Recent News



  • Congratulations to all the ARRTI trainees that won awards at the 11th Annual Chinook Symposium for Chemistry and Biochemistry:
    • Cynthia Fonderson (Wetmore Group) - 1st Place Undergraduate Chemistry, Rookie of the Year
    • Elijah Dueck (Kothe Group) - 1st Place Undergraduate Biochemistry, Canadian Journal of Chemistry Award for Best Student Presentation (Undergraduate Award)
    • Keiran Vanden Dungen (Thakor Group) - 2nd Place Undergraduate Biochemistry
    • Sarah Schultz (Kothe Group) - 1st Place MSc Biochemistry
    • Chris Isaac (Zovoilis Group) - 2nd Place MSc Biochemistry
    • Taylor Sheahan (Wieden Group) - 1st Place PhD Biochemistry 
    • Luc Roberts (Wieden Group) - 2nd Place PhD Biochemistry 
  • We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Lewis Kay, winner of the Canada Gairdner International Award in 2017 "for development of modern NMR spectroscopy for studies of biomolecular structure dynamics and function, including applications to molecular machines and rare protein conformations" for a public lecture.
  • The collaborative work of Dr. Senthil Kailasam and Dr. HJ Wieden with the lab of Dr. Gradinaru at the University of Toronto, titled “Characterization of Fluorescein Arsenical Hairpin (FlAsH) as a Probe for Single-Molecule Fluorescence Spectroscopy,” has been published in Scientific Reports. Read the paper here.


  • The MSc work of Dustin Smith, with supervisors Dr. HJ Wieden and Dr. Brent Selinger, and support from PhD student Dylan Girodat, titled “Streamlined purification of fluorescently labeled Escherichia coli phosphate-binding protein (PhoS) suitable for rapid-kinetics applications,” has been published in Analytical Biochemistry.  Read the paper here.


  •  A commentary by Sutherland Dubé, Doug Orr, Dr. Brian Dempsey and Dr. HJ Wieden, titled “A synthetic biology approach to integrative high school STEM training,” has been published in Nature Biotechnology. Read the paper here.
  •  A collaborative work of Dr. Stacey Wetmore with Dr. Purshotam Sharma (Panjab University, India), titled “How do hydrophobic nucleobases differ from natural DNA nucleobases? Comparison of structural features and duplex properties from QM calculations and MD simulations,” has been published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.  Read the paper here.
  • The work of PhD student Katie Wilson and supervisor Dr. Stacey Wetmore, titled “Conformational flexibility and base-pairing tendency of the tobacco carcinogen O6-[4-oxo-4-(3-pyridyl)butyl]guanine,” has been published in Biophysical Chemistry.  Read the paper here. 


  • Work in the Wieden lab on pathogen detection and cleaning practices in EMS vehicles has been featured in Canadian Paramedicine.  Read the article here.
  • Dr. Russell was at the University of Calgary for the Biochiemstry and Molecular Biology Seminar Series on May 3, 2017, talking about “Characterization of non-coding RNAs and their binding partners in unicellular eukaryotes. “A Tale Of Two Protists.”
  • Congratulations to the following students for their success at the 13th Annual Ribowest Conference at the University of British Columbia:
    • Luc Roberts (Wieden Group) - 1st Place Graduate Poster
    • Sarah Schultz (Kothe Group) - 2nd Place Graduate Poster
    • Keiran Vanden Dungen (Thakor Group) - 1st Place Undergraduate Poster
    • Elijah Dueck (Kothe Group) - 2nd Place Undergraduate Poster
    • Dora Capatos (Wieden Group) - Travel Award
    • Jeremy Quiroga (Patel Group) - Travel Award


  • PhD student David McWatters and supervisor Dr. Tony Russell have published a book chapter in Euglena: Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Volume 979 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Check out Chapter 8: Euglena Transcript Processing


  • Congratulations to Stefan Lenz from the lab of Dr. Wetmore on being awarded an Alberta Innovates Technologies Futures Graduate Student Scholarship.
  • A review by Jalyce Heller, Raja Kamalampeta and Dr. HJ Wieden, titled "Taking a step back from back-translocation: An integrative view of LepA/EF4's cellular function," has been published in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Read the paper here.
  • A review by Justin Vigar and Dr. HJ Wieden, titled "Engineering bacterial translation initiation - Do we have all the tools we need?" has been published in BBA - General Subjects. Read the paper here.
  • The work of Katie Wilson and her supervisor, Dr. Stacey Wetmore, titled "Molecular Insights into the Translesion Synthesis of Benzyl-Guanine from Molecular Dynamics Simulations: Structural Evidence for Mutagenic and Non-Mutagenic Replication" has been published in Biochemistry. Read the paper here.


  • The work of Dr. Ute Kothe and reseach associate Dr. Anne Rintala-Dempsey, titled "Eukaryotic stand-alone pseudouridine synthases – RNA modifying enzymes and emerging regulators of gene expression?" has been published in RNA Biology. Read the paper here.
  • Dr. HJ Wieden and Taylor Sheahan (PhD student) were interviewed by Cheryl Croucher for the Innovation Anthology about the Unviersity of Lethbridge's success at the 2016 iGEM competition. Listen to HJ's and Taylor's interviews!
  • The work of HJ Wieden and PhD student Dylan Girodat, in collaboration with several reseachers in Germany and the UK, has been published in Molecular Cell as "In Vivo Cleavage Map Illuminates the Central Role of RNase E in Coding and Non-coding RNA Pathways". Read the paper here.



  • We are very happy to annouce the arrival of our newest member, Dr. Athanasios Zovoilis, Canada Research Chair in RNA Genomics and Bioinformatics!
  • Dr. Thakor and his students have published an invited review article, "Role of Eukaryotic Initiation Factors during Cellular Stress and Cancer Progression," in the Journal of Nucleic Acids. Read the paper here.
  • Congratulations to Dustin Smith for completing his MSc with Dr. Brent Selinger and Dr. HJ Weiden.  He will be starting his PhD program in January with Dr. Wieden
  • Congratulations to Hossein Hosseini for completing his MSc with Dr. Marc Roussel.  He will be starting his PhD program in January with Dr. Wieden and Dr. Roussel.
  • Congratulations to Silky Sharma for completing her MSc with Dr. Marc Roussel.
  • Congratulations to Dora Capatos for transitioning from her MSc program with Dr. Wieden to a PhD program.


  • We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou, winner of the Canada Gairdner International Award in 2016 "for establishing and characterizing CRISPR-Cas bacterial immune defence system" for a public lecture and as a special guest at our RNA Meets DNA Symposium.  See the talk here!
  • The doctoral work of ARRTI graduate Dr. Laura Keffer-Wilkes, her coworker Dr. Govardhan Reddy Veerareddygari, and her supervisor, Dr. Ute Kothe, titled "RNA modification enzyme TruB is a tRNA chaperone" has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
  • The Ph.D. work of Stefan Lenz and Dr. Wetmore’s former M.Sc. Student John Kohout has been published in a paper entitled “Hydrolytic Glycosidic Bond Cleavage in RNA Nucleosides: Effects of the 2′–Hydroxy Group and Acid–Base Catalysis” in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B.
  • Katie Wilson, Ryan Kung and their supervisor, Dr. Stacey Wetmore, published a book chapter titled “Toxicology of DNA Adducts Formed Upon Human Exposure to Carcinogens: Insights Gained From Molecular Modeling” in the 10th Volume of Advances in Molecular Toxicology.
  • Dr. Patel's work on "Structural decoding of netrin-4 reveals a regulatory function towards mature basement membranes" has been published in Nature Communications.


  • The work of Dr. Patel, "Dynamic Light Scattering: A practical guide and applications in biomedical sciences," has been published in Biophysical Reviews.
  • The work of Dr. Wieden and former postdocs Dr. Evelina De Laurentiis and Dr. Evan Mercier on nucleotide exchange in the clinically relevant pathogen  Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
  • Welcome to our new postdoc, Dr. Joseph Ross, working in the lab of Dr. Thakor.


  • Congratulations to our collegiate iGEM team for winning the Alberta Genetically Engineered Machines competition (aGEM).
  • Congratulations to Ryan Kung from the lab of Dr. Wetmore on being awarded an Alberta Innovates Technologies Futures Graduate Student Scholarship.
  • Katie Wilson and Ryan Kung from the lab of Dr. Wetmore gave oral presentations at the Western Canada Medicinal Chemistry Workshop.
  • Congratulations to Ryan Kung from the lab of Dr. Wetmore on being awarded the best talk at the Western Canada Medicinal Chemistry Workshop.
  • Congratulations to Hanzala Hussain from the lab of Dr. Wetmore on being awarded the Queen Elizabeth II and Dean’s Scholarships. 


  • Welcome to our new postdoc, Dr. Govardhan Reddy Veerareddygari, and research technician, Emily Soon, both working in the lab of Dr. Kothe.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Laura Keffer-Wilkes for successfully defending her PhD and her new position with Destination Exploration here at the U of L.
  • Dr. Wetmore’s group attended the CSC in Halifax where Shahin Sowlati Hashjin, Stefan Lenz, Katie Wilson, and Dr. Laura Albrecht delivered oral presentations, and Ryan Kung and Hanzala Hussain presented posters. Ryan Kung won 2nd place for his poster presentation, Stefan Lenz won an award for his talk and Katie Wilson was awarded an ACENET travel award.
  • Dr. Laura Albrecht, Katie Wilson and their supervisor, Dr. Stacey Wetmore, have published an invited article on the replication of synthetic nucleotides entitled “Computational evaluation of nucleotide insertion opposite expanded and widened DNA by the translesion synthesis polymerase Dpo4” as an Invited Article for Special Issue entitled Computational Design: A New Approach to Drug and Molecular Discovery in Molecules.