Wakarchuk Lab

The Wakarchuk Lab for GlycoScience

Glycobiology Lab

Group Photos

Edmonton team Fall 2019: (L to R) Alina, Lucy, Hirak, Warren, Alex, Nicole, Sammar, Aayushi


Warren W. Wakarchuk

Principal Investigator

Warren has been leading a glycobiology team since 1994. His expertise is in carbohydrate active enzymes, especially their structure and function. His team has been developing enzymes for the synthesis of bioactive molecules in vitro and in vivo. He is currently the Associate Scientific Director of the NCE GlycoNet. When not directing the team, he can be found cooking or playing guitar.

Nicole Thompson BSc


Nicole is a biochemistry COOP program graduate of Waterloo University. She is working on developing and characterizing the protein O-glycosylation performed by the synthetic OGO operons in E. coli. She is also working on cloning and characterizing a variety of glycosyltransferases for in vitro synthetic work.

Sadia Rahmani BSc

PhD Candidate

Sadia is working between the Wakarchuk and Antonescu labs (https://www.antonesculab.com/). Sadia’s cell biology expertise is being applied to understanding how endomembrane traffic is influenced through nutrient sensing and extracellular glycosylation. Her work also includes application of glycosyltransferases to probe signalling effects of cell surface modification.

Hirak Saxena MSc

PhD Candidate

Hirak has taken on a lead role in unravelling the O-mannosylation in Actinobacteria. He is applying synthetic biology to studying the biochemistry of this process in the hope of working out if this modification is coupled to protein export, and if there is a communication component to the story. He has also been working on the in vitro remodelling of therapeutic protein glycans.

Won-Yong Song

PhD Candidate

Won-Yong is working on the role of protein mannosylation in the biochemistry of Actinobacteria. He is using synthetic biology to probe the function of the mannose in selected proteins functions. One of those proteins is a peptide prolyl isomerase.

Leif LeClaire

BSc candidate

Leif is assisting with the tuning up of various glycosyltransferases that will be used to make various O-glycan core structures. He is working on optimizing the enzymology of several transferases for building these glycans on peptides and proteins in vitro. He is part of the Wakarchuk lab COVID-19 NSERC Alliance grant project with PlantForm Corp.

Eyasu (Josh) Loha

BSc candidate

Josh is working on polysialyltransferase expression and characterization for r his undergraduate thesis research. He is looking at both human and bacterial enzymes for this work.


Tasnim Abukar (BSc, MSc graduate, Technician 2015 - 2020)

Jazyln Borges (BSc candidate Fall 2019 - Summer 2020)

Samar Barazesh (BSc candidate, SIP student, GlycoNet summer award 2019 - 2020)

Lucy Ross - Blevis (BSc candidate Fall 2019 - Summer 2020)

Alex Aguilera BSc (Technician 2019 - Spring 2020)

Alina Aarvisais (BSc candidate COOP Fall 2019)

Ugbad Hassan BSc (Intern summer 2019)

Nakita Buenbrazo MSc (Technician 2016-2019)

Aju-Sue Francis MSc (Technician 2017-2019)

Lynn D'Souza (Research assistant 2017-2018)

Laura Kell MSc (MSc 2016-2018)

Biprajit Sanyal BSc (MSc Candidate 2015-2018)

Dr. Bettina Janesch (Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018)

Dr. Ting Du (Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018)

Alison Mark (COOP student 2017)

Vika Bardahl (COOP student 2016)

Tina Papazatos (COOP student 2016)

Dr. Lyann Sim (Postdoctoral Fellow 2013-2015)

Andrea Caple (COOP student 2015)

Brian Lam (COOP student 2015)

Mahrin Aziz (COOP student 2015)

Alejandra Culebro (Visiting PhD student, University of Helsinki, Dec 2014-Feb 2015)

Tamara Erak (MSc Candidate 2014-2015)

Bryan Hsu (4th year thesis student)

Soheilali Karmali (Volunteer/summer student, Sep 2013-Aug 2014)

Marc de Asis (2011-2013 MSc, Waterloo)

Katrina Delos Santos (Research assistant, Sep 2013-Aug 2014)

Gary Chan (Summer student 2013)

Liza Calhoun (COOP student 2013)