top of page


“Let’s cultivate science for its own sake without continuously considering its applications.  They will always come, maybe in years or perhaps in centuries. The course of progress would have suffered if Galvani, Volta, Faraday and Hertz, who discovered the principles of electricity, have discarded their findings because there were no applications for them at the time”. Ramon y Cajal.

Figure_2_layers copy.jpg

Understanding how Ribosomes Assemble

Developing novel antibiotics that target unexplored cellular pathways not susceptible to existing resistance mechanisms is urgent. Our research program focuses on the assembly process of the bacterial ribosome, which is not currently targeted by any antibiotic. Ribosomes synthesize all cellular proteins. If an organism cannot make ribosomes, it dies. Ribosomes are complex molecular nanomachines made up of over 50 components. The main objective of our research program is to identify and characterize the most critical steps in the ribosome assembly process and establish the molecular mechanism by which assembly factors assist this process. These critical assembly steps represent ideal targets for developing novel antibiotics that work in new ways. 


Collaborative Research programs

Other areas of my research program and collaborative projects. Our group has also published extensively in other areas. Our core expertise in cryo-EM and ample access to cutting-edge electron microscopes at McGill have provided us with exciting opportunities to collaborate with leading groups worldwide. My most important collaboration has been with Prof. Jonathan Lovell (Univ. Buffalo). Our joint work has led to developing a new liposome-based vaccine platform that presents soluble viral antigens onto the surface of liposomes. We contributed to enginnering vaccines that induce protective immune responses in animal models against influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and malaria. We have also used our cryo-EM expertise to study other fascinating biological systems. For example, with Prof. Wayne Sossin (McGill) we studied the stalling mechanisms of protein synthesis in neuronal ribosomes and how they impact brain development and with Prof. Kurt Fredrick (Ohio State University) we are analyzing alternative protein translation mechanisms in bacteria.

bottom of page