Frank Lee hails from the beautiful city of Vancouver, BC. He received his B.Sc.H in chemistry at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON under the supervision of Prof. Victor Snieckus. His research focused on the total synthesis of (±)-Paralycolin A as well as the unique synthesis of dibenzoxazepinones. He joined the Yudin group in the fall of 2013 with research interests in the synthesis and synthetic applications of borylated compounds.
Victoria Corless was born in Oshawa, Ontario. She received her B.Sc. in Honours Chemistry Co-op from McMaster University and completed her honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Ignacio Vargas-Baca. She joined the Yudin group in May 2013 and is currently working on the synthesis of boron containing heterocycles.
Sherif Kaldas was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. He completed his B.Sc. Hons. in Biopharmaceutical Science Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Ottawa. He first began undergraduate research under the guidance of Dr. Tony Durst. He then completed his honour’s thesis under the supervision of Dr. Louis Barriault, where he worked on the development of gold catalyzed photoredox reactions. Sherif joined the Yudin Group in May of 2014 where he began his graduate studies, with interests in organic methodology.
Joanne Tan was born in Stoney Creek, Ontario. She received her B. Sc. in Honours Chemical Biology at McMaster University. As an undergraduate student, she explored the fields of germene chemistry, peptide macrocyclizations and radiochemistry. In 2014, she joined Prof. Yudin’s group as a graduate student and is focusing her interests in the synthesis and application of borylated compounds.
Diego Diaz received his Honours Bachelor of Science degree in biological chemistry from the University of Toronto in 2014, completing his fourth year thesis in medicinal chemistry under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Gunning. Diego then joined the Yudin group as a summer student researcher and is pursuing his interests in synthesis and methodology as a graduate student. Outside of lab, Diego enjoys spending time with friends and family, and playing all sort of team sports, especially soccer.
Aleksandra Holownia is a Toronto native. She received her Honours Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Toronto in 2015. Aleksandra joined the Yudin group in the summer of 2014, and has since participated in a variety of research projects. Her interests include the synthesis of boron based building blocks and their application towards value-added products.
Harry Soor was born and raised in the city of Brampton, Ontario. Harry completed his H.B.Sc at the University of Toronto Mississauga with a double major in Chemistry and Biology. He completed his honour’s thesis under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Gunning, where he worked on the development of selective chemosensor technologies for detecting phosphorylated proteins. Harry then joined the Yudin group in September 2015, with interests in both organic synthesis and chemical probe design.
Solomon Appavoo was born in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. He received his Honours B.Sc. in Chemistry from Carleton University and completed his thesis work on the development of selective SLK inhibitors under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey Manthorpe. In May 2016, Solomon joined the Yudin group as a PhD student with interests in synthesis and conformational analysis of biologically relevant complex molecules.
Sean Huh was born in Changwon, South Korea and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. He then moved to Vancouver, BC where he completed his BSc at the University of British Columbia with a major in chemistry. He was introduced to research by Dr. Chris Orvig where he worked on the synthesis of Ga-68 chelators for PET imaging of myocardial infarction. Next, under the supervision of Dr. David M. Perrin, he worked on the synthesis and conjugation of the organotrifluoroborate moiety into peptides and other biomolecules for F-18 PET imaging. In September 2017, Sean joined the Yudin lab as a graduate student with interests in macrocycle synthesis.
Chirag Apte was born and raised in Mumbai, India and moved to Vancouver, BC in 2012 to pursue his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of British Columbia. He began his first stint in research with Dr. Marco Ciufolini and later completed his Honours thesis in the Ciufolini group working on hypervalent iodine catalysis. He has also worked on radical methodology (Dr. Glenn Sammis), chelator synthesis (Dr. Chris Orvig) and metal quantification (Bayer-Schering). Chirag joined the Yudin group in September 2017 to explore the chemistry and synthesis of boron-containing heterocycles.
Chieh Hung Tien was born and raised in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He received both his B.Sc. Hons. and M.Sc. in Chemistry from Dalhousie University, where he worked under the supervision of Dr. Alexander Speed. Tien worked on the synthesis of organomagnesium reagents, and heterocyclic main group catalysts during the course of his studies. In May 2018, Tien joined the Yudin group as a summer research student with interests in the synthetic utility of boron-containing building blocks.
Christina Retich was born in Barnaul (Russia) but raised in the beautiful city of Heilbronn (Germany). She completed her M.Sc. in Chemical Biology at the KIT in Karlsruhe and started her PhD in the group of Prof. Dr. Stefan Bräse in October 2015. Since 2015 she is working on the asymmetric organocatalytic synthesis of heterocycles as lead structures for the development of active agents. In January 2018, she joined the Yudin group as an international visiting student for 5 months. Together with Sean Huh, Christina is working on the synthesis of macrocyclic compounds.
Leonardo González Ceballos was born in Pinar del Río, Cuba. In 2010 he started to study Chemistry at the University of Havana and since then become a member of the Center for Nautral Products Study under the guidance of Dr. Daniel García Rivera. There he completed his B.Sc. and his M.Sc. in the field of solution and solid phase peptide synthesis. In January 2018, Leo joined the Yudin group as an international visiting graduate student for six months. Together with Diego Diaz, he will explore the utility of novel boron containing molecules.
Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates:
Akitake Yamaguchi was born and raised in Chiba, Japan. Akitake’s Ph.D. work on the development of catalytic asymmetric reactions was carried out under the supervision of Prof. Shibasaki at the University of Tokyo. In 2010, Akitake joined Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. as a medicinal chemist and worked on several drug discovery projects. Akitake joined Prof. Yudin’s group in October 2017 with interests in the synthesis and analysis of macrocyclic molecules.
Katherine Burton is completing her Honours B.Sc. at the University of Toronto, as a double major in Chemistry and Cell and Molecular Biology. She performed her fourth year thesis under the supervision of Prof. Mark Lautens, focusing on the Pd-catalyzed cycloisomerization of 1,6-diynes. Katherine joined the Yudin group in May 2018, where she is currently working with Harry Soor on the application of α-boryl aldehydes.
Sarah Hill is from Oakville Ontario and is currently in her fourth year of undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, pursuing a double major in chemistry and biochemistry. She is working together with Solomon Appavoo and Dr. Kaji on developing peptide macrocyclization methods.
Joshua Graham was born in Guelph, Ontario in 1996. He is going into his fourth year at the University of Toronto in a Chemistry and Biochemistry Double Major. He is currently working as an NSERC Undergraduate Research Award recipient under the supervision of Sherif Kaldas in the synthesis of β-amino boronate peptidomimetics.
Claire Willmer is from Port Perry, Ontario and is going into her fourth year of undergraduate studies in Chemical Biology at McMaster University. She is working under the direction of Joanne Tan, with interests in organic synthesis.