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The Team

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Lori Burrows, Principal Investigator


Professor Lori Burrows is a microbiologist, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and international expert on the structure, function, and regulation of type IV pili (T4P). She has published over 120 peer reviewed papers, reviews, and book chapters. She is currently the Interim Director of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Diseases Research and serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Bacteriology (ASM), the Journal of Biochemistry (ASBMB), and ACS Infectious Diseases. 

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Hanjeong Harvey, Lab Manager

Hanjeong has been the Burrows lab manager since 2006. She holds a MSc degree in Microbiology and is responsible for daily operations of the lab, safety, and training of new lab members. She helps with most of the projects in the lab in addition to working on isolation of type IV pilus-specific bacteriophages as research tools and potential therapeutics for antibiotic resistant bacteria. In 2018 she was awarded the Michael Kamin Hart Staff Award from the Michael G. DeGroote Institute of Infectious Disease Research in recognition of her ongoing commitment to excellence in research, training, and community.


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Derek Chuk-Kin Chan, PhD Candidate
Derek obtained his BSc at the University of Waterloo in the co-op program where he worked at pharmaceutical and medical device companies. He joined the Burrows lab in Sept 2018 as a chemical biology MSc student and transferred to the PhD program in 2020. Currently, his project focuses on discovering antibiotics that can sneak into P. aeruginosa through iron-dependent transporters on the cell surface and characterize their interactions and mechanism of action. Derek has previously held NSERC CGS-M and OGS awards, and is currently funded by a CIHR CGS-D award. In the lab, he enjoys making bad puns to annoy his lab mates but outside the lab he enjoys bouldering, kayaking, and playing badminton.

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Victoria Coles, PhD Candidate

Victoria completed her BSc at McMaster University in the Integrated Science (Biochemistry concentration) program before joining the Burrows Lab as a Master's student in 2019 and transferring to the PhD program in 2020. Victoria previously held CIHR CGS-M and her current research is funded by OGS. Her research involves using the biofilm stimulation phenotype to identify novel antibiotics and anti-biofilm agents to treat multi-drug resistant infections. In her free time, Victoria enjoys baking.

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Dhany Maddiboina, PhD Candidate

Dhany joins the Burrows lab from the Chemical Engineering department. She completed her BSc in Integrated Science at McMaster University. Her research focuses on the motor complex of type IV pili used by many pathogenic bacteria. 

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Luke Yaeger, PhD Candidate

Luke joined the lab in 2017 for an undergraduate thesis and continued onto grad school where he is now studying antibiotic stress and biofilms, peptidoglycan metabolism, and how P. aeruginosa gets around. He competed for McMaster's varsity Track and Field team and continues to run. In 2020, Luke became a Wilson Leader and he used to the program to develop a model for a publicly owned pharmaceutical company in Canada. His research is funded by an NSERC PGS-D award. Luke's interests include anthropology, horticulture, political economy, volleyball, cooking, and brewing.


Nathan Roberge, PhD Student

Nathan joined the Burrows lab in 2022 after completing his MSc in Biochemistry at Queen’s University. His research is focused on characterizing the regulatory components and bacteriophage-encoded inhibitors of the type 4 pilus extension machinery. His research is currently funded by a NSERC CGS-D award. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, painting, and cooking.


Ikram Qaderi, Masters Candidate

Ikram joined the Burrows lab in 2020 as a GlycoNet summer student before starting his senior thesis in the fall. After completing his BHSc in the BDC program, Ikram was excited to continue his research in the Burrows lab as a MSc candidate. He previously held an OGS award and his research is currently funded by an NSERC CGS-M award. His research focuses on characterizing type 4 major pilin accessory genes using various molecular biology techniques and pilus-specific bacteriophages. Ikram enjoys baking and hiking (but not at the same time).

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Veronica Tran, Masters Candidate

Veronica joined the Burrows lab as a Masters student in 2021 after completing her BSc in Biochemistry (Co-op) at McMaster University.  Her research involves analyzing genetic mutations in Pseudomonas aeruginosa that are selected upon following bacteriophage exposure. She previously held a CIHR CGS-M award and her research is funded by an OGS award. In her free time, Veronica enjoys practicing yoga and reading.



Andrew Alexandrescu

Andrew is a fourth-year undergraduate student working towards his BHSc in Biochemistry. He joined the Burrows lab in the summer of 2022 and has since been at work trying to identify novel compounds that can inhibit or disperse biofilm created by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Andrew previously held a DBCAD Summer student fellowship. His thesis will be centered on trying to identify the mechanism of action for one of these biofilm inhibitors. In his free time, Andrew enjoys playing piano, fencing, and reading.


Zayn Alazawi

Zayn enjoyed his undergraduate experience so much that after finishing his BSc in Biochemistry, he came back to do a thesis! Since summer 2022, he has been working on various projects, and is now focusing on interactions between enzymes involved in bacterial cell wall recycling. His thesis will be centered around the enzyme AmpG within this context. Zayn 
previously held a DBCAD Summer student fellowship. When he's not writing about himself in third person, Zayn enjoys watching history documentaries, reading, and learning new things


Katherine Dykema

Katherine is a fourth-year biochemistry student who joined the Burrows lab as a summer student in 2022. She is excited to be continuing in the lab to complete a senior thesis during 2022-2023. Her project involves investigating how antibiotics and natural products affect Pseudomonas aeruginosa under nutrient-limited growth conditions. Katherine previously held an NSERC USRA award. In her free time, Katherine enjoys hiking, cycling, and exploring natural areas around Hamilton.

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