Forde Lab News

SFU Science logo
August 2022 - Members of the Forde lab star in an outreach video about our research for SFU Science.
Janine raising a celebratory glass
August 2022 - Janine Srocka successfully defends her MSc thesis, entitled "Development of single-molecule assays for probing force-dependent collagen binding interactions". Congratulations, Janine!
Daniel with poster prize
June 2022 - Daniel Sloseris is awarded top prize for his poster at the 2022 edition of Frontiers in Biophysics in Vancouver, marking a great start to his scientific presentation career. Congratulations, Daniel!
Forde lab photo at Frontiers in Biophysics
June 2022 - The entire Forde lab enjoys a great day of science and networking at Frontiers in Biophysics, which Alaa helped to organize.
Nancy, Alaa, Aaron and Koushik at BSC2022
May 2022 - Koushik Bar, Alaa Al-Shaer and Nancy enjoy great science and networking at the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society of Canada in Ottawa, and meet up with former Forde lab undergraduate Aaron Lyons.
Biophysical Society of Canada logo
May 2022 - Alaa Al-Shaer is awarded a Travel Award from the Biophysical Society of Canada to present her research at the annual meeting in Ottawa. Congratulations, Alaa!
American Physical Society logo
May 2022 - Our work on synthetic molecular motors is highlighted in an article in APS News.
February 2022 - Alaa Al-Shaer and Nancy Forde participate with colleague Sarah Johnson in a panel discussion as Physics mentors, for a Girls And STEAM event organized by Science World.
Simon Fraser University logo
January 2022 - Nancy Forde is recognized with a 2020-2021 Faculty of Science Teaching Award, for her "efforts to make physics accessible to students at all levels from first-year service courses to advanced laboratories" and for leadership in developing SFU's Biophysics program.
November 2021 - Antonia Kowalewski and Alyssa Oke each present their research projects at the Canadian Undergraduate Physics conference. You can listen to a scientificanada podcast featuring Antonia here.
SFU Science logo
November 2021 - Forde lab alumnus Mike Kirkness is featured in a video for SFU Science.
September 2021 - Our study of collagen's sequence-dependent flexibility is published in Biophysical Journal. This work was led by PhD student Alaa Al-Shaer, in collaboration with former undergraduate student Aaron Lyons and colleagues at UCSF and Vanderbilt University.
July 2021 - Our paper describing our newly automated AFM image analysis software, AutoSmarTrace, is published in Biophysical Journal. This work was led by former undergraduate student Mathew Schneider. SFU Science wrote a nice article about him and this work!
June 2021 - Our study of the effects of multivalency on diffusive transport is published in Journal of Physical Chemistry B. This project was conceived and directed by PhD student Chapin Korosec, and was the work of undergraduate student Antonia Kowalewski.
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May 2021 - Alaa Al-Shaer is awarded an NSERC PGS-D fellowship to continue her research on type IV collagen in our lab. Congratulations, Alaa!
Biophysical Society of Canada logo
May 2021 - Nancy starts a two-year term as President of the Biophysical Society of Canada. Read all about it in an interview, here!
Simon Fraser University logo
May 2021 - The Department of Physics IDEA team, of which Antonia & Nancy are members, is featured in an SFU news story.
Simon Fraser University logo
April 2021 - Chapin Korosec successfully defends his PhD thesis, entitled "Modelling and engineering artificial burnt-bridge ratchet molecular motors". Congratulations, Chapin!
American Physical Society logo
March 2021 - Nancy starts a three-year term on the executive commitee of the Division of Biological Physics (DBIO) of the American Physical Society as a Member-at-Large.
Simon Fraser University logo
February 2021 - Alaa Al-Shaer receives one of the top prizes at SFU's Department of Physics poster session. Congratulations, Alaa!
Rolling motor cover
February 2021 - Our collaborative paper with the group of Eldon Emberly, investigating the effects of substrate stiffness on spherical motor dynamics, is featured on the cover of Soft Matter.
American Physical Society logo
December 2020 - Chapin Korosec receives a "travel" award from the Division of Biological Physics of the APS for the upcoming March Meeting. Congratulations, Chapin!
October 2020 - Our review article about the use of optical tweezers to study protein mechanics at different levels of assembly is published in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences.
September 2020 - Chapin's model study of anomalous diffusion tunable via a detachment bias - a collaboration with David Sivak - is published in Physical Review Research.
September 2020 - Alaa Al-Shaer receives an award for her short talk at the Basement Membranes in Health and Disease virtual meeting of the British Society for Matrix Biology. Congratulations, Alaa!
Canada Foundation for Innovation
September 2020 - We are awarded funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to develop new single-molecule instrumentation.
June 2020 - Chapin Korosec receives an award for his short talk at the Soft Matter Canada 2020 (virtual) sympsoium. Congratulations, Chapin!
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April 2020 - We are awarded a Discovery Grant and a Discovery Accelerator Grant from NSERC that will support research in our group.
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December 2019 - Our invited review article on collagen mechanics and stability is published in Current Opinion in Chemical Biology and Kathrin's wonderful graphical abstract was chosen to grace the cover of the issue!
June 2019 - Mathew Schneider places in the top 10 in the Canadian Association of Physicists University Prize Exam, for undergraduate Physics students across Canada. Congratulations, Mathew!
June 2019 - Alaa Al-Shaer gives the best student talk in the Division of Medical and Biological Physics at the Canadian Association of Physicists congress, and is awarded third place across all divisions in the student final competition. Congratulations, Alaa!
Simon Fraser University logo
April 2019 - Mike Kirkness successfully defends his PhD thesis, entitled "Development of Single-Molecule Assays for Proteolytic Susceptibility: Force-Induced Collagen Destabilization". Congratulations, Mike!
Simon Fraser University logo
April 2019 - Congratulations to Alaa Al-Shaer for giving the "best lightning talk" at the annual Molecular Biology and Biochemistry colloquium!
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March 2019 - Chapin Korosec is awarded an NSERC PGS-D fellowship to continue his research on molecular motors in our lab. Congratulations, Chapin!
March 2019 - Our AFM imaging of type IV collagen's end-domain-mediated assembly contributed to a study by our Vanderbilt collaborators, published online in Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Biophysical Society of Canada logo
February 2019 - Kathrin Lehmann is awarded a Travel Award from the Biophysical Society of Canada to present her work at the Biophysical Society Meeting in Baltimore. Congratulations, Kathrin!
November 2018 - Our paper on new surface chemistry approaches for single-molecule studies is published in Langmuir. In this work, we present our Microsphere Adhesion by Gravity, Inversion and Counting (MAGIC) assay for quantifying nonspecific and specific adhesion to surfaces. We show that a chemically functionalized F127 performs exceptionally well at blocking and at specifically tethering to a glass surface a broad class of targets.
November 2018 - Our paper studying how the ends of collagen contribute to self-assembly is highlighted by Biophysical Journal in a collection of optical tweezers papers honouring this year's Nobel Prize in Physics.
November 2018 - Kathrin Lehmann joins our laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher funded by a fellowship from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Welcome, Kathrin!
October 2018 - Our paper that finds collagen to be described as a semiflexible polymer is published in Biophysical Journal. In this work, we also develop the curved worm-like chain model, find collagen imaged on mica to have a salt-dependent intrinsic curvature, and introduce a new method for AFM image analysis called SmarTrace.
September 2018 - Our paper showing how track dimensionality can be used to tune the motility of "burnt-bridges" ratchets is published in Physical Review E. Read about the work here.
Biophysical Society of Canada logo
May 2018 - Alaa Al-Shaer receives the award for best undergraduate poster at the Biophysical Society of Canada National Meeting. Congratulations, Alaa!
Biophysical Society of Canada logo
May 2018 - Chapin Korosec receives one of the top graduate student poster awards at the Biophysical Society of Canada National Meeting. Congratulations, Chapin!
Biophysical Society of Canada logo
May 2018 - Nancy is honoured with the Michèle Auger Award for Exceptional Service to the Biophysical Society of Canada, an award she is delighted to share with Jenifer Thewalt.
February 2018 - Our paper that describes the use of our mini-radio centrifuge force microscope (MR.CFM) to unravel collagen's response to force is published, and highlighted as "New and Notable", in Biophysical Journal.
February 2018 - Our paper describing the genetic introduction of chemical labelling sites in collagen's termini is published in Canadian Journal of Chemistry.
November 2017 - Our paper describing how finite and discrete sampling and blur influence microrheology experiments is published in Optics Express.
October 2017 - Aaron Lyons is awarded Best Overall Talk at the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference (CUPC). Congratulations, Aaron!
October 2017 - Our review article about molecular motors (biological and synthetic) is published in Physics in Canada.
September 2017 - Aaron Lyons is awarded first prize in the SFU Science Undergraduate Research Journal (SURJ) Poster Competition. Congratulations, Aaron!
August 2017 - Chapin Korosec's article on molecular motors, written for the general public, is named "Article of the Month" by Curiocity!
June 2017 - Dr. Naghmeh Rezaei is featured in an SFU Convocation news story.
May 2017 - Vickie Loosemore successfully defends her MSc thesis, entitled "Optical tweezers-based microrheological measurements using a high-speed camera". Congratulations, Vickie!
February 2017 - Naghmeh Rezaei is awarded a Travel Award from the Biophysical Society of Canada to present her work at the Biophysical Society Meeting in New Orleans. Congratulations, Naghmeh!
December 2016 - Naghmeh Rezaei successfully defends her PhD thesis, entitled "Mechanical Studies of Single Collagen Molecules Using Imaging and Force Spectroscopy". Congratulations, Naghmeh!
December 2016 - Our paper describing how short regions of collagen chains significantly enhance protein-protein interactions, a study using optical-tweezers-based microrheology and polymer theory, is published in Biophysical Journal. Read more about it here.
June 2016 - Chapin wins a Biophysical Journal award for Most Outstanding Student Poster at the Engineering of Biomolecular Motors Biophysical Society Thematic Meeting, together with his copresenter and collaborator Damiano Verardo from Lund. Congratulations, Chapin!
June 2016 - Nancy co-organizes a Biophysical Society Thematic Meeting in Vancouver, focussed on the topic of Engineering of Biomolecular Motors.
June 2016 - Vickie and Chapin are among the organizing team for 2016's successful edition of Frontiers in Biophysics.
April 2016 - Nancy is featured in the Biophysical Society Newsletter.
December 2015 - Our paper describing the development of a recombinant expression system for human collagen is published in BMC Biotechnology.
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November 2015 - Nancy is named to the Editorial Board of Biophysical Journal.
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April 2015 - We are awarded a Discovery Grant from NSERC that will support research in our group.
Spring 2015 - Our papers describing two different molecular motors, the lawnmower and a synthetic kinesin-inspired protein SKIP, are published.
January 2015 - Our work synthesizing and characterizing peptide-DNA is highlighted on the HFSP website.
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November 2014 - Tuba Altindal is awarded a MITACS Elevate postdoctoral fellowship to continue her research collaboration with industrial partner Salon Label. Congratulations, Tuba!
September 2014 - Our paper describing the construction and characterization of densely labelled peptide-DNA is published in Biomacromolecules.
August 2014 - Gary Tom (co-supervised by Martin Zuckermann & Nancy) was awarded first prize at the Department of Physics poster session for summer students. Congratulations, Gary!
August 2014 - Angelina Marinkovic is featured in an SFU recruitment video - and our lab and Tuba make an appearance too!
April 2014 - Mike Kirkness was awarded first prize for his talk at the Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry's annual colloquium. Congratulations, Mike!
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April 2014 - Angelina Marinkovic was awarded a highly competitive undergraduate CIHR fellowship in Mobility, Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis, which will allow her to continue her work in the group full-time in spring 2015. Congratulations, Angelina!
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March 2014 - We are awarded an NSERC Engage grant to assist a BC company, Salon Label, with hair characterization and manipulation.
January 2014 - Marjan Shayegan successfully defends her PhD thesis, entitled "Determining local viscoelastic properties of collagen systems using optical tweezers". Congratulations, Marjan!
December 2013 - Marjan Shayegan is awarded the Bruker Prize in Chemical Spectroscopy by the Department of Chemistry for her development of microrheology techniques to characterize collagen systems. Congratulations, Marjan!
August 2013 - Our work characterizing the microrheology properties of collagen solutions and fibrillar gels is highlighted in Extracellular Matrix News.
August 2013 - Angelina Marinkovic receives one of the top prizes at the departmental poster session for summer students. Congratulations, Angelina!
August 2013 - Our paper describing the microrheological characterization of collagen at different hierarchies is published in PLoS ONE.
April 2013 - Laleh Samii successfully defends her PhD thesis, entitled "Studies of synthetic molecular motors". Congratulations, Laleh!
March 2013 - Marjan is awarded the prize for best poster at the Biomaterials Workshop of the Canadian Biomaterials Society Local Student Chapter. Congratulations, Marjan!
March 2013 - Naghmeh is awarded the prize for best talk at the annual Frontiers in Biophysics meeting. Congratulations, Naghmeh!
Summer 2012 - Nancy is featured in a video produced by the Canada Foundation for Innovation describing our CFI-funded optical trapping laboratory and our collagen research interests. En français, c'est ici.
March 2012 - Laleh is awarded the prize for top poster presentation in the physical sciences at the AAAS annual meeting, held in Vancouver in February. She presented her findings on the time-dependent efficiency of molecular spiders. Congratulations, Laleh!
February 2012 - Marjan is awarded a prize for her oral presentation on microrheology of collagen solutions, in the Chemistry department oral competition. Congratulations, Marjan!
February 2012 - Nancy gives a well received public lecture at Family Science Days at the annual AAAS meeting, held this year in Vancouver.
February 2012 - The group enjoys a stimulating day at the annual graduate-student organized Frontiers in Biophysics event. Group members Laleh & Naghmeh did a superb job of contributing to its organization and success!
October 2011 - Our work characterizing the time-dependent molecular motor properties of molecular spiders is featured on the HFSP website.
October 2011 - Our paper determining the positional stability of holographic optical traps is published in Optics Express.
September 2011 - Our paper characterizing the time-dependent molecular motor properties of molecular spiders is published in Physical Review E.
July 2011 - Nancy is granted tenure.
June 2011 - Nancy is featured on BC's Year of Science website.
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November 2010 - We are awarded a Catalyst Grant in Bone Health from CIHR to support our studies of collagen mechanics. This multiscale work is in collaboration with Erika Merschrod (Department of Chemistry, Memorial University of Newfoundland).
June 2010 - Nancy is quoted in an article describing single-molecule work in Nature on the role of re-entrant structure in protein folding.
April 2010 - Our paper demonstrating the high-force capabilities of holographic optical tweezers is selected as the Editor's Choice in the current issue of the Journal of Biophotonics.
April 2010 - Our paper describing how to calibrate optical traps using power spectral analysis of high-speed camera images is published in Optics Express.
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March 2010 - We are awarded a Discovery Grant from NSERC that will support research in our group.
March 2010 - Benjamin Downing successfully defends his Master's thesis, entitled "Probing the mechanical properties of short molecules with optical tweezers". Congratulations, Ben!
February 2010 - Our paper on simulating molecular motor properties of molecular spiders is published in Physical Review E.
October 2009 - Astrid van der Horst is awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) in the Netherlands, which will enable her to continue her work on elastin at the VU in Amsterdam.
August 2009 - Rob Welch receives an award for his poster on single-molecule studies of elastin, at the prestigious Rising Stars of Research national undergraduate science conference.
August 2009 - Rob Welch receives one of the top prizes at the departmental poster session for summer students.
August 2009 - Laleh Samii wins the top prize in her poster session at the International Society for Math Biology conference at UBC, for her "well-thought out and constructed mechanistic model of processive motion."
January 2009 - Nancy is quoted in an Analytical Chemistry article about optical tweezers systems.
December 2008 - Our article on calibration of holographic optical tweezers is published in Optics Express.
October 2008 - Benjamin Downing receives one of the top prizes awarded at the annual departmental poster session.
October 2008 - Ruobing Yang and Jos One present their work at the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference in Toronto. Ruobing's talk is chosen best in Biological Physics!
August 2008 - Jos One receives one of the top prizes at the departmental poster session for summer students.
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March 2008 - Benjamin Downing is awarded a trainee scholarship from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research - congratulations, Ben!
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March 2008 - Benjamin Downing is awarded an NSERC CGS scholarship for his M.Sc. studies in Physics - congratulations, Ben!
NSERC logo
March 2008 - Nancy Forde is awarded a Discovery Grant from NSERC that will support research in our group.
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January 2008 - Suzana Kovacic is appointed to NSERC Council. Congratulations, Suzana!
January 2008 - The whole group enjoys a stimulating and fun day at the Frontiers in Biophysics forum. Congratulations to group member and forum organizer Michelle Lee on a job well done!
December 2007 - Our work on Brownian motion in a modulated optical trap is featured in this month's Europhysics News.
November 28, 2007 - Michelle Lee successfully defends her Master's thesis, entitled "Quantitative characterization of forces and fields in a magnetic tweezers instrument". Congratulations, Michelle!
November 2007 - Astrid van der Horst receives one of the top prizes awarded at the annual departmental poster session.
August 2007 - Gina Chang receives first prize at the departmental poster session for summer students.
July 2007 - Our publication on Brownian motion in a moduated optical trap appears in the Journal of Optics A.
June 4, 2007 - Yi Deng successfully defends his Master's thesis, entitled "Calibration and characterization of static and modulated optical traps". Congratulations, Yi!
May 2007 - Our first group publication appears! Yi Deng, Nancy Forde and John Bechhoefer wrote a comment to Physical Review Letters, that has also been selected for inclusion in the Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research.
April 26, 2007 - Philip Johnson successfully defends his Master's thesis, entitled "Toward single molecule DNA uptake by Haemophilus influenzae". Congratulations, Philip!
Research Corporation for Science Advancement
April 2007 - Nancy Forde is awarded a Cottrell Scholar award from the Research Corporation. This is one of only ten awards given this year to applicants in Physics, Chemistry and Astronomy departments from across North America who wish to excel at both research and teaching.
Human Frontier Science Program
March 2007 - As part of an international team, Nancy Forde is awarded a Research Grant from the Human Frontier Science Program. The other team members are Heiner Linke (Department of Physics, University of Oregon, USA), Paul Curmi (Centre for Immunology and Department of Biophysics, University of New South Wales, Australia) and Dek Woolfson (School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, UK). Martin Zuckermann of SFU will also be participating in this project. Three of this year's HFSP research grants are awarded to teams involving SFU researchers! (John Bechhoefer in Physics and Erika Plettner in Chemistry are the other two.)
November 2006 - Michelle Lee receives one of the top prizes awarded at the annual departmental poster session.
October 2006 - Braden Brinkman presents a poster on his summer research project at the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He is also a member of the SFU student delegation successful in bidding to host next year's CUPC meeting at SFU!
October 2006 - The whole group enjoys a stimulating and fun weekend at the first-ever Frontiers in Biophysics retreat, organized by graduate students at SFU and UBC. Congratulations to group members and retreat organizing committee members Michelle Lee and Yi Deng on a job well done!
August 2006 - Braden Brinkman receives one of the top prizes at the departmental poster session for summer students.
April 2006 - Philip Johnson is the only Canadian participant selected to attend the OIST Workshop on Single Molecule Analysis, in Okinawa, Japan.
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March 2006 - Michelle Lee is awarded an NSERC CGS scholarship for her M.Sc. studies in Physics - congratulations, Michelle!
Canada Foundation for Innovation
June 2005 - Nancy Forde is awarded New Opportunities funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to support the development of new optical trapping techniques as well as equip our molecular biology wet lab.
June 2005 - Nancy Forde is invited to attend the Nobel Symposium on Controlled Nanoscale Motion in Artificial and Biological Systems in Sweden.
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May 2005 - Nancy Forde is awarded a Scholar award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Reserach.
May 2005 - The group finally moves into our renovated lab space! The renovations are almost complete...
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March 2005 - Nancy Forde is awarded a Discovery Grant and a Research Tools and Instrumentation grant from NSERC that will support research in our group.