Burrows lab summer 2015, from left to right: Neha
Sharma, Tiffany Leighton, Richard Nguyen, Sara
Kilmury, Kevin Tang, Tori Marko, Ylan Nguyen, Tomas
Lazarou, Lori Burrows, Hanjeong Harvey, Uyen Nguyen,
Tyson Carter, Ryan Lamers, Ryan Buensuceso.
New members: Tyson Carter (pictured
left) joined the lab as a Masters student
in September 2014. He is investigating
potential links between type IV pilus
assembly and cell division.
Graduates: Uyen Nguyen and Ylan
Nguyen both successfully defended their
PhDs in 2014-15. Both stayed on afterwards
as postdoctoral fellows, with Uyen (pictured
left) leaving at the end of June 2015 to take up a
position with the Brown lab.
Pictured centre is newly minted
Dr. Ylan Nguyen with her external
examiner, Dr. Lisa Craig (left), and
supervisor, Dr. Lori Burrows (right).
Awards: PhD candidate Tiffany Leighton was awarded
two consecutive prizes for her talks, first at IIDR Trainee
Day Oct 2014 where she won best graduate student talk,
then at Western U.’s Infection and Immunity Research
Forum Nov 2015 where she won for her talk on studies
of type IV pilus system function.
The Coombes lab would like to welcome six new
members to the team. MD/PhD student Alex Oberc
started in late 2014 and received the CIHR Banting
scholarship. Postdoctoral fellows Dustin Little and
HT Law started in early 2015, both of whom received
Postdoctoral Fellowships from the CIHR. Dustin Little was
also the recipient of the Michael DeGroote Fellowship.
New recruits to start in September 2015 include
graduate students Elizabeth Chau from the University of
Toronto; Josh Irwin from the University of Alberta; and
postdoctoral fellow Wael Elhenawy from the University
of Alberta. The lab would also like to extend best wishes
to former postdoctoral fellows Dr. Joe McPhee and Dr.
Cherrie Small. Joe has recently taken up a tenure-track
faculty position at Ryerson University in Toronto, and
Cherrie has started an R&D scientist position at Inflamax.
Former PhD student, Yulia Shulga, is now a postdoc
at Harvard and former graduate student Ken Dsouza is
working at Dalhousie University as a research technician.
MSc student William Jennings presented some of
his work at the recent Experimental Biology meeting
in Boston and also at the meeting of the Biophysical
Society of Canada. Richard Epand was the keynote
speaker at that conference and was named as one
of two Canadian scientists to be a Fellow of the
Biophysical Society of Canada.
Former postdoc, Satoko Aoki, is now a research
associate at Memorial University in St. John’s,
Newfoundland. She has also had two daughters since
The lab had plenty to celebrate this year. We made
important progress studying weak protein-protein
interactions and our first papers on this front are starting
to come out. Tamiza Nanji defended her MSc thesis and
is now the newest PhD student in the Yep laboratory
(UBC). Monica Pillon received her PhD degree and
was awarded the 2014 Governor’s General Academic
Gold Medal for her stellar graduate career. This makes
two gold medals in a row for our laboratory and the
Biochemistry Department! Monica is off to North Carolina
for post-doctoral training in the Stanley lab (NIEHS). Last
summer, the lab attended the IUCr Meeting, the world
largest crystallography meeting, in full force. Everybody
had a lot of fun at the meeting and enjoyed seeing Alba
running around to make sure that the poster sessions
( 1,700 posters!) ran flawlessly. The fall brought two
Latest & greatest | News