Research and Teaching Interests
Graduate Students – our lab has taken its last MSc and PhD students - no new graduate student applications will be considered.
My basic teaching philosophy is to be enthusiastic about my subject, honest about potential confusions, and unambiguous in my explanations. I involve students in every lecture through a variety of mechanisms (call-and-response, intimate tutorials in which the students tell each other the answers using the chalkboard and I act as a facilitator, spot-the-trend checks, student papers/seminars, etc.). I try to make students feel that the lecture could not take place without them. I extensively use clear handouts so that the principles, not the details, are emphasized as being of importance. I de-emphasize memory work, and I stress the importance of integration of knowledge in the problem sets and exams (I tell the students this). Regurgitation is not part of my teaching philosophy.
Research projects in our labs study the roles of metal ions in the etiology, diagnosis, and therapy of disease. These projects encompass a variety of metal ions as well as numerous ligand systems and a wide panoply of techniques and collaborations. Synthesis of organic ligands and inorganic complexes as well as physical (potentiometric and spectrophotometric titrations, various spectroscopies, electrochemistry etc.) and biological studies (in cells, at UBC Bioservices and/or in collaboration) are undertaken in the research programme.
Education: Selwyn House School (1962-1971); B.Sc., McGill University (D. F. R. Gilson, 1971-1976); Ph.D., M.I.T. - NSERC Postgraduate Scholar (A. Davison, FRS, 1977-1981); NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley (K. N. Raymond, 1981-1983); Postdoc, McMaster University (C. J. L. Lock, 1983-1984). Director, Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry Group (1984- ).
Awards: Fellow, Chemical Institute of Canada (1992). UBC Killam Faculty Research Fellowship (1992‑1993). Society of Pure and Applied Coordination Chemistry (SPACC) of Japan Award (1996). UBC Faculty of Science Killam Teaching Prize (1998). Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award (1999-2000, 2013, 2021). UBC Faculty of Science Achievement Award for Service (2005). UBC Killam Faculty Research Prize (2006). University of Sydney Foundation for Inorganic Chemistry Lecturer 2006. JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Invitation Fellow (2007). Rio Tinto Alcan Award, Canadian Society for Chemistry (2009). Bioinorganic Chemistry Award, Royal Society of Chemistry (2009). Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2010). Davison Lecturer, MIT (2011). Canada Council Killam Research Fellowship (2011-2013). University of Canterbury (NZ) Visiting Erskine Fellow (2013). Jacob Biely Research Prize, UBC (2013). G. Ronald Brown Lecturer, McGill University (2014). Cardiff Incoming Visiting Fellow, Cardiff University, Wales (2017-2018).
Honorary Positions: International Symposium on Applied Bioinorganic Chemistry (ISABC) International Advisory Committee (2001- ). International Conference on Biological Inorganic Chemistry (ICBIC) International Organizing Committee (2007- ). Executive Secretary, International Conferences on Coordination Chemistry (2012-24). Humboldt Ambassador Scientist, Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Germany (2015-2021).