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.

New Book! Kinomics: Approaches and Applications

2015_06_Kraatz_HC_FW_FINAL_22_8_SPINEb.inddAuthored by the world’s leading kinase experts, this is a comprehensive introduction to current knowledge and practice within this emerging and exciting field that is far reaching in its implications from human health to agriculture and drug discovery. This book brings together an interdisciplinary team of biomedical scientists, microbiologists, biochemists and chemists.

Following an overview of the major players and pathways that define the kinome, the major part of this work is devoted to current strategies of kinome investigation in cell signaling and phosphoproteome manipulation. As such, kinase engineering, peptide substrate engineering, co-substrate design and kinase inhibitor design are discussed in detail, and their potential applications in kinome analysis and kinome-based pharmacotherapy are shown.

The result is a toolbox for every kinase researcher: By addressing and comparing current approaches to the study of kinase action, both novice and established researchers will benefit from the practical knowledge contained in this invaluable reference.

Congrats Annie!!

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

How tiny particles can tackle big diseases

Nanotechnology is most often celebrated for its potential to diagnose and treat human disease. University of Toronto chemist Bernie Kraatz‘s research is focused on fine-tuning this potential.

Dr. Bernie Kraatz receives the 2015 UTSC Principal’s Research Award


For more photos, please see the gallery