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SFU scientist wins Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Research Excellence Award


Ottawa, ON – Simon Fraser chemist David J. Vocadlo, MCIC, has received the 2013 Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Research Excellence Award from the Canadian Society for Chemistry.

The prize is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to medicinally relevant organic or biophysical chemistry while working in Canada.

Prof Vocadlo received his BSc in 1994 in combined chemistry and biochemistry from The University of British Columbia (UBC). From 1994-1996 he worked as a research assistant at UBC in laboratories including the Biotechnology Laboratory and the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada. In 1996 he joined Stephen G. Withers group at UBC where he clarified the catalytic mechanism of hen egg white lysozyme, leading to revised discussion of this classic enzyme in textbooks. Moving to the University of California at Berkeley in 2002 he worked with Carolyn R. Bertozzi, developing chemical probes for functional proteomics of glycosylation in cellular systems, some of which are now commercialized.

Returning to Canada in 2004, he joined Simon Fraser University (SFU) where he is a professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. He is a Canada Research Chair in Chemical Glycobiology and a founder of Alectos Therapeutics, a biotechology company dedicated to the development of small-molecule therapeutics. His research focuses on developing chemical tools to probe carbohydrates and validate the utility of these new tools in cellular and organismal models.