Meet The Team

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You are only ever as good as your team & this is a

  • Postdoctoral Researchers
  • Doctoral Students
  • Masters Students
  • Visiting Scholars
  • Undergraduate Researchers
  • High-School Researchers
  • Former PDFs
  • Former Grad Students
  • Former Undergraduates
  • Research Staff
  • In Memoriam

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Nazanin Taimoory


(2016-)

Dr. John J. Hayward


(2018-)

Dr. Farsheed Shahbazi 


(2019-)

Dr. Bukola Aremu
(2018-)
Dr. Fraser Pick
(2019-)
Dr. Nazir Tahir
(2019-)
Dr. Samuel Aremu
(2018-)
Dr. Ronnie Banerjee 
(2019-)
Dr. Maryam Kosar
(2020-)
Dr. Atefe Ghodrati
(2020-)
Dr. Muhammad Usman Mirza


(2020-)

 
Dr. Iraj Sadraei

(2020-)

Dr. Neda Mashhadi

(2020-)

Ashley Dadalt

(2020-)

 
 

Doctoral Students

Daniel Meister
(2016-)
Mana Dashti
(2017-)
Sarah Nasri


(2020-)

 
Michael Reynolds
(2017-)
Sanaz Nadimi
(2019-)
Samra Khan
(2020-)
Sanam Mohammadzadeh

(2020-)

Behzad Bolandi
(2020-)

Masters Students

Susanna Vu


(2020-)

 
Peihan Xu
(2020-)
Samaneh Mehri
(2019-)
Paul Tucci

(2020-)

Visiting Scholars

Mahasin Al-Shabi

(2019-)

Undergraduate Researchers

Emma Dennison
(2021)
Michelle Park


(2023)

 
Sabrina Piazza
(2021)
Abdulrahman Aljoudi

(2022)

Sukhleen Nagra
(2022)
Khushali Parikh
(2021)
Sara Knezevic

(2021)

Noah Robinson
(2023)
Victoria Kis
(2023)
Aiyireti (Dina) Dilinaer

(2022)

 
 Keith Wong


(2023)

 
Emma Flynn


(2022)

 
Lavleen Mader


(2021)

 
Sara Alabed


(2022)

 
Kaitlyn Breault


(2022)

 
Maria Buglisi

(2022)

 
Jason Wong


(2023)

 
Teodora Secara

(2021)

 
Chelsea Ymana

(2023)

 
Will Hosie


(2022)

 
Afeson Beyene


(2022)

 
Maria Rueda

(2023)

 
Nour Elkott


(2022)

 
Maria Meer


(2023)

 
Waffa Bakheet


(2022)

 
Ryan Salama
(2023)
Fadi Naom
(2022)

High-School Researchers & Students

Chitra Bidlon

(June 2019-July 2020)

 Volunteer (Massey) 

 
Anumita Jain

(June 2019-July 2020)

 Volunteer (Massey) 

 
Catherine Lalman

(June 2018-July 2019)

 Volunteer (Massey) 

 

Alumni

Postdocs & Research Associates

Dr. N. Kodiah Beyeh

(April 2017-July 2018)

Dr. Christopher Dieni
(April 2018-June 2019)
Dr. Martin Bakht

(Nov 2019- Jan 2020)

Former Grad Students

Emmanuel Perez Escalante

(July 2019-December 2019)

 
Dominique Leckie

 (September 2016-July 2017)

Xiao Yu

(2018-2020)

 

Current Position:

 

NuChem Therapeutics (Montreal)

 
Iraj Sadraei

(2016-2020)

 
 

33. Aman Sehmbi- Undergraduate Volunteer (ChemBiochem)- 2020

32. Ali Barazi- Undergraduate Volunteer (ChemBiochem)- 2020

31. Maksmilian Dzioura- Undergraduate Volunteer (ChemBiochem)- 2020

30. Victoria Grandi- Undergraduate Volunteer (ChemBiochem)- 2020

29. Joy-Lynn Kobti- Undergraduate Volunteer (ChemBiochem)- 2020

28. Peter Bahnam- Undergraduate Volunteer (Biology)- 2020

27. Carmen Ly - Outstanding Scholar (ChemBiochem)- 2020

26. Thomson Ly - Undergraduate Volunteer (ChemBioChem)- 2020

25. Maya Sutherland- Undergraduate Volunteer (Health and Biomedical Sciences) - 2022

24. Tarasha Sharma - Visiting Undergraduate Student, Univeristy of Ottawa, Summer 2019

23. Fabiola Villarreal - MITACS Globallink Fellow, Summer of 2019 (Mexico). Current: Student at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Monterrey Mexico.

22. Marta Haireek - (October 2018- August 2019) Undergraduate Volunteer (Molecular Biology and Biotechnology)- 2022. Current: Undergraduate Volunteer in the Cohen Lab, Department of Psychology, University of Windsor

21. Mihir Modi- (May 2019-August 2019) Outstanding Scholar Undergraduate Volunteer (Biological Sciences) – 2022. Current: Undergradaute Volunteer in the Dason Lab, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Windsor.

20. Advait Desai- (August 2016-August 2019) Outstanding Scholar, Undergraduate Volunteer and Thesis Student (ChemBiochem)- 2019. Research Project: Towards the Synthesis of a Biostable Acetal Free Serine Tn Antigen. Current: Medical Student (University of Western Ontario, Windsor Campus)

19. Greg Yousif- (August 2016-August 2019) Outstanding Scholar, Undergraduate Volunteer and Thesis Student (ChemBiochem)- 2019. Research Project: Synthesis of dendron antifreeze compounds and applications in cryopreservation. Current: Medical Student (University of Toronto)

18. Sarah Nasri- (August 2016-August 2019) Undergraduate Volunteer and Thesis Student (ChemBiochem)- 2019. Research Project: Development of self-immolative triazole based polymers (SIPS) as macrocycle axle. Current: MSc student in the Trant Team!

17. Jonathan Chiaramonte- (May 2018- August 2019) Undergraduate Volunteer and Thesis Student (ChemBioChem)- 2019. Research Project: Synthesis of Glucose Bioprobes and Inducing Asymmetry in the Diels-Alder Reaction

16. Asma Ghafoor- (April 2017-August 2019) Undergraduate Volunteer (Biology)- 2019. Research Project: Method Development Towards Catechin Biotransformation for Insulin Sensitization. Current: Pharmacy School, University of Toronto

15. Ashutosh Agrahari- (May-July 2019) MITACS Globallink Fellow, Summer of 2019 (India). Current: MSc. Student at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, India.

14. Mansi Arora - (October 2018-August 2019) Undergraduate Volunteer (Health and Biomedical Sciences)- 2022. Current: 2nd year student in Health and Biomedical Sciences!

13. Liam LeClair- (February 2018- April 2019) Undergraduate Volunteer (Health and Biomedical Sciences)- 2020. Current: Liam is being drafted in the first round of the National Lacrosse League and will be playing professional Lacrosse on weekends while preparing for medical school. That's a way to pay the bills. We will miss him, and hope to see him swing by! With his lacrosse stick of course.

12. Michael Qaqish- (September 2017- April 2019) Outstanding Scholar (Human Kinetics)- 2020. Current: Undergraduate student in the Faculty of Human Kinetics conducting a Univeristy Windsor HK thesis at a sports physiology clinic in Toronto (Go Mike!!).

11. Anthony Chifor- (September 2017- May 2019) - Outstanding Scholar (Biology)- 2019. Research Project: Synthesis and Application of Thermally Sensitive Endcaps for Directed Disulfide Bond Formation in Conotoxin Synthesis. Current: Research Assistant, Wayne State University Michigan: Dr. Park.

10. Jana Khanafer- (January 2018-October 2018) - Outstanding Scholar (Health and Biomedical Sciences, 2021). Research project: Lactobacilli as biofermentors. Current: Undergraduate volunteer in the Pandey group.

9. Jonathan Franke- (June 2018 - September 2018) - MITACS Globalink Scholar (Chemistry - Technische Universität Ilmenau, Germany). Research project: Self-immolative materials. Will he be back? Time will tell.Current: Student, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Germany

8. Rose Fayoumi- (July 2016-January 2018) B.Sc. University of Windsor. Thesis Project: Diels-Alder reaction to create thermally-labile endcaps for self-immolative polymers

7. Zachary Rezler(May 2018-August 2018) - Visiting Undergraduate Volunteer (Biomedical Sciences - McMaster). Current: On secondment to McMaster for his "degree" and the "classes." May be back to continue his real education in the summer of 2019.

6. Rohaila Zehra(February 2017- May 2018) - B.Sc. University of Windsor. Thesis Project: Solvation effects on glycosylations with aprotic nucleophiles. Current: Scientist at Accuristix (Toronto, analytical chemistry position)

5. Emmanuel Igbokwe(September 2016- April 2017) - B.Sc. Honours University of Windsor. Thesis Project: Carbohydrate glycolipid synthesis. Current: Medical School, University of Toronto.

4. Adan Sadiq Ahmed(September 2016- August 2017) - B.Sc. University of Windsor. Thesis Project: Solvation effects on glycosylations with aprotic nucleophiles. Current: Teacher and educator at a private school (Windsor)

3. Angela Simonovski- (February 2017-April 2017) B.Sc. Honours University of Windsor. Current: BSc. University of Western Ontario

2. Vrunjal Gandhi- (January 2017-December, 2017) Masters in Medical Biotechnology. Current: Scientist at Apotex (Toronto)

1. Eileen-yunjung O- (February 2017- November 2017) B.Sc. Honours, University of Windsor. Current: 3rd year BSc Biomedical Sciences, University of Windsor

Research Staff

Mohamad Rasizadeh

(2019-)

Jonathan Chiaramonte (2019-2020)

B.Sc. University of Windsor (Trant Team 2018-2019) Jonathan was born in Windsor and grew up in Owen Sound before coming back to the University of Windsor for his B.Sc. in Biochemistry (2014-2019). His undergraduate research includes a year volunteering for Dr. Koschinsky and Dr. Boffa under the supervision of Dr. Scipione. He then joined Dr. Trant’s research group in organic synthesis (2018), specifically working towards the synthesis of “acetal-free” carbohydrates (2018-19). His undergraduate research included the synthesis of a glucose bio-probe, which can be used to monitor malignant cells due to their preference for aerobic glycolysis. The second project in Jonathan’s undergraduate research dealt with the induction of asymmetry in the Diels-Alder reaction – a possible avenue towards the synthesis of “acetal-free” carbohydrate mimics. His graduate work focused on further developing these technologies to generate innovative cancer vaccines. Outside the lab, Jonathan’s interests included various sports, pharmacology, toxicology, and drug design. Jonathan passed away in an accident on New Year's Day 2020. Jon was an exceptonally promising researcher and we were both extremely excited about his progress and the new projects he was taking on. He will be greatly missed by all of us in the Team. His work and contributions to the group during his time with us are honoured and will be remembered.
Dr. Seyedeh Maryamdokht (Nazanin) Taimoory
Postdoctoral Researcher

(2016-)

B.Sc. Tehran Azad University (Iran)
M.Sc. Sharif University of Technology (Iran)
Ph.D. Brock University

Nazanin was born in Sari, Iran and raised in the capital, Tehran. She obtained her B.Sc. in pure chemistry from Tehran Azad University, North Branch and her Master’s degree in organic chemistry from Sharif University of Technology, an internationally renowned research institution, with Prof. Firouz Matloubi Moghaddam. Her research focused on the synthesis and identification of novel heterocyclic compounds of potential biological interest. After graduation, she was involved in numerous collaborations at different universities working on different research projects preparing chemicals with unique physical properties. She also lectured at Payam Nour University of Tehran and Azad University of Varamin, Iran. She then moved to Canada where she did her Ph.D. in organic chemistry as a Trillium Ontario Scholar at Brock University with Prof. Travis Dudding. Her doctoral work in computational modeling examined various chemical and organic molecules and studied the precise mechanism of asymmetric processes. These advanced quantum mechanical methods were used to provide mechanistic insight into the chemical reactivity and selectivity of host-guest hydrogen bonded complex molecules and catalytic systems. As a member of the Trant Team, she will be primarily working on designing novel artificial amino acids using in silico techniques and synthesizing these materials to develop a new class of therapeutics for auto-immune disorders

Dr. John J. Hayward

Postdoctoral Researcher

(2018-)

 B.A./M.Sci. University of Cambridge (UK)
 Ph.D. University of Cambridge (UK)
 PDF University of Windsor
 PDF Brock University

John is a Brit by birth, but has since become a Canadian Permanent Resident. He gained all his degrees from the University of Cambridge, with his PhD earned under the supervision of Prof. Steve Ley FRS CBE. His PhD studies covered a diverse array of topics, from organocatalysis, flow chemistry and microwave-assisted organic synthesis to the study of non-covalent interactions in the crystalline state. Feeling that a this diverse experience of chemistry was the way forward, he joined the group of Dr Jeremy Rawson, Chair in Molecular Materials at the University of Windsor, where he focussed on a variety of organo-main group and solid state/materials research topics. A productive year with Dr Melanie Pilkington at Brock University followed, focussing on ligand design for transition metal complexes. Starting to yearn for some organic synthesis, he moved across campus to join Prof. Tomáš Hudlický’s group. Since late 2016 he has been back in Windsor, with research positions in the computational enzymology group of Dr James Gauld and now as part of the Trant Team. Concurrent to this he has had several teaching appointments at the University of Windsor, for which he has been awarded the UWSA and Ontario Universities Student Alliance Teaching Awards. John’s research interests are as diverse (schizophrenic?) as his chemical biography would suggest, and include the application of enabling technologies to discover new reactions in organic (and inorganic) synthesis, the application of novel reactivity to compounds of biological interest and the study of intermolecular forces by computational and crystallographic means. This makes him a good match with John T. Some more self-aggrandisement can be found on the web at www.john-hayward.net.

Dr. Farsheed Shahbazi Raz

Postdoctoral Researcher
(2019-)
B.Sc. Ardabil University (Iran) 
M.Sc. University of Tabriz (Iran)
Ph.D. Shahid Beheshti University (Iran)
 
Farsheed was born and lived in Ardabil, the coldest city in Iran, until the end of his undergraduate studies.  He completed his Master’s degree in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Tabriz, Iran, under the supervision of Prof. Ali Akbar Khandar. In 2016, he completed his doctorate at Shahid Beheshti University, Iran, where he conducted theoretical calculations to design spin crossover complexes under the supervision of Prof. Naser Safari. After his PhD he spent two years as the Local R&D Manager for MSM United Inc, a Canadian cosmetic company, in the Middle East.  His research interests focus on the use of computational chemistry for determining peptide function employing unnatural amino acids. In his spare time Farsheed enjoys being with his family, outdoor activities, Kickboxing, and traveling. As a member of the Trant Team, he will be working on the development of artificial amino acids for autoimmune disease treatments.

Dr. Bukola Rhoda Aremu

Postdoctoral Researcher

(2018-)

B.Tech. (Hons) Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, (Nigeria) 
M.Sc. Federal University of Agriculture (Abeokuota, Nigeria)
Ph.D. North-West University, (Mafikeng, South Africa)
PDF North-West University (Mafikeng, South Africa)

Bukola graduated in 2001 with a B.Tech. (Hons.) in Pure and Applied Biology from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (Nigeria) and MSc. in Genetics from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (Nigeria) in 2006. She lectured at Bowen University from 2008 till 2012 before she relocated to the North-West University in Mafikeng, South Africa to pursue her PhD with Prof. Olubukola Oluranti Babalola in molecular biotechnology developing an efficient rapid method to detect marcegens in exportable vegetables. After defending her thesis in 2016, she stayed with Prof. Babalola’s group to work on the interactions between maize and its pathogens, using genomic and proteomic data to better define the response to infection. She obtained a highly competititive South Africa National Research Foundation PDF grant, and is using its mobility to work with Dr. Trant’s team on the proteomic correlations of the tumour-associated carbohydrate antigens.

Dr. Fraser Pick

Postdotoral Researcher

(2019-)

B.Sc. University of Alberta, Edmonton (Stryker) 
Ph.D. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Fryzuk)
 

Fraser was born in Edmonton, AB and completed his undergraduate training at the University of Alberta studying titanium complexes which mimicked the surface environment of Ziegler-Natta type catalysts.  He then moved to Vancouver to attend UBC and obtained his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Mike Fryzuk in 2017, with a focus on polymetallic Iron and Cobalt complexes. After briefly working in the sustainability sector Fraser found a passion for distilling and after working as a distiller for just over a year realized that there was a serious knowledge gap in the science behind producing spirits, particularly the evolution of flavour molecules during maturation. When Fraser isn’t in the lab (or the distillery) you’ll find him crushing weights, quaffing craft brews or playing beach volleyball, often in the rain.

Dr. Nazir Tahir

Postdoctoral Researcher

(2019-)

Co-supervised with Prof. Rondeau-Gagné

B.Sc. Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan (Pakistan)
M.Sc. University of Technology Braunschweig (Germany, Prof. P. Mischnick)
Ph.D. University of Technology Braunschweig (Germany, Prof. P. Mischnick)
PDF Université du Québec à Montréal (Prof. R. Roy)
PDA University of Windsor (Prof. S. Rondeau-Gagné and H.S. Eichhorn)
 

Nazir was born in Vehari, Pakistan. He obtained his B.Sc. in chemistry from Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan. Afterwards, he got his MSc and PhD degrees from University of Technology (Technische Universität) Braunschweig, commonly referred to as TU Braunschweig, the oldest Technische Universität in Germany founded in 1745, with Prof. Petra Mischnick. His PhD research focused on the synthesis of alkynyl ethers of dextrans as intermediates for new functional biopolymers and detailed characterization and applications of functionalized biopolymers e.g. for immobilization of enzymes and biocatalysis. After graduation, he worked at different universities in Europe, South Korea working on different research projects mainly in the field of synthetic organic chemistry, polymer chemistry and organic electronics. In 2015, he moved to Canada where he worked on the synthesis and applications of dendrons and dendrimers after joining the research group of Prof. René Roy at the Université du Québec à Montréal. In 2017, he joined research groups of Prof. Rondeau-Gagne and Prof. Holger Eichhorn and worked on the topochemical polymerization of nematic tetraazaporphyrin derivatives for the preparation of soluble polydiacetylene nanowires and liquid crystals for potential applications in organic electronics. In the mean time, also he worked on other related topics like synthesis of functional AuNPs stabilized by topochemical polymerization of diacetylene and synthesis of functional dendrimers using “onion-peel” method etc. Recently, he joined a collaborative project between Dr. Trant, Dr. Rondeau-Gagné and as a member of the Trant Team, he will be working on the process development of neutraceutical formulation for soft-gels and related topics Apparently he has no interests outside of the lab.

Dr. Oluwole Samuel Aremu

Postdoctoral Researcher

(2018-)

   B.Tech. (Hons) Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, (Nigeria) 
   M.Sc. University of Ibadan (Nigeria)
   Ph.D. University of KwaZulu-Natal, (Durban, South Africa)
   PDF North-West University (Mafikeng, South Africa)
   PDF Linnaeus University (Kalmar, Sweden)

      Samuel was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, and obtained his B.Tech. (Hons.) in Pure and Applied Chemistry from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso, Nigeria, and his Master’s degree in Organic Chemistry at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. He taught as an Organic Chemistry lecturer at Bowen University, Iwo, Nigeria, before completing his doctoral degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa under the supervision of Prof. Neil Koorbanally. His doctoral research was on the synthesis, characterization and biological evaluation of novel pyrimidine derivatives. After completing his PhD, he obtained ahighly competititive  South Africa National Research Foundation grant (Postdoctoral fellowship for DST Innovation) for two years at North-West University with Prof. Lebogang Katata-Seru, where he works on the synthesis, characterization and application of polymeric nanoparticles for an Anti-HIV drug delivery system. He also works as a PDF at Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden with Prof. Ian Nicholls on the synthesis of molecular imprinted polymers and on computational chemistry. His research interests focus broadly on the organic synthesis of bioactive molecules, isolation and synthesis of natural products, the development of green chemistry methodologies, and materials science. He will be working on the syntheses of biologically active carbohydrates derivatives and the computational modelling of cannabinoid-receptor interactions during his time with the Trant Team at the University of Windsor.

Dr. Abhinandan (Ronnie) Banerjee

Postdoctoral Researcher

(2019-)

B.Sc. (Chemistry Hons.) – Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India 
M.Sc. (Chemistry) – IIT Kharagpur, India (Prof. P. Pramanik).
Ph.D. University of Saskatchewan (Prof. R. Scott) 
PDF  University of Calgary (Prof. S. Trudel) Eyes High Fellow.
 

Ronnie’s research interests lie in the design, synthesis, characterization, and applications of novel nanoscaled composite materials. After completing his M.Sc. at IIT Kharagpur working with Prof. P. Pramanik on developing novel morphological variations of nano-phospors, Ronnie was awarded a Dean’s Fellowship at the University of Saskatchewan to do a doctoral degree with Prof. Robert W. J. Scott on catalytic nanocomposites in tetraalkylphosphonium ionic liquid matrices. This gave Ronnie a chance to work at the Canadian Light Source, Canada’s only second generation synchrotron. Ronnie received research funding from VWR, Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Fellowship, and the Gerhard Herzberg Award, named in honor of, and awarded by the family of, Nobel Laureate Prof. Gerhard Herzberg. Following graudation, Ronnie was awarded the highly prestigious Eyes High PDF at the University of Calgary, where he worked with Prof. Simon Trudel , director of the nanoscience program at UCalgary, on multifunctional bionanoprobes. This lead to a patent on a novel bionanoprobe that combines “aggregation induced emission” with MRI activity. Ronnie hopes to continue gaining fresh insights into the fascinating world of nanomaterials and their role in the universal human aspiration for comfort, if not happiness, by joining the Trant Team to work on innovative nanoformulations. Ronnie also enjoys the Golden age mysteries, classical music including bel canto and opera comique, art, cooking, and the great indoors.

Dr. Maryam Kosar

Postdoctoral Researcher
(2020-)
B.Sc. (Applied Chemistry) – Isfahan University of Technology (Iran)
M.Sc. (Physical Chemistry) – University of Isfahan (Iran)
Ph.D. (Physical Chemistry) – Shahid Beheshti University, (Iran)
PDF Isfahan University of Medical Science, (Iran)
PDF Ontario Tech University
 
Maryam was born in Tehran, Iran. She then moved to Isfahan where she attended Isfahan University of Technology to obtain her B.Sc. in applied chemistry and the University of Isfahan for her M.Sc. in physical chemistry. During her master’s, she got experience in the synthesis and characterization of inorganic nanoparticles. After graduation, she started to work as a quality control manager at a cosmetics company where she did research along with conducting chemical and microbial tests. As the work did not satisfy her and she missed research and studying, she decided to continue her studies and started a PhD in her favorite field: computational physical chemistry. During her PhD she conducted molecular dynamics simulations of the flow of particles in nanotori, extremely interesting nanostructures, in the presence of circularly polarized light. She did her PhD project at the University of Isfahan, Iran under the supervision of Prof. H. Sabzyan, while the PhD degree itself was issued by Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. After completing her PhD, she started to work as a researcher and later as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Isfahan and Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, respectively, continuing her computational studies. In 2018, she moved to Canada to for a postdoctoral position at Ontario Tech University under the supervision of Dr. Hendrick W. deHaan. In the one-year postdoc., she was involved in projects doing molecular dynamics simulations of protein-ligand interactions,  and also studied protein translocation in a nanopore using DFT calculations. As a member of the Trant Team, she will be working on the computational studies related to protein-ligand interactions with an industrial partner, and will also be revisiting her love of theoretical materials science. In her spare time, she enjoys nature, travelling, watching movies, reading, listening to music and cooking.

Dr. Atefe Ghodrati

Postdoctoral Researcher
 

(2019-2021)

Atefe was born in a city in Mazandaran, Iran. She graduated in Applied Chemistry and then successfully obtained her Masters degree in Electrochemistry; both at Mazandaran University. Her Master’s thesis concerned the design and preparation of modified electrodes and their application in electro-catalytic oxidation. After her degree, she started teaching analytical chemistry at Azad university of Amol. Life being life, she then got married and moved to Tehran leaving her home town behind. She says she was fortunate enough to receive a bursary from Ministry of Health and Medical Education to pursue her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at University of Tehran starting in 2015. But really, she earned it through her strong track record. She is continuing this degree, and she is also collaborating closely with the Hezare Sevom Company to produce electronic content for chemical engineering students. She has also been active in the research and development’s unit of the Parsian Pharmaceutical Company as a researcher in the field of the synthesis of peptides, peptidomimetics and purification of peptides with preparative HPLC which is directly associated with her PhD research into the design of beta-secretase inhibitors. She is with the Trant Team for an 18-month research sabatical where she will join the team working in designing novel peptide therapies for autoimmune diseases with a special focus on arthritis.

Dr. Muhammad Usman Mirza

Postdotoral Researcher
(2020-)

M-Phil. Quaid-i-Azam University (Pakistan)

Ph.D. University of Leuven, (Belgium)

 

Muhammad Usman Mirza graduated from the National Centre for Bioinformatics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan. Afterwards, he joined the Center for Research in Molecular Medicine, at the University of Lahore as a research associate and participated in several projects and developed a series of close collaborative relationships. In 2016, he was awarded the prestigious IRO Doctoral Fellowship from KU Leuven, Belgium and pursued doctoral studies with Prof. Matheus Froeyen at the Rega Institute for Medical Research. He obtained his PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2020. During his career, his primary interest has been in interdisciplinary research focused on the investigation of molecular mechanisms of bio-molecular interactions by computational methods and the discovery of biologically active compounds with promising pharmacological properties using ligand- and structure-based methods. He has experience in molecular modelling and has completed a number of projects, independently or in collaboration. His multipronged research has already identified very selective HIV entry inhibitors, potent Zika protease inhibitors, and a few potential acetylcholine esterase inhibitors. After the submission of his PhD thesis, he was offered a postdoc position in Trant Team, where he will focus on the design and discovery of novel antiviral agents and the prediction of pharmacological properties using computational techniques. This will tie in with ongoing drug discovery work within the lab, and he is excited to be working directly alongside a team of synthetic chemists and molecular biologists to advance the hit-to-lead optimization stage of drug discovery. He is a friendly guy who loves to play almost every racket sport but quite good in Tennis, and has a strong amateur interest in swimming and cricket. He loves to hear the call of the mountains, and has a passion for camping. Essex county is apparently quite lacking in the former, although camping in Canada has been a long-term goal. Sometimes he makes vlogs of travel and food.

Seyed (Iraj) Sadraei 

Doctoral Student

(2016-)

Tehran Azad University (Iran)
M.Sc. Saveh University (Iran)
M.Sc. Brock University

Iraj was born and raised in the northern Iranian city of Sari. He obtained his B.Sc. in applied chemistry from the School of Science of Tehran Azad University, North Branch. He then moved to the School of Science Azad University, Saveh Branch where he completed his Master’s degree in organic chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Seyed Sadjadi on the synthesis of oxadiazole derivatives and their biological applications. After graduation, he was involved in numerous collaborations with different industrial organizations and universities and working jointly with industry and academia on various research projects. He then moved to Canada where he received his second Master’s degree in organometallic chemistry in the laboratory of Prof. Costa Metallinos at Brock University. His research was focused on the experimental development of organometallic homo- and hetero-coupling reactions and studying the origins of selectivity in lithiations. Outside the laboratory, Iraj enjoys playing a multitude of sports, listening to music and watching movies. As a doctoral student in the Trant group, Iraj will be working on synthesizing physiologically stable “acetal-free” carbohydrates, compounds that replace the natural sugar residues with a combination of carbasugars and C-glycosides, for use as long-lasting therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostic probes, and biological labels.

Dr. Neda Mashhadi

Postdoctoral Researcher

(2020-)

M.Sc. Università di Camerino (Italy)

Ph.D. University of Windsor (Canada)

PDF. University of Windsor (Prof. Mundle)

 

After finishing her undergraduate degree, Neda moved to Italy to complete her M.Sc. in Chemistry and advanced chemical methodologies (analytical curriculum) under the supervision of Dr. Stefania Pucciarelli. Her M.Sc. focused on role of human Cytidine deaminase (CDA) in deaminating several chemotherapeutic agents and rendering them inactive. She then moved to Canada to complete her Ph.D on using alternative strategies (enzyme-based) for treatment of water contaminated with emerging contaminants under the supervision of Dr. Keith Taylor at the university of Windsor. Following graduation, she started working as a PDF at Dr. Scott Mundle’s multidisciplinary lab at GLIER involved in investigating the fate and transport of gases/fluids during thermal oil recovery operations. At Trant team she will be working closely with industry developing and validating analytical techniques for natural products.

Ashley Dadalt

Postdoctoral Researcher

(2020-)

B.Sc (Biochemistry, Honours) – University of Windsor

Ph.D. Candidate (Biochemistry) – University of Windsor, Dr. Vacratsis

Research Assistant (Chemistry & Biochemistry) – University of Windsor, Dr. Trant/Dr. Tong

 

Born and raised in Windsor, Ashley didn’t have to travel far to complete her undergraduate degree at the University of Windsor in Biochemistry, where she then decided to stay and pursue graduate school. Joining the lab of Dr. Vacratsis in 2015, Ashley began investigating protein phosphorylation, with a focus on a dual-specificity phosphatase, hYVH1, and its role in stress response, ribosome biogenesis, and cell survival. Now in Trant lab, and in collaboration with Dr. Tong, Ashley is taking a biochemical and biophysical approach to characterize putative anti-cancer compounds. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys doing aerial silks, baking, playing softball for the Isotopes, and watching the Green Bay Packers dominate the NFC.

Daniel Meister

Doctoral Student
Ontario Graduate Scholar

(2016-)

B.Sc. University of Windsor

Daniel was born in Israel and raised in Windsor. He completed his Honours Biochemistry with Thesis degree at the University of Windsor in 2016. During his undergraduate studies his research, on the computational study of Isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase and its editing mechanisms, was supervised by Dr. James W. Gauld. Daniel joined the Trant Team as a founding member in September 2016. His graduate research focuses on the rational computational design of novel amino acids, their synthesis and their incorporation into peptides for use as therapeutics for auto-immune diseases. Outside of chemistry, Daniel enjoys reading, watching movies, hiking and spending time with family and friends.

Mana Dashti

Doctoral Student
Trillium Scholar

(2017-)

B.Sc. Kharazmi University, Tehran (Iran)
M.Sc. Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Azad Univeristy, Tehran (Iran)

 

Mana was born in Ahvaz and raised in Tehran, Iran. She obtained her B.Sc in pure Chemistry at Kharazmi University.  After graduation, she continued her studies, completing an M.Sc in medicinal chemistry at the Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch of Azad University under the supervision of Prof. Solmaz Ghaffari, working on the preparation and optimization of new drug nanoformulations for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. After completing her degree, Mana worked in the R&D department at Kharazmi Pharmaceutical, an Iranian pharmaceutical company, before moving to the University of Windsor to pursue her PhD at the interface of organic chemistry and supramolecular chemistry as an Ontario Trillium  Scholar. Outside the lab, Mana likes exercising, walking, listening to music and watching movies. As a doctoral student in the Trant Team, Mana is working towards the desing and synthesis of new classes of self-immolative polymers for biomedical, drug delivery, and nanoelectronic applications.

 

Sarah Nasri

Masters Student

(2019-)

B.Sc. University of Windsor (Trant Team, 2016-2019)

Sarah was born in Pennsylvania, USA and raised in Sydney, Australia. She began her science studies at Granville TAFE aiming to become a Laboratory Technician. After the completion of her diplomas, she became more interested in creating knowledge than simply doing technique, which led her to enroll and complete her Honours Biochemistry with Thesis degree at the University of Windsor in 2019. Sarah has been involved with the Trant Team since its formation in September 2016, starting as a 2nd year volunteer working on self-immolative materials and endcaps. Her graduate research involves the development of innovative self-immolative polymers and thermally sensitive materials for use as novel functional nanomaterials and molecular templates. Outside of the lab, Sarah can be found drinking energy drinks and eating sunflower seeds while drawing pictures, editing videos, or sometimes playing Runescape. 

Michael Reynolds

Doctoral Student
 

(2017-)

B.Sc. Wilfrid Laurier University
M.Sc. University of Windsor

Mike was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He obtained his B.Sc in Chemistry at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Ken Maly on the synthesis of dibenzopentacenequinones. He then moved to the university of Windsor to pursue his M.Sc in organic supramolecular chemistry under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Loeb working on the synthesis of photoswitchable crown ether macrocycles, defending his thesis in 2017. Outside the laboratory, Mike enjoys playing sports, going to the gym, watching movies and listening to music. As a doctoral student in the Trant group, Mike will be working on synthesizing and characterizing C-glycoside “acetal-free” carbohydrate mimics.

Sanaz Nadimi

Doctoral Student

(2016-)

B.Sc. University of Azarbaijan Shahid Madani, Tabriz, Iran
M.Sc. University of Tabriz, Iran

Sanaz was born and raised in Tabriz, Iran. She obtained her B.Sc in pure Chemistry at Azarbaijan Shahid Madani university. She then moved to the Tabriz University and completed her master’s degree in organic chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Kazem Dindarsafa, working on the synthesis of vinylsilanes from 4-dialkylaminobenzaldehydes and investigating their reactivity. After graduation, Sanaz worked as a teaching assistant at the prestigious Khalili Medical Sciences School in Tabriz. She then worked as a technical assistant at the PET Factory, Food and Drug Organization, before moving to the University of Windsor to pursue her PhD with Dr. Trant. She will be working on a combination of peptide and carbohydrate chemistry to develop new methods for peptide and carbohydrate cyclization. Outside the laboratory, Sanaz enjoys doing pilates, playing volleyball, listening to music and travelling.

Samra Khan

Doctoral Student

(2020-)

B.Sc. The Women University Multan (Pakistan)
M.Sc. The Women University Multan (Pakistan)

Samra was born and raised in Multan, Pakistan. She obtained her BS and MPhil, majoring in Organic Chemistry, from The Women University Multan, Pakistan. Her Master’s thesis was supervised by Ms. Tahira Saleem (WUM), based on Natural Product and Medicinal studies where she explored the pharmacological potential of two ethnomedicinal Plants: Euphorbia Hirta and Euphorbia Prostrata. After her graduation she continued as a research associate with her master’s supervisor and expanded her work towards the synthesis of natural product-based nanomaterials. Samra shifted her focus towards organic synthesis and their medicinal properties when she joined research group of Prof. Dr. Zahid Shafique (Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan) in 2018. There, she contributed to projects on the design and development of inhibitors for α-Glycosidase, Urease, Cholinesterases and Carbonic Anhydrases. Most recently, Samra has been a visiting faculty member at the Department of Chemistry, The Women University Multan teaching organic chemistry courses. Her passion for cancer drug discovery inspired her to work with the Trant Team for her PhD research. Her doctoral research will combine total synthesis, biological evaluation and computational evaluation to generate a new generation of  anti-cancer compounds targeting an abnormal kinase. Outside of academia, Samra is an avid reader (only an occasional introvert), loves to watch Turkish historical dramas, and ‘tries’ to stay on top of her gym routine. She basically survives on Tea (pictured)! Good thing we have lots of kettles.

Sanam Mohammadzadeh

Doctoral Student

(2020-)

B.Sc. Molecular Genetic at Shahed University of Tehran/Iran
M.Sc. Biochemistry (computational Biologys approach ) at Shiraz
university/Iran

Azam (Sanam) Mohammadzadeh was born and raised In Behbahan (Khuzestan Province, Iran). She obtained her B.Sc. degree in genetics, during which she became heavily involved in an extracurricular collaboration with telecommunication engineering students, on a project that used her molecular genetics knowledge. From there she was hooked on interdisciplinary research, and especially on bioinformatics. With encouragement from her biophysics tutor, she chose to pursue computational biology for her MSc studies at the University of Shiraz, one of Iran’s leading institutions. It’s also where she fell in love with computational chemistry and structural biology. Her research focused on the analysis of lipids and membrane protein dynamics using computational methods. During her studies she taught biochemistry to undergraduate biology students; following graduation she took up a lectureship position at the University of Khatam where she taught pharmacological chemistry with a focus on lipid biochemistry. She has joined the Trant and Tong groups in 2020 https://www.tonglab.ca/ for her doctoral work where she will continue to work on protein dynamics, but will also do experimental structural biology using both X-ray crystallography and solution NMR. Outside the lab, she likes to play the harmonica, singing, listening to music (especially Persian classical music), and walking. She really loves camping and getting out in nature, and looks forward to exploring the Canadian wilderness.

Behzad Bolandi

Doctoral Student
(2020-)

B.Sc. Material Science and Engineering at the University of Tabriz (Iran)

M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering (Tissue Engineering) at Amirkabir University of Technology (Iran)

 

Born and raised in Tabriz-Iran, Behzad was always curious about science and engineering from an early age. He was recognized as an outstanding student and won several national prizes from the Iranian Ministry of Education while still in high school. While completing his undergraduate studies in Material Science and Engineering at the University of Tabriz, Behzad wasn’t busy enough, so he was actively involved in two startup-companies focusing on self-cleaning glasses and solar cells, inspiring a strong interest in entrepreneurship.

He was admitted to M.Sc. program in Biomedical Engineering (Tissue Engineering) in Amirkabir University of Technology, where his research focus was in developing injectable hydrogels for cartilage tissue engineering, which led to the publication of several articles and a book chapter.

During and after his master’s program, Behzad worked as the supervisor of the Tissue Engineering Lab and the Advanced Scaffold Lab at Amirkabir University of Technology, as well as at the Research Associate in Pasteur Institute of Iran. He continued his work as a postgraduate research and teaching assistant at AUT prior to moving to the University of Windsor to pursue his Ph.D. studies under the supervision of Prof. Trant.

Besides academic life, he enjoys adventuring, traveling, reading, watching movies, and playing volleyball, soccer and badminton.

Susanna Vu

Masters Student

(2020-)

Susanna was born in Toronto and raised in Vancouver. She obtained her B.Sc. in Chemistry at Ryerson University, where she completed her undergraduate thesis involving the synthesis of antimicrobial polymers to investigate mechanisms of bacteria. She is now pursuing her M.Sc. under co-supervision with the Trant Team and the Rondeau-Gagné Group to create degradable, wearable, self-healing organic circuitry. Outside of the lab, Susanna enjoys travelling and loves hanging out with her dogs.

Peihan Xu

Masters Student

(2020-)

Hazel was born and raised in Changsha, China. After spending nineteen years living in the same city, she decided to leave her hometown for university. She received her BSc in Bio-pharmaceutics from Tianjin Agricultural University (China) alongside with some lab work skills and interests in organic synthesis that led her to the Trant team. In her spare time, she enjoys movies, musicals, games, and chilling with her cat, Dafu (Chinese for ‘first officer’, named after Mr. Spock from Star Trek).

Samaneh Mehri

Masters Student

(2019-)

B.Sc. Tehran Azad University (Iran)
M.Sc. Tabriz University of Medical Science (Iran)

Samaneh was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Then she won a national science prize in high school, and that set her career path! She earned her B.Sc in Microbiology at Tehran Azad University. She then pursued an masters degree in medical bacteriology at the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. There she studied the selective emergence of virulence genes in MDR UPEC isolated from patients with renal failure diseases under the supervision of Prof. Mohammadreza Nahaei in collaboration with the Chronic Kidney Disease Research Centre of Tabriz. Following her masters work she worked as a research associate at the Molecular Genetic Department of Kasra Hospital in Tehran, helping to establish a new facility, and then started a new career as an industrial R&D consultant and medical representative at the Poober company. Samaneh has now moved to the University of Windsor to begin her MSc with Dr. Trant and the team where she is working on a number of projects at the interface of chemistry, biology, and engineering. Outside of her academic life, Samaneh spends most of her time traveling with her husband, swimming, and watching films and live theater.

Paul Tucci

Research Staff
 

(2020-)

B.Sc University of Windsor, Windsor

Paul was born in St. Catharines, Ontario and grew up in Windsor. He completed his Honours Forensic Science with a chemistry specialization degree at the University of Windsor in 2018 with the aims of working as an analytical chemist in the forensic field. After a year of working as a quality control technician, he made the decision to re-enroll at uWindsor in pursuit of a masters degree and joined the Trant Team in (September 2020?) working as an analytical research assistant after gaining interest in organic chemistry in his return to school. Outside of academia he enjoys drinking espresso, writing and playing music, and playing Destiny.

Mahasin Al-Shabi

Visiting Scholar
Formerly lecturer at the Universities of Al-Hamdaniya and Mosul in Iraq
(2019-)

B.Sc. University of Mosul (Iraq)
M.Sc. University of Mosul (Iraq)

Mahasin was born and grew up in Mosul, Iraq. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Mosul in 1987. Then, she was appointed to the same college as a research assistant. Later in 1994, she joined Dr. Mahdi Saleh’s group to get her Master’s degree in biochemistry in 1996, which focused on understanding the biochemical effects of some sedatives and tranquillizers in animals. Afterwards, she worked as an assistant professor of biochemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the College of Science at the same university. She published multiple research articles mainly in biochemistry and clinical chemistry focusing on the activity of natural products from Iraqi plants, and demonstrated their hypoglycemic modulatory effects on diabetes mellitus animal models. Other research interests included studying the effect of plant extracts on enzyme activity in in vivo assays, and on tissue-differential neurotransmitter activation, such as acetylcholinesterase, in mouse models. She also evaluated the antioxidant properties of plant extracts on mouse tissues. More recently she took a research sabbatical with Prof. Elke Richling at the Technische Universitat Kaiserslautern (Research University) in Germany. The research focused on the isolation, identification, and activity of secondary metabolites, especially flavonoids, from Prosopis fracta. Mahasin lectured at Mosul University from 1997 until 2011 when she was relocated to Al-Hamdaniya University, just outside of Mosul proper, because of the war that was hitting the area at that time. In her new position, her research focused on pollution and environmental issues. As the war got worse, she and her family relocated to Canada via Jordan in 2018. Clearly, throughout her entire research career, Mahasin has faced logistical difficulties that will not be present in her current appointment as a member of the Trant Team. Here in Windsor she is focusing on natural products chemistry examining understudied South African, Costa Rican, and Iraqi plants for bioactive materials. Mahasin is actively seeking opportunities in the private sector here in Windsor Essex with companies interested in natural products and extracts research. Outside of her academic life, Mahasin enjoys being with her family, cooking, walking and hiking in the outdoors.

Emma Dennison

Outstanding Scholar
ChemBiochem

(Class of 2021)

Emma Dennison was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. She joined the Trant Team in the summer of 2017 before even starting her BSc in Biochemistry, through the Chemistry Research Internship Program. She became an outstanding scholar in 2018 entering her second year and has held two NSERC USRA summer scholarship awards, after her first and second years. Her specific research interest is in physical organic chemistry, investigating the Diels-Alder reaction for a new system of compounds to develop thermally-sensitive end-caps but she has done a lot of supramolecular chemistry too. Besides research, she enjoys volunteering with palliative patients at the hospital, dance, running, travelling and spending time with my family. We are probably going to lose her to medical school, but you never know!

 

Sabrina Piazza

Outstanding Scholar
ChemBiochem

(Class of 2021)

Sabrina Piazza was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. She joined the Trant Team in the fall of 2017 as a first year undergraduate student studying Biochemistry. She became an Outstanding Scholar upon entering second year and received an NSERC USRA the following summer. She will be travelling to Strasbourg, France with MITACS to take part in Origins of Life Research with Dr. Joseph Moran soon. In the Trant Team, Sabrina is working with Michael Reynolds towards the synthesis the natural Tn antigen for anti-cancer vaccine studies. Aside from research, Sabrina enjoys doing yoga, swimming, skiing, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. 

Abdulrahman Aljoudi

Undergraduate Volunteer
Biochemistry
(Class of 2022)

Abdulrahman is originally from Homs, Syria and was born and raised in Abu-Dhabi, UAE. He moved to Windsor, Ontario in December, 2014 and now he is a Biochemistry student at the University of Windsor. He enjoys learning about organic/synthetic chemistry, especially studying about new synthetic pathways or approaches to different compounds. During his free time, he is a pediatric volunteer at the Windsor Regional hospital where he enjoys entertaining young children and adults, also he loves spending time with family and friends and solving mathematical problems. Outside of the lab, he is a swimmer, diver, coffee (not tea) drinker, jogger, and maybe a joker.

Sukhleen Nagra

Undergraduate Volunteer
Biology
(Class of 2022)
Sukhleen Nagra was born and raised in Windsor, ON. She is an undergraduate student studying Biology. Sukhleen became an outstanding scholar in her second year and works with Dr. Farsheed Shahbazi. Sukhleen enjoys baking, playing tennis, rewatching Marvel movies, and drinking tea.

Khushali Parikh

Outstanding Scholar
Biological Sciences/Psychology – Neuroscience

(Class of 2021)

Khushali was born in Mumbai, India. She has moved around quite a bit, living in Mississauga and North Carolina before moving to Windsor in 2010. She is now a Neuroscience student at the University of Windsor. She first joined the Trant Team in 2018 and is currently working as a Carbohydrate Chemist on the project t-Butylamine as a “New” Agent for Mild and Selective Deacetylation under the supervision of Iraj. Outside of school, she loves art which includes both drawing and photography. She has a HUGE sweet tooth so a place she would recommend is Waterfront Ice Cream!

Sara Knezevic

Undergraduate Volunteer
Molecular Bio and Biotech

(Class of 2021)

Sara Knezevic was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. She joined Trant Team in the summer of 2018 after her first year as an undergraduate student studying Biology. In Trant Team, she is currently working with Samaneh Mehri on a project pertaining to gene expression involving autoimmune diseases. She has a strong research interest in microbiology, and, last year, worked on a project focusing on bacterial biotransformation of catechol as an anti-diabetic. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, travelling, playing the piano and spending time with family and friends. She plans to study towards a degree in microbiology and immunology in graduate school.  

Noah Robinson

Undergraduate Volunteer
Integrative Biology

(Class of 2023)

Noah is currently a student at the University of Windsor studying Biological Sciences (Class of 2023). Born and raised in Windsor, he focuses on being a well-rounded individual, and currently volunteers on the University of Windsor’s medical response team to help the campus community stay happy and healthy throughout their usually stressful time at the University. He currently volunteers with the Trant Team doing organic chemistry with Sanaz Nadimi; he is getting overly familiar with amino acid protecting groups. His interests lie at the intersection of biomedical molecular sciences, human biology and clinical medicine.

Victoria Kis

Undergraduate Volunteer
Health and Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry
(Class of 2023)

Victoria Kis is an undergraduate student in Biology and Biochemistry (in Health and Biomedical Stream), set for graduation in 2023. Lover of sugars and coffee (but not together, she drinks her coffee black). If you ever see her in the research lab main office, she always has a pot on. If you ever walk past the blue lab and she is in, she’ll have her coffee mug outside the door for quick java refills. First generation Ukrainian, she’ll take whatever chance she can get to put her Ukrainian music on the lab speaker (whether the lab likes it or not). She loves travelling, dogs, long walks on the beach and breaking glassware. She wants to pursue a career in either Biochemistry Research or Gynaecology and Obstetrics.

She recommends visiting Cafe March 21 on Pelissier or Coffee Exchange on Ouellette , they’re close to the University and have the best pastries for exam season stress eating. 

Aiyireti (Dina) Dilinaer

Undergradaute Volunteer
(Biochemistry)

(Class of 2022)

Dina was born and raised in Urumqi, China. She is a Biochemistry student at the University of Windsor. She has a general interest for organic chemistry and is still finding her specific interests in organic chemistry. But she likes organic chemistry. Which is a good fit with the Trant Team! As an undergraduate researcher in the Trant Team, she is working with Michael Reynolds and various projects he conducts. In her spare time she likes to travel, paint, watch movies and cook. She is also passionate about horseback riding. 

Keith Wong

Undergraduate Volunteer
Integrative Biology
(Class of 2023)
Keith Wong was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. He is currently studying Integrative Biology (Class of 2023). In the Trant Team, he is working with Daniel Meister on a series of different projects, and is extremely excited to continue to learn about organic chemistry in the future, both in courses and as part of the lab. In his free time, Keith enjoys reading classic books and watching critically acclaimed films. He recommends eating at Mazaar if you are visiting Windsor. 

Emma Flynn

Undergraduate Volunteer
Health and Biomedical Sciences

(Class of 2022)

Emma Flynn grew up in Kingsville, Ontario. She joined the Trant Team in the fall of 2018 during the first semester of her Biomedical Sciences undergraduate degree. She became an outstanding scholar entering her 2nd year in 2019 and has held two NSERC USRA summer scholarship awards, after her first and second years. Outside of research, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and creating artwork.

Lavleen Mader

Outstanding Scholar
ChemBioChem
(Class of 2021)

Lavleen was born and raised in Windsor, ON and is currently studying Biochemistry at the University of Windsor. She joined the Trant Team in the summer of 2018 upon becoming an Outstanding Scholar. She has received two NSERC USRA scholarships in the following two summers. In general, she is interested in synthetic organic chemistry involving total synthesis, supramolecular complexes, as well as drug design/delivery. In the Trant Team, she works with John Hayward and focuses on the synthesis of novel resorcinarenes. Upon graduation she hopes to pursue graduate studies in organic chemistry. Outside of the lab she enjoys playing guitar, basketball, reading, and coffee (with milk and no sugar, in case anyone wants to buy her one).

Sara Alabed

Undergraduate Volunteer
Biomedical Sciences
(Class of 2023)

Sara Alabed was born in Syria and raised in Saudi Arabia. Sara moved to Canada with her family. She joined The Team in her first year as an undergraduate student in 2020. She is currently studying biological sciences. In the Trant Team, she is working with Mana Dashti to create self-immolative polymers for drug’s applications. Sara is passionate about medical applications and would like to pursue a career in the medical field. Off campus, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. Sara loves exercising, swimming, and listening to music.

Kaitlyn Breault

Undergraduate Volunteer
Chemistry
(Class of 2022)

Kaitlyn Breault was born in London, Ontario and since moving to Windsor at a young age has lived here ever since. Kaitlyn joined the Trant Team in the Fall of 2019 in the second year of her undergraduate Chemistry degree. In the Trant Team, Kaitlyn works with Mana Dashti where she is learning about self-immolative polymers and their applications. Outside of the lab, Kaitlyn can be found watching, coaching and playing hockey, tutoring high school students in math, and spending time with friends. Kaitlyn would like to recommend Lakewood Park in Tecumseh for a great place to sit and relax by the water or rollerblade along the path.

Maria Buglisi

Undergraduate Volunteer
Chemistry
(Class of 2022)

Maria Buglisi was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. She joined Trant Team midway through her first year in 2018. She is currently in her third year of her BSc in Chemistry with a minor in French. Maria’s general research interest is in inorganic chemistry, and is currently working with Dr. Ronnie Banerjee on the synthesis of contrast agents for MRIs and fluorescence imaging. Outside of research, Maria works at Starbucks and is involved in many clubs on campus, including being the VP Communications for Science Society, an SOS volunteer and in Delta Zeta Sorority. In her free time, she enjoys reading, doing yoga, and spending time with her friends!

Jason Wong

Undergraduate Volunteer
Health and Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry
(Class of 2023)

Jason Wong is currently a student in the Biomedical Science program born and raised in Windsor Ontario. He currently assists Sarah Nasari with her many projects (and many TLC’s). He is excited to learn more about organic reactions in future courses. Outside of lab activities, he is part of science society and plays lots of league of legends in his free time. He recommends grabbing a sub from Giglios whenever you are near campus.

Teodora Secara

Outstanding Scholar
ChemBiochem
(Class of 2021)

Teodora Secara was born in Cugir, Romania and immigrated to Windsor, Ontario in 2002. She joined the Trant Team in the summer of 2017 before beginning her undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Arts and Science, with a major in Biochemistry. She became an outstanding scholar in 2018 and has held two Ignite-Work Study placements, after her first and second years of study. She will be starting her fourth year as a researcher with the Trant Team, and has worked on multiple research projects throughout the years. Mostly recently, she worked on an independent project focused on the optimization of thioester bond formation reactions. She has also worked in other areas, such as developing thermally-sensitive end-caps through the application of Diels-Alder reactions. She is planning on starting her undergraduate thesis as she enters her fourth year of study. Besides research, Teodora enjoys event planning (especially for Trant Team related events), hosting fundraisers, running (currently training for a half-marathon), travelling, cooking and spending time with her friends and family. She looks forward to continuing her research as a graduate student in the future.

Chelsea Ymana

Undergraduate Volunteer
Biomedical Sciences
(Class of 2023)

Chelsea was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario and is currently studying Biochemistry. She works with John Hayward on his various projects and looks forward to learning more about the different branches of chemistry in her following years. On campus, Chelsea is apart of SMArt (Science Meets Art), an organization where she is able to work alongside faculty members at the University of Windsor to illustrate graphics for their next research publication. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, and training for her next marathon (you can find her struggling up a flight of stairs after leg day). She is a bubble tea enthusiast and highly recommends visiting Presotea, just two minutes from the University.

Will Hosie

Undergraduate Volunteer
Chemistry
(Class of 2022)
Will Hosie was born in Commerce, Michigan but was raised in Windsor, Ontario. He is a chemistry student at the University of Windsor and joined the Trant Team in the Fall of his second year. He has a strong interest in organic chemistry especially regarding pharmaceuticals and medicines but also has interest in inorganic as well. As an undergraduate researcher working with the Trant Team, he works under Micheal Reynolds assisting with his various projects. He is also working as an author on The Handbook of Self-Immolative Polymers: Synthesis and Applications on Chapter 10: Self-immolation through hydrolysis of polyacetals. In his free time he enjoys playing the guitar, learning songs and writing tracks. He does music synthesis as well as organic synthesis.

Afeson Beyene

Undergraduate Volunteer
Biochemistry
(Class of 2022)
Afeson was born in Toronto,Canada and raised in Nairobi,Kenya with an Eritrean ethnic background. He moved to Windsor in 2016 and is currently a biochemistry student at the University of Windsor. He joined the Trant team in 2018 and has been a sweet guy ever since and not because of the sugar chemistry he does in the lab under Michael Reynolds. Outside of lab afeson volunteers in the Windsor regional hospital at the eye clinic and is active in school club activities. Hobbies include: reading, kayaking, coding and being a daily joker also likes white whale hunting.

Maria Rueda

Undergraduate Volunteer
Biochemistry
(Class of 2023)
Maria Rueda was born in Ottawa, Ontario. She lived in Concepción, Chile for some time as a young child and then moved to Windsor, Ontario. Maria is a student at the University of Windsor studying Biochemistry, and joined the Trant team in the fall of 2019 during her first year. She currently volunteers with Xiao (Dora) Yu, learning about organic and synthetic chemistry and helping her with her projects. Outside of research, she usually spends her time working as a lifeguard, with her family and friends, watching Netflix, and studying (obviously). She loves dolphins and travelling to new places!

Nour Elkott

Undergraduate Volunteer
Computer Science

(Class of 2022)

Nour ElKott was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. She joined the Trant Team during the fall of her first year as an undergraduate Computer Science student. In the Trant Team, Nour is working with Dr. Nazanin Taimoory to model, analyze, and compute molecular data using molecular modeling environments. Outside of school, Nour can be found at her job tutoring math for kids and volunteering at different organizations. In her spare time, she likes to read, paint and bake.

Maria Meer

Undergraduate Volunteer
Biomedical Sciences
(Class of 2023)
Maria Meer is an undergraduate student studying in the Biomedical Science field and set to graduate in 2023. She is currently working with Dora in the Trant lab that she joined during her first year. Science has been her passion since a very young age therefore, she aspires to pursue a career in medicine. Outside of school, she loves to shop, play soccer and travel.

Waffa Bakheet

Undergraduate Volunteer
Health and Biomedical Sciences

(Class of 2022)

Waffa was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. She is currently enrolled in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Windsor. She joined the Trant Lab in her first year of university under the supervision of Mana Dashti. Waffa works alongside with Mana Dashti to design self-immolative polymers as well as investigate their properties to potentially use them for new, non-traditional methods of drug delivery and for other pharmaceutical purposes. While she enjoys biology, Waffa found her passion in organic chemistry after enrolling in an IB Chemistry course during her last year of high school. Outside of the lab, Waffa enjoys listening to music, playing the guitar and piano, surfing, photography, and travelling.

Ryan Salama

Undergraduate Volunteer
Biomedical Sciences
(Class of 2023)

Of Lebanese background, Ryan was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, and is Currently studying Biological Sciences as an undergraduate student at the University of Windsor (Class of 2023!). Ryan has found himself volunteering for the Trant team, working alongside Dr. Ronnie Banerjee in Cannabis research. He enjoys learning, and is always finding new ways to challenge himself. such as participating in a chemistry conference within his first year as an undergraduate! He is excited, and ready for the many opportunities which are to come his way!

Fadi Naom

Outstanding Scholar
Biochemistry
(Class of 2022)
Fadi is currently a second year Outstanding Scholar at the University of Windsor studying Integrative Biology. He has an interest in applying chemistry research to investigate and seek solutions to scientific questions in the field of biology. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball and chess.

Mohamad Rasizadeh

Research Staff
(2019-)

A.S. Xazar University, Baku, Azerbaijan

Born and raised in Tehran, Iran. He obtained his A.S. in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in 2005 at Xazar University in Baku. After completing his studies, Mohammad worked in multitude of companies as a member of supply chain management team where his job was mainly focused on maximizing the process efficiency and productivity. In the Trant group he is assisting with the analytical instrumentation and making sure the lab is running smoothly. He enjoys playing and watching soccer.

Xiao (Dora) Yu

Masters Student

(2018-)

B.Sc. Nanjing Technical University (China)

Dora was born and raised in Ningxia, China. She obtained her B.Sc in chemistry from the college of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Nanjing Tech University in China in 2018 where she conducted research in synthetic biology and applied inorganic materials chemsitry. Outside the laboratory, Xiao enjoys running and playing other sports. She is a great cook and if she has some leisure time, she will cook some Chinese food for herself and her friends. As a graduate student in the Trant group, Xiao will be working on preparing innovative self-immolative polymers and stimuli-triggerable materials.