The Forde lab is a molecular biophysics research group affiliated with the departments of Physics, Chemistry and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and with the Centre for Cell Biology, Development and Disease (C2D2). We are part of a larger, active group of biophysics researchers at SFU. Our group members are scientists who develop and apply physical techniques to address interesting and relevant biological problems.

Current group members

Nancy Forde

Principal Investigator
Nancy is responsible for directing research of the lab as a whole.

  • Background: BSc (Toronto), MS, PhD (Chicago)
  • Location: P8470 (Office), P8424/P8434/P8426/P8418 (Labs)
  • Phone: 778.782.3161 (Office), 778.782.6595 (Lab)
  • Email:
  • CV: Click here
  • Mike Kirkness

    MBB PhD student
    Mike is using his mini-radio centrifuge force microscope (MR.CFM) to study force-dependent enzyme activity.

    • Background: BSc (SFU)
    • Location: P8426 (Office and Lab)
    • Phone: 778.782.6595
    • Email:

    Chapin Korosec

    Physics PhD student
    Chapin is simulating, building and characterizing synthetic molecular motors.

    • Background: BSc (McMaster University)
    • Location: P8426 (Office) and P8434 (Lab)
    • Phone: 778.782.6595

    Alaa Al-Shaer

    Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MBB) MSc student
    Alaa is studying chemical effects on collagen flexibility

    • Background: BSc (SFU)
    • Location: P8424
    • Phone: 778.782.6595

    Mathew Schneider

    Physics undergraduate research assistant
    Mathew is developing improved algorithms for image analysis.

    • Background: Current BSc student in Physics, SFU
    • Location: P8426
    • Phone: 778.782.6595

    Ignacio Calderon de la Barca

    Physics MSc student
    Ignacio is using the mini-radio centrifuge force microscope (MR.CFM) to study force-dependent enzyme activity.

    • Background: BSc (Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA), Bolivia)
    • Location: P8424
    • Phone: 778.782.6595

    Kathrin Lehmann

    DFG-funded postdoctoral researcher
    Kathrin is investigating collagen's stability under force.

    • Background: BSc (U Osnabrück), MSc (U Bielefeld), PhD (German Cancer Research Center / U Heidelberg)
    • Location: P8424 (Office)
    • Phone: 778.782.6595

    Martin Zuckermann

    Honourary group member
    Martin works with us in designing and investigating the mechanisms of action of novel molecular motors.

    • Background: BA, MA, D Phil (Oxford University)
    • William C. MacDonald Emeritus Professor of Physics, McGill University
    • Location: P9450 (Office)
    • Phone: 778.782.4879

    Alumni - Graduate students

    Thomas Brouwer Visiting MSc student from VU Amsterdam, 2012-2013 PhD student, Leiden University
    Linda Dekker Visiting MSc student from VU Amsterdam, 2010 Physics teacher
    Yi Deng Physics MSc graduate, 2005-2007 Scientist II, NanoString Technologies
    Benjamin Downing Physics MSc graduate, 2007-2010 Paramedic
    Arnau Farré Visiting PhD student from U Barcelona, 2009 Scientific Director, Impetux Optics
    Philip Johnson Physics MSc graduate, 2004-2007 Staff Scientist (tenure-track), Paul Scherrer Institut
    Michelle Lee Physics MSc graduate, 2005-2007 and research assistant, 2008 High-school physics teacher
    Victoria Loosemore Physics MSc graduate, 2014-2017 Analyst, British Columbia Provincial Health Services Authority
    Naghmeh Rezaei Physics PhD graduate, 2009-2016 Senior data scientist, Illumina
    Laleh Samii Physics PhD graduate, 2007-2013 Quantitative analyst, CIBC
    Marjan Shayegan Chemistry PhD graduate, 2008-2014 Postdoctoral researcher, Harvard University

    Alumni - Research associates

    Tuba Altındal Postdoctoral researcher, 2013-2016 Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, SFU
    Marieke Berga Research assistant, 2005-2007 High school science teacher
    Gerhard Blab Postdoctoral researcher, 2009-2010 Assistant professor of Molecular Biophysics, Universiteit Utrecht
    Astrid van der Horst Postdoctoral researcher, 2006-2009 Senior Researcher, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam
    Suckjoon Jun Summer visitor, 2007 Associate professor of Biology and of Physics, UC San Diego
    Shahryar Khattak Short-term postdoctoral researcher, 2005 Head of hES/iPS stem cell facility in Dresden, Germany
    Suzana Kovacic Research associate, 2007-2011 Research associate, Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University
    Cindy Li Research assistant, 2009 Scientific Marketing Specialist, STEMCELL Technologies
    Andrew Wieczorek Research associate, 2008-2013 Contract scientist

    Alumni - Undergraduates

    Braden Brinkman NSERC USRA and undergraduate researcher, 2006-2007 Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Stony Brook University
    Clara Chan Physics thesis student, VPR USRA and research assistant, 2010-2011 Research Associate at Evasc Medical Systems
    Samuel Chan MBB co-op student, 2009 Laboratory Technician, LifeLabs
    Gina Chang NSERC USRA, 2007 Licenced pharmacist
    Jeanie Chiu Chem 481 and Chemistry co-op student, 2007-2008 Research Associate, Seattle Genetics
    Darshil Dave MITACS GlobaLink student, 2016 Engineering Physics BSc student, IIT Bombay
    Alex Fong Biology co-op student, 2011
    Katie Gagnon BISC 498 student, 2005 Global Research Alliance Manager, Cyclotrons and TRACERcenter, GE Healthcare, Sweden
    Tristan Hansen BISC 498, 499 student and undergraduate volunteer, 2012-2014 Teacher
    Derek Howell Undergraduate research volunteer, 2005 Physics Laboratory Supervisor, Capilano University
    Sameera Jhamb Undergraduate research volunteer, 2012
    Evan Kiefl NSERC USRA, 2014 Biophysics PhD student, University of Chicago
    Joshua Koehn VPR USRA, 2013 Medical School student, UBC
    AJ Koenig Physics Honours Thesis student, 2018 Small business entrepreneur, Calgary
    Norman Lam NSERC USRA, 2012 Physics PhD student, Yale University
    Jorraine Lim Undergraduate research volunteer, 2015-2016 MBB BSc student, SFU
    Karen Lo BISC 498 student and undergraduate researcher, 2006-2007 Postdoctoral teaching associate, Trinity Western University
    Aaron Lyons Physics Honours Thesis and Biological Physics undergraduate research assistant, 2016-2018 Physics MSc student, University of Alberta
    Angelina Marinkovic CIHR trainee, NSERC USRA and undergraduate research volunteer, 2012-2013, 2015 Medical School student, UBC
    Jos One NSERC USRA, 2008
    Teo Penkov Biology ISS student, 2016 MBB MSc student, SFU
    Michael Pettigrew Undergraduate summer student (joint with Eldon Emberly), 2010 Co-founder, Cytospan Technologies
    Janine Srocka Undergraduate research intern, 2018 BSc student in Biophysics, Humboldt University, Berlin
    Gary Tom Undergraduate summer volunteer (joint with Martin Zuckermann), 2014 Physics MSc student, UBC
    Ronnie Tsai Undergraduate research volunteer, 2012-2013 Medical School student, UBC
    Jason Wang Undergraduate volunteer, 2012
    Rob Welch NSERC USRA, 2009 Data analyst, Echologics
    Ruobing Yang NSERC USRA and Biophysics co-op student, 2008 Physician
    Doris Zhao Work-study student, 2012