Please tell us about your background: where you grew up, studied, and why you chose the field you did.
I am Canadian, born in Winnipeg, MB but raised mostly in Calgary, AB. I attended the University of Calgary, obtaining my BSc in cellular, microbial and molecular biology, before going to medical school, also at the University of Calgary. After medical school, I completed my neurology residency training in Ottawa, ON, and then did a post-doctoral fellowship at Rocky Mountain Lab, NIAID, NIH in Hamilton, MT, where I focused my research interests on prion diseases.
What does your current position entail? How does it tie into your previous experience, and where is it going?
I am a tenured associate professor of neurology at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, AB. I am a clinician scientist, running a prion containment research lab and seeing neurology patients in clinic and at the University of Alberta Hospital. This includes patients suffering from prion disease.
In what context did you first learn about light scattering and Wyatt Technology's instruments?
I first used asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation with in-line light scattering while I was a post-doctoral fellow at Rocky Mountain Lab. I was co-author on a Nature paper from the lab, where this technology was used to identify the most infectious prion particle.
How has your Wyatt instrumentation contributed to your research and development studies?
Since starting my own lab, I have used this same fractionation and light scattering technology to further isolate and characterize prion particles from different types of prion disease, now including those from human patients.
The ability to reproducibly fractionate prion particles from complex mixtures such as brain homogenates has allowed my lab to identify links between quaternary prion structure and prion strain phenotypes.