Recent News

Project funding period ended

In June 2015 the funding for the BEEM projected ended.

BEEM has been a huge success, as measured by any number of metrics.  Our goal of developing the technical expertise as well as methods to analyze policy and to monitor and capitalize on potential sources of wastes and contaminants has worked well, resulting not only in significant research outcomes, but also in securing bioproduct approval and moving down the path to commercialization of technologies.

Overall, more...

BEEM researchers win Grand Challenges Canada grant

Congratulations to Professors Radhakrishnan Mahadevan, Alexei Savchenko and Alexander Yakunin, whose project titled "Low cost TB drugs created using synthetic biology" has won a grant from...

Meet BEEM Project Manager Mel Duhamel "Off the Clock"

Mel Duhamel (BEEM Project Manager and Assistant Director of BioZone) is featured in today's "Off the Clock" series in the UofT Bulletin.  Read the story and learn about Mel's environmental activism here.

Radhakrishnan Mahadevan at Max Planck Institute as Humboldt Fellow

Professor Radhakrishnan Mahadevan has been welcomed to the Max Planck Institute Magdeburg in Germany as a Humboldt Fellow, and will spend the next six months working with the Analysis and Redesign of Biological Networks research group headed by Dr. Steffen Klamt.
Professor Mahadevan's research lies in mathematical modeling of metabolic and...

Bradley Saville predicts Alberta as Canada's biofuel leader

Alberta, a province widely known for its energy production from oil, could soon lead the nation in renewable biofuel production, according to Professor Bradley Saville.  Speaking at an event at the University of Alberta, Saville explained that biodiesel and other bio-based fuels can now be derived from a variety of energy crops, and that the province's large areas of productive land could place it in a leadership position in replacing petroleum-based transportation...

Olivia Molenda awarded NSERC scholarship

Congratulations to PhD student Olivia Molenda who has been awarded a 3-yr NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship.  The scholarship supports her work on bioremediation under the supervision of Elizabeth Edwards.  Visit the NSERC scholarship website to learn more about these awards.

Green Gene Revolution: outreach event for high school students

On May 7, BioZone welcomed high school students from across Toronto for Green Gene Revolution, an interactive one-day event about the potential for bioengineering to address important societal needs in energy and the environment.  The event was supported by the Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, the Province of Ontario's...

Professors honoured for their research contributions

BEEM researchers Elizabeth Edwards, Radhakrishnan Mahadevan and Emma Master have been honoured with the University of Toronto's Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering's inaugural Research Leader Award.  This award recognizes their leadership in...

Emma Master featured in UofT Magazine

Emma Master is one of 10 young researchers profiled in the Spring 2013 issue of UofT Magazine in a feature called "Sparks of Brilliance".  The article describes her innovative approach to creating plastics and other materials from renewable resources.  Read...

BEEM researchers featured in Canadian Chemical News

The innovative work of BEEM's Radhakrishnan Mahadevan, Emma Master and their research teams is profiled in a special issue of Canadian Chemical News focused on biotechnology. 

The article, titled "Nature's Industrialists", describes their efforts to harness the natural abilities of microbes and their enzymes to transform renewable...

3rd Annual BEEM Research Meeting held at the University of Toronto

The 3rd Annual BEEM Research Meeting took place on Sep 26, 2012, at the University of Toronto's historic Hart House.  Over 80 BEEM project researchers, students and collaborators attended the meeting, which featured research presentations and lively discussion of recent results and future directions.  A meeting of the BEEM Science Advisory Board and Principal Investigators took place on Sep 27. ...

Radhakrishnan Mahadevan wins Young Investigator Award

Congratulations to BEEM Co-Investigator Radhakrishnan Mahadevan for winning the 2012 Young Investigator Award presented by the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in the field of industrial microbiology and biotechnology.  Read the full story here.

BEEM Principal Investigator named Fellow of the RSC

BEEM Principal Investigator Elizabeth Edwards has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada - one of Canada's most prestigious academic honours - in recognition of her pioneering research in bioremediation.  Read the complete story here.

Emma Master receives NSERC grant

Congratulations to BEEM Co-Investigator Emma Master who has been awarded an NSERC Discovery Grant.  The grant will support her work on biomolecular self-assembly of hydrophobins and fusion constructs for biocatalytic surfaces and multi-enzyme complexes.  For more information on NSERC grants, click here.

Elizabeth Edwards featured in Globe and Mail

The work of BioZone Director Elizabeth Edwards on the use of soil microbes to clean up groundwater contamination is featured in today's Globe and Mail.  The article is part of a special section highlighting "Green Solutions" to environmental and energy challenges.  Read the full article here.

Elizabeth Edwards featured in the Toronto Star

BEEM Project Leader Elizabeth Edwards is featured in an article in the Toronto Star about bioremediation and its use in cleaning up groundwater pollution.

Click here to read the full article.

NSERC grant awarded to collaborative project

BEEM Co-Investigator Emma Master is one of the collaborators on a project that has been awarded a Strategic Projects Grant by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.  The project, led by Kecheng Li from the University of New Brunswick, will receive $598,260 in support of innovative research in the field of biorefining of wood and agricultural biomass. ...

Elizabeth Edwards featured in Engineering Dimensions

BEEM Project Leader Elizabeth Edwards is featured in the Jan / Feb 2012 issue of Engineering Dimensions, the magazine of the Professional Engineers of Ontario.  The article, on pg. 8, covers the 2011 OPEA awards ceremony at which Dr. Edwards was honoured with an Engineering Medal - Research &...

2nd Annual BEEM Research Meeting

The 2nd Annual BEEM Research Meeting took place at the University of Toronto on Oct. 5 and 6, 2011, and brought together 85 BEEM researchers, international collaborators and partners to share recent research results and discuss new directions.  The event included a full-day research symposium as well as meetings of the Science Advisory Board and Commercialization Committee.  Featured speakers included:

  • Andrei Osterman (Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute,...
BEEM summer students win UnERD recognition

Congratulations to BEEM summer students Michelle Fan and Angie Tse, whose presentations received honours at the annual Undergraduate Engineering Research Day at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.  Michelle was awarded top presenter in her session for her presentation titled "Effects of bare NZVI and CMC-NZVI on TCE degradation by KB-1:  Higher Rates of Bacterial Dechlorination".  Angie won runner-up...

BEEM researchers tour Tembec facility

On May 16, 2011, a contingent of eight of students, postdoctoral fellows and professors travelled to Temiscaming, Quebec, to visit one of our long-time industrial supporters, Tembec Inc.  

Professors Elizabeth Edwards and Emma Master were accompanied by BEEM Project Manager Melanie Duhamel, and Nian Chung,  Eric Jin, Michael Lacourt, Torsten Meyer and Angie Tse.  Personnel from Tembec organized a guided tour of the pulp and paper mill...

BEEM investigators awarded seven NSERC grants

BEEM Principal Investigators Malcolm Campbell, Radhakrishnan Mahadevan and Emma Master have been awarded seven NSERC grants totalling over $650,000.  Malcolm Campbell received a Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grant and Discovery Grant with Accelerator Supplement to support his work on comparative functional genomics of plant resource acquisition, perception and allocation.  Radhakrishnan Mahadevan received similar awards...

Emma Master receives Research Excellence Award

Congratulations to BEEM PI Emma Master for winning a large award under the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation's Research Excellence Program.  The award of $2,086,502 will be used for research into the conversion of forest and agricultural biomass into innovative high-value bioproducts including bio-based polymers, composites and chemicals.  Read the full story...

EDGE Magazine features Heather MacLean's research

BEEM Co-Investigator Heather MacLean's work in collaboration with Ontario Power Generation on the use of wood pellets to replace coal in energy production is featured in the Spring 2011 issue of EDGE Magazine.  The article titled "Goodbye to Coal" can be found on page 7 of the magazine.  The work is especially relevant in Ontario, where the use of coal in energy production is expected...

Elizabeth Edwards wins Ontario Professional Engineers Award

Elizabeth Edwards has received an Ontario Professional Engineers Award in recognition of her pioneering research in bioremediation.  These awards from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) and Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) recognize outstanding individuals for engineering excellence and community service.  Read the full story here.

Krishna Mahadevan wins PNNL Outstanding Lecturer Award

Congratulations to BEEM Principal Investigator Krishna Mahadevan for winning the Outstanding Lecturer Award as part of the "Frontiers in Biological Sciences" Seminar Series hosted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  Click here for more information.

Elizabeth Edwards inducted into Canadian Academy of Engineering

BEEM Project Leader Elizabeth Edwards has been inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering, in recognition of her outstanding work as an educator, engineer and researcher.  Read the full story here.

Elizabeth Edwards appointed Director of BioZone

Elizabeth Edwards has been appointed Director of BioZone, a multidisciplinary centre for collaborative bioengineering research at the University of Toronto.  As a centre for applied and environmental microbiology, BioZone focuses on urgent societal needs such as energy, environment and health, and is home to graduate students in bioscience, bioengineering and related disciplines. ...

Ahsan Islam wins Frances Bradfield Graduate Fellowship

PhD candidate Ahsan Islam has been awarded a 2011 Frances Bradfield Graduate Fellowship in Environmental Engineering.  This prize is awarded by the University of Toronto's Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry on the basis of academic merit to doctoral-stream graduate students specializing in Environmental Engineering within the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.

Krishna Mahadevan wins NSERC Strategic Grant

Krishna Mahadevan has been awarded a 2011 NSERC Strategic Projects Grant for work on rational design of microbial strains for new biochemical products, supported by partner DNP Canada Inc.  Read the full story here.

Emma Master wins NSERC Strategic Grant

Emma Master has been awarded a 2011 NSERC Strategic Grant for work on reagent development and assessment for biomass conversion, supported by the Canadian Forest Service.  Read the full story here.

Elizabeth Edwards featured in Canadian Chemical News

BEEM Project Leader Elizabeth Edwards is featured in the Jan 2011 issue of Canadian Chemical News as part of a series profiling Canadian women in chemical science and engineering in celebration of the International Year of Chemistry.  The article credits Edwards with being "a driving force in propelling bioaugmentation from pie-in-the-sky lab research to real-world practice".  Click here to...

Elizabeth Edwards elected Fellow of the AAAS

BEEM Project Leader Elizabeth Edwards has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in recognition of her "distinguished contributions to the field of environmental microbiological engineering, particularly the biodegradation, biotransformation and bioremediation of organic pollutants in soil and water."  


1st Annual BEEM Research Meeting a great success

On Nov 18 and 19, 2010, the University of Toronto hosted the 1st Annual BEEM Research Meeting.  The event brought together over 70 BEEM researchers, students, collaborators and partners from various institutions for two days of research presentations and lively discussion, as well as a student poster session and dinner.  Also in attendance were the members of the BEEM Science Advisory Board, who met with the project's principal investigators to...

Krishna Mahadevan wins Jay Bailey Young Investigator Award

Krishna Mahadevan has received the Jay Bailey Young Investigator Award for his outstanding work in the field of metabolic engineering and its application to increase bioprocess productivity. 

Full story:

David Sanscartier wins NSERC PDF Award.

Congratulations to post-doctoral fellow David Sanscartier, who has won the prestigious NSERC PDF award for work on life cycle models and policy for anaerobic digestion.

Alexei Savchenko and Alexander Yakunin win NSERC Discovery award

Alexei Savchenko and Alexander Yakunin have been awarded a 2010 NSERC Discovery grant for detailed biochemical and structural studies of three main CRISPR protein families to reveal the molecular mechanisms of CRISPR, a novel microbial genome protection system.

Elizabeth Edwards receives Kalev Pugi Award

Elizabeth Edwards has been awarded the Kalev Pugi Award for the development of KB-1, a dechlorinating culture that is being successfully used to remediate industrial groundwater contamination.  This award is for R&D projects that embody the qualities of creativity and determination, good experimental design and project management, and which have had a significant beneficial impact on the sponsoring company or on society.


Heather MacLean’s research featured in Globe and Mail

Heather MacLean’s work is featured in the Globe and Mail article “Ontario power utility burns wood in a move away from coal” by Shawn McCarthy 

Download the Document (.doc)

Emma Master’s research featured in EDGE magazine

Emma Master’s research on the use of enzymes to make plastics from plant material rather than fossil fuels is featured in EDGE magazine.

Read the Full Story.

Elizabeth Edwards and Geosyntec Consultants win 2009 NSERC Synergy Award

Professor Elizabeth Edwards  and Geosyntec Consultants have been awarded the 2009 NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation in the Large Company Category, in recognition of their outstanding partnerships in research and development. 

The aim of their partnership has been to develop effective bioremediation techniques that use bacteria to clean up contaminated groundwater. Their collaboration has led to the development of the...

Elizabeth Edwards awarded NSERC Discovery Accelerator grant

Elizabeth Edwards has been awarded a 2009 NSERC Discovery Accelerator grant to help support research on metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic efforts to uncover the mechanisms of anaerobic aromatic hydrocarbon transformation.