News - What's happening in our lab?


Happy Holidays!

2020 has been quite the year!

SBG hopes your holidays are full of happiness and laughter. May all your wishes come true, and the joy of the holidays be felt all through 2021.

We can't wait to see everyone again and embark on wonderful new adventures in the new year!



In Royal Society of Chemistry's final issue of Metallomics this year, we are proud to announce that Adyn's most recent paper is featured with our artwork on the inside front cover.

For some cozy fireside reading, check out Adyn's work here!


Go Fred!

Our hibiscus has always been an eccentric individual marching to the beat of his own drum.

The sun takes a step back, the summer's chlorophyll departs, and Fred finally flowers - reminding us that success can happen at any time (even as the first frost approaches).

While it's true that the construction of a palace takes more time than an ordinary building, we do welcome plant insight to encourage an earlier bloom - please tweet us @MJStillmanGroup if you have any tips. Fred responds well to gentle threats sometimes.

Deep within the chemistry building

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, SBG dives deeper into uncharted waters to try and make a difference. Check out our new article on the Western Science website here.



The new school year looks different this time! Pictured here are 30 students in a large lecture room usually used for nearly 400 students. This is Martin's Chem 2211 Metals in Life class (luckily we are able to preserve some sense of normalcy here).

On another note, metal talk continues past campus on the Western Science podcast. Check out Martin's feature here to learn how metals heal our world (they're not just precious on Lord of the Rings).

Last but not least, Elyse Hudson, our summer research student, joins us for her 4th year project! She will be working on copper binding to MT using ESI-MS methods. Welcome, Elyse! We are so happy to have you back with us!


New Cary60

It is mid-August and while the rest of the world seems to be on pause, SBG charges forward with our research and adds a powerful new tool to our arsenal!

Here Natalie and Adyn assemble the new Cary 60 spectrometer... Are you sure that piece goes there Adyn? ;)


Just another regular day

Adyn not only does protein work but also makes sure our equipment is healthy. Here she rescues the disruptor.


National geographic better come quick

Hummingbirds drop by our office as we celebrate the end of summer.

The first guest was actually spotted by Elyse!

Bird watch count so far:

Elyse - 1


More Reasons to Celebrate

HAPPY AUGUST EVERYBODY! We have many exciting announcements this month! First and foremost - Daisy's Metallothionein review was just accepted by Comprehensive Coordination Chemistry Vol. 3 - this was a massive, tough job but DLW always finds a way to get things done - and done well. CONGRATULATIONS Dr. Daisy Wong!!!!! (Contact us if you are interested in reading it but don't have access - we will be happy to send you a copy of our newest book chapter!)

Just when we think August cannot be going any better, "Interplay between carbonic anhydrases and metallothioneins: structural control of metalation" has been accepted by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences - this article is part of the "Carbonic Anhydrase and Biomarker Research 2020" special issue. Great job everybody!

Be sure to check out our Publications page to read up on our work, and keep up with us on Twitter (@MJStillmangroup) for fun facts on #MetallothioneinMondays!


July Fun

Group photo during extraordinary times.

Alice visits to talk DFT calculations and check on Fred the Hibiscus (who is being outshined by the Bougainvillea).

We catch up, discuss pop culture, Animal Crossing gaming strategies and take a breath of fresh air as our research strolls along. #safetyfirst

Top: Daisy, Alice, Martin, Adyn
Bottom: Amelia, Elyse, Natalie


Congratulations Adyn!

For the first time in its history, the Southern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference was held virtually from mid-June to early July. The SOUSCC conference is an annual event for undergrads to present their research projects.

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Adyn won the Outstanding Oral Presentation Award in the category of Biological and Medicinal Chemistry! Her presentation can be found here. Adyn, we are so proud of you - your work has always been exceptional and it is an honor that the best of the best is amongst our midst!

To keep up with Adyn and the group's research, head over to Twitter: @MJStillmangroup @adynmelenbacher


June Wrap-Up

As the summer heat hits, the group gathers in Martin's garden for a barbecue dinner. The coffee fiends test out the Nespresso machine to jumpstart the night.

Throughout the month, we make excellent progress with our papers. The papers on work with Prof. Zhifeng Ding and Angel Zhang are close to being accepted, and Adyn's work on the French copper peptide has just been submitted.

Summer research is off to a strong start and we are ready to keep the momentum going!

In the photo: Martin, Daisy, Amelia, Adyn, Elyse, Natalie


June 2020

Our labs have re-opened and summer research is back in full swing!

It is the boss' birthday and the team came together to organize a little surprise. It is great to be in each other's company again and this will be the first of many overdue celebrations.

We continue to work hard on our COVID-19 research and operate with safety measures in place.


May 2020

Great news! We were awarded the Western Research Catalyst Grant to help fund our COVID-19 work (click here to read more about our accomplishment - it was truly a team effort)!

We begin our new research with health precautions and physical distancing measures in place to ensure the safety of our people and the community. Our essential research focuses on whether Zinc crosslinking in ACE2 controls SARS-CoV-2 spike binding.

Photo on left shows how Zn crosslinks two helices (H1 and H2) in the human ACE2 receptor that binds the spike protein of corona virus.

Other great news! We are delighted to welcome Adyn Melenbacher and Amelia Yuan to our group for graduate studies starting on May 1st! Adyn and Amelia have actually been working with us for over 2 years, first starting as 2nd year undergraduates! Those long summers and term time experiments have been rewarded with wonderful results recently published. Visit our Publications page (under Other Pages tab) as well as their individual profiles (under People tab) to find out more!

Last but not least, we also welcome Elyse Hudson as our 2020 USRA summer research student. She will be working on Bi3+ chemistry, following up Anne-Lena Ostertag's work.

In the photo is Elyse, Adyn and Daisy.


April 2020

Our lab has been shut down in response to physical isolation. (However, we are still hard at work! We stay connected through Zoom meetings and chat through WhatsApp.)


Fall/Winter Term 2019-2020

Anne-Lena Ostertag (completes her MSc work in January and returned to Germany.

During the last year, we enjoyed the research of four 4th year students: Adyn on copper MT, Amelia (moonlighting from the Physiology and Pharmacology programme!) on our first forays into MT3 metallation properties, Alice Jin on design of super dyes for solar cells (continuing Angel's work) and finally Jason Zhang who was following up Anne-Lena Ostertag's Bi3+ work.

Daisy and Natalie have also been busy. Natalie has developed work initially carried out by Kelly Rigby (now Kelly Duncan) for her PhD. Natalie's recent stopped flow kinetics studies have opened up new research areas that ask questions about metal-induced folding and the form of the apo-MT that binds the metals.

Adyn Melenbacher, Amelia Yuan and Natalie Korkola have all been awarded NSERC graduate scholarships. That's 3 for 3! They join Dr. Daisy Wong, Ms. Elyse Hudson and Alice Jin for our summer research.

In the photo (left to right): Anne-Lena, Natalie, Martin, Adyn


May 2019

Daisy Wong was awarded her PhD in May 2019, just before CanBIC-7! We were delighted that the CanBIC-7 Plenary Lecturer, Professor Angela Casini, also kindly performed the duties of External Examiner. CanBIC-7 was a great success! Without exception, we were persuaded to run CanBIC-8 with the team of Zhifeng Ding, John Dawson and Nagao Kobayashi. Very luckily, it is scheduled for May 2021.