I run a dynamic and motivated research group consisting of research technicians, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduate students. My group continues to innovate with DNA by making various DNA-based enzymes (DNAzymes) and receptors (DNA aptamers) and exploring them for diverse applications.

Our research has been funded by several granting agencies in Canada including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), the Sentinel Bioactive Paper Network, and the Canadian Cancer Society (CSC).

My group has also been collaborating with several Canadian biotech companies to develop point-of-care diagnostic devices using DNA aptamers and DNAzymes. Recently, I have set up a biotech company, InnovoGENE, to commercialize the technologies developed in our group. You can find more information about InnovoGENE here http://www.innovogene.com.

Personnel Updates

A few new faces have just joined the lab while several researchers have recently moved on successfully to their next career stages.

Postdoctoral fellows Drs. Zai-seng Wu and Zhifa Shen have landed faculty positions in China. Zai-seng’s work on engineering interlocked DNA rings as novel nanoscale device has recently been published in Nature Communications.

My recent doctoral graduates, Drs. Casey Fowler, Wendy Mok and Simon McManus, are pursuing postdoctoral fellowships at Yale (Casey) and Princeton (Wendy and Simon). Casey has received a highly competitive CIHR postdoctoral fellow.

My recent doctoral graduate Dr. Pui Sai Lau now works with Pro-Lab Developments Inc. in Richmond Hill and plays a significant role in a collaboration involving Pro-Lab, the group of Dr. John Brennan (Chemistry here at McMaster) and our lab – the joint team is developing novel aptamer biosensors for infectious disease diagnosis.

Kacper Kuryllo is a newly minted doctor of philosophy after his successful defence in August. Kacper is interested in becoming an entrepreneur.  Good luck, Kacper!

LeeAnne Little, Dora Hsieh and Amjad Arrabi are the most recent undergraduate students who successfully completed a senior thesis project in our group. Amjad decided to stay in the lab as a graduate student; Dora has become a co-op student working in my lab on a joint project between my lab and Dr. Carlos Filipe, Chair of McMaster Chemical Engineering.

I am excited to welcome the following new researchers to join my group:

Dr. Fan Li is our newest postdoctoral fellow;

Dr. Zhongping Li will spend one year with us as a visiting professor;

Mr. Sepehr Manochehry is our latest PhD student;

Mr. Amjad Arrabi is our newest MSc student;

Mr. Braedon Morrison, Miss Laura Chan, Mr. Omar Musleh, Miss Kim Nguyen and Mr. Nicholas Allen come on board as thesis research students.

Personal achievements

Graduate students Rachel Gysbers and Dingran Chang are the latest recipients of graduate scholarships. Dingran also received a departmental recognition as one of the best presenters in our graduate seminars in the past year. Kha received a poster prize at the Canadian Society of Chemistry conference in Vancouver in June. Wenqing received her second poster award in the FIBRE conference in May, also in Vancouver.

I have recently been profiled in Angewandte Chemie International Edition – one of my favored chemistry journals – after I have published more than 10 articles there over the last 10 years. It is a great honor for me. Thanks to my students who did all the work. You can read the profile here http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201403018/abstract.

Thank you for visiting our website. Happy Browsing!

Yingfu Li
Professor of Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
McMaster University