Congratulations Natashya for winning two Chemical Engineering Departmenal awards!

Natashya is the recipient of both the 2018-2019 Helen L Cross (nee Colquhuon) Memorial Graduate Scholarship and the William J. Dowkes Bursary. Congratulations Natashya!!

Congratulations Natashya on receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology

Congrats Natashya on receiving the QEII-GSST award which is is designed to encourage excellence in graduate studies in science and technology!

Congrats Annie!!

Congratulations Annaleizle Ferranco on her achievement on receiving her Doctorate!!

Check out these articles on the research of PhD candidates Natashya and Soha in the UTSC news!!

Natashya and Soha are both PhD students researching interesting topics including Tau aggregation and hydrogels in the Kraatz group! Have a look at the articles published in the UTSC news about their research!


Congratulations Natashya on Receiving the DPES Teaching Assistant Award!

Natashya is praised for her passion for teaching, excellent organization
and interpersonal skills. She is an extremely knowledgeable TA, who
genuinely cares about students in her practicals or tutorials. Her
students submitted extremely positive comments in the unofficial course
evaluations, highlighting her willingness to help, preparedness for each
laboratory, friendly attitude, guidance for the future, etc. Her
nominator, Prof. Lana Mikhaylichenko, stated that she is clearly one of
the best TAs she ever had in her laboratory and tutorial courses!

Soha Ahmadi Wins Huguett Cohen Award


Soha Ahmadi, a PhD candidate in the Kraatz Group, is the recipient of the Huguett Cohen Award for 2017. The Huguett Cohen Award goes to outstanding Chemistry graduate students enrolled in the areas of Analytical, Biological or Organic Chemistry and honours students who have demonstrated exceptional progress in research and scholarly activities.

In her research, Soha is working on the role of metal ions, such as copper and iron, in Alzheimer’s disease. She hypothesizes that a protein called tau interacts with metal ions that causes abnormal folding of the protein, ultimately leading to the formation of neurofibrillary tangles. These tangles that are found on the interior of neurons of Alzheimer’s patients is one of the hallmarks of the disease. In her work, Soha discovered that tau not only interacts with copper and iron but that, in the case of copper, can lead to the formation of toxic reactive oxygen species which can further damage tissue. In her innovative project, she combines detailed mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies of tau fragment peptides with electrochemical studies to investigate metal-peptide interactions, providing her with evidence for the site of metal binding. For this project, she is collaborating with the groups of Professor Derek Wilson from York University and Professor Andre Simpson from the University of Toronto Scarborough. Her research on iron binding to tau led to a recent invited publication in Electrochimica Acta. Her work on tau fragment peptides was presented at the recent ACS meeting in San Francisco and is ready for publication, and is the culmination of her research work. “We hope that this project will provide a new insight into the molecular mechanism of Alzheimer’s disease and be a platform for a novel strategy of Alzheimer’s therapy. I would like to thank my supervisor, Prof Kraatz for the guidance and encouragement. None of this work could have been possible without his supervision and support. I truly appreciate how he has been always so encouraging of all my efforts, even when they were not successful. I would also like to thank Prof. Kerman and Prof. A. Simpson for their guidance and support. I not only have their support as my supervisory committee members, but also have the opportunity to have their guidance while I was working in their labs as part of my project. “ Soha commented.