Dr. Zoya Leonenko
519-888-4567 x38273
Location: 
PHY 354

Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
N2L 3G1

Group(s): 
Group Leader
Brenda Yasie Lee
519-888-4567 ext. 39124
Location: 
PHY 366

Research Interests:

  • Study of antimicrobial peptide daptomycin and its interaction with pulmonary surfactant and model bacterial membranes
  • Study of amyloid-beta interactions with model membranes in relation to Alzheimer's Disease
  • Use of atomic force microscopy, Kelvin probe force microscopy, Langmuir-Blodgett trough, fluorescence spectroscopy and black lipid membrane techniques

Leonenko Lab History:

  • May 2011 - Aug 2011: NSERC USRA Summer Student (Physics)
    * Working with atomic force microscopy imaging of amyloid-beta interactions with SG1 inhibitors
  • Sep 2011 - Dec 2012: Undergraduate Research Volunteer (Biology)
    * Atomic force microscopy imaging of DHA (omega-3) and its effect on amyloid-beta fibril formation
  • Jan 2013 - Apr 2017: PhD Candidate in Biology (Nanotechnology)
  • May 2017 - Aug 2019: Research Associate
  • Sep 2019 - Current: Volunteer Research Associate
Group(s): 
Current Students
Liz Drolle

Current Position:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Waterloo's Centre for Contact Lens Research

Leonenko Lab History:

  • Sep 2010 - Jun 2015: PhD Student (Biology)
  • Jan 2008 - Apr 2010: Undergraduate Research Assistant (Biology)

Research Interests:

  • Investigation of steroid's effect on phospholipid membranes
  • Effect of cholesterol on amyloid fibril formation
  • Study of lipid-protein films found in lens deposits
  • Atomic force microscopy and Langmuir-Blodgett studies
Group(s): 
Current Students
Dr. Robbie Henderson

Current Position:

  • MD/MBA Student at University of Saskatchewan

Leonenko Lab History:

  • Sep 2011 - Dec 2015: PhD Student (Physics)
    * Frequency modulated Kelvin probe force microscopy to study electrostatics in lipid-protein assemblies
Group(s): 
Current Students
Stephen Turnbull
Location: 
PHY 335

Research Interests:

  • The effect of melatonin on Alzheimer's disease using localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) and surface enhanced raman scattering (SERS)
Group(s): 
Current Students
Morgan Robinson

Research Interests:

  • Effect of inhibitors and melatonin on amyloid toxicity
  • Atomic force spectroscopy, cell viability studies, surface plasmon resonance

Leonenko Lab History:

  • Sep 2017 - Current: PhD (Pharmacy) Student
  • May 2015 - Aug 2017: MSc (Biology) Student
  • May 2014 - Apr 2015: BSc (Physics) Volunteer
    * Atomic force spectroscopy of amyloid beta, SERS lipid biosensing
Group(s): 
Current Students
Nanqin (Nancy) Mei

Research Interests:

  • Studying the effect of melatonin on Alzheimer's disease using localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR)

Leonenko Lab History:

  • May 2016 - Apr 2017: Undergraduate Honours Student (Physics)
    * Studying the effect of melatonin on Alzheimer's disease using localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR)
Group(s): 
Current Students
Carina Filice

Research Interests:

  • Antimicrobial peptides in relation to Alzheimer's Disease
  • Effect of melatonin on amyloid and model monolayers in relation to Alzheimer's disease

Leonenko Lab History:

  • Sep 2018 - Current: PhD Student (Biology)
  • May 2017 - Apr 2018: Undergraduate Honours Student (Biology)
Group(s): 
Current Students
James Livingstone

Research Interests:

  • Effect of amyloid and melatonin on neuronal plasticity

Leonenko Lab History:

  • Sep 2018 - Current: MSc Student (Biology)
  • Sep 2016 - May 2017: Undergraduate Honours Student (Biomedical Sciences)
Group(s): 
Current Students
Yue Xu

Research Interests:

  • Biophysics: Effect of trehalose on membrane protection against amyloid toxicity

Leonenko Lab History:

  • Sep 2018 - Current: BSc Student (Materials & Nanoscience)
Group(s): 
Current Students

Research Interests:

  • Quantum biology: effect of Li isotopes on neuronal membrane potential

Leonenko Lab History:

  • Jan 2019 - Current: NSERC Undergraduate Co-op

Research Interests:

  • Biosensor technologies: detection of cannabis by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) with Sanntek

Leonenko Lab History:

  • Jan 2019 - Undergraduate Honours Student (Science)
Group(s): 
Current Students

Thank you to all our past members for their contributions to the lab!


DR. FRANCIS HANE
Nov 2013 - Dec 2018
    Collaborator and Volunteer Research Associate
Sep 2009 - Oct 2013
    PhD Student (Biology)
Sep 2007 - Jun 2009
    MSc Student (Biology)
Research: Effect of metal ions and amyloid aggregation inhibitors on the unbinding force, kinetics and free energy landscape of amyloid-beta dimers using single molecule dynamic force spectroscopy
Currently: PDF at Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (Lakehead), Pilot


JENNIFER LOU
Jun 2017 - Aug 2017
    NSERC Summer Student
Jan 2015 - Aug 2015
    Undergraduate Volunteer (Life Physics)
Sep 2014 - Dec 2014
    NSERC Undergraduate Co-op
Research: AFM to test novel amyloid inhibitors
Currently: MSc Student at University of Toronto


JAMES LIVINGSTONE
Sep 2016 - May 2017
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Biomedical Sciences)
Research: Effect of amyloid and melatonin on neuronal plasticity
Currently: BSc from University of Waterloo


MAUREEN LI
May 2016 - Aug 2016
    BSc Student (Biology)
Jan 2015 - Apr 2016
    Undergraduate Honours Student
Research: AFM study of daptomycin and derivatives on monolayers
Currently: PharmD Student at University of Waterloo


JEFF LAM
May 2016 - Aug 2016
    BSc Student (Biology)
Jan 2015 - Apr 2016
    Undergraduate Honours Student
Research: Studying the effect of daptomycin and derivatives on monolayers
Currently: MSc Student atMcMaster University


JINGSI GONG
Jan 2016 - Apr 2016
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Physics)
Sep 2015 - Dec 2015
    Undergraduate Co-op Student
Research: Developing lipid-based biosensing platform for SPR
Currently: ------


JACOB BRUNNING
Jan 2016 - Apr 2016
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Materials & Nanosciences)
Sep 2015 - Dec 2015
    Undergraduate Co-op Student
Research: Raman spectroscopy for melatonin and amyloid
Currently: BSc Student at University of Waterloo


FIORELLA VILLANUEVA
Sep 2015 - Dec 2015
    Undergraduate Volunteer (Materials & Nanosciences)
Research: Raman spectroscopy for melatonin and amyloid
Currently: BSc Student at University of Waterloo


JOCELYN VAN LEEUWEN
Sep 2015 - Dec 2015
    Undergraduate Volunteer (Materials & Nanosciences)
Research: Cell viability in relation to amyloid inhibitors University of Waterloo


MICHELLE WYSOCKI
May 2015 - Dec 2015
    High School Volunteer
Research: Interaction of daptomycin with model membranes
Currently: Undergraduate Student at University of Toronto


KELSEY FORREST
Jan 2015 - Jun 2015
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Life Physics)
Research: Study of lipid monolayers to mimic bacterial membranes using KPFM
Currently: MSc Student (Physics) at Ryerson University


MELISSA PRICKAERTS
May 2014 - Dec 2014
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Biochemistry)
Research: AFM and KPFM study of lipid-Gemini surfactant monolayers
Currently: BSc Student at University of Waterloo


DR. VINCE CHOI
Sep 2009 - Oct 2014
    PhD Student (Biology)
Sep 2008 - Apr 2009
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Biology)
Research: AFM study of effect of melatonin on model lipid membranes in relation to Alzheimer's Disease
Currently: ----------


VICTORIA HIGGINS
May 2013 - Aug 2014
    NSERC Undergraduate Student (Biomedical Sciences)
Sep 2013 - Apr 2014
    Honours Student
May 2013 - Aug 2013
    NSERC Undergraduate Student
Research: Study of bacterial and host membranes using fluorescence spectroscopy
Currently: MSc Student at University of Toronto


REID HAYES
Jan 2014 - Apr 2014
    Undergraduate Co-op Student (Mathematical Physics)
Research: Study of amyloid-beta and its interactions using atomic force spectroscopy
Currently: BSc Student at University of Waterloo


CODY SHIRRIFF
Sep 2013 - Jan 2014
    Undergraduate Volunteer (Biology)
Research: Review on nutrition and Alzheimer's Disease
Currently: MSc Student at University of Waterloo


GURJIT MANN
Sep 2013 - Dec 2013
    Undergraduate Volunteer (Business & Health Sciences)
Research: Review of the pharmaceuticals involved in Alzheimer's research
Currently: BA/AHS Student at University of Waterloo


THIVAHER PARAMSOTHY
Sep 2013 - Dec 2013
    Volunteer (BSc Health Sciences)
Research: Review of current Alzheimer's detection/prevention
Currently: BSc Student at University of Waterloo


CLAIRE TINKER-MILL
October 2013
    Visiting PhD Student (Biophysics) from Lancaster University
Research: Nanostructure of amyloid fibrils
Currently: PhD Student at Lancaster University


DR. SIMON ATTWOOD
Mar 2011 - Sep 2013
    Postdoctoral Fellow (Physics)
Research: Study of lipid membranes using atomic force spectroscopy and microscopy
Currently: Postdoctoral Fellow at Imperial College London


OSMAN KAHIYE
Sep 2013 - Jan 2014
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Biomedical Sciences)
May 2013 - Aug 2013
    NSERC Undergraduate Student
Research: AFM study of both nanoparticles and mitochondrial membrane
Currently: BSc from University of Waterloo


KEELY HAMMOND
May 2013 - Aug 2013
    NSERC Undergraduate Student (Biophysics) from University of British Columbia
Research: Study of mixed lipid monolayers as neuronal membrane model (AFM/KPFM/LB)
Currently: BSc from University of BC


FLORENT MARTIN
Jun 2013 - Jul 2013
    Visiting MS Student(Physics) from University of Burgundy (France)
Research: AFM combined with microfluidic device to study amyloid-lipid interactions
Currently: Materials Engineer


PATRICIA JOHNSON
Jan 2013 - Apr 2013
    Undergraduate Student (Physics)
Research: Effect of DHA on amyloid fibril formation
Currently: MSc Student at University of Western Ontario


GUSTAVO (TAVO) CORDOVA
Sep 2010 - Sep 2012
    Masters Student (Biology - Nanotechnology)
Research: AFM/MFM study of interaction of magnetic nanoparticles with lipid membrane
Currently: Medical Student at University of Limerick


DR. RAVI GAIKWAD
Jun 2010 - Jul 2012
    Postdoctoral Fellow (Physics)
Research: AFM and KPFM study of lipid monolayers and membranes
Currently: Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Alberta


NANCY ELEWA
Sep 2011 - Aug 2012
    PhD Student (Physics)
Research: Interaction of antimicrobial peptides with lipid membrane
Currently: Lecturing assistant at Ain Shams University


TAMARA ROZINA
Sep 2011 - Apr 2012
    Masters Student (Physics)
Research: AFM and fluorescence study of lipid monolayers
Currently: MSc from University of Waterloo


OLZHAS TAZABEKOV
Sep 2011 - Apr 2012
    Masters Student (Physics - Grenoble INP)
Research: Development of novel multiprobe microchip-based AFM technology
Currently: PhD Student at University of Waterloo


VICTOR MALKOV
Sep 2011 - Apr 2012
    Undergraduate Volunteer (Mathematical Physics)
May 2011 - Aug 2011
    Undergraduate Research Assistant (Part-Time)
Jan 2011 - Apr 2011
    Undergraduate Co-op Student (Mathematical Physics)
Research: AFM breakthrough forces in lipid membranes
Currently: MSc Student at Carleton University


STEVEN CHEUNG
Sep 2011 - Apr 2012
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Biology)
May 2011 - Aug 2011
    Undergraduate Volunteer
Research: AFM study of lipid deposits on contact lenses
Currently: MSc Student at University of Waterloo


HEATHER WANG
Sep 2011 - Apr 2012
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Biology)
May 2011 - Aug 2011
    Undergraduate Volunteer
Research: Interactions of nanoparticles with plants
Currently: Dentistry Student at University of Western Ontario


JEFF BROCKHOUSE
Sep 2010 - Apr 2011
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Physics)
Sep 2009 - Aug 2010
    Undergraduate Volunteer
May 2009 - Aug 2009
    Undergraduate Co-op Student
Research: Application of QCM to study lipid membranes
Currently: Paramedic


GARY TRAN
Sep 2010 - Apr 2011
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Biology)
May 2010 - Aug 2010
    Undergraduate Volunteer
Research: Effect of DHA on amyloid fibril formation
Currently: Medical Student at University of Toronto


LAETITIA TAM
Sep 2010 - Apr 2011
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Biology)
Sep 2009 - Apr 2010
    Undergraduate Volunteer
Research: Nanofabrication of porous substrates for biosensing
Currently: Medical Student at University of Toronto


MIKE ROSSI
Sep 2010 - Apr 2011
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Physics)
Sep 2009 - Apr 2010
    Undergraduate Volunteer
Research: AFM and QCM study of lipid membranes
Currently: Co-Founder of Sweet Tooth


SARAH HAGEDORN
May 2011 - Aug 2011
    Undergraduate Volunteer (Biology)
Sep 2010 - Apr 2011
    Undergraduate Honours Student
May 2010 - Aug 2010
    Undergraduate Volunteer
Research: AFM study of lens deposits
Currently: PharmD (UofWaterloo), Optometrist


MAHMOUD YOUSSEF
May 2011 - Aug 2011
    NSERC Undergraduate Student (Biology)
Research: AFM study of model monolayers
Currently: Medical Student at Deakin University


HEATHER RUSSELL
2011 - 2011
    Masters Student (Physics) (Perimeter Institute International Student)
Research: Theoretical study to understand the breakthrough forces measured in lipid membranes
Currently: PhD Student at Washington University


ERIN FAUGHT
Sep 2009 - Apr 2010
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Biology)
Jan 2009 - Aug 2009
    Undergraduate Co-op Student
Sep 2007 - Apr 2008
    Undergraduate Volunteer
Research: Effect of cortisol on lipid membrane structure
Currently: PhD Student at University of Calgary


BRADLEY MOORES
Sep 2008 - Apr 2010
    Masters Student (Physics)
Sep 2007 - Apr 2008
    Undergraduate Honours Student (Physics)
Research: Development of novel KPFM technique for biological applications
Currently: PhD Student at MIT


HOLGER PETERS
May 2010 - Aug 2011
    Visiting Masters Student (Physics) from Karlsruher University (Germany)
Research: AFM and fluorescence study of effect of cholesterol on lipid membranes
Currently: Software Engineer


RYAN SPELLER
May 2010 - Aug 2010
    Undergraduate Research Assistant (Physics)
Sep 2009 - Apr 2010
    Undergraduate Honours Student
Research: Application of SPR to study amyloid-lipid intereactions
Currently: Trading Products Associate at BMO Capital Markets


MEHWISH IDREES
May 2010 - Aug 2010
    NSERC Undergraduate Student (Health Studies)
Research: Effect of SDS on amyloid fibril formation
Currently: Health professional


JANET SIMONS
May 2008 - Aug 2008
    NSERC Undergraduate Student (Biology)
Research: Amyloid fibrillization on modified substrates
Currently: Medical Biochemistry Resident at McMaster

Group(s): 
Past Students

Contacts by group