- 2003 – 2007 B.Sc. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Northern British Columbia
- 2007 – 2012 Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Alberta (Thesis advisor, Todd Lowary)
- 2012 – 2016 Postdoc Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow (Postdoc advisor, Vern Schramm)
Bioorganic Chemistry, Enzymology, Carbohydrate Chemistry, Glycobiology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Bacterial Biofilm Biosynthesis, Membrane Transport of Polysaccharides, Kinetic Isotope Effects
Major Recognitions and Honors
- 2020, NSF CAREER award
- 2016, Dennis Shields Postdoctoral Research Prize, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- 2014 – 2016 , NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- 2010 – 2012, NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship, University of Alberta
- 2010 – 2012, President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction, University of Alberta
- 2008 – 2011, Alberta Innovates Technology Futures Graduate Scholarship, University of Alberta
- 2007 – 2008, NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship, University of Alberta
Recent Publications (graduate* and undergraduate students** supervised by Dr. Poulin)
Kljaic, T.*, Scott, M.A.*, Guirguis, V.**, Tyrlik, M., Liu**, A. & Poulin, M.B. A Quantitative Whole Molecule MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry Method for Analysis of Heavy Atom Kinetic Isotope Effects for Enzymatic Reactions. (in preparation)
Breslawec, A.P.*, Wang, S.*, Li, C.** & Poulin, M.B. Anionic Amino Acids Influence the Substrate Specificity of Biofilm Degrading Glycosidase Dispersin B. BioRxiv Preprint 2020, DOI.org/10.1101/2020.08.05.239020
Wang, S.*, Breslawec, A. P.*, Li, C.**, & Poulin, M.B. A Colorimetric Assay to Enable High-Throughput Identification of Biofilm Exopolysaccharide-Hydrolyzing Enzymes. Chem. Eur. J. 2020, 26, 10719-10723.
Wang, S.*, Breslawec, A.P.*, Alvarez, E.**, Tyrlik, M.**, Li, C.** & Poulin, M.B. Differential Recognition of Deacetylated PNAG Oligosaccharides by a Biofilm Degrading Glycosidase. ACS Chem. Biol. 2019, 14, 1998-2005.
Chemical Biology of Microbial Biofilm Exopolysaccharides
My laboratory is interested in developing tools to study the biosynthesis of bacterial exopolysaccharides and the role of these exopolysaccharides in biofilm formation and bacterial infections. Projects in the lab use a multidisciplinary approach combining synthetic carbohydrate chemistry, enzymology, membrane protein biochemistry and molecular biology to study the structure, biosynthesis, transport, and breakdown of functions of exopolysaccharide that make up the extracellular matrix of bacterial biofilm communities. Projects in my lab fall into one of three categories:
Research Area #1
We are interested in developing tools to study the biosynthesis, and export of bacterial exopolysaccharides and the role of these exopolysaccharides in biofilm formation and bacterial infections.
Research Area #2
We are interested in identifying and characterizing enzymes involved in the breakdown of bacterial biofilm exopolysaccharides and studying the role of these enzymes in biofilm dispersal.
Research Area #3
We are developing chemical probes that disrupt exopolysaccharide biosynthesis in order to study their role in biofilm assembly in vivo. This approach combines mechanism-based inhibitor design and transition state analog design approaches based on KIE measurements to develop inhibitors of the glycosyltransferase enzymes involved in exopolysaccharide biosynthesis.