Contact Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre, Room 3606
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave. W.
Waterloo, ON. N2L 3G1
+1 519 888 4567, ext.38654
Research interests: new bionanomaterials as "green" alternatives to petroleum based latex; organic and bioorganic synthesis; novel antibiotics and nanopores
Professor Scott Taylor obtained his B.Sc. (Honours Biochemistry) from McGill University in 1986. He obtained his Ph.D in the field of physical organic chemistry from the University of Toronto, Department of Chemistry, in 1991. He joined the research group of Professor Stephen Benkovic at the Pennsylvania State University as an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow where he worked in the field of catalytic antibodies. In 1994 he joined the faculty of the Dept. of Chemistry at The University of Toronto in Mississauga as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1999. Shortly thereafter he moved to the Dept. of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo where he is currently Full Professor of Chemistry. He was awarded an IUPAC travel award in 1997 and a Premiere’s Research Excellence Award in 2000. He is a member of the Chemical Institute of Canada, The American Chemical Society, The University of Waterloo Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology (WIN).
Taylor’s research in nanotechnology is in the areas of nanomedicine and nanobiomaterials. More specifically, he uses his expertise in peptide, carbohydrate and synthetic organic chemistry, as well as nuclear magnetic resonance and biochemistry to study and develop new antibiotics that kill bacteria by forming nanopores in bacterial membranes and to create new “green” nanobiomaterials that can be used as replacements for petroleum-based products.
- PhD, Chemistry, University of Toronto, 1991
- BSc, Honours Biochemistry, McGill University, 1986
Research in the Taylor Group is interdisciplinary ranging from synthetic and medicinal chemistry to enzymology and bionanotechnology. His research efforts in bionanotechnology are described below. For a description of other research projects that are currently in progress in the Taylor Group please see his Department of Chemistry web page.
We are interested in a novel class of antibiotics that function by forming nanopores in bacterial cell membranes. These antibiotics are lipodepsipeptides which means that they consist of a lipid attached to a cyclic peptide core and contain an ester bond in the cyclic portion. Daptomycin, an antibiotic used for treating difficult infections caused by gram-positive bacteria, is an example of this type of antibiotic. We are using daptomycin as a model system to elucidate the mechanism by which these antibiotics form nanopores and to determine the structure of the nanopores. We are also engineering novel cyclic lipodepsipeptides that self-assemble to form nanopores in bacterial membranes. Our ultimate goal is to development novel antibiotics that are effective against bacteria that are resistant to current antibiotic therapies. This project makes use of techniques that are employed in synthetic chemistry, solid phase peptide synthesis and cell biology and instrumentation such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometry, mass spectrometry, fluorescence spectroscopy and HPLC.
It is now widely recognized that more cost effective and environmentally benign alternatives to petroleum and the products derived from it will be required in order to realize a future with a sustainable economy and environment. This major research initiative focusses on developing new bionanomaterials via modification and characterization of starch-based nanoparticles. Our goal is to develop these nanoparticles to the point where they can be used as “green” alternatives to petroleum-based polymers such as SB and SA latex. This project is in collaboration with Ecosynthetix, a company based in Burlington, Ontario who developed proprietary technology for preparing unmodified starch nanoparticles. We develop novel synthetic methodologies to modify the nanoparticles and use techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infrared spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering to characterize the modified particles.