Lawrence Kazak, Ph.D. (U of Cambridge, Molecular Biology)
– Assistant Professor, Goodman Cancer Research Centre and Department of Biochemistry
– Canada Research Chair in Adipocyte Biology
Lawrence completed his Ph.D. with Ian J. Holt at the University of Cambridge, MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit in 2013. He then moved to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, where he worked on adipocyte thermogenesis in the lab of Bruce M. Spiegelman. Lawrence joined McGill University as an Assistant Professor in 2018. His lab is currently supported by CIHR, NSERC, CFI and the Terry Fox Research Institute.

Google Scholar / Faculty page


Bozena Samborska, MS.c. (U of Guelph, Biochem): Sept 2018 – present
Bozena completed her M.Sc. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Guelph studying protein structure and function of cyanobacterial carboxysomes. She has been a Research Assistant at McGill University since 2011 in the lab of Dr. Russell Jones studying metabolism in cancer cells. In the Kazak lab, she is investigating creatine metabolism in T cell function. In her spare time, she is a maker of delicious bean-to-bar chocolate. Read Bozena’s papers.


Janane F. Rahbani, Ph.D. (McGill, Chemistry): March 2018 – present
Janane hails from a small but historical village in Lebanon. After finishing his Masters degree in physical chemistry at the American University of Beirut, he moved to Montreal where he completed his Ph.D. in the Sleiman group at McGill. During his Ph.D., he had the opportunity to design many DNA nanoarchitectures and expand the functionality of higher-order DNA structures as new platforms for guest encapsulation and cellular delivery. In the Kazak lab, Janane is studying the role of creatine kinase B in adipocyte thermogenesis using inducible tissue-specific knockout mouse models. His research is currently supported by a Charlotte and Leo Karassik Foundation Fellowship. Read Janane’s papers.


Anna Roesler, B.Sc. (U of Saskatchewan, Biochem) – M.Sc. candidate (Sept 2018 – present)
Anna earned her B.Sc. in Biochemistry at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S). She completed an Honours research project in the lab of Scot Leary where she studied functional interactions involved in human mitochondrial disease. In the Kazak lab, Anna is studying mitochondrial import mechanisms, as well as using new genetically-engineered mouse models to precisely study the role of UCP1-dependent thermogenesis in protection from obesity.

Faiz Hussain, B.Sc. (McGill, Biochem) – M.Sc. (Sept 2018 – Aug 2020) P.hD. candidate (Sept 2020 – present)
Faiz is a born and raised Montrealer. He completed his B.Sc. at McGill University. In the Kazak lab, Faiz is exploring how the futile creatine cycle is triggered downstream of thermogenic inputs, using using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, chemogenetics and classical enzyme biochemistry and bioenergetics.

Christien Dykstra, B.Sc. (U of Alberta, Biochem) – M.Sc. candidate (Sept 2019 – present)
Chris grew up in Edmonton and received an honours degree in Biochemistry at the University of Alberta. For his capstone project, he worked on modifying metabolic pathways of yeasts and bacteria in order to produce desired chemicals. At McGill he is working on elucidating the the role of creatine in cancer metabolism. He likes to spend his spare time with his synthesizers. 


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