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Dr. Zijun Wu

Post-doctoral fellow since 2019

Zijun was born in Hubei Province, China. He obtained his Ph.D. in the field of asymmetric organocatalysis at Tsinghua University in July 2019. Since then, he has joined the Pratt Group at the University of Ottawa as a postdoctoral fellow, where he is focused on synthetic radical chemistry and antioxidant mechanisms. On his spare time, Zijun enjoys reading, listening to music, and playing basketball.

Dr. Carly Hanson

Post-doctoral fellow since 2020

Carly obtained her Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry at Loyola University Chicago in May 2020. Her graduate research focused on the solution behaviour of Lewis acid-carbonyl complexes and their implications in catalytic systems. Since then, she has joined the Pratt lab at the University of Ottawa as a postdoctoral fellow, where she is focused on elucidating the mechanisms of antioxidants. Outside of the lab, Carly enjoys all things crafty, reading, and cuddling with her dog.

Dr. Julian Helberg

Post-doctoral fellow since 2020

Hailing from Bavaria, Julian obtained his PhD in Organic Chemistry at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich in April 2020, working in the field of Lewis base organocatalysis. Since then, he has joined the Pratt Group at the University of Ottawa as a postdoctoral fellow to focus on the elucidation of mechanisms of (lipid) autoxidation using both experimental and computational approach. Besides chemistry, Julian enjoys homebrewing, metal, reading, and boardgames.

Zosia Zielinski

Ph.D. student since 2014

NSERC Scholar 2014-2017


Zosia is from PEI. Her research focuses on sterol oxidation and its relation to bioactive oxysterols. She uses computational chemistry to compliment her experimental findings, and also uses theory to explore trends in H-atom transfer reactions in general. Outside the lab Zosia enjoys cooking, running and listening to 90s music.

Luke Farmer

Ph.D. student since 2018


After graduating from Carleton University with his B.Sc. in Chemistry, he came over to uOttawa to join the Pratt Group as a M.Sc. student in September of 2015. He is happily married since August 2012, and his favorite thing to eat is dozens of shawarma wraps. He has been working with diarylamine antioxidants and studying their structure-function relationships.

Omkar Zilka

Ph.D. student since 2019

OGSST Scholar 2019-2020


Omkar hails from South Porcupine, Ontario, and received his B. Sc. from Carleton University in 2013. His research is focused on investigating the mechanism of novel antioxidants and synthesis of naphthyridinol derivatives. Alongside his synthetic chemistry interests, Omkar enjoys all forms of music, cooking, cycling, and exploring foreign cities.

Melodie Mallais

Ph.D. student since 2019

OGSST Scholar 2019-2020

Melodie grew up in a small community in Northern Ontario and came to Ottawa to begin her B.Sc. in Biomedical Science with specialization in Medicinal Chemistry. She joined the Pratt group as a work study student and has continued as a graduate student. Besides organic chemistry, Melodie is quite fond of animals, the outdoors, and a good craft beer!

Dmitry Saraev

Ph.D. student since 2019

Dmitry was born in Tomsk, a city in Western Siberia, but has lived most of his life in Moscow, Russia, while also having lived in Stuttgart, Germany and Ottawa. He joined the Pratt group as a MSc student in 2019, transferring to a PhD after a year of study. His current research involves elucidating the molecular mechanisms of thiol oxidation relevant to biochemical processes. In his spare time, Dmitry enjoys following sports, reading and traveling around the world.

Anas Abou-Zaid

M.Sc. student since 2017

Anas is in his final year of his B.Sc. in BPS (Medicinal Chemistry Option). Currently, his research is focused on the effects of functional groups on the phospholipid tails in the cell membranes of people afflicted with Hutchinson–Gilford Progeria Syndrome. Anas enjoys snowboarding, scuba diving, and playing underwater hockey.

Katie Shirley

M.Sc. student since 2017 


Katie lives in Ottawa and now looks to complete her undergrad degree in Biopharmaceuticals with a Specialization in Medicinal Chemistry. Presently, she is probing the mechanism of action of industrially-relevant hindered antioxidants. Apart from her studies, Katie delights in jogging, sketching and photography - preferably not all at the same time.

Neill Penner

M.Sc. student since 2018

OGGST Scholar 2018-2019; OGS Scholar 2019-2020

Neill is a local M.Sc. student; born and raised in Stittsville just outside of Ottawa. He's working to understanding the fate of diarylamine antioxidants in hydrocarbon autoxidation as well as attempting to elucidate the mechanism of nitroxide radicals in aqueous media. Outside of the lab Neill enjoys playing hockey and other sports, reading, playing guitar, and spending time with friends and family.

Spencer Short

M.Sc. student since 2018

NSERC Scholar 2018-2019; OGS Scholar 2019-2020


Spencer is a second year graduate student currently investigating the underlying mechanisms that lipids and radical-trapping antioxidants play in ferroptotic cell death. He is passionate about science and has a thirst for knowledge. Spencer arrived in 2018 following an internship at Nipissing University's Organic and Medicinal Chemistry Research Lab, and his prior undergraduate studies include a B.Sc. in Biology as well as a B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. When he's not at school, Spencer enjoys playing music and the outdoors.

Matt Dods

Honours student since 2020


Matt is from Almonte; a small town just outside of Ottawa. He is completing his final year of undergrad in biopharmaceutical science with a specialization in medicinal chemistry, joining the Pratt group as an honours research student. Matt's work focuses on phenothiazine radical-trapping antioxidants in high-temperature applications. In his spare time, Matt enjoys playing and watching both hockey and baseball, coffee, homebrewing, and will probably tell you about that one time he studied abroad.

Ifedapo Ekpo

Honours student since 2020


Ifedapo moved to Ottawa from Nigeria to begin her B.Sc in Biomedical Sciences at uOttawa, joining the Pratt Group as a co-op student. Her research focuses on the effects of cholesterol on the inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Ifedapo enjoys cooking, dancing, and yoga in her spare time.

Melanie Giray

Honours student since 2020


Melanie is a local of Ottawa, beginning her undergraduate studies in biochemistry at the University of Ottawa in 2017. Melanie's interest in science has flourished at uOttawa, leading her to join the group as an honours research student where she focuses on isotopically-reinforced polyunsaturated fatty acids. Aside from her studies, Melanie enjoys hanging out with friends, cooking, and living a healthy active lifestyle.

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