our experts

Dr. Scott Covey, PhD
Subject Matter Expert

Scott Covey is a Canadian biochemist/molecular biologist with an interest in metabolism as well as science education.  He obtained his PhD from McMaster University (2003) focusing on lipid transport and atherosclerosis and conducted postdoctoral work in Cellular and Physiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia with Dr Timothy Kieffer on the role of leptin in glucose and lipid metabolism.  He is currently a Senior Instructor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of British Columbia.  His current research is focused on the biochemical role of leptin in metabolic integration and in the disease states of diabetes and dyslipidemia.  He has authored 21 peer reviewed publications and is a Killam Teaching Award recipient.  

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Dr. Brett Finlay, PhD
Subject Matter Expert

Brett FinlayOC OBC FRSC (born 4 April 1959)  is a Canadian microbiologist well known for his contributions to understanding how microbes cause disease in people and developing new tools for fighting infections, as well as the role the microbiota plays in human health and disease. Science.ca describes him as one of the world's foremost experts on the molecular understanding of the ways bacteria infect their hosts. He also led the SARS Accelerated Vaccine Initiative (SAVI) and developed vaccines to SARS and a bovine vaccine to E. coli O157:H7. His current research interests focus on pathogenic E. coli and Salmonella pathogenicity, and the role of the microbiota in infections, asthma, and malnutrition. He is currently the UBC Peter Wall Distinguished Professor and a Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories, Microbiology and Immunology, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,  and Co-director and Senior Fellow for the CIFAR Humans and Microbes program.  He is also co-author of the book Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World and The Whole-Body Microbiome: How to Harness Microbes - Inside and Out - For Lifelong Health. B. Finlay is the author of over 500 publications in peer-reviewed journals and served as editor of several professional publications for many years.

Source: Wikipedia contributors. (2020, January 22). Brett Finlay. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

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Dr. Sebastian Lequime, Pharm.D-PhD
Subject Matter Expert

Sebastian Lequime is a French virologist based in the Netherlands. He obtained his PhD from the Pasteur Institute (Paris, France) in 2016. His Ph.D. work was focused on the interaction between mosquitoes and flaviviruses and its impact on virus transmission and evolution. During his postdoc in Belgium (KU Leuven) he worked on various general aspects of virus evolution using phylodynamics to better understand viral epidemiology. He joined the university of Groningen (the Netherlands), where he is an assistant professor, in April 2020, to start his lab on virus ecology and evolution. He has co-authored 15 peer-reviewed publications.

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Dr. Phil Lange, PhD
Subject Matter Expert

Phil Lange completed his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the Medical College of Wisconsin under the mentorship of Dr. Vera Tarakanova. As a graduate student, he studied the role of lipid synthesis pathways in the immune response to chronic viral infection. Phil was the recipient of a predoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association, and his findings were published in multiple ASM journals. Phil is now continuing his training as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Blossom Damania at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His current research focuses on the mechanisms that virus-associated cancers use to evade the immune system.

Dr. Derek McLachlin, PhD
Subject Matter Expert

Derek McLachlin completed a BSc in Biochemistry and Chemistry at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, and a PhD in Biochemistry at Western University in London, ON. He did post-doctoral research at The Rockefeller University in the lab of Dr. Brian Chait, analyzing phosphoproteins using mass spectrometry. After working as a science writer in Montreal, he was hired as an instructor by Western University in 2005. He is currently an Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Chair of the Department of Biochemistry at Western. He has won a Schulich Excellence in Education Award and the University Student’s Council Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Dr. Zachary Benet, PhD
Subject Matter Expert

Dr. Benet holds a Bachelor's of Sciences from the Univeristy of Wisconsin - Madison (2009) and earned his PhD from the University of Michigan in Immunology (2017). His thesis explored how regulatory T cells influence humoral immunity. He is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Albert Einstein College of Medicine investigating Plasma Cell biology. He specializes in the intravital 2-photon microscopy. 

Dr. Kelly Summers, PhD
Subject Matter Expert

Dr. Kelly Summers is Associate Professor and Undergraduate Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Western University in London Ontario Canada. She is also Associate Scientist and Director of the Screening Lab for Immune Disorders at Lawson Health Research Institute. Her research interests include dendritic cells and inflammatory biomarkers in various clinical disorders.  She has published ~50 articles, many in immunology journals. She teaches immunology in 4 lecture courses for the microimm, nursing and dentistry programs, plus coordinates an immunology lab course.

Dr. Emily Bowman, PhD
Subject Matter Expert

Dr. Emily Bowman is currently finishing her postdoctoral work at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, where she studies chronic immune activation and increased cardiometabolic disease risk among people with HIV.  She earned her PhD in Virology & Immunology from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in 2015.  Her thesis work focused on elucidating mechanisms underlying the development of Epstein-Barr virus-associated B cell lymphomas.  Prior to the start of her PhD, she worked as a research assistant at the University of Michigan studying immunological pathways contributing to chronic airways diseases, and the mechanisms by which rhinovirus infection contributes to exacerbations of asthma.  She earned a BS in Biology from the University of Michigan in 2009.    

Dr. Carolina Camargo, PhD
Subject Matter Expert

Dr. Carolina Camargo is a postdoctoral fellow in the Sagan Lab at McGill University. She received her PhD from the University of Missouri under the supervision of Dr. Burke. Her doctoral work focused on using RNA aptamers to understand viral biology. She worked with aptamers against HIV and Ebola glycoproteins, an area of work that solidified her love for viruses. She received her BS and MSc in Biology in her home country of Colombia, where her work focused on conservation and marine biology.

Dr. Jasmin Chahal, PhD
Subject Matter Expert

Dr. Jasmin Chahal received her B.Sc. from the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at McGill University. It was through her B.Sc. that she was introduced to in-depth virology and viral pathogenesis. She went on to complete her Ph.D. this year in the Sagan Lab at McGill University, where she looked at the interaction between the cellular, liver-specific microRNA, miR-122, and the viral genome of Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Her work with HCV solidified her passion for research and viruses. 

E. Idil Temel
Subject Matter Expert

Idil completed her undergraduate degree in Genetics and Bioinformatics at Bahcesehir University, Turkey. She is currently a 4th year PhD student in Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, Canada. She has many years of experience in cancer research. She is currently working in Dr. Sean Egan’s lab, and her thesis focuses on the characterization of oncogenic networks that cooperate to drive aggressive and invasive breast cancer.

Dr. Sajjad Fazel
Subject Matter Expert

Dr. Sajjad Fazel is a public health researcher in the Oncology Department at the Cumming School of Medicine and the Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research Department at Alberta Health Services. He is also the research director for Knight’s Cabin – an NGO assisting cancer survivors to adopt a healthy lifestyle. His research focuses on three main areas; health promotion and misinformation, cancer prevention, and tobacco control. Prior to joining the University of Calgary, Sajjad was a policy researcher for the Canadian Cancer Society where he led the smoke-free campuses initiative. Devoted to science communication, he created the Afya Yako program – a health promotion initiative that improved the health literacy of vulnerable Tanzanians. His work has been featured in major news outlets including BBC, CBC, IBN, Deutsche Welle Radio, Voice of America, and Global News Radio.

Dr. Daniel Kneller
Subject Matter Expert

Daniel Kneller earned his PhD from Georgia State University in 2019 where he studied the molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in HIV-1 Protease. He is currently a protein structural biologist and biochemist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His current primary research focus is to investigate the catalysis and drug resistance mechanisms for viral protease therapeutic targets. Structural changes when proteins interact with ligands are investigated using joint X-ray/neutron crystallography. Major aims are to develop new techniques to study protein-ligand complex dynamics at picosecond timescales using neutron vibrational spectroscopy in combination with molecular dynamics simulations. These efforts aid structure-guided drug design for proteins including HIV-1 protease and the SARS-CoV-2 main protease.

Dr. Andrey Kovalevsky
Subject Matter Expert

Dr. Andrey Kovalevsky is a structural biologist, biochemist and instrument scientist on the ORNL IMAGINE neutron crystallographic instrument, HFIR beam line CG-4D. Dr. Kovalevsky studied organic chemistry and crystallography at Kharkov State University, Kharkov, Ukraine, receiving M.Sc. degree with Honors, and worked as a Research Assistant at the Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds, Moscow, Russia. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 2003 from the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, working with Prof. Philip Coppens on the development of photocrystallographic technique. He studied macromolecular crystallography, biochemistry and molecular biology while working as a Postdoctoral Associate at Georgia State University. He held a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship while at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) working with Dr. Paul Langan in neutron protein crystallography. Prior to joining ORNL, he held a position as a Staff Scientist at LANL working on the Protein Crystallography Station. Dr. Kovalevsky has authored over 160 peer-reviewed publications; his research has been funded by LANL and ORNL Laboratory Directed Research & Development programs, the US Department of Energy, and the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Kovalevsky’s current research focuses on structure-dynamics-function relationships in enzymes, structure-assisted drug design, and drug resistance, utilizing macromolecular X-ray/neutron crystallography, neutron vibrational spectroscopy, and other biophysical methods in combination with biomolecular simulations.