I will be working with Mathias on the calpain project, specifically investigating mutations in IS2 and their effects on calpain-3 and titin binding. A fun fact about me is that I have been figure skating since the age of 7; so, you can normally find me in a rink either coaching or skating with the varsity team!
Fourth-Year Undergraduate Student
Hi! My name is Laila and I’m a 4th year undergraduate student specializing in biochemistry at Queen’s. I joined the Davies lab in September to pursue my specialization. I am working with Thomas and Jocelyn on the ice nucleation protein (INP) project. We are currently making an effort to purify several shortened constructs of our protein, PbINP, as well as studying the structure-function relationships of the protein by making diverse changes to the protein’s structure. Other than being at the lab, I enjoy playing the piano, listening to music, and walking around town!