Introduction to the Trant Team

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Areas of Research Interest

Peptide and Amino Acid Chemistry

We are using the tools of synthetic and computational chemistry and molecular biology to make new “custom” amino acids for various challenges in immunology and medicine.

Carbohydrate Chemistry

We are very interested in making artificial carbohydrates, “acetal-free” carbohydrates that are far more stable in biological conditions than the natural sugars.

Materials Chemistry

We are interested in making new materials based on the biomolecules for a variety of environmental, medical and consumer applications.

Academic and Industrial Collaboration

Recent Projects

Click on the projects for details!

Batteries and Materials Modelling

We like modelling things. If we can understand the underlying physical forces between molecules, we can design next generation batteries, catalysts, and reactions! Plus, fundamental physical chemistry is fun. And we learn a lot about more complicated systems that we can apply to our other work by doing this!
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Triggerable, Targetable, Traceless Drug Delivery

We are working on making the “universal” drug delivery particle. Something that is stable until it is triggered, something that only goes to specific cell types, something that leaves no trace once it has delivered its cargo. This would lead to being able to delvier very small amounts of chemotherapeutics only to cancer cells, avoiding the side effects. Sounds like Sci-Fi? It’s just chemistry!
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Making Drugs!

Almost everything we do is organic synthesis! We make new molecules, and most of our focus is in “medicinal chemistry” the science of designing, preparing and testing drugs (we like doing all three). This involves computer design working with teams at the chemistry bench, and teams working in our bio lab. It’s really the core of what we are all about! Our first syntheses are still coming, but for some of John’s previous work:
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Designing Peptide Drugs to Treat Autoimmune Diseases

What if we could stop the underlying mechanism that causes autoimmune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Diabetes, or Celiac disease? That’d be cool. And useful. By designing artificial amino acids tailor made to fit pockets on specific proteins, we can move towards this goal. Combining peptide engineering, protein expression, and complex computational medicinal chemistry/structural biology, we are well on our way to testing our hypothesis!
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Ring Shaped Molecules Are Fun

We have fallen in love with cavitands, ring-shaped molecules with a hole in the middle. The things we can do with these toys is almost endless! This pic is from our study where we designed them to bind pyrophosphate in water with ridiculous affinity. We are now using them to treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria! And we are working on using them to make minimum enzymes…As I said. Rings ARE FUN!
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Open Positions


I am currently accepting applications for PDF positions. Multiple positions available at each level.

Molecular Biology

This position is open to individuals holding a PhD in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, proteomics or a related discipline.

Analytical Chemistry

This position is open to individuals holding a PhD in analytical chemistry or synthetic organic or inorganic chemistry with analytical chemistry expertise.

Computational Chemistry

These are expected to start April-June 2020. Position is open to individuals holding a PhD in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, or a related discipline.

Synthetic Chemistry, Natural Product Chemistry

These are expected to start April-June 2020. Position is open to individuals holding a PhD in chemistry or a related discipline.

Grad Students For Sep. 2020

Candidates can be interested in synthetic or computational chemsitry with some experience in either field required. A publication record is not required. Special encouragement is given for those with non-traditional backgrounds. ***Generic emails will not be answered.

Undergraduate Volunteers

If you are interested, please send an email to Dr. Trant and include your resumé/CV and a copy (a screenshot is fine, official is definitely not required) of your high school or university transcript along with a short self-introduction and the reason why you are interested!

Meet The Team

Science is never done by one individual, you are only ever as good as your team. And this is a great team.

@Trantteam Twitter


Latest posts from our twitter 

Molecular Biology

This position is open to individuals holding a PhD in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, proteomics or a related discipline. The position is one year renewable indefinitely depending on performance. This is a leadership position with the opportunity to be highly involved in group, project, and budget management as well as directing the cell and molecular biology subprogram within the Trant research group. The individual will be working very closely with our highly talented collaborators in the deparment of biomedical sciences here at UWindsor, and with our external collaborators across Canada and around the world. The initial focus of the position is to establish the baculovirus expression system in the Trant lab to support a number of projects. There is also a current focus on microbiology, enzymatic engineering, and whole cell fermentation to obtain new natural products from both yeast and bacterial cell lines. The group is equipped with a cell culture suite and has shared access to all the standard instrumentation required to conduct genetic engineering of cell lines, cell culture, and fermentation science. We collaborate closely with research groups that conduct in vivo studies in mouse and zebrafish models, and work in this area is possible according to the interests of the candidate. The position will involve supporting grant writing and working closely with the PI, Dr. John Trant. The position is also designed t oobtain rapid publication of multiple ongoing projects as well as establishing new projects within the group. The position will potentially also involve establishing new 3-d printed models of ex vivo constructs to study disease using the drugs designed and made by the group: the Trant Team is currently acquiring a state-of-the-art 3-D bioprinting suite. This is a leadership position within the group and the preferred candidate would either have held a leadership role during their PhD or have some postdoctoral experience.

Analytical Chemistry

This position is open to individuals holding a PhD in analytical chemistry or synthetic organic or inorganic chemistry with analytical chemistry expertise. The position will revolve around designing new methodologies to analyze nutraceticals and nutraceutical formulations, with a special focus on cannabinoids initially. This will involve microformualtion as well as HPLC, GC, DLS, DSC, TGA and NMR analysis of materials. It can also involve develping non-chromatographic separation strategies for complex mixtures. There will also be the potential to work with chemical engineers, materials scientists, and toxicologists on translating technology and developing new methods. The candidates will also, depending on interest and focus, be able to work with other members of the Trant Team on our research projects in whisky and wine science, cancer and autoimmune disease treatment, and supramolecular chemistry as their interests lead them. The industrial partners we are working with on these projects are fast-growing science and research and development-focused companies that would likely be looking to bring the expertise in-house following the fellowship while maintaining links with the University.

Computational Chemistry

These are expected to start April-June 2020. Position is open to individuals holding a PhD in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, or a related discipline. The successful candidate will have expertise in computational modelling of molecules. Preference for individuals with molecular modelling, molecular dynamics simulation experience in proteins and peptides. Ideally some experience with docking, QM/MM analysis using combinations of GROMACS, AMBER, Rosetta, Autodock Vina, the Schrodinger Suite, and Gaussian. Experience in bioinformatics is a large benefit but not necessary. The project will focus on an academic-research collaboration examining mechanism of action of small molecules with known and unknown protein targets. The candidates will also have the opportunity to work with structural biologists on crystallization, or with molecular biologists on protein expression and biophysics measurements. The candidates can also work in wet-lab synthetic chemistry or molecular biology associated with the project as they wish although this is not necessary.

Synthetic Chemistry, Natural Product Chemistry

These are expected to start April-June 2020. Position is open to individuals holding a PhD in chemistry or a related discipline. The successful candidate(s) will have expertise in either total synthesis, methodology development, medicinal chemsitry, or natural product isolation and identification chemistry. Preference will be given for individuals with experience in structural determination and/or process chemistry experience. Ideally the candidate will have experience with scale-up chemistry and non-chromatographic separation science (although HPLC experience is an asset). A strong understanding of organic mechanism and asymmetric synthesis is an asset. Science will involve developing new scalable synthetic and purification routes for complex materials. Individuals will be required to work closely with the biological, analytical and computational teams, and previous experience in an interdisciplinary environment, or a strong interest in developing this experience will be preferred (and will likely make you happier in the position).