Meet New Faculty Member - Katherine Bujold
Who or what inspired you to become a scientist?
I was inspired to pursue studies in Chemistry during my second year of CEGEP while conducting a year-long project on conductive polymers with five classmates. This was my first experience carrying out an independent project and I immediately got hooked. I enjoyed being able to ask my own questions and having to figure out ways to answer them. For the first time, the focus of this project was on expanding our knowledge of the world we live in instead of simply having to arrive at a pre-defined result, which was very satisfying to me.
What's the focus of your research?
I am very excited to join the Chemistry & Chemical Biology department at McMaster University. My group’s focus will be on the synthesis of oligonucleotides with modified backbones and on the design of nucleic acid architectures with programmed chemical functions in order to expand their scope in biological applications.
When you're not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
In my free time, I thoroughly enjoy being outdoors where I can usually be found biking, walking, skiing, playing hockey or trying out new restaurants.
Katherine enrolled in Honors Chemistry at McGill University, where she conducted her undergraduate Honors project with Prof. Sleiman and Prof. Barrett on stimuli-responsive DNA nanotubes. She enjoyed working on this project so much that she decided to stay on and pursue a PhD in Prof. Sleiman’s group, which focused on the design of optimized DNA nanostructures for biological applications. While completing her PhD, she worked on a short-term collaborative project between McGill University and Agriculture Canada on the re-valorization of food by-products for food preservation applications, which allowed her to explore topics of food science and bioresource engineering. She then joined Prof. Mirkin’s group at Northwestern University for a postdoc focused on the synthesis of cationic oligonucleotides and their biological applications in the linear form and on the spherical nucleic acid platform.