The Mechano-microbiology Team

 Ruby Sullan, Principal Investigator


Ruby is a biophysical chemist with research interests in microbial nanoscopy, biofouling, and biomaterials. She received her BSc in Chemistry at the University of the Philippines—Diliman. For her PhD, she joined the Biointerfaces group of Gilbert Walker at the University of Toronto, Canada and spent a year at the Steacie Institute (National Research Council) 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.

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


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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.




Daniel Lysak


Daniel is a 3rd year student in the Biological Chemistry specialist program. In his free time he enjoys reading, cycling and working as a study group facilitator. Daniel held an NSERC-USRA fellowship while in the lab (Summer 2017).


Muhammad Khan

Muhammad is a 4th year undergraduate majoring in Chemistry. He has developed an increasing interest in the development of bacterial resistance as well as the effects of toxins and similar chemicals on the human body.  Consequently, he gained experience working as a toxicologist.


Ajitha Kananathalingam

Ajitha is a 4th year student pursuing a double major in Biochemistry and Mental Health Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, working with the Environmental and Physical Sciences Students Association (EPSA) and spending time with her family. 


Noula Pitsiniaga

Noula is a recent graduate from the Lyceum of Gytheio, Greece. She is fascinated with all aspects of biology and is excited in pursuing this field. Her interests are painting, drawing, outdoor photography and learning different languages.


Nawrah Khader

Nawrah is currently a 4th year student in the Specialist for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (Co-op). In her spare time, she enjoys baking, going on road trips as well as spending time with friends and family.


Jonathan Burnie

Jonathan is a 4th year student pursuing a Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Specialist. Outside of class, he loves to read, listen to music and spend time with friends and family. 




Brody Chen, 3rd year Chemistry student in UofT St. George, UofT Excellence Award recipient while in the lab.

Eric Lentz, 4th year Biochemistry/Molecular Biology student at UTSC, Nano-Net Award recipient while in the lab.