Professor, Physics and Astronomy, and Biology

Research interests: biophysics of lipids and lipid protein interactions; application of lipid films in biomedical nanotechnology


Professor Zoya Leonenko is a well-known expert in biophysics and scanning probe microscopy and is the author of over 60 scientific publications and several book chapters.

Leonenko leads a nanoscale biophysics research group at the University of Waterloo. She uses advanced scanning probe microscopy methods to study biophysics of lipids and lipid-protein interactions, interactions of nanoparticles with lipid membrane and monolayers, and to develop novel application of lipid films in biomedical nanotechnology and biosensing.

Leonenko is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy holding a joint position with Department of Biology. Professor Leonenko joined the University of Waterloo in 2007. Prior to this, she worked at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and the University of Calgary as an Assistant Professor. She was also a recipient of an Invited Professorship Award from the University of Burgundy, Dijon, France in 2006. Leonenko’s laboratory in the Department of Physics and Astronomy was established in 2007 and is supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)/Ontario Research Fund (ORF) funds. The laboratory is equipped with two advanced scanning probe microscopes from Agilent Technologies and JPK Instruments, complimented by optical and fluorescence microscopy and Langmuir-Blodgett instrumentation.


  • PhD, Chemical Physics, Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion, Novosibirsk State University, Russia

  • Diploma (MS), Physical Chemistry, Novosibirsk State University, Russia

Zoya Leonenko

    University of Waterloo