Bio: Drew Marquardt is an associate professor at the University of Windsor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He received his PhD from Brock University (Ontario, Canada) in 2014 and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Graz, Institute of Molecular Biosciences (Graz, Austria). Following Graz Drew was a postdoctoral research associate in the Biology and Soft Matter Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and the Department of Physics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (TN, USA). Dr. Marquardt's research focuses on biological membrane mimetic systems, including membrane structure and dynamics, and lipid/small molecule interactions.
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Graduate Student #1
Bio: My research journey began at the University of Windsor with Dr. Bulent Mutus where I completed my Bachelor's Thesis in Biochemistry by studying novel reactions of the hydrogen sulfide-generating enzyme cystathionine γ-lyase. In 2017, I transitioned to graduate school, and proudly took the role of Dr. Marquardt's first graduate student. I'm a strong advocate for neutron scattering as a research tool and serve as the Student Representative on the Science Council of the Canadian Institute for Neutron Scattering. Outside of the lab, you can find me hanging with my pup (Jax), playing some casual sports, or enjoying a craft beer on a patio.
Work: My thesis work centres around the membrane properties of the antioxidant vitamin E. Contrary to popular opinion, the low physiological concentration of vitamin E should severely hinder its antioxidant capabilities. My work aims to build a biophysical description of the behaviour of vitamin E in biomembranes to verify vitamin E as the primary membrane antioxidant. With an emphasis on probe-free neutron techniques, I have been studying the effect of vitamin E on membrane order to better support and antioxidant ability. With the emergence of vaping culture, my research has recently expanded to correlate the presence of vitamin E acetate in pulmonary surfactant to a biophysical description of vaping diseases.
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Bio: Hi! I'm Michael. I'm currently a PhD candidate in the Marquardt laboratory of advanced biomembrane research (LABR for short) at the University of Windsor. Over my research career, I’ve developed skills in biophysical techniques and Python coding for data analysis. I also have had the pleasure to travel and have numerous experiences in national laboratories, neutron research facilities from across the globe (Canada, USA and Australia) and industry (Catalent Inc.). I’m a driven, team-work-oriented and easy-going individual who loves to travel, have fun, sports (football and softball) and more!
Work: My current work focuses on investigating biomimetic membrane systems in order to relate fundamental findings to biological relevance. In particular, the lateral and transverse organization of lipids within bilayers are of particular interest as they dictate the mechanical and functional properties of membranes. I use a plethora of biophysical techniques, such as X-ray and neutron scattering and molecular dynamics simulations, to do so.
Bio: I am doing my Master’s degree in the LABR group at the University of Windsor, where I also finished my Bachelor’s degree in Health and Biomedical Science in 2020. My previous research experience prior to joining involved both organic chemistry and microbiology, however now I am mainly focused on lipid biochemistry. Outside the lab, I enjoy golfing, working out, and watching the Maple Leafs lose.
Work: My current work revolves around investigating how various common vaping toxins found in different vaping oils influence the pulmonary surfactant system, and how it may affect functionality of the respiratory system. I investigate the lipid monolayer system using various techniques such as investigations with a Langmuir trough or different neutron techniques, such as neutron spin echo(NSE).
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Bio: I am a 4th year Biological Sciences student working on my thesis this year. I have been interested in science and the pursuit of discovery since I was young, with one of my favourite shows being ‘How the Universe Works’, and I am glad I can express this passion through research. Some of my hobbies include: music, dance and puzzles (specifically jigsaws and sudoku)!
Work: Last year, I worked on a project that investigated how vitamin E acetate in vaping oils contributes to the illness EVALI (E-cigarette/Vaping Associated Lung Injury), which led to my first publication. This led to the thesis project I am working on this year, where I analyze the mechanical effects major vaping oil components have on pulmonary surfactant function. I am also working on Molecular Dynamics Simulations of PUFA molecules to characterize their key features and behaviours.
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Outstanding Scholars Research Student
Bio: Hi Everyone! My name is Fatima and I am in the health and biomedical sciences program at the university. In the future I hope to work in the health care field ideally with children. In my free time I enjoy reading ( horror and mystery are my favourites ), biking and just being out and about :)
Work: I am researching PUFA oxidation. I specifically am looking at the relationship between radical species that diffuse across a membrane and their interactions with lipids.
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Bio: I'm a computer scientist who is still figuring out what field to dive into after undergrad. Currently interested in Software Development, full-stack web development, cyber security and embedded systems.
Work: I made the website you are looking at right now, along with any other website work that is given for me to tackle.
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Bio: I am a 4th year Integrative Biology student at the University of Windsor and joined the LABR group just last year. I've always enjoyed engaging in as many on-campus opportunities as possible, and being in a research group has really rounded out my undergraduate experience. Some of my favourite things to do include reading, swimming and going out for bubble tea!
Work: My undergraduate thesis surrounds the characterization of the lipid phase diagram of pulmonary surfactant mimic. I have also had the chance to analyze lipid parameters using Vesicle Viewer, an online lipid bilayer SAS data visualization tool developed by Aislyn Laurent, a fellow LABR group member.
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Bio: I am a second year integrative biology student at the University of Windsor. I joined LABR as a volunteer in the summer of 2021. Outside of LABR, I am a member of the Pre-Medical Society at the University of Windsor, a member of the Youth Advisory Council for Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare, and a mental health advocate through the Sole Focus Project (Canadian Mental Health Association). During my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends and family, listening to music, and travelling.
Work: Recently, I conducted a literature review regarding boron neutron capture therapy in preparation for a review article that is currently in the works. Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is a specialized radiation technique designed specifically for head and neck cancers.
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4th Year Thesis Student
Bio: I am a 4th year student in the Health and Biomedical Sciences program. I love being in lab and learning different techniques! In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my cat (Murray), baking, and going on walks.
Work: I joined the LABR group in 2020 as a volunteer working on Molecular Dynamic Simulations. I am currently working on my 4th year thesis where I am using a system of DSPC, PLiPC (which is a PUFA), and cholesterol to determine if lipid domains form. Then I will be attempting to create a phase diagram based on what temperatures and system compositions phase coexistence is observed.