People

Roger Linington
Director

Professor Linington is a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Chemical Biology and High-Throughput Screening in the Department of Chemistry at Simon Fraser University, Canada. He earned his PhD from the University of British Columbia on the study of sponge-derived natural products. His postdoctoral research was a joint appointment between the University of California San Diego and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, which gave him the opportunity to participate in an international neglected disease drug discovery program in Panama City, Panama. Following his postdoctoral training Professor Linington joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California Santa Cruz. Dr. Linington remained at UCSC for eight years until his move to Simon Fraser University in July of 2015 where his group is developing new metabolomics and informatics-driven discovery platforms for natural products research.

David Vocadlo
Co-Director

Dr. David Vocadlo is a professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Chemical Biology at Simon Fraser University (SFU). At SFU he leads an interdisciplinary research team with a focus on developing new chemical tools to improve our understanding of how carbohydrates influence cell function, with particular emphasis on their roles in neurodegenerative diseases. He and his team have been recognized with a number of awards including the EWR Steacie Fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, the Horace Isbell Award of the American Chemical Society, the Teva Canada Biological Chemistry Award, and the Carbohydrate Research Award of the International Carbohydrate Organization. Based on cornerstone technology from his laboratory he co-founded Alectos Therapeutics, which has since partnered with Merck to advance OGA modulators into the clinic to combat neurodegenerative diseases. 

Sandra Keerthisinghe
Lab Manager

Sandra Keerthisinghe completed a doctorate degree focused on cell biology and molecular genetics in the Department of Botany at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2016.  Her graduate work concentrated on optimizing live cell, time lapse, spinning disk imaging techniques to characterize microtubule mediated mechanisms underlying plant cell morphogenesis.  During this time, she was also a laboratory manager and trained students and staff in basic microscopy techniques.  After graduating, she taught a large first year cell biology course at UBC.  Sandra joined the HTCB in 2018, where she continues to pursue her interests in live-cell imaging and image based statistical analysis.

Lisa Lin
Administrative Coordinator

Lisa Lin is pursuing her PhD in the Department of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Her project is focused on using induced pluripotent stem cells to characterized epilespy arising from abnormal heterogenous cell populations using immunofluorescence and functional techniques. She has extensive experience in financial procedures, faculty relations, and event planning.

Management Committee

Robert Young
Professor, Chemistry

Robert Young is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the BC Leadership Chair in Pharmaceutical Genomics and Bioinformatics. Prior to joining SFU, Dr. Young was Vice-President of medicinal chemistry at the Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research where he was instrumental in leading his team in the discovery and commercialization of first in class new medications for allergies and inflammatory diseases, such as asthma and arthritis. His current research focuses on the design and synthesis of small molecule probes to aid in understanding disease processes and to discover novel targets and therapies for treatment. His contributions have been recognized by many awards including being made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Member of the Order of Canada. He is founded of the biotechnology company Mesentech Incorporated and is actively involved in many advisory committees of national and international scientific organizations.

Esther Verheyen
Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Esther Verheyen is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. She completed her BA degree at Cornell University and received her PhD in Genetics and postdoctoral training from the Yale University School of Medicine. In 1998 she joined the faculty at Simon Fraser University, where she is carrying out research on protein kinase regulation of signal transduction during development and in cancer. Her research is funded by grants from CIHR and NSERC to investigate organ formation, cell communication and Wnt signal regulation. In 2016 she received the Grant and Moens award for Excellence in Genetics from the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences.

Glen Tibbits
Professor, Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Glen Tibbits is a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kineseology (BPK) and Investigator at the Child and Family Health Research Institute (CFRI). He is also a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Molecular Cardiac Physiology. Glen completed is PhD at UCLA and postdoctoral training iat Niigata Yakka Daigaku, Japan. His interests focus on understanding the mechanisms of electrogenesis in the neonate heart and congenital disorders of the heart. Using leading edge imaging and gene engineering methods he is seeking to understand congenital heart disorders and their interactions with drugs and drug candidates as well as to work toward the creation of first in class Ca2+-senstizing drugs which may be used to treat heart failure.