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Webinar Series

GlycoNet/ACS Joint Webinars:
     January, 2021
     February, 2021
     March, 2021 (TBA)
     April, 2021 (TBA)
Past GlycoNet Webinars

GlycoNet offers webinars on diverse topics ranging from scientific research to professional development, technical workshops, and focused seminars for the science community. In September 2020, GlycoNet has joined forces with the Carbohydrate Chemistry Division of American Chemical Society to host webinars featuring renowned researchers across North America and Europe. In addition to Q&A period, each event is followed by an informal “networking session” at the end of the presentations, giving the audience opportunities to learn more about the presenters and their research.

Upcoming Webinars


S4E2: January 20, 11 am – 12:30 pm MT | Register here
Jennifer Kohler
Associate Professor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Intestinal fucose, in sickness and in health

Dr. Jennifer Kohler completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Bryn Mawr College. Her PhD studies, focused on the kinetics of protein-DNA interactions, were conducted in the laboratory of Prof. Alanna Schepartz, in the Chemistry Department at Yale University. From 2000-2004, Jennifer was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Carolyn Bertozzi at the University of California, Berkeley. Research in the Kohler lab focuses on understanding the roles of glycoconjugates in a variety of biological systems.

Catherine Alex
Graduate Student (Demchenko Lab), University of Missouri-St. Louise

Methodologies for stereocontrolled mannosylation with acidic and/or aminosugars

Catherine Alex graduated from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Pune (IISER-P) with BSc-MSc degree in 2016. She did her thesis project in Dr. Raghavendra Kikkeri’s lab on the topic “Multivalent Homo and Heterogeneous Glycodendrimers Allow Sequence-Defined Carbohydrate-Protein Interactions.” She began her PhD program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in fall 2016, where she joined the laboratory of Prof. Alexei V. Demchenko. Her research focuses on the synthesis of challenging beta-mannosidic linkages.

S4E3: January 27, 11 am – 12:30 pm MT | Register here
Jia Niu
Assistant Professor, Boston College

A general approach to early-stage O-sulfation of carbohydrates and peptides

Dr. Jia Niu obtained a B.S. degree (2005) and a M.S. degree (2008) from Tsinghua University in China. He then moved to the United States to pursue a PhD degree at Harvard University, working with Prof. David R. Liu on the enzyme-free translation and directed evolution of synthetic polymers. Dr. Niu joined the faculty of Boston College in 2017 after working as a postdoctoral scholar in the laboratories of Prof. Craig Hawker and Prof. Tom Soh at University of California, Santa Barbara. Currently, Dr. Niu and his group are focused on understanding functional roles of sulfation patterns in bioactive macromolecules, developing sustainable plastics using biobased building blocks, and the directed evolution of genome editors.

Erum Razvi
Graduate Student (Howell Lab), University of Toronto

Identifying the role of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa PelA hydrolase in Pel polysaccharide biosynthesis

Erum Razvi received her B.Sc. in Health Science at Wilfrid Laurier University. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Biochemistry under the supervision of Dr. P. Lynne Howell at the University of Toronto. In the Howell Lab at The Hospital for Sick Children, Erum studies Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. P. aeruginosa is notorious for infecting the cystic fibrotic lung, burn wounds, and medical devices. One important component of the biofilm matrix is the Pel polysaccharide. A protein involved in the biosynthesis and chemical modification of the Pel polysaccharide is PelA, a periplasmic protein with two active catalytic domains; a glycoside hydrolase and deacetylase domain. The aim of Erum’s Ph.D. project is to understand the role of PelA’s hydrolase activity in vivo, and identify PelA deacetylase inhibitors from a high-throughput screen as a means of developing a novel therapeutic.


S4E4: February 3, 11 am – 12:30 pm MT | Register here
Chantelle Capicciotti
Assistant Professor, Queen’s University

Title TBA

Dr. Chantelle Capicciotti received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Ottawa in 2014 under the supervision of Prof. Robert Ben where she worked on designing small molecule carbohydrate-based ice recrystallization inhibitors as novel cryoprotectants. In 2014, she joined the laboratory of Prof. Geert-Jan Boons for post-doctoral research studies at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center where she developed chemoenzymatic strategies to synthesize complex glycans. In 2018, she moved to Queen’s University, jointly appointed in the Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical and Molecular Sciences. Her research interests focus on understanding how glycans/glycoproteins interact with proteins at a cellular level to elicit biological function, and on developing glycan-based approaches for biomarker identification, disease diagnosis, imaging techniques, and cell-based therapies.

Jiayi Li
Graduate Student (Nguyen Lab), Wayne State University

Title TBA

Jiayi Li received her BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Iowa in 2017. She joined Dr. Hien Nguyen’s lab at Wayne State University in 2017. Her current project is on phenanthroline-catalyzed stereoretentive glycosylation.

S4E5: February 10, 11 am – 12:30 pm MT | Registration TBA
First speaker TBA
Second speaker TBA
S4E6: February 17,  11 am – 12:30 pm MT | Registration TBA
Sabine Flitsch
Professor, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology

Synthetic and analytical tools for glycobiology

Sabine Flitsch graduated with a Diploma in Chemistry from the University of Münster (Germany) and obtained her DPhil in 1985 from the University of Oxford. She spent three years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA as a Research Fellow (with H. G. Khorana) before returning to the UK to hold academic positions at the Universities of Exeter, Oxford, Edinburgh and Manchester. She is currently Professor of Biological Chemistry at the University of Manchester with her research group housed at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB).

Second speaker TBA
S4E7: February 24, 11 am – 12:30 pm MT | Registration TBA
Adam Forman
Postdoctoral Researcher (Nitz Lab), University of Toronto

Title TBA

Adam received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Toronto in 2020 under the supervision of Prof. Mark Nitz. He was born and raised in Toronto, and completed his BSc in 2011 at the University of Guelph, majoring in Biological & Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Mathematics. In 2014, he completed his MSc in chemistry at Guelph under the supervision of Dr. France-Isabelle Auzanneau, researching glycosylations at O-3 of GlcNAc. His current research in Nitz lab as a postdoctoral researcher revolves around developing substrates for bacterial enzymes which are responsible for the synthesis of biofilm exopolysaccharides. 

Second speaker TBA
Stay tuned for more speakers in March and April! Follow us on social media to get our latest announcements:

Past Webinars

Season 1 (April – June 2020)

No. overall No. in season Speakers & titles
1 1 Dr. Christopher Cairo, Associate Professor, University of Alberta
Inhibitors of human neuraminidase enzymes as probes in glycobiology
Mirat Sojitra, Graduate Student, University of Alberta
Genetically encoded multivalent liquid glycan array (LiGA)
2 2 Dr. Andrew Lees, Founder and Scientific Director, Fina Biosolutions
Simplifying conjugation: ready to conjugate CRM197 carrier protein
3 3 Dr. Robert Woods, Professor, University of Georgia
3D models of glycosylated SARS-CoV-2 protein suggest challenges for vaccine development
Dr. Jolene Garber, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia Okanagan
Campylobacter jejuni chemotaxis and metabolism of fucose
4 4 Dr. Lori Yang, CEO & CSO, Lectenz Bio
Lectenz and GlycoSense: novel tools for glycan detection and analysis
5 5 Dr. Matt Macauley, Assistant Professor, University of Alberta
Modulation of microglia by the glycan-binding protein CD33
Carla Eymard, Graduate Students, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal
From free radical chemistry to novel classes of bioactive modified furanosides
6 6 Dr. Anne Krook, Practical Workplace Advice
A guide to non-academic job search
7 7 Dr. Karla Williams, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia
Polysialic acid as a prognostic marker in breast cancer
Sadia Rahmani, Graduate Student, Ryerson University
O-GlcNAc modification affects clathrin-coated pit assembly and efficiency at the plasma membrane
8 8 Panel Discussion ft. Drs. David Vocadlo, Stephanie White, and Kaley Wilson
What I wish I knew: a chat with researchers, patent experts and entrepreneurs
9 9 Dr. Lynne Howell, Professor, The Hospital for Sick Children
Exopolysaccharide biosynthesis
Dr. Ryan Sweeney, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Alberta
Development of an active site titration reagent for amylases
10 10 Andrew MacIsaac, CEO, Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation
Navigating commercial development with API
11 11 Dr. Molly Shoichet, Professor, University of Toronto
Polysaccharide hydrogels enable local drug and cell delivery
Akay Akohwarien, Research Technician, University of Saskatchewan
Designing novel chemical tools to study β-glucocerebrosidase: a relevant biomarker and therapeutic target in Parkinson's Disease
12 12 Sabrina Sassi, TEDx Speaker
Leveraging TED to spread your research ideas: how and why researchers are doing it

Season 2 (July – August 2020)

No. overall No. in season Speakers & titles
13 1 Dr. Parastoo Azadi, Executive Director, Analytical Services, Complex Carbohydrate Research Centre
Glycobiology of SARS-CoV2 and its implications for vaccine development
Dr. Supriya Dey, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Harvard University
Programmable one-pot synthesis of heparin and heparin-related anticoagulants
14 2 Dr. Robert Ben, Professor, University of Ottawa
Improving the efficacy of modern cellular therapies
Dr. François Le Mauff, Post-Doctoral Fellow, McGill University
Structural and biochemical characterization of the exopolysaccharide deacetylase Agd3 required for aspergillus fumigatus biofilm formation
15 3 Dr. David Pamer, Professor, University of Saskatchewan
Writing an effective grant proposal
16 4 Dr. David Kwan, Assistant Professor, Concordia University
A set of chemical biology tools to probe and inhibit cellular glycosyltransferases
Shermaine Sy, B.Sc, University of Alberta
Development of a bead-based assay for ABO antibody detection: creating a new tool for the clinical laboratory
17 5 Drs. Kate Pratt and Jonathon Simmons, Academic Success Centre, University of Alberta
A workshop for scientific writers
18 6 Dr. Chris Phenix, Assistant Professor, University of Saskatchewan
Chemical tools for studying glucosidase activity in complex biological samples
F. Ifthiha Mohideen, Graduate Student, Concordia University
An engineered in vitro enzymatic pathway for the anticancer anthracycline deoxysugars: TDP-L-acosamine and TDP-L-daunosamine
19 7 Dr. Rebecca Davis, Associate Professor, University of Manitoba
Computational approaches for designing small molecule inhibitors
20 8 Dr. Robert Britton, Professor, Simon Fraser University
De novo synthesis of nucleoside analogues for medicinal chemistry purposes
Dr. Kristen Low, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Bioprospecting CAZymes from intestinal microbiomes for the tailored degradation of non-starch dietary polysaccharides

Season 3 (September – December 2020)

No. overall No. in season Speakers & titles
21 1 Dr. Lara Mahal, Professor, University of Alberta
Exploring the roles of glycosylation in infection and immunity
Dr. Peter Rahfeld, Research Associate, University of British Columbia
From gut to blood: how to make universal donor blood
22 2 Dr. Mary Cloninger, Professor, Montana State University
Lactose-functionalized dendrimers and dendritic polyglycerols for binding to galectin-3
Dr. Pumtiwitt McCarthy, Associate Professor, Morgan State University
Bacterial capsule polymerases as tools to improve human health
23 3 Dr. Warren Wakarchuk, Professor, University of Alberta
Protein engineering of 21st century drugs through the application of synthetic biology
Dr. Landon Edgar, Post-doctoral fellow, Scripps Research
Invigorating T cells through carbohydrate editing
24 4 Dr. Theresa M. Reineke, Professor, University of Minnesota
Glycopolymers promote in vivo and ex vivo delivery of functional nucleic acids
Dr. Jodi Hadden-Perilla, Assistant Professor, University of Delaware
The fuzzy boundaries of carbohydrate binding sites
25 5 Dr. Mark Nitz, Professor, University of Toronto
Exploring a low affinity probe for the biofilm-associated poly-N-acetylglycosamine exopolysaccharide
Dr. Sandra Irmisch, Research Associate, University of British Columbia
A novel anti-diabetic compound from plants: biosynthesis, gene discovery, and metabolic engineering of montbretin A
26 6 Dr. Mingdi Yan, Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Carbohydrate-conjugated fluorescence turn-on azide probes for imaging cells and bacteria
Dr. Jessica Kramer, Assistant Professor, University of Utah
Synthetic mucins: from new chemical routes to engineered cells
27 7 Dr. David Vocadlo, Professor, Simon Fraser University
Fluorescence-quenched substrates for monitoring glycoside hydrolase activities in mammalian cells
Dr. Simonetta Sipione, Professor, University of Alberta
Gangliosides in neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation

Season 4 (January – April 2021)

No. overall No. in season Speakers & titles
28 1 Dr. Geert-Jan Boons, Professor, University of Georgia
Probing receptor and co-receptor specificities of coronaviruses using chemo-enzymatic synthesis and glycoarray technology
Dr. Hien Nguyen, Professor, Wayne State University
Discovery of sulfated glycopolymers as potent inhibitors of heparanase and SARS-CoV-2


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