& Analytic Chemical NMR Researcher
Professor @ Dalhousie University
Former Adjunct Biochemistry Professor
Cell Biology Research & Therapy
of Proteomics and Computational Biology
Editor for Journal of Analytical & Molecular Techniques
over 20 years of scientific research and being a university educator, I
have taken the opportunity to start a new business venture to help
promote and develop children's education. With my math, physics,
chemistry and biochemistry background I am designing and manufacturing
fun-to-play-with children's educational wooden toys. WoodChaCallIthelps
parents, grandparents and caregivers nurture children's creativity,
teach a scientific concept or spend quality time with the child through
innovative educational wood toys and woodcrafts. All the hand-crafted toys are made in Canada and are durable and safe.
applying and developing magnetic resonance spectroscopy,
molecular dynamics (MD) computer
simulation, and other physical techniques (e.g.
cryo-TEM), my research
program is designed to investigate the
relationship among structure, dynamics, electrostatic
function of macromolecules and/or
Macromolecules include proteins and peptides
assemblies refer to liquid crystals
research program involves a number of projects:
simulations of liquid crystals and
characterization of bio-molecules
characterization of whole cell algae
binding pocket characterization
I am not accepting students.
of AMPs have been
many plants and animals.
AMPs in general
are very effective at killing bacteria,
enveloped viruses, parasites, and tumour cells.
Furthermore, bacteria have difficulty developing
resistance towards AMPs. Thus, AMPs are being considered as potential
alternatives to current antibacterial agents particularly with the
problem of drug-resistant pathogenic bacteria. AMPs
destabilize bacterial membranes. Slight amino acid mutations
significant alterations in activity, and general theories for AMP
from membrane carpeting to pore formation models that allow essential
metabolites to leak out.
AMP associates with DPC (A) and DPC/SDS (B) micelles. However, it only
forms an alpha helix when associated with DPC/SDS micelles
that are a mimic for bacterial membranes. [Biochemistry,
(2005) 44, 7282-7293].
are roughly correlated with
amphipathic and cationic nature of the peptides. However, there is no
clear connection between the structure and mechanism of AMP activity.
We are determining the structure, dynamics
and multimerization propensity of AMPs using MD simulations
presence of the lipid-like environments, in order to understand their
mode of action.
are an excellent method for bridging the gaps
between experiment and theory. We are conducting a comparative study to
peptide/membrane/water interactions of model membranes, and peptides
membrane destabilization, e.g. AMPs,
and the active peptides of cell-to-cell
FAST proteins. Although AMPs cause cell lysis, and fusion
fusion, the initial stages of their mechanisms may be
the proteins/peptides must
initially destabilize the membrane which involves restructuring of the
and water molecules at the lipid surface. Regardless, the research will
advance the knowledge and understanding of the
action of AMPs, fusion proteins and provide direction for future
will extend to antifreeze peptides, MA receptor proteins,
and ion channel peptides.
From MD simulations,
AMPs can span a
phospholipid membrane. The membrane phosphate head group is represented
by spheres. Phosphate head groups from POPC that are in proximity to
the peptide are shown in tan and phosphate head groups from then
anionic POPG are shown in orange. The AMP can destabilize
biological membranes by sequestering waters and charged phosphate head
groups into the hydrophobic core of the membrane.
Characterization of Bio-Molecules::
can range from proteins and peptides through to
metabolites and toxins. Our group has focused on structural and dynamic
characterization of proteins and peptides. Current investigations
involve characterization of a 15N
peptide from the Northern Short Tail Shrew that is 100 time more potent
than scorpion venom.
composes scorpion venom
Many of the projects are focused on NMR
spectroscopic method development. This ranges from multiple
quantum spectral acquisition and analysis of orientationally ordered
Mag. Res. (2002) 155,
251-256, NMR of Ordered Liquids,
Burnell, E.E and de Lange, C.A. editors. Kluwer
Academic, Dordrecht, The Netherlands],
DOSY analysis for
distribution of complex polysaccharides [Biomacromolecules (2006)
quantitative analysis of complex biofluids,