Coming to campus? Visit this page for important information.

The Team

Science is never done by one individual, you are only ever as good as your team. And this is a great team.

The Trant Team, Winter 2020 (photo credit to Adit Nyayachavadi).

Not pictured: B.R. Aremu, O.S. Aremu, A. Sanchez Guijo, M Al-Shabi, A. Ghodrati, E. Dennison, P. Bahnam, A. Barazi, C. Ly, T. Secara, A. Sehmbi, M. Dziura, K. Parikh, L. Mader, E. Flynn, M. Buglisi, N. Elkott, W. Bakheet, M. Sutherland, K. Breault, M. Rueda, R. Salama, N. Robinson, S. Alabed, M. Meer, C. Bidlon, A. Jain.                

Dr. john Trant

Dr. John F. Trant

B.Sc. University of Ottawa (William Ogilvie)

Ph.D. University of Ottawa (Robert Ben)

PDF Brock University (Tomas Hudlicky)

PDF University of Western Ontario (Joe Gilroy)

PDF University of Western Ontario (Elizabeth Gillies)

John was born and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario and attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute, where he met his future (and current) wife, took up cross-country running, and almost went into Classics. He obtained his B.Sc. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Ottawa in 2006, having carried out summer research in molecular biology with Dr. Natalie Goto (2004), bioorganic synthesis with Dr. Robert Ben (2005), and his Honours’ project in synthetic chemistry with Dr. William Ogilvie (2006). He then joined Dr. Ben’s group for his Ph.D. (2012) which focused on understanding the mechanism of action of synthetic biological antifreezes, the compounds responsible for allowing fish, insects, and plants to live in sub-zero environments. He demonstrated that small molecules could be almost as effective in this role as complicated glycopeptides. In late 2011 he joined the group of Dr. Tomas Hudlicky at Brock University as a postdoctoral fellow for his journeyman’s papers as a traditional synthetic chemist. In 2013 he joined the group of Dr. Elizabeth Gillies at the University of Western Ontario and studied materials science and polymer chemistry, and where he also worked with Dr. Joe Gilroy on polymer chemistry. He joined the faculty of the University of Windsor in July 2016, and his research focuses on the use of sustainable materials for health applications. This involves the preparation of new types of carbohydrates, peptides, amino acids, and lipids for a variety of immunological, biomedical and materials applications and allows him to combine his love of synthetic chemistry, materials science, and molecular biology. He is excited to be in Essex County as a licensed Sommelier (Algonquin College, 2012) and doesn't miss the snow of the Frozen North. Although the occasional hill would be nice.

Visiting Professors

Prof. Yingqi Li (Sept 2019- Aug 2020)
Research Gate:

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Seyedeh Maryamdokht (Nazanin) TaimooryDr. Seyedeh Maryamdokht (Nazanin) Taimoory (2016-)
Personal website:

B.Sc. Tehran Azad University (Iran)
M.Sc. Sharif University of Technology (Iran)
Ph.D. Brock University

Nazanin was born in Sari, Iran and raised in the capital, Tehran. She obtained her B.Sc. in pure chemistry from Tehran Azad University, North Branch and her Master's degree in organic chemistry from Sharif University of Technology, an internationally renowned research institution, with Prof. Firouz Matloubi Moghaddam. Her research focused on the synthesis and identification of novel heterocyclic compounds of potential biological interest. After graduation, she was involved in numerous collaborations at different universities working on different research projects preparing chemicals with unique physical properties. She also lectured at Payam Nour University of Tehran and Azad University of Varamin, Iran. She then moved to Canada where she did her Ph.D. in organic chemistry as a Trillium Ontario Scholar at Brock University with Prof. Travis Dudding. Her doctoral work in computational modeling examined various chemical and organic molecules and studied the precise mechanism of asymmetric processes. These advanced quantum mechanical methods were used to provide mechanistic insight into the chemical reactivity and selectivity of host-guest hydrogen bonded complex molecules and catalytic systems. As a member of the Trant Team, she will be primarily working on designing novel artificial amino acids using in silico techniques and synthesizing these materials to develop a new class of therapeutics for auto-immune disorders


Dr. John J. Hayward (2018-)
 Personal Website:
 B.A./M.Sci. University of Cambridge (UK)
 Ph.D. University of Cambridge (UK)
 PDF University of Windsor
 PDF Brock University

John is a Brit by birth, but has since become a Canadian Permanent Resident. He gained all his degrees from the University of Cambridge, with his PhD earned under the supervision of Prof. Steve Ley FRS CBE. His PhD studies covered a diverse array of topics, from organocatalysis, flow chemistry and microwave-assisted organic synthesis to the study of non-covalent interactions in the crystalline state. Feeling that a this diverse experience of chemistry was the way forward, he joined the group of Dr Jeremy Rawson, Chair in Molecular Materials at the University of Windsor, where he focussed on a variety of organo-main group and solid state/materials research topics. A productive year with Dr Melanie Pilkington at Brock University followed, focussing on ligand design for transition metal complexes. Starting to yearn for some organic synthesis, he moved across campus to join Prof. Tomáš Hudlický’s group. Since late 2016 he has been back in Windsor, with research positions in the computational enzymology group of Dr James Gauld and now as part of the Trant Team. Concurrent to this he has had several teaching appointments at the University of Windsor, for which he has been awarded the UWSA and Ontario Universities Student Alliance Teaching Awards. John’s research interests are as diverse (schizophrenic?) as his chemical biography would suggest, and include the application of enabling technologies to discover new reactions in organic (and inorganic) synthesis, the application of novel reactivity to compounds of biological interest and the study of intermolecular forces by computational and crystallographic means. This makes him a good match with John T. Some more self-aggrandisement can be found on the web at


Dr. Farsheed Shahbazi Raz (2019-)
Personal website:
B.Sc. Ardabil University (Iran) 
M.Sc. University of Tabriz (Iran)
Ph.D. Shahid Beheshti University (Iran)
Farsheed was born and lived in Ardabil, the coldest city in Iran, until the end of his undergraduate studies.  He completed his Master's degree in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Tabriz, Iran, under the supervision of Prof. Ali Akbar Khandar. In 2016, he completed his doctorate at Shahid Beheshti University, Iran, where he conducted theoretical calculations to design spin crossover complexes under the supervision of Prof. Naser Safari. After his PhD he spent two years as the Local R&D Manager for MSM United Inc, a Canadian cosmetic company, in the Middle East.  His research interests focus on the use of computational chemistry for determining peptide function employing unnatural amino acids. In his spare time Farsheed enjoys being with his family, outdoor activities, Kickboxing, and traveling. As a member of the Trant Team, he will be working on the development of artificial amino acids for autoimmune disease treatments.


Dr. Bukola Rhoda Aremu (2018-)
B.Tech. (Hons) Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, (Nigeria) 
M.Sc. Federal University of Agriculture (Abeokuota, Nigeria)
Ph.D. North-West University, (Mafikeng, South Africa)
PDF North-West University (Mafikeng, South Africa)

Bukola graduated in 2001 with a B.Tech. (Hons.) in Pure and Applied Biology from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (Nigeria) and MSc. in Genetics from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (Nigeria) in 2006. She lectured at Bowen University from 2008 till 2012 before she relocated to the North-West University in Mafikeng, South Africa to pursue her PhD with Prof. Olubukola Oluranti Babalola in molecular biotechnology developing an efficient rapid method to detect marcegens in exportable vegetables. After defending her thesis in 2016, she stayed with Prof. Babalola's group to work on the interactions between maize and its pathogens, using genomic and proteomic data to better define the response to infection. She obtained a highly competititive South Africa National Research Foundation PDF grant, and is using its mobility to work with Dr. Trant's team on the proteomic correlations of the tumour-associated carbohydrate antigens.
Dr. Fraser Pick (2019-)
B.Sc. University of Alberta, Edmonton (Stryker) 
Ph.D. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Fryzuk)

Fraser was born in Edmonton, AB and completed his undergraduate training at the University of Alberta studying titanium complexes which mimicked the surface environment of Ziegler-Natta type catalysts.  He then moved to Vancouver to attend UBC and obtained his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Mike Fryzuk in 2017, with a focus on polymetallic Iron and Cobalt complexes. After briefly working in the sustainability sector Fraser found a passion for distilling and after working as a distiller for just over a year realized that there was a serious knowledge gap in the science behind producing spirits, particularly the evolution of flavour molecules during maturation. When Fraser isn’t in the lab (or the distillery) you’ll find him crushing weights, quaffing craft brews or playing beach volleyball, often in the rain.

Dr. Nazir Tahir (2019-) Co-supervised with Prof. Rondeau-Gagné
B.Sc. Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan (Pakistan)
M.Sc. University of Technology Braunschweig (Germany, Prof. P. Mischnick)
Ph.D. University of Technology Braunschweig (Germany, Prof. P. Mischnick)
PDF Université du Québec à Montréal (Prof. R. Roy)
PDA University of Windsor (Prof. S. Rondeau-Gagné and H.S. Eichhorn)

Nazir was born in Vehari, Pakistan. He obtained his B.Sc. in chemistry from Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan. Afterwards, he got his MSc and PhD degrees from University of Technology (Technische Universität) Braunschweig, commonly referred to as TU Braunschweig, the oldest Technische Universität in Germany founded in 1745, with Prof. Petra Mischnick. His PhD research focused on the synthesis of alkynyl ethers of dextrans as intermediates for new functional biopolymers and detailed characterization and applications of functionalized biopolymers e.g. for immobilization of enzymes and biocatalysis. After graduation, he worked at different universities in Europe, South Korea working on different research projects mainly in the field of synthetic organic chemistry, polymer chemistry and organic electronics. In 2015, he moved to Canada where he worked on the synthesis and applications of dendrons and dendrimers after joining the research group of Prof. René Roy at the Université du Québec à Montréal. In 2017, he joined research groups of Prof. Rondeau-Gagne and Prof. Holger Eichhorn and worked on the topochemical polymerization of nematic tetraazaporphyrin derivatives for the preparation of soluble polydiacetylene nanowires and liquid crystals for potential applications in organic electronics. In the mean time, also he worked on other related topics like synthesis of functional AuNPs stabilized by topochemical polymerization of diacetylene and synthesis of functional dendrimers using “onion-peel” method etc. Recently, he joined a collaborative project between Dr. Trant, Dr. Rondeau-Gagné and as a member of the Trant Team, he will be working on the process development of neutraceutical formulation for soft-gels and related topics Apparently he has no interests outside of the lab.


   Dr. Oluwole Samuel Aremu (2018-)
   B.Tech. (Hons) Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, (Nigeria) 
   M.Sc. University of Ibadan (Nigeria)
   Ph.D. University of KwaZulu-Natal, (Durban, South Africa)
   PDF North-West University (Mafikeng, South Africa)
   PDF Linnaeus University (Kalmar, Sweden)

      Samuel was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, and obtained his B.Tech. (Hons.) in Pure and Applied Chemistry from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso, Nigeria, and his Master's degree in Organic Chemistry at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. He taught as an Organic Chemistry lecturer at Bowen University, Iwo, Nigeria, before completing his doctoral degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa under the supervision of Prof. Neil Koorbanally. His doctoral research was on the synthesis, characterization and biological evaluation of novel pyrimidine derivatives. After completing his PhD, he obtained ahighly competititive  South Africa National Research Foundation grant (Postdoctoral fellowship for DST Innovation) for two years at North-West University with Prof. Lebogang Katata-Seru, where he works on the synthesis, characterization and application of polymeric nanoparticles for an Anti-HIV drug delivery system. He also works as a PDF at Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden with Prof. Ian Nicholls on the synthesis of molecular imprinted polymers and on computational chemistry. His research interests focus broadly on the organic synthesis of bioactive molecules, isolation and synthesis of natural products, the development of green chemistry methodologies, and materials science. He will be working on the syntheses of biologically active carbohydrates derivatives and the computational modelling of cannabinoid-receptor interactions during his time with the Trant Team at the University of Windsor.



Dr. Abhinandan (Ronnie) Banerjee (2019-)
B.Sc. (Chemistry Hons.) - Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India 
M.Sc. (Chemistry) - IIT Kharagpur, India (Prof. P. Pramanik).
Ph.D. University of Saskatchewan (Prof. R. Scott) 
PDF  University of Calgary (Prof. S. Trudel) Eyes High Fellow.

Ronnie’s research interests lie in the design, synthesis, characterization, and applications of novel nanoscaled composite materials. After completing his M.Sc. at IIT Kharagpur working with Prof. P. Pramanik on developing novel morphological variations of nano-phospors, Ronnie was awarded a Dean's Fellowship at the University of Saskatchewan to do a doctoral degree with Prof. Robert W. J. Scott on catalytic nanocomposites in tetraalkylphosphonium ionic liquid matrices. This gave Ronnie a chance to work at the Canadian Light Source, Canada's only second generation synchrotron. Ronnie received research funding from VWR, Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Fellowship, and the Gerhard Herzberg Award, named in honor of, and awarded by the family of, Nobel Laureate Prof. Gerhard Herzberg. Following graudation, Ronnie was awarded the highly prestigious Eyes High PDF at the University of Calgary, where he worked with Prof. Simon Trudel , director of the nanoscience program at UCalgary, on multifunctional bionanoprobes. This lead to a patent on a novel bionanoprobe that combines "aggregation induced emission" with MRI activity. Ronnie hopes to continue gaining fresh insights into the fascinating world of nanomaterials and their role in the universal human aspiration for comfort, if not happiness, by joining the Trant Team to work on innovative nanoformulations. Ronnie also enjoys the Golden age mysteries, classical music including bel canto and opera comique, art, cooking, and the great indoors.


Dr. Alberto Sanchez Guijo (2020-)
B.Sc. (Chemistry) - University of Valladoid (Spain)
B.Sc. (Biochemistry) - Miguel Hernández University of Elche (Spain)
M.Sc. (Chemical Science and Technology) - Jointly between Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (Spain) and Justus Liebig University, Giessen (Dr. Prof. S. Wudy, Germany)
Ph.D. Justus Liebig University, Giessen (Dr. Prof. S. Wudy, Germany)
Alberto was born and raised in Valladolid, Spain. He obtained his BSc in Chemistry at the University of Valladolid, one of the oldest universities in the world, followed by a BSc in Biochemistry at Miguel Hernández University (Alicante, Spain). Then he started to work as a research technician at the Spanish Research Council in his hometown, where he first got hands-on experience with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry for the detection and quantification of lipids. After that, he moved to Germany. He worked at Prof. Stefan Wudy's lab in Giessen giving analytical support to the research groups which formed the research cluster "sulfated steroids in reproduction". Alberto analyzed different steroids, including unconjugated and sulfated steroids, oxysterols or bile acids in several biological fluids. During this time, he completed a MSc in Chemistry (analytical) in  Prof. Wudy's lab developing and validating an LC-MS method for the quantification of cortisol and cortisone in human urine (UNED University, Spain). Later, he obtained a Doctoral Degree in human biology (Dr. Hom. Biol.) under the supervision of Prof. Wudy, developing several LC-MS/MS methods to quantify and discover steroid conjugates in different biological matrices (Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany). Alberto is interested in several scientific subjects, including analytical chemistry, human physiology or nutrition. In Trant's group, he will mainly develop bioanalytical tools to understand the composition of various nutraceuticals and natural product materials as well as assiting in the analysis of the bioavailability and metabolism of drugs in cell culture and animal models. Outside the lab he enjoys nature, music, cinema and reading.

Dr. Atefe Ghodrati (2020-) 

B.Sc. (Applied Chemistry) – Mazandaran Univeristy (Iran)
M.Sc. (Analytical Chemistry) – Mazandaran University (Iran)
Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry) –  Tehran University of Medical Sciences, (Iran)
Atefe was born in a city in Mazandaran, Iran. She graduated in Applied Chemistry and then successfully obtained her Masters degree in Electrochemistry; both at Mazandaran University. Her Master's thesis concerned the design and preparation of modified electrodes and their application in electro-catalytic oxidation. After her degree, she started teaching analytical chemistry at Azad university of Amol. Life being life, she then got married and moved to Tehran leaving her home town behind. She says she was fortunate enough to receive a bursary from Ministry of Health and Medical Education to pursue her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at University of Tehran starting in 2015. But really, she earned it through her strong track record. She is continuing this degree, and she is also collaborating closely with the Hezare Sevom Company to produce electronic content for chemical engineering students. She has also been active in the research and development's unit of the Parsian Pharmaceutical Company as a researcher in the field of the synthesis of peptides, peptidomimetics and purification of peptides with preparative HPLC which is directly associated with her PhD research into the design of beta-secretase inhibitors. She is with the Trant Team for an 24-month postdoctoral fellowship (delayed for COVID-19) where she will join the team working in designing novel peptide therapies for autoimmune diseases with a special focus on arthritis.

Dr. Maryam Kosar (2020-)

B.Sc. (Applied Chemistry) – Isfahan University of Technology (Iran)
M.Sc. (Physical Chemistry) – University of Isfahan (Iran)
Ph.D. (Physical Chemistry) – Shahid Beheshti University, (Iran)
PDF Isfahan University of Medical Science, (Iran)
PDF Ontario Tech University
Maryam was born in Tehran, Iran. She then moved to Isfahan where she attended Isfahan University of Technology to obtain her B.Sc. in applied chemistry and the University of Isfahan for her M.Sc. in physical chemistry. During her master’s, she got experience in the synthesis and characterization of inorganic nanoparticles. After graduation, she started to work as a quality control manager at a cosmetics company where she did research along with conducting chemical and microbial tests. As the work did not satisfy her and she missed research and studying, she decided to continue her studies and started a PhD in her favorite field: computational physical chemistry. During her PhD she conducted molecular dynamics simulations of the flow of particles in nanotori, extremely interesting nanostructures, in the presence of circularly polarized light. She did her PhD project at the University of Isfahan, Iran under the supervision of Prof. H. Sabzyan, while the PhD degree itself was issued by Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. After completing her PhD, she started to work as a researcher and later as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Isfahan and Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, respectively, continuing her computational studies. In 2018, she moved to Canada to for a postdoctoral position at Ontario Tech University under the supervision of Dr. Hendrick W. deHaan. In the one-year postdoc., she was involved in projects doing molecular dynamics simulations of protein-ligand interactions,  and also studied protein translocation in a nanopore using DFT calculations. As a member of the Trant Team, she will be working on the computational studies related to protein-ligand interactions with an industrial partner, and will also be revisiting her love of theoretical materials science. In her spare time, she enjoys nature, travelling, watching movies, reading, listening to music and cooking.




Doctoral Students

Seyed (Iraj) SadraeiSeyed (Iraj) Sadraei (2016-)
B.Sc. Tehran Azad University (Iran)
M.Sc. Saveh University (Iran)
M.Sc. Brock University

Iraj was born and raised in the northern Iranian city of Sari. He obtained his B.Sc. in applied chemistry from the School of Science of Tehran Azad University, North Branch. He then moved to the School of Science Azad University, Saveh Branch where he completed his Master's degree in organic chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Seyed Sadjadi on the synthesis of oxadiazole derivatives and their biological applications. After graduation, he was involved in numerous collaborations with different industrial organizations and universities and working jointly with industry and academia on various research projects. He then moved to Canada where he received his second Master’s degree in organometallic chemistry in the laboratory of Prof. Costa Metallinos at Brock University. His research was focused on the experimental development of organometallic homo- and hetero-coupling reactions and studying the origins of selectivity in lithiations. Outside the laboratory, Iraj enjoys playing a multitude of sports, listening to music and watching movies. As a doctoral student in the Trant group, Iraj will be working on synthesizing physiologically stable “acetal-free” carbohydrates, compounds that replace the natural sugar residues with a combination of carbasugars and C-glycosides, for use as long-lasting therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostic probes, and biological labels.


Daniel Meister (Ontario Graduate Scholar, 2016-)Daniel Meister

B.Sc. University of Windsor

Daniel was born in Israel and raised in Windsor. He completed his Honours Biochemistry with Thesis degree at the University of Windsor in 2016. During his undergraduate studies his research, on the computational study of Isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase and its editing mechanisms, was supervised by Dr. James W. Gauld. Daniel joined the Trant Team as a founding member in September 2016. His graduate research focuses on the rational computational design of novel amino acids, their synthesis and their incorporation into peptides for use as therapeutics for auto-immune diseases. Outside of chemistry, Daniel enjoys reading, watching movies, hiking and spending time with family and friends.



Mohaddeseh (Mana) Dashti (Trillium Scholar, 2017-)

Mana Dashti

B.Sc. Kharazmi University, Tehran (Iran)
M.Sc. Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Azad Univeristy, Tehran (Iran)

Mana was born in Ahvaz and raised in Tehran, Iran. She obtained her B.Sc in pure Chemistry at Kharazmi University.  After graduation, she continued her studies, completing an M.Sc in medicinal chemistry at the Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch of Azad University under the supervision of Prof. Solmaz Ghaffari, working on the preparation and optimization of new drug nanoformulations for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. After completing her degree, Mana worked in the R&D department at Kharazmi Pharmaceutical, an Iranian pharmaceutical company, before moving to the University of Windsor to pursue her PhD at the interface of organic chemistry and supramolecular chemistry as an Ontario Trillium  Scholar. Outside the lab, Mana likes exercising, walking, listening to music and watching movies. As a doctoral student in the Trant Team, Mana is working towards the desing and synthesis of new classes of self-immolative polymers for biomedical, drug delivery, and nanoelectronic applications.




Mike Reynolds

Michael Reynolds (2017-)

B.Sc. Wilfrid Laurier University
M.Sc. University of Windsor

Mike was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He obtained his B.Sc in Chemistry at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Ken Maly on the synthesis of dibenzopentacenequinones. He then moved to the university of Windsor to pursue his M.Sc in organic supramolecular chemistry under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Loeb working on the synthesis of photoswitchable crown ether macrocycles, defending his thesis in 2017. Outside the laboratory, Mike enjoys playing sports, going to the gym, watching movies and listening to music. As a doctoral student in the Trant group, Mike will be working on synthesizing and characterizing C-glycoside “acetal-free” carbohydrate mimics.





Sanaz Nadimi (2019-)

B.Sc. University of Azarbaijan Shahid Madani, Tabriz, Iran
M.Sc. University of Tabriz, Iran

Sanaz was born and raised in Tabriz, Iran. She obtained her B.Sc in pure Chemistry at Azarbaijan Shahid Madani university. She then moved to the Tabriz University and completed her master’s degree in organic chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Kazem Dindarsafa, working on the synthesis of vinylsilanes from 4-dialkylaminobenzaldehydes and investigating their reactivity. After graduation, Sanaz worked as a teaching assistant at the prestigious Khalili Medical Sciences School in Tabriz. She then worked as a technical assistant at the PET Factory, Food and Drug Organization, before moving to the University of Windsor to pursue her PhD with Dr. Trant. She will be working on a combination of peptide and carbohydrate chemistry to develop new methods for peptide and carbohydrate cyclization. Outside the laboratory, Sanaz enjoys doing pilates, playing volleyball, listening to music and travelling.




Samra Khan (2020-)

B.Sc. The Women University Multan (Pakistan)
M.Sc. The Women University Multan (Pakistan

Samra was born and raised in Multan, Pakistan. She obtained her BS and MPhil, majoring in Organic Chemistry, from The Women University Multan, Pakistan. Her Master’s thesis was supervised by Ms. Tahira Saleem (WUM), based on Natural Product and Medicinal studies where she explored the pharmacological potential of two ethnomedicinal Plants: Euphorbia Hirta and Euphorbia Prostrata. After her graduation she continued as a research associate with her master’s supervisor and expanded her work towards the synthesis of natural product-based nanomaterials. Samra shifted her focus towards organic synthesis and their medicinal properties when she joined research group of Prof. Dr. Zahid Shafique (Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan) in 2018. There, she contributed to projects on the design and development of inhibitors for α-Glycosidase, Urease, Cholinesterases and Carbonic Anhydrases. Most recently, Samra has been a visiting faculty member at the Department of Chemistry, The Women University Multan teaching organic chemistry courses. Her passion for cancer drug discovery inspired her to work with the Trant Team for her PhD research. Her doctoral research will combine total synthesis, biological evaluation and computational evaluation to generate a new generation of  anti-cancer compounds targeting an abnormal kinase. Outside of academia, Samra is an avid reader (only an occasional introvert), loves to watch Turkish historical dramas, and ‘tries’ to stay on top of her gym routine. She basically survives on Tea (pictured)! Good thing we have lots of kettles.

Masters Students


Xiao Yu (2018-) 

B.Sc. Nanjing Technical University (China)

Xiao was born and raised in Ningxia, China. She obtained her B.Sc in chemistry from the college of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Nanjing Tech University in China in 2018 where she conducted research in synthetic biology and applied inorganic materials chemsitry. Outside the laboratory, Xiao enjoys running and playing other sports. She is a great cook and if she has some leisure time, she will cook some Chinese food for herself and her friends. As a graduate student in the Trant group, Xiao will be working on preparing innovative self-immolative polymers and stimuli-triggerable materials.


Sarah Nasri (2019-) 

B.Sc. University of Windsor (Trant Team, 2016-2019)

Sarah was born in Pennsylvania, USA and raised in Sydney, Australia. She began her science studies at Granville TAFE aiming to become a Laboratory Technician. After the completion of her diplomas, she became more interested in creating knowledge than simply doing technique, which led her to enroll and complete her Honours Biochemistry with Thesis degree at the University of Windsor in 2019. Sarah has been involved with the Trant Team since its formation in September 2016, starting as a 2nd year volunteer working on self-immolative materials and endcaps. Her graduate research involves the development of innovative self-immolative polymers and thermally sensitive materials for use as novel functional nanomaterials and molecular templates. Outside of the lab, Sarah can be found drinking energy drinks and eating sunflower seeds while drawing pictures, editing videos, or sometimes playing Runescape. 


Samaneh Mehri (2019-)

B.Sc. Tehran Azad University (Iran)
M.Sc. Tabriz University of Medical Science (Iran)

Samaneh was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Then she won a national science prize in high school, and that set her career path! She earned her B.Sc in Microbiology at Tehran Azad University. She then pursued an masters degree in medical bacteriology at the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. There she studied the selective emergence of virulence genes in MDR UPEC isolated from patients with renal failure diseases under the supervision of Prof. Mohammadreza Nahaei in collaboration with the Chronic Kidney Disease Research Centre of Tabriz. Following her masters work she worked as a research associate at the Molecular Genetic Department of Kasra Hospital in Tehran, helping to establish a new facility, and then started a new career as an industrial R&D consultant and medical representative at the Poober company. Samaneh has now moved to the University of Windsor to begin her MSc with Dr. Trant and the team where she is working on a number of projects at the interface of chemistry, biology, and engineering. Outside of her academic life, Samaneh spends most of her time traveling with her husband, swimming, and watching films and live theater.



Research Assistants

Mohamad Rasizadeh (2019-)

A.S. Xazar University, Baku, Azerbaijan
Born and raised in Tehran, Iran. He obtained his A.S. in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in 2005 at Xazar University in Baku. After completing his studies, Mohammad worked in multitude of companies as a member of supply chain management team where his job was mainly focused on maximizing the process efficiency and productivity. In the Trant group he is assisting with the analytical instrumentation and making sure the lab is running smoothly. He enjoys playing and watching soccer.


Visiting Scholars

Mahasin Al-Shabi (2019-) Visiting Scholar. Formerly lecturer at the Universities of Al-Hamdaniya and Mosul in Iraq.

B.Sc. University of Mosul (Iraq)
M.Sc. University of Mosul (Iraq)

Mahasin was born and grew up in Mosul, Iraq. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Mosul in 1987. Then, she was appointed to the same college as a 

research assistant. Later in 1994, she joined Dr. Mahdi Saleh’s group to get her Master’s degree in biochemistry in 1996, which focused on understanding the biochemical effects of some sedatives and tranquillizers in animals.  Afterwards, she worked as an assistant professor of biochemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the College of Science at the same university. She published multiple research articles mainly in biochemistry and clinical chemistry focusing on the activity of natural products from Iraqi plants, and demonstrated their hypoglycemic modulatory effects on diabetes mellitus animal models. Other research interests included studying the effect of plant extracts on enzyme activity in in vivo assays, and on tissue-differential neurotransmitter activation, such as acetylcholinesterase, in mouse models. She also evaluated the antioxidant properties of plant extracts on mouse tissues. More recently she took a research sabbatical with Prof. Elke Richling at the Technische Universitat Kaiserslautern (Research University) in Germany. The research focused on the isolation, identification, and activity of secondary metabolites, especially flavonoids, from Prosopis fracta. Mahasin lectured at Mosul University from 1997 until 2011 when she was relocated to Al-Hamdaniya University, just outside of Mosul proper, because of the war that was hitting the area at that time. In her new position, her research focused on pollution and environmental issues. As the war got worse, she and her family relocated to Canada via Jordan in 2018. Clearly, throughout her entire research career, Mahasin has faced logistical difficulties that will not be present in her current appointment as a member of the Trant Team. Here in Windsor she is focusing on natural products chemistry examining understudied South African, Costa Rican, and Iraqi plants for bioactive materials. Mahasin is actively seeking opportunities in the private sector here in Windsor Essex with companies interested in natural products and extracts research. Outside of her academic life, Mahasin enjoys being with her family, cooking, walking and hiking in the outdoors.


Post-Graduate Members

None Right Now.

Undergraduate Researchers

Date is year of expected graduation!


Joy-Lynn Kobti - Undergraduate Volunteer (ChemBiochem)- 2020

Joy-Lynn Kobti was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. She joined the Trant Team in the summer of 2017 after completing her first year of a Biochemistry undergraduate degree, and is currently working on her undergraduate thesis solving the secrets of selective acetate deprotection under the supervision of Iraj and Dr. Trant. Outside of the lab, Joy is incredibly involved where she serves as President of the University of Windsor Science Society among a whole list of other accomplishments. Off campus, she works as a lifeguard and really enjoys teaching swimming lessons to children.  In her limited spare time, she also enjoys watching movies and spending time with friends and family. 


Emma Dennison - Outstanding Scholar (ChemBiochem)- 2021

Emma Dennison was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. She joined the Trant Team in the summer of 2017 before even starting her BSc in Biochemistry, through the Chemistry Research Internship Program. She became an outstanding scholar in 2018 entering her second year and has held two NSERC USRA summer scholarship awards, after her first and second years. Her specific research interest is in physical organic chemistry, investigating the Diels-Alder reaction for a new system of compounds to develop thermally-sensitive end-caps but she has done a lot of supramolecular chemistry too. Besides research, she enjoys volunteering with palliative patients at the hospital, dance, running, travelling and spending time with my family. We are probably going to lose her to medical school, but you never know!




Peter Bahnam - Undergraduate Volunteer (Biology)- 2020

Ali Barazi - Outstanding Scholar (ChemBiochem)- 2020

Carmen Ly - Outstanding Scholar (ChemBiochem)- 2020

Teodora Secara - Outstanding Scholar (ChemBiochem)- 2021

Sabrina Piazza - Outstanding Scholar (Health and Biomedical Sciences)- 2021

Thomson Ly - Undergraduate Volunteer (ChemBioChem)- 2020

Aman Sehmbi - Undergrduate Volunteer (ChemBioChem)- 2020

Maksmilian Dziura - Undergraduate Volunteer (Health and Biomedical Sciences)- 2020

Victoria Grandi - Undergraduate Volunteer (Forensic Science - Molecular Biology and Bichemistry)- 2020

Khushali Parikh - Outstanding Scholar (Biological Sciences/Psychology - Neuroscience)- 2021

Lavleen Mader - Outstanding Scholar (ChemBioChem)- 2021

Sara Knezevic - Undergraduate Volunteer (Molecular Bio and Biotech)- 2021

Afeson Beyene - Undergradaute Volunteer (Biochemistry)- 2022

Abdulrahman Aljoudi - Undergraduate Volunteer (Biochemistry)- 2022

Aiyireti (Dina) Dilinaer - Undergradaute Volunteer (Biochemistry)- 2022

Dina was born and raised in Urumqi, China. She is currently a second year Biochemistry student at the University of Windsor. She has a general interest for organic chemistry and is still finding her specific interests in organic chemistry. But she likes organic chemistry. Which is a good fit with the Trant Team! As an undergraduate researcher in the Trant Team, she is working with Michael Reynolds and various projects he conducts. In her spare time she likes to travel, paint, watch movies and cook. She is also passionate about horseback riding. 






Emma Flynn - Undergraduate Volunteer (Health and Biomedical Sciences)- 2022

Maria Buglisi - Undergraduate Volunteer (Chemistry!) - 2022

Nour Elkott - Undergradaute Volunteer (Computer Science) - 2022

Waffa Bakheet - Undergraduate Volunteer (Health and Biomedical Sciences)- 2022

Maya Sutherland - Undergraduate Volunteer (Health and Biomedical Sciences) - 2022

Will Hosie - Undergraduate Volunteer (Chemistry)- 2022

Kaitlyn Breault - Undergraduate Volunteer (Chemistry) - 2022

Victoria Kis - Undergraduate Volunteer (Health and Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry) - 2023

Maria Rueda - Undergraduate Volunteer (Biochemistry) - 2023

Keith Wong - Undergraduate Volunteer (Biomedical Sciences) - 2023

Jason Wong - Undergraduate Volunteer (Health and Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry) - 2023

Michelle Park - Undergraduate Volunteer (Biochemistry) - 2023

Ryan Salama - Undergraduate Volunteer (Biomedical Sciences) - 2023

Noah Robinson - Undergraduate Volunteer (Integrative Biology) - 2023

Chelsea Ymana - Undergraduate Volunteer (Biomedical Sciences) - 2023

Sara Alabed Undergraduate Volunteer (Biomedical Sciences) - 2023

Maria Meer Undergraduate Volunteer (Biomedical Sciences) - 2023

High-School Researchers

Chitra Bidlon - High School Volunteer (Massey)

Anumita Jain - High School Volunteer (Massey)


Postdocs and Research Associates

1. Dr. N. Kodiah Beyeh (April 2017-July 2018) - Postdoc
Current: Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry Oakland University

2. Dr. Christopher Dieni (April 2018-June 2019) - Research Associate
Current: Assistant Professor, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, Colorado Mesa University

3. Dr. Martin Bakht (November 2019-January 2020) - Postdoc for a cup of tea.
Current: Postdoc, Dr. Himisha Beltran, Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School

Graduate Students

1. Dominique Leckie (September 2016-July 2017) - MSc (Transferred)
Current: Graduate student in the Rawson Group at UWindsor

2. Emmanuel Perez Escalante (July 2019-December 2019) Visiting Graduate Student, Autonomous University of Hidalgo (Mexico)

Current: Graduate student at the Autonomous University of Hidalgo, Mexico.


24. Tarasha Sharma - Visiting Undergraduate Student, Univeristy of Ottawa, Summer 2019

23. Fabiola Villarreal - MITACS Globallink Fellow, Summer of 2019 (Mexico)

Current: Student at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Monterrey Mexico.

22. Marta Haireek - (October 2018- August 2019) Undergraduate Volunteer (Molecular Biology and Biotechnology)- 2022

Current: Undergraduate Volunteer in the Cohen Lab, Department of Psychology, University of Windsor

21. Mihir Modi - (May 2019-August 2019) Outstanding Scholar Undergraduate Volunteer (Biological Sciences) - 2022

Current: Undergradaute Volunteer in the Dason Lab, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Windsor, 

20. Advait Desai - (August 2016-August 2019) Outstanding Scholar, Undergraduate Volunteer and Thesis Student (ChemBiochem)- 2019

Research Project: Towards the Synthesis of a Biostable Acetal Free Serine Tn Antigen

Current: Medical Student (University of Western Ontario, Windsor Campus)

19. Greg Yousif - (August 2016-August 2019) Outstanding Scholar, Undergraduate Volunteer and Thesis Student (ChemBiochem)- 2019

Research Project: Synthesis of dendron antifreeze compounds and applications in cryopreservation

Current: Medical Student (University of Toronto)

18. Sarah Nasri - (August 2016-August 2019) Undergraduate Volunteer and Thesis Student (ChemBiochem)- 2019

Research Project: Development of self-immolative triazole based polymers (SIPS) as macrocycle axle

Current: MSc student in the Trant Team!

17. Jonathan Chiaramonte - (May 2018- August 2019) Undergraduate Volunteer and Thesis Student (ChemBioChem)- 2019

Research Project: Synthesis of Glucose Bioprobes and Inducing Asymmetry in the Diels-Alder Reaction

Current: MSc student in the Trant Team!

16. Asma Ghafoor - (April 2017-August 2019) Undergraduate Volunteer (Biology)- 2019

Research Project: Method Development Towards Catechin Biotransformation for Insulin Sensitization

Current: Pharmacy School, University of Toronto

15. Ashutosh Agrahari- (May-July 2019) MITACS Globallink Fellow, Summer of 2019 (India)

Current: MSc. Student at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, India.

14. Mansi Arora - (October 2018-August 2019) Undergraduate Volunteer (Health and Biomedical Sciences)- 2022

Current: 2nd year student in Health and Biomedical Sciences!

13. Liam LeClair - (February 2018- April 2019) Undergraduate Volunteer (Health and Biomedical Sciences)- 2020

Current: Liam is being drafted in the first round of the National Lacrosse League and will be playing professional Lacrosse on weekends while preparing for medical school. That's a way to pay the bills. We will miss him, and hope to see him swing by! With his lacrosse stick of course.

12. Michael Qaqish - (September 2017- April 2019) Outstanding Scholar (Human Kinetics)- 2020

Current: Undergraduate student in the Faculty of Human Kinetics conducting a Univeristy Windsor HK thesis at a sports physiology clinic in Toronto (Go Mike!!).

11. Anthony Chifor - (September 2017- May 2019) - Outstanding Scholar (Biology)- 2019

Research Project: Synthesis and Application of Thermally Sensitive Endcaps for Directed Disulfide Bond Formation in Conotoxin Synthesis

Current: Research Assistant, Wayne State University Michigan: Dr. Park.

10. Jana Khanafer - (January 2018-October 2018) - Outstanding Scholar (Health and Biomedical Sciences, 2021)

Research project: Lactobacilli as biofermentors.

Current: Undergraduate volunteer in the Pandey group.

9. Jonathan Franke - (June 2018 - September 2018) - MITACS Globalink Scholar (Chemistry - Technische Universität Ilmenau, Germany)

Research project: Self-immolative materials. Will he be back? Time will tell.

Current: Student, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Germany

8. Rose Fayoumi - (July 2016-January 2018) B.Sc. University of Windsor

Thesis Project: Diels-Alder reaction to create thermally-labile endcaps for self-immolative polymers

7. Zachary Rezler (May 2018-August 2018) - Visiting Undergraduate Volunteer (Biomedical Sciences - McMaster).

Current: On secondment to McMaster for his "degree" and the "classes." May be back to continue his real education in the summer of 2019.

6. Rohaila Zehra (February 2017- May 2018) - B.Sc. University of Windsor

Thesis Project: Solvation effects on glycosylations with aprotic nucleophiles

Current: Scientist at Accuristix (Toronto, analytical chemistry position)

5. Emmanuel Igbokwe (September 2016- April 2017) - B.Sc. Honours University of Windsor  

Thesis Project: Carbohydrate glycolipid synthesis.

Current: Medical School, University of Toronto.

4. Adan Sadiq Ahmed (September 2016- August 2017) - B.Sc. University of Windsor

Thesis Project: Solvation effects on glycosylations with aprotic nucleophiles

Current: Teacher and educator at a private school (Windsor)

3. Angela Simonovski - (February 2017-April 2017) B.Sc. Honours University of Windsor  

Current: BSc. University of Western Ontario

2. Vrunjal Gandhi - (January 2017-December, 2017) Masters in Medical Biotechnology

Current: Scientist at Apotex (Toronto)

1. Eileen-yunjung O - (February 2017- November 2017) B.Sc. Honours, University of Windsor

Current: 3rd year BSc Biomedical Sciences, University of Windsor

High School Students

Catherine Lalman - (June 2018-July 2019) High School Volunteer (Massey)

Visiting Researchers

In Memoriam

Jonathan Chiaramonte (2019-2020)

B.Sc. University of Windsor (Trant Team 2018-2019)

Jonathan was born in Windsor and grew up in Owen Sound before coming back to the University of Windsor for his B.Sc. in Biochemistry (2014-2019). His undergraduate research includes a year volunteering for Dr. Koschinsky and Dr. Boffa under the supervision of Dr. Scipione. He then joined Dr. Trant’s research group in organic synthesis (2018), specifically working towards the synthesis of “acetal-free” carbohydrates (2018-19). His undergraduate research included the synthesis of a glucose bio-probe, which can be used to monitor malignant cells due to their preference for aerobic glycolysis. The second project in Jonathan’s undergraduate research dealt with the induction of asymmetry in the Diels-Alder reaction – a possible avenue towards the synthesis of “acetal-free” carbohydrate mimics. His graduate work focused on further developing these technologies to generate innovative cancer vaccines. Outside the lab, Jonathan’s interests included various sports, pharmacology, toxicology, and drug design. Jonathan passed away in an accident on New Year's Day 2020. Jon was an exceptonally promising researcher and we were both extremely excited about his progress and the new projects he was taking on. He will be greatly missed by all of us in the Team. His work and contributions to the group during his time with us are honoured and will be remembered.