Andrew Scholte, Ph.D. received his Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) in Biochemistry from Simon Fraser University in 1999, where he studied under the supervision of Professor Andrew Bennet. The title of his honours thesis was Synthesis and Biological Activity Studies of 5-Thioglucopyranosyl Pyridinium Salts. In January of 2000, Andrew moved to the University of Alberta and completed his doctoral studies in the research laboratories of Professor John Vederas. His doctoral thesis concentrated on the investigations of the biosynthesis of isoprenoids. During his graduate studies, Dr. Scholte and fellow graduate students established the Banff Symposium on Organic Chemistry. In January of 2006, Andrew moved to Boston College to tenure his NSERC postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Marc Snapper. There he developed new tandem ruthenium-catalyzed metathesis oxidation reactions. In 2008, he accepted a position as a research scientist at Genzyme in the Drug and Biomaterial R&D division. In 2012, he was promoted to a Staff Scientist II where he is currently involved in the discovery of novel treatments for a variety of critical diseases.
In his spare time, Andrew is an avid runner and is a founding member of the Genzyme Running Team. Every year, Genzyme employees participate in the Boston Marathon raising awareness about Rare Diseases. Andrew also organizes a Canadian ex-patriot group in Boston which has over 800 members. Andrew enjoys connecting with fellow Canadians and through this group has been fortunate to meet the Canadian Ambassador to the US, Gary Doer, Governor General David Johnston, former deputy Prime Minister John Manley and Canadian Consulate General Patrick Binns.
Why did you choose to go to SFU?
After graduating from highschool in 1994, I decided to attend SFU because of the excellent reputation of their co-op education program. SFU also had an excellent reputation for teaching at the undergraduate level and was close to my family's home in Tsawwassen.
Where did you spend the most amount of time on campus?
I spent most of my time at SFU in the South Sciences Building and in the Chemistry building.
What is your favourite memory from your time at SFU?
My favourite memory at SFU was attending and helping to organize the Matthew Good Band show in 1998.
Who was your favourite SFU professor and why?
My favourite professor was Theresa Kitos. She was my second year Biochemistry professor and I really connected with her teaching style. Through our connection I also had the opportunity to work with her husband, Andrew Bennett in the department of Chemistry for my honours thesis.
How has your SFU degree impacted your career?
My degree has been very instrumental in my career development. Through the co-op education program I was was exposed to performing scientific research at an early stage. In 1997, I moved to Edmonton for an eight month co-op job with Synphar laboratories where I was involved in discovering new antibiotic therapies, and was able to publish some of my work. With the success of this placement, I was able to continue my development as a scientist in the Bennett lab as well as in two additional placements at Merck Frostt in Montreal and at Merck and Co. in the US. In my opinion, the experiences that I received at SFU opened doors for me in my career development and without them I would not be a research scientist at a pharmaceutical company.
What is your favourite SFU snow story?
My favourite SFU story was when there was a freak snowstorm in the fall and they had to cancel classes. My biology Professor Tony Farrel went on to use this as an example in his class about why trees lose their leaves in the winter and its impact on survival.
If you could give advice to students today, what would you tell them?
My advice would be to take advantage of the many connections that you make during university.
What is the one thing about SFU that must not change?
One thing that SFU shouldn’t change is its priority of small classes through the tutorial system. I think this is a very effective teaching method.