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Jean-Paul Desaulniers, Principal Investigator

Jean-Paul Desaulniers was born and raised in London Ontario. He studied Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Western Ontario and received his Honors B.Sc. in 2000. He entered graduate school at Wayne State University, under the guidance of Prof. Chow, and he received his Ph.D. from Wayne State University in 2005. His thesis work focused on synthesizing and studying naturally occurring modified RNAs found within the ribosome. After his Ph.D., he studied at the University of Michigan, where he worked under the guidance of Prof. Mapp. During his time, he was awarded an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship and focused his work in chemical biology on studying small organic molecule transcription factor mimics. Since the fall of 2008, Jean-Paul started as an assistant professor in chemistry, and was promoted in 2013 to an associate professor. His research at UOIT focuses on developing unnatural scaffolds that are capable of controlling gene expression. Outside the lab, Jean-Paul enjoys the outdoors, playing music, playing squash, and spending time with his family.

E-mail: Jean-Paul.Desaulniers@uoit.ca


Please contact Professor Desaulniers if you are interested in pursuing graduate studies at UOIT. Undergraduate students interested in thesis under my supervision are advised to contact me as soon as possible to inquire about potential future projects and availability.


Graduate Students

Matthew Hammill, MSc (2017)


Ben Jones, MChem (2017),


Gordon Hagen, MSc (2015)


Chris McKim, MSc (2014)


Brandon Peel, MSc (2014)


Tim Efthymiou, PhD (2013)



Wei Gong, MSc (2012)


Undergraduate Students

Cameron Isaccs-Trepanier

Honors Thesis Student (2017)


Kevoy Lopez

Honors Thesis Student (2017)


Dion Chang

Honors Thesis Student (2017)


Noor Bahsoun

Honors Thesis Student (2016)


Lidya Salim

Honors Thesis Student (2016)


Sebastien Robert

Honors Thesis Student (2015)


Jocelyn Anderson

Honors Thesis Student (2015)


Jessica Pauze

Honors Thesis Student (2015)


Kalai Krishnamurthy, BSc (Hons)

Honors Thesis Student (2014)


Neil Grenade, BSc (Hons)

Honors Thesis Student (2013)


Jimmy Song

Summer NSERC USRA (2012)


Brandon Peel, BSc (Hons)

Honors Thesis Student (2012)


Stuart McNelles, BSc (Hons)

Honors Thesis Student (2012)


Jaymie Oentoro

Summer NSERC USRA (2011)


Jillian Fischer, BSc (Hons)

Honors Thesis Student (2011)


Hilary Groom, BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate Researcher (2011)


Parth Shah, BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate Researcher (2011)


Vanthi Huynh, BSc (Hons)

Honors Thesis Student (2011)


Anthony Vo, BSc

Undergraduate Researcher (2010)


Navodita Bhatnagar, BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate Researcher (2010)


Zachary Guthrie, BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate Researcher (2010)


Jessica Legge, Med.Lab

Undergraduate Researcher (2010)


Christopher Koehler

Undergraduate Researcher (2010)


Patrick Edge, BSc (Hons)

Honors Thesis Student (2010)


Wei Gong, BSc (Hons)

Honors Thesis Student (2010)


Jesse Allan, BSc (Hons)

Summer NSERC USRA (2009)


Andrew Peterson, BSc (Hons)

Honors Thesis Student (2009)

Matthew Hammill, PhD Candidate

Lidya Salim was born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela, until she moved to Canada in 2011. She is currently entering her first year of graduate studies at UOIT. Lidya is very passionate about education and, as part of the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), advocates for social change and equity. She is also very involved in campus activities and events and loves meeting new people. During her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with her family and friends. Lidya is expected to graduate in 2018.

Lidya Salim, M.Sc. Candidate

Matt Hammill grew up in Cobourg Ontario, 90 minutes east of Toronto and attended Trent University to study chemistry and biology, graduating in spring of 2014 with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry. Currently he is beginning his PhD in Applied Bioscience at UOIT in Oshawa. Outside of school, Matt plays sports such as fencing and softball, but also enjoys reading, video games and spending time with friends and family.

Ayushi Patel, B.Sc. Candidate

Ayushi was born in Gujarat, India and moved to Canada when I was 11 with family. She is currently in fourth year of biological science with a minor in chemistry. She has recently completed her co-op placement at Purdue Pharma, which gave me many learning opportunities in analytical chemistry and formulation. I am very passionate about my education and always wants to learn new things. During spare time, she likes to paint, read, listen to music, and spend time with family and friends. 

Last Known Location

PhD student, UOIT

Oshawa, ON


Graduate student at Cardiff University

Wales, UK


Research Chemist

Peace Naturals, Stayner, ON


Senior Organic Chemist at Synthose, Inc.

Vaughn, ON


Analytical Chemist at CASSEN Testing Laboratories

Toronto, ON


Associate Scientist, Nitto Denko Avencia, Inc.

Cincinnati, OH USA


Senior Organic Chemist, Xenon Pharmaceuticals.

Burnaby, BC


Last Known Location

University of Toronto

Graduate Student




Ministry of the Environment

Etobicoke, ON


University of Waterloo

Graduate Student



Graduate Student, Oshawa, ON


Medical School

University of Ottawa



Chemical Company, Dwight, ON




Toronto ON


Medical School at SABA



Medicinal Chemist, Sick Kids Hospital

Toronto ON


Graduate Student at Kansas City University

Kansas City, MO, USA


Graduate Student at UOIT

Oshawa, ON


Graduate Student at McMaster University

Hamilton, ON


Undergraduate Student at UOIT

Oshawa, ON


Graduate Student at Trent University

Peterborough, ON


Graduate Student at Western University

London, ON


Medical Student at UCLA

Los Angeles, California USA


Microbiologist at Nucro-Technics, Inc.

Toronto, ON


Medical Student at the University of Ottawa

Ottawa, ON


Medical Student at the University of Toronto

Toronto, ON


Law Student at York University

Toronto, ON


Lab Technician, MaRS Institute

Toronto, ON


Undergraduate Student at UOIT

Oshawa, ON


Graduate Student at UOIT

Oshawa, ON


Senior Organic Chemist, Xenon Pharmaceuticals

Burnaby, BC


Graduate Student at UOIT

Oshawa, ON


Graduate Student at the University of Guelph

Guelph, ON

Autumn Collins grew up in a small town just outside of Windsor, Ontario before moving to Oshawa, Ontario to attend UOIT. She is currently entering her final year of studies as a Forensic Science student with a specialization in chemistry and a minor in biology. She is looking forward to starting her undergraduate thesis this September to expand her chemistry lab techniques. Autumn is also very involved in student life, working in the residence building for 3 years as a Resident Advisor and then later becoming a Residence Services Representative. She is also a UOIT Peer Mentor with a passion for helping first year UOIT students succeed in their undergraduate career. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends and crocheting. .

Autumn Collins, B.Sc. Candidate

Maria Abd Allha, B.Sc. Candidate

Maria Abd Allha was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, until she moved to Canada in 2008. She attended the University of Ontario Institute of Technology to study Biological Sciences in the Life Sciences specialization and is expected to graduate in spring of 2018. During her leisure time, Maria enjoys reading, horseback riding, baking, and volunteering. She also enjoys spending time with her family and visiting new places. Maria chose to become a thesis student in order to experience putting her passion and education in Science into work and making a difference. She hopes to contribute to the publication of a paper that demonstrates a new chemical biology story, in addition to an interesting outcome or an idea that can possibly become part of chemical biology.

Samira Mansouri, M.Sc. Candidate

Samira holds a B.Sc. in Biology from University of Iran (2007-2011) and afterwards, studied ‘Chemical Laboratory Pharmaceuticals’ at Seneca Collage at York university (2012-2014). Then, she transferred to the university level to strength her chemistry knowledge. Her enthusiasm toward learning and discovery has lead her to pursue her master in medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry at UOIT. She is working on a collaborative project co-supervised with Prof. Bolshan. She is currently a part-time pharmacist technician, she finished all the certificates up to platinum in this field. She is also passionate about mathematics, and tutoring math since she was nominated for mathematics Olympiads. During her free time, she plays music, writes, and reads.  Nothing in this world amuses her more than music, nature, books (and chemistry!). The quote of her life is: “There is no deadlock for grand people, because they believe they will either find a way or make a way.

Ben is an MChem student at Cardiff University and currently on my year abroad placement at UOIT for his third year of his degree.  Ben is an innovative and hardworking student with a passion for chemistry. He enjoys the challenge of practical application of chemistry and likes reading around the forerunning discoveries in the field. He has a particular fascination with Chemical Biology and Organic Chemistry and is eager to further investigate this with his time at UOIT. His passion for chemistry greatly motivates him to pursue a career within this field. Outside of the lab he enjoys travelling, skiing and spending time with friends

Ben Jones, M.Chem. Candidate

Hafsah Hoda was born in Karachi, Pakistan and lived there until she was three, at which point she made the move to Canada with her family. She is currently in her final year of her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in chemistry. Hafsah is passionate about her education, but she is also very busy outside of her studies; she is a dual athlete, playing on both the rowing team and the curling team. She is also a UOIT Ambassador working to promote Equity on campus through the feminism initiative. She is the youngest member of a Mississauga-Streetsvile Political Association where she holds the title of Director of Youth Outreach. She works with the local MPP to get young people engaged and active in the political world. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, reading, and solving logic puzzles.

Hafsah Hoda, B.Sc. Candidate

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Charlene Fernandez, B.Sc. Candidate

Charlene Fernandez was born in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in Richmond Hill, Ontario. She is currently completing her fourth year of her Pharmaceutical Chemistry undergraduate degree. Charlene recently went on a research student exchange to Nanjing University in China, where she gained research and laboratory experience, she’s always motivated to learn Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry. When she isn’t busy, Charlene likes to cook, spend time with family and friends, and watch basketball games.