Current Group (January 2022)
Anne Labarre, Steven Ma, Sharon Pinus, Julia Stille, Guanyu (Chris) Wang, David Hiraki, Ho Ying Huang (Kay), Lynn Yamout, Jerome Genzling
Benjamin Weiser, Charles Zhang
Radina Koleva, Julia Burgos, Malcolm Sim
Current Graduate Students
Lynn Yamout| PhD Student: January 2022 - present
Lynn was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. She obtained her BS and MS in Chemistry from the American University of Beirut. She joined the Moitessier group in 2022 to study G-quadruplex dynamics and their interactions with small molecules. She hopes to utilize computational and biophysical techniques to investigate G-quadruplexes as potential drug targets. In her free time, Lynn enjoys cooking, exploring cute caffes, and watching movies.
Key Projects: Computational and biophysical studies of G-quadruplexes.
Benjamin Weiser| MSc Student: October 2021 - present
Born and raised in Ottawa, Benjamin excelled in his undergrad at Carleton University completing his degree in Chemistry and Physics. There he performed physics research for the background group for nEXO working on novel chemical preparation methods for accelerated mass spectrometry. Subsequently, he became interested in AI methods for molecular design and has been pursuing being a valuable researcher in the field. His current work attempts to create predictive AI models for protein-ligand interaction for drug design. In his spare time away from the computer, he likes any physical activities, hanging out with friends, and being a plant dad.
Key Projects: Development of machine learning methods for drug discovery.
Jerome Genzling| Visiting MSc Student: September 2020 - present; starting PhD in September 2022
Born and raised in Strasbourg, Jerome moved at the age of 19 to Paris to pursue his BSc. in Chemistry at the ENS Paris-Saclay (2019). Currently enrolled in his MSc. in Molecular Chemistry and Interfaces in partnership with the École Polytechnique, he started working remotely in the Moitessier lab and hopes to join Montreal physically in February. Being interested in both organic and computational chemistry, his work is currently to develop new tools for Computer-Aided Drug Design. When he’s not too busy arguing with his programming console, he likes to play chess, badminton, rugby and going out with friends.
Key Projects: Development of force field methods (H-TEQ) and machine learning methods for drug discovery.
David Hiraki| PhD Student: September 2020 - present
David grew up in the Toronto area and obtained his BSc in chemistry from the University of Waterloo. He joined the Moitessier group in 2020 to explore interests in computational and organic chemistry. He is working on computational chemistry related to riboswitches and the entropy of water molecules. In his free time, he enjoys board games, home chemistry experiments, element collecting, and playing the violin. He also has a passion for designing, building, and solving Rubik’s cubes and other twisty puzzles.
Key Projects: Riboswitch computational chemistry - method development.
Anne Labarre| PhD Candidate: September 2018 - present
Anne was born and raised in Montreal. She obtained her BSc. in Pharmacology at McGill, but then switched to Chemistry to pursue a PhD in 2018. She is working on the computer-aided design of inhibitors for DPP8/9, two proteins involved in tumor regression via up-regulation of the immune system. Anne is also very active with the McGill Chemistry Outreach group where she, every other day, likes to blow up a thing or two. In her free time, she enjoys swimming laps, fishing fish and eating delightfully delicious and ethereally exquisite food.
Key Projects: DPP8/DPP9 cancer immunotherapy, POP in Parkinson's disease.
Steven Ma| PhD Student: September 2020 - present
Born in Waterloo, Ontario, he earned his BSc in Chemical Biology at McMaster University. During his time at McMaster, he completed his senior thesis in the McNulty group under the supervision of Dr. James McNulty and David Hurem, working on developing proline derivatives. He continued to pursue his MSc in Chemistry at McGill University in 2020 as a member of the Moitessier group. In his free time, he likes to play volleyball, garden, draw, play video games, and play music in his band. Loves strange and interesting reactions like the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction.
Key Projects: Computational analysis and design of asymmetric catalysts and reaction mechanism modeling..
Sharon Pinus| PhD Candidate: September 2017 - present
Sharon (also known as Sharon Penguin or Shevron Pingus) was born in Bonn, Germany, but grew up in Tel-Aviv, Israel. She obtained her BSc. degree from Tel-Aviv University in Chemistry and Biology (double major). In 2017 she joined the Moitessier group to work on the computer aided design of asymmetric catalysts. The current focus is on the organocatalyzed Diels-Alder cycloaddition and the Shi-epoxidation. In her free time she likes to jump to conclusions, go to the gym, pet ALL THE DOGS, bake (and eat) cookies, and read books.
Key Projects: Asymmetric organocatalysis and medicinal chemistry.
Julia Stille| PhD Candidate: September 2017 - present
Born and raised in Ottawa, Julia obtained her B.Sc. Hon. degree from the U.of Toronto in chemistry. After graduation, she spent a year working in the drug discovery department at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. She then joined the Moitessier lab in 2017 to work on computer-aided drug design, with applications toward the treatment of leukemia and bacterial infections. In her spare time, she enjoys running, taking tennis lessons, and painting (by numbers). Her favourite element is the element of surprise – Ah!
Key Projects: AID inhibitors as leukemia therapeutics, riboswitch-targeting antibiotics and SARS-VoC2 3CLpro inhibitors.
Chris Wang| PhD Candidate: September 2019 - present
Born in Shanxi, China, Chris moved to Canada to pursue his BSc and MSc. at the University of Manitoba. In September 2019 he joined the Moitessier group to work on overcoming metabolic drug resistance by computer-based rational design, with a focus on diaminopimelate decarboxylase. In his free time, Chris loves plants and animals! He will pet any pets you have, even if it is a danger noodle. And of course, he loves chemistry, especially the home chemistry that leads to a BOOM!
Key Projects: Overcoming Metabolic Drug Resistance by Computer-Based Rational Design.
Ho Ying Huang (Kay)| PhD Candidate: January 2021 - present
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Kay completed her BSc in Chemistry at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. To jump out of the comfort zone, she then came to Montréal to pursue her MSc in Chemistry at Concordia University. She worked on polymers and lanthanide-doped nanoparticles for antibacterial application. She continues her PhD in Chemistry as a member of Prof. Moitessier’s group. In her spare time, she enjoys playing badminton, violin and petting all kinds of dogs that you have!
Key Projects: AID inhibitors as leukemia therapeutics, FAP/POP dual inhibitors as novel potential anticancer agents.
Charles Xiaocong Zhang | MSc Student: September 2020 - present
Charles was born in Beijing, China, but he has been living in Montreal since 2011. He obtained a BSc in Honours Chemistry at McGill University. During his undergraduate studies, he completed an honours project under the supervision of Dr. James Gleason, working on organocatalytic enantioselective Cope rearrangements. He chose to stay at McGill for graduate studies and joined the Moitessier group in 2020. In his free time, he enjoys playing badminton, watching movies, singing at karaoke, and playing video games. He also likes meeting people from all around the world and talking about different languages and cultures.
Key Projects: computer-aided design and synthesis of SARS-CoV2 PLpro and 3CLpro inhibitors.
Current Undergraduate Students
Former Postdocs and Research Associates
Former Graduate Students
Former Undergraduate and Visiting Students