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Our Group

Todd Harris, Research Scientist

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TODD HARRIS

Research Scientist

todd.harris@carleton.ca

My research into dietary lipids, nutrition and health began with an interest in an enzyme that metabolizes oxidized lipids, soluble epoxide hydrolase. My Ph.D. project (Bruce Hammock, UC Davis) investigated the catalytic activity of this enzyme using a biochemical approach that combined analytical chemistry and enzymology. I then joined the laboratory of Dr. Chiamvimonvat in the UC Davis Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow, where I studied the effect of omega-3 dietary lipids on cardiac inflammation and hypertrophy disease. Since my postdoc I’ve been employed as a project scientist at UC Davis, where I researched liver fibrosis and lipid signaling, as well as a scientist at the pharmaceutical startup, Eicosis, LLC, which is moving an inhibitor of soluble epoxide hydrolase into Phase I trials for the treatment of neuropathic pain. My research in Amy's lab will continue to explore the impact of diet-derived lipids on cellular processes.

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COLLEEN CLARKE

Colleen is working toward her MSc in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology. Spending lots of her free time outside, she has always had a strong concern for preserving nature. While interning at Health Canada, she worked toward this goal through studying the impact of everyday chemicals on human health and the environment. Thoroughly fascinated by this field, she is eager to continue with similar research in Dr. Rand’s lab, where she will focus on developing the nematode C. elegans as a tool to study mechanisms of oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress. 

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GURSHARAN UPPAL

Gursharan completed her B.Sc. in Chemical Biology at Thompson Rivers University. Prior to beginning her M.Sc., her research included characterizing bacterial communities in Arctic soil and studying viable but non-culturable E. coli. Gursharan is excited to be working in Dr. Rand’s lab and will be investigating PFAS in indoor environments. Her hobbies include hiking, swimming, basketball, and baking.

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RISHA MINOCHA-MCKENNEY

Risha completed her B.Sc. Honours in Chemistry at Mount Allison University. Her research consisted of synthesizing platinum compounds for possible anti-cancer applications. Her interest in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology was sparked through this project where she learned the effect chemicals, like heavy metals and organic pollutants, can have on the environment. Through various analytical techniques, such as high-resolution mass spec, she is excited to learn more about this field by exploring the mechanism of action by which fluorinated pollutant metabolites lead to toxicity.

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KEEGAN HARRIS

Graduate Student

Keegan completed his BScH in Chemistry at Carleton University. Prior to starting his degree, he worked in the mining industry in northwestern Ontario and the Yukon. Deciding on a career change, he came to Carleton to study chemistry. He's now interested in environmental chemistry and looks forward to working with Dr. Rand’s research group. His MSc project is to chemically synthesize fluorinated surfactants used in food packaging material to assess their contribution towards human exposure and toxicity. 

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SIERRA PESKETT

Sierra completed her B.Sc (honours) in Forensic Science and Chemistry at Laurentian University and is currently working towards her M.Sc. in Chemistry specializing in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology. She is fascinated by the intersection between nutrition and toxicology. Sierra is excited to study this relationship in Dr. Rand’s lab, where she will explore the effect of nutrition on the metabolism of environmental toxicants. In her spare time, Sierra enjoys spending time outside, reading, cooking and traveling. 

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AMANDA SAKYI

Amanda completed her B.Sc honours in Biochemistry at Carleton and began her M.Sc. in Chemistry specializing in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology. She aspires to become a forensic toxicologist. Amanda is exploring the bioactivation and oxidative stress response of styrene and impacts on specific cellular organelles within the nematode C. elegans. Outside of the lab, Amanda spends her free time dancing or playing her clarinet, cooking, and hiking. 

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CALLUM BLANEY

Callum completed his B.Sc. in Chemistry at the University of Ottawa and is currently working to completed a MSc in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology here at Carleton University. He has a great interest in water quality and pollution, this is reflected in his MSc research project which is looking at how polyfluorinated compounds enter the aquatic environment through wastewater treatment plants. When he can, Callum enjoys going on hikes through the woods, swimming, working out, and he is currently trying to save enough money to scuba dive more frequently.

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CHELSEA NEUMAN

Undergraduate

Chelsea is currently working towards her B.Sc. in Honours Chemistry while minoring in Mathematics at Carleton. With a huge interest in analytical chemistry, for her B.Sc. project, Chelsea will be determining the presence of volatile fluorinated by-products using GC-MS that may unknowingly be in cosmetics and self-care products that we use daily. While completing her B.Sc. degree, Chelsea Has been working with the Centre of Initiatives in Education at Carleton as an Enriched Support Program Facilitator, Facilitator Team Lead, and Academic Coach for first year Chemistry and Math courses. This has fueled her interest in STEM education and learning, and how this knowledge of learning can be applied to different fields of chemistry and mathematics.