Our Team

We keep adding new members to the group, come and join us!


Principal Investigator

B.Sc. Beijing Normal University

Ph.D. Mount Sinai Hospital and University of Toronto

Postdoc. The Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto

Google Scholar profile

wei zhang

I did my undergraduate in Beijing before coming to Toronto to pursue MSc with John Heddle at York University to do cytogenetics and mutation research. After that I obtained PhD in Daniel Durocher lab at the Lunenfeld Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital and Department of Molecular Genetics at University of Toronto. With a CIHR fellowship and later a Mitacs Elevate Fellowship I further conducted postdoctoral work in the labs of Sachdev Sidhu and Jason Moffat in the Donnelly Centre at University of Toronto. Here in my own lab I propose to combine the expertise I gained from my PhD and Postdoc studies to further understand and modulate DNA damage responses for new biology and novel cancer therapeutics. I am a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar in the Molecular Architecture of Life program.


Mitacs Industrial Postdoctoral Fellow

B.Sc. University of Guelph

Ph.D. University of Guelph (Biochemistry)

Evan MalLette

In high school I learned about the curious but amazing world of molecular biology and the vast number of proteins that 20 amino acids have arranged into to make everything in life possible. Throughout my undergraduate degree and graduate studies in biochemistry, I learned about structural biology and the mechanics of enzyme catalysis and protein-protein interactions. Despite all we know about how proteins function, there are seemingly endless questions still to be answered about cellular functions and opportunities to exploit molecular biology to solve biological issues. As part of the Mitacs Accelerate program, I aim to develop a selection of optimized synthetic proteins designed and optimized in silico with our industrial partner ProteinQure Inc. for eventual use in combined cancer therapeutics.  

Nicole LeBlanc.jpg

Project Student

B.Sc. University of Guelph (2016-pre)

nicole leblanc

I am in my 4th year of my bachelor’s in molecular biology and genetics with a statistics minor. I am very passionate about synthetic biology and am a member of the iGEM Guelph team and the president of the Guelph Synthetic Biology Club. This passion brought be to begin volunteering in the Zhang lab which has turned into working on a summer and now a 4th year research project. In the future, I plan on pursuing my PhD in the synthetic biology field.

Doris Do.JPG

Co-op S


B.Sc. University of Guelph (2016-pre)

Doris Do

I am currently a fourth year Bachelor of Science Student majoring in Microbiology with Co-op, and minoring in Biotechnology. I have past experience working in a plant biotechnology lab and look forward towards expanding my knowledge in protein engineering. I am highly interested in how the interactions between biological systems and technology can help improve the well-being of human life. I was highly drawn towards the therapeutical-based research being conducted in the Zhang lab and hope to make a positive influence in the evolving field of synthetic biology.  

Qi Liu.png

Graduate Student

B.Sc. Beijing Institute of Technology

Qi Liu

I am currently a MSc student in the Program of Molecular and Cellular Biology. When I took part in the 2016 iGEM during my undergraduate study in Beijing, I knew synthetic biology for the first time. After that, the more I learnt about it, the more I became interested in. I am very excited to join in the Zhang lab. I hope I could learn more synthetic biology and protein engineering and contribute to these areas.


Project Student

B.Sc. University of Guelph (2016-pre)

Isaac Jonker

I am a 4th year biochemistry co-op student currently conducting a research project in the Zhang lab. Previously, I have studied oncolytic virology at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and stem cell and extracellular vesicle research at STEMCELL technologies. I came to the Zhang lab looking to broaden my perspectives and with a keen interest in the field of molecular biology; particularly, in ubiquitin and the wide-reaching effects and opportunities for novel therapeutics that come with this research.



B.Sc. University of Guelph (2017-pre)

Jenna Goodbrand

I am a third year molecular biology and genetics major with a statistics minor. I am extremely interested in a future career in the field of research which has led me to volunteer in the Zhang lab. Synthetic biology and protein engineering are very fascinating to me, especially when the results are applied to human diseases. I look forward to learning all that the Zhang lab has to offer and expanding my knowledge of the field of biotechnology. 


Project Student

B.Sc. University of Guelph (2016-pre)

Toyeshwari Taukoor

I am currently a 4th year student in the Biomedical Sciences program, minoring in Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences. In the course of the past 3 years, I developed a keen interest in cellular biology, thus my decision to do a 4th year research project under Dr. Zhang. I look forward to getting some hands-on lab experience, learn more about protein-protein interaction and how further research in this field can be applied to develop new therapeutic approaches in the field of oncology.

Lab Alumni

Maria Rosales Gerpe

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2018-2019 | Current position: Scientific writer

Dirk HaCkenberger

Project student, 2018-2019 | Current position: PhD student at McMaster

Marcos Ibrahim

Project student, 2018-2019 | Current position: Medical school student