David Vocadlo named to Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists & Scientists
Professor David Vocadlo, a Canada Research Chair in Chemical Biology at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and an international leader in carbohydrate chemistry and glycobiology, has been named to the inaugural cohort of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.
Dr. Vocadlo's cross-appointment to the Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry reflects a distinctive research program spanning diverse fields from synthetic chemistry through to animal studies. His research interest centres on understanding the biological roles of complex carbohydrates, an emerging field known as glycobiology.
Glycobiology aims to advance understanding of the enzymes and other proteins that coordinate the stepwise assembly of carbohydrate building blocks into chains of specialized sugars called glycans. Remarkably, many of the over 300 enzymes acting to build and breakdown these glycans currently have unknown functions. It is anticipated that clarifying the functional roles of these enzymes and the resulting glycans—and learning how to manipulate them—will catapult this frontier area of molecular biology forward and also lead the way to new carbohydrate-directed therapeutics for combating disease, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Vocadlo holds high stature in the scientific community, nationally and internationally. He is one of few scientists to receive awards from both the Canadian and American chemical societies, and he has also received several national research and innovation awards.