About Nodwell Lab

About Nodwell Lab

Nodwell Lab is a science research lab in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Toronto. We are physically located in the MaRS Discovery District in downtown Toronto, Canada.

The lab is a lively community of 10-12 scientists pursuing projects that all touch on the chemical genetics of bacteria. Most of the people in the group have undergraduate degrees in microbiology, biochemistry or molecular genetics, often with a strong background in chemistry and computer science.

We are interested in how bacteria produce and/or respond to biologically active small molecules

There is really no technology or model system that is off-limits.

We are interested in how bacteria produce and/or respond to biologically active small molecules and we will explore any technology needed to answer these questions.

We routinely purify and characterize biologically-produced small molecules using HPLC and LC/MS. In some cases we use transcriptome sequencing to identify stress responses induced by bioactive compounds. We isolate resistant mutants and use genome sequencing to identify the sequence changes that confer resistance.

Nodwell Lab research benches at MaRS

Key people in the group include Dr. Sheila Pimentel-Elardo, a Senior Research Associate and Dr. Jing Li, Senior Technician, who largely run the day-to-day operation of the group in addition to pursuing their own research.

In addition, there are usually 7 – 9 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the lab.

We have a weekly lab meeting where people present their own work, brain storming around experiments and publication. In addition, everyone has an informal, monthly meeting with Justin to help unstick projects that have hit road blocks and to chart the most fruitful course for each of the research endeavours we are interested in.

Students and postdocs from various science and technology fields could find a home in our lively group.

Research Collaboration

We also work with collaborators pursuing molecules that interact with fungal microbes like Candida and Cryptococcus, intestinal pathogens, bacteriophages, the round worm C. elegans, and the Drosophila fruit fly.

Collaborating Labs

Leah Cowen Lab - Candida and Cryptococcus

Roman Melnyk Lab - intestinal pathogens

Karen Maxwell Lab - bacteriophages

Peter Roy Lab - round worm Caenorhabdus elegans

Craig Smibert Lab - fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster

University of Toronto at MaRS Discovery District

The lab is located in the MaRS Discovery District in downtown Toronto, Canada.

"Located in the heart of Canada’s largest and the world’s most diverse city, MaRS is uniquely placed to lead change. We bring together educators, researchers, social scientists, entrepreneurs and business experts under one roof. Founded by civic leaders, we have a mission that is equal parts public and private — an entrepreneurial venture designed to bridge the gap between what people need and what governments can provide."