Biological Sciences

Several Professors from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Lethbridge contribute to both the delivery of the Biochemistry Program and cutting-edge, award-winning Research within the field.

Dr. Theresa Burg studies the molecular ecology of birds, the role of physical and non-physical barriers in the evolution of high latitude species, how individuals isolated in ice-free refugia during the last glaciation expanded into previously glaciated areas as the climate warmed, and how their dispersal was affected by barriers.

Dr. Roy Golsteyn directs the Natural Product and Cancer Cell Laboratories.  His laboratories are investigating the cellular basis of genomic change in cancer cells that divide with damaged DNA.  They are also studying the biochemical and cell biology properties of novel chemicals isolated from Canadian plants, with the goal to discover new medicinal compounds.

Dr. Igor Kovalchuk studies plant genome stability, with focus on internal influences, such as metabolic activity, biological clock, and development, as well as abiotic and biotic external influences, such as UVB, heavy metals, high temperatures and pathogens. A particular research focus is the epigenetic regulation of transgenerational adaptation to stress.

Dr. Olga Kovalchuk focuses on genetic and epigenetic effects of acute and chronic low dose radiation exposure and their relationship to radiation carcinogenesis. She looks at tissue- and sex-specificity of radiation-induced oncogenic signaling in mammals and works towards identification of novel plant-derived radio-protective compounds.

Dr. Tony Russell focuses on the structure, function and evolution of selected eukaryotic protein-RNA complexes (RNPs). His strategy employs single-celled eukaryotic microbes (specifically protists) as model systems in which to study cellular processes that are shared with more complex organisms such as humans.

Dr. Brent Selinger studies the genetics and biochemistry of microbial hydrolytic enzymes. He also looks at biological control of cattle ectoparasites and the microbial ecology of surface waters.  Brent retired June 30, 2022.

Dr. Nehalkumar Thakor - Research areas include Metabolic engineering, RNA synthetic biology, and protein translation regulation in oncogenesis.

Dr. James Thomas is an Associate Professor emeritus in the Department of Biological Sciences. Jim retired June 30, 2017.