The Mechano-microbiology Team

 Fall 2018, second attempt at taking a group photo…

The Research Group, Fall 2018


Also check out these articles (Welcome, Bacterial Attraction) by Mandy Koroniak and Patchen Barss for a fuller story...

Ruby Sullan, Principal Investigator

Ruby is a biophysical chemist with research interests in microbial nanoscopy, biofouling, and biomaterials. She obtained her BSc in Chemistry at the University of the Philippines—Diliman, and her PhD at the Biointerfaces group of Gilbert Walker, University of Toronto. While a PhD student, she spent a year at the Steacie Institute (NRC Ottawa) working on model membranes with Shan Zou. She then joined the Single-molecule Biophysics lab of Tom Perkins (JILA, CU-Boulder, USA). In 2013, she started studying nanoscale properties of bacterial pathogens in the group of Yves Dufrene in Belgium, as a Marcel de Merre fellow. In 2015, she moved to neighbouring Germany, as an Alexander von Humboldt postdoc fellow, at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in the group of Kerstin Blank.



Dr. Nesha Andoy

Nesha did her PhD at Cornell University, working on single-molecule biophysics and single nanoparticle catalysis. She then moved to Harvard Medical School to study in vitro reconstitutions of clathrin-coated vesicles. Prior to joining the Mechano-microbiology lab, she worked with BioMedX and Roche Diagnostics in Heidelberg, Germany, where she was part of the Nanomaterial-based Biosensor group, developing electronic sensors for Point-of-Care applications. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cycling, as well as playing the guitar and banduria. She also enjoys exploring the different cuisines in Toronto neighbourhoods.


Dr. Christian Kreis

Christian did his PhD in Physics at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany. During his doctoral studies, he worked on single-cell force spectroscopy of the microalga Chlamydomonas on model substrates. His current research focuses on how the extracellular matrix affects or influences biofilm stability. When not at work, Christian likes to do outdoor activities, exercise, cook, and bake. Christian is a recipient of the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany).


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Alexa Zayadi

Alexa is a graduate of UofT’s materials chemistry specialist program. Her undergraduate thesis focused on developing superhydrophobic surfaces to reduce bacterial transfer in health facilities. Her research interests center on the role of material properties in affecting the outcome of bacterial cell-surface interactions. In her spare time, she can be found hiking, reading, trying tasty new foods and cuddling with her pet cat and hedgehog.


Keuna Jeon

Keuna finished her undergraduate at Western University with an Honors in Chemistry. Her undergraduate thesis was on optimizing metallic nanoplates for plasmon-enhanced spectroscopies. She is now a graduate student at University of Toronto in Chemistry with her research focused on targeted disruption of bacterial biofilms. She likes to play squash, go on runs and watch movies.


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Anya Knight

Anya is a 3rd year student at UTSC studying Human Biology and Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, spending time with friends and family, and volunteering at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Daniel Lysak

Daniel is a 4th-year student in the Biological Chemistry specialist program. Daniel is a two-time NSERC-USRA fellowship recipient while in the lab (Summer 2017 and 2018). In his free time he enjoys reading, cycling and working as a study group facilitator.


Sarah Nanquil

Sarah has just completed her first year at UTSC and is pursuing a double major in Biochemistry (Co-op) and Molecular Biology, Immunology, and Disease. She is eager to work hands-on in a lab to follow her employment at the SickKids research building. If not at school, you can find her at church or her dance studio.


 Sri Nowduri

Sri is an incoming 4th-year student at UTSC studying Human Biology and Biochemistry (Co-op). Sri was awarded the TD Undergraduate Research Fellowship and NSERC-USRA in Summer 2018. He loves swimming and enjoys volunteering at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital teaching children how to swim.


Susannah M. Tran

Susannah is an incoming 4th-year student studying Human Biology and Biochemistry. She is interested in research involving drug design, and will be involved in synthesizing drugs for targeted biofilm disruption. In her free time, she enjoys educating others about chemistry as a ChemAid tutor at UTSC and engaging in science outreach events. Her hobbies include visual arts, and watching movies.

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Alexis Ty

Alexis is a 4th year undergraduate at UTSC studying Biochemistry and Biology. He enjoys spending time with family, friends, and leading the Chemistry Society (CSU) at UTSC !


Yilei Xue

Yilei is a 4th-year student in UTSC in the Specialist in Chemistry program. She is currently doing a research study in Arduino technology (for producing reaction monitor). She is also interested in analytical and polymer chemistry. During her free time, she likes to spend time with animals. She had lots of pets before and is currently keeping a dog and a cat.



Nawrah Khader, undergraduate thesis student, now an MSc at UofT St. George campus
Mayura Panjalingam, lab volunteer, undergraduate student at UTSC
Ajitha Kananathalingam, lab volunteer
Muhammad Khan, undergraduate thesis student, now in Law school
Brody Chen, undergradute student in UofT St. George, UofT Excellence Award recipient while in the lab
Eric Lentz, now in Medical school, Nano-Net Award recipient while in the lab