Picture of Christopher Phenix

Christopher Phenix B.Sc., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Faculty Member in Chemistry

Thorvaldson 321


N-Alkylated Conduritol Aziridines are Potent, Specific and Cell-permeable Covalent Inactivators of Human β-Glucocerebrosidase. Benjamin T. Adams, Sarah Niccoli, Ashley Esarik, Morshed A. Chowdhury, Simon J. Lees, Brian P. Rempel and Christopher P. Phenix.  Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 11390

Creating and virtually screening databases of fluorescently-labeled compounds for the discovery of target-specific molecular probes.  Kamstra, R.L., Dadgar, S., Wigg, J., Chowdhury, M.A., Phenix, C.P., and Floriano, W.B. Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design. Published online Aug 24, 2014.

Carbohydrate-Modified Electrode Surfaces Sensitive to β-Glucosidase Enzyme Activity.  Ervin, E.M., Adams, B.T., Snyman,N., Phenix, C.P., Kariuki, J.K., and Rempel, B.P.   J Int. J. Electrochem. Sci., 9, 2014, 6043-6058.

Prodrug-Inspired Probes Selective to Cathepsin B Over Other Cysteine Cathepsins.  Morshed A. Chowdhury, Ignace A. Moya, Shardul Bhilocha, Cody C. McMillan, Brady G. Vigliarolo, Ingeborg Zehbe, and Christopher P. Phenix.  Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 57(14), 2014, 6092-104.

High intensity focused ultrasound technology, its scope and applications in therapy and drug delivery.  Phenix, C.P., Togtema, M., Zehbe, I. and Curiel, L.  Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences 17(1), 2014, 136-53.

Noninvasive imaging of Enzyme Replacement Therapy using PET: Proof of Concept For Gaucher Disease.  Phenix, C.P., Rempel, B.P., Colobong, K. Doudet, D.J., Adam, M.J., Clarke, L.A., and Withers, S.G.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA., 107 (25), 2010, 10842-10847.
*Article was featured in the June 7th, 2010 issue of Chemical and Engineering News.

Isothermal Titration Microcalorimetry Reveals the Cooperative and Noncompetitive Nature of Inhibition of Sinorhizobium meliloti L5-30 Dihydrodipicolinate Synthase by (S)-Lysine.  Phenix, C.P. and Palmer, D.R.J.  Biochemistry, 47,(30), 2008, 7779–7781. *Article was one of Biochemistry’s “most accessed” rapid report of 2008.

Structural, functional and calorimetric investigation of MosA, a dihydrodipicolinate synthase from Sinorhizobium meliloti L5-30, does not support involvement in rhizopine biosynthesis.  Phenix, C.P., Nienaber, K., Tam, P.H., Delbaere, L.T.J. and Palmer, D.R.J.  ChemBiochem, 9,(10), 2008, 1591-1602.

Crystallization, X-ray diffraction, and structure solution of MosA, a dihydrodipicolinate synthase from Sinorhizobium meliloti L5-30. Leduc, Y. A., Phenix, C.P., Puttick, J., Nienaber, K., Palmer, D.R.J. and Delbaere, L.T.J. Acta Crystallographica F, 62, 2006, 49-51.

Stereoselective oxidation of protected inositol derivatives catalyzed by inositol dehydrogenase from Bacillus subtilis. Daniellou, R., Phenix, C.P., Tam, P.H., Laliberte, M.C and Palmer, D.R.J. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 3, 2005, 401-403.

MosA, a Protein Implicated in Rhizopine Biosynthesis in Sinorhizobium meliloti L5-30, is a Dihydrodipicolinate Synthase. Tam, P.H., Phenix, C. P. and Palmer, D.R.J.  Journal of Molecular Biology, 335(2), 2004, 393-397.

Teaching & Supervision


Course Instructor

Chemistry 3271 and Biology 3272 (“Biochemistry II”)
Lakehead University, January – April 2015

Chemistry 3251 and Biology 3252 (“Biochemistry I”)
Lakehead University, September – December 2013

Chemistry 3251 and Biology 3252 (“Biochemistry I”)
Lakehead University, September – December 2012

Chemistry 3271 and Biology 3272 (“Biochemistry II”)
Lakehead University, January – April 2011

Chemistry 4710/5311 (“Drug Design Module”)
Lakehead University, February 2011 and 2012


Guest Lecturer

Chemistry 4131/5131 (“Intro to Medical Imaging) 4 Lectures on PET molecular imaging
Lakehead University, Feb 2012 and Feb 2015

Psychology 100 (“Introduction to Psychology”) 1 Lecture on PET tracers for brain imaging
University of Regina, October, 2012

Chemistry 3271 and Biology 3272 (“Biochemistry II”) 2 Lectures on Tyrosine Kinase Receptors and Her2 Cancer
Lakehead University, January – April 2010

Research Technicians

Ashley Esarik – M.Sc. University of Waterloo, Radiochemistry and Medical Imaging, 2013
April 2014 – Current
Research Associates
Dr. Morshed Chowdhury - Ph.D.: Organic Synthesis, Kitami Institute of Technology/Hokkaido University, Japan, 2002. 
Project: Prodrug inspired probes for In Vivo imaging of protease activity
November 2010 – Current
Postdoctoral Fellows
Dr. Shusheng Wang – Ph.D. Biochemistry. Northeast Normal University, China, 2008.
Project: Cathepsin B probes that immobilize in the tumour environment.
January 2014 – Current
Dr. Ignace Moya – Ph.D.: Enzymology, University of Waterloo, 2011.
Project: Imaging markers to assess cancer aggressiveness and metastatic potential
January 2012 – July 2015. Currently at SQI Diagnostics, Toronto Canada.
Graduate Students Supervised
Benjamin Adams – B.Sc. Chemistry and Biology, Lakehead University, 2010.
Project: Aminocyclitol based chemical chaperones for treatment of Gaucher Disease
September 2010 – 2013
Currently in Pharmacy at the University of Alberta
Brady Vigliarolo – M.S.c , Lakehead University, 2011 - 2013. 
Project: Design and Synthesis of Prodrug Inspired Probes that Target Cathepsin B
Currently enrolled in the PhD program at Lakehead University
Current Graduate Students
Daniel Tesolin – M.Sc. Student
Project: Synthesis of F-18 labeled conduritol aziridines for imaging GBA1 as an early marker of Parkinson’s disease
May 2015 – Current
Sepideh Dagdar – Ph.D. Student
Project: Computer Assisted Discovery of Cathepsin B Targeting Probes.
Janurary 2015 – Current (Co-supervised by Dr. Wely Floriano)
Brenda Huska – M.Sc Student
Project: FDG-PET imaging to assess leucine mediated protein synthesis in skeletal      muscle
Sept 2014 – Current (Co-supervised by Dr. Simon Lees at NOSM)
Brady Vigliarolo - Ph.D. Student
Project: Design and Synthesis of Prodrug Inspired Probes that Target Cathepsin B
Brady is funded by the NSERC CREATE - Imaging Probes (PI: John Valliant McMaster)
Undergraduate Honors Thesis Supervised
Jacqueline Larriza – Lakehead University
Project: Leucine Mediated Protein Synthesis
September 2014 – Current
Jeffrey Gustafson – Lakehead University
Project: Cathepsin B expression in response to Her2 truncation and Herceptin Therapy
September 2014 – Current
Alea Crupi – Lakehead University
Project: Synthesis of Cell Impermeable Probes for Imaging Extracellular Cathepsin B
September 2013 – April 2014
Carly Ross – Lakehead University
Project: Cathepsin B Expression and Activity in Herceptin Resistant Breast Cancer
September 2013 – April 2014
Meagen Murphy – Lakehead University
Project: Peptide Directed Enzyme Prodrug Therapy for Her2 Positive Herceptin Resistant Breast Cancer
September 2012 – April 2013
Cody McMillan – Lakehead University
Project: Novel Therapeutic Inhibitors of Cathepsin L, an Enzyme Implicated in Aggressive Cancer
September 2012 – April 2013
Sean Cunninghame – Lakehead University
Project: Synthesis and evaluation of prodrug inspired probes for Cathepsin B
September 2011 – April 2012
Brady Vigliarolo – Lakehead University
Project: Stable Transfection of HeLa cells to overexpress Cathepsin B
September 2010 – April 2011
Amanda Luby – Lakehead University
Project: Synthesis of Prodrug Inspired Probes for Cathepsin B
September 2010 – April 2011
Undergraduate NSERC USRA, Summer and Co-op Students
Jeff Gustafson (USRA), Kenneth Barber (USRA), Chelsea Kubineck, Alea Crupi (USRA), Daniel Tesolin, Svetlana Iskhakova, Meagen Murphy (USRA), Cody McMillan (USRA), Thomas Charlton, Amanda Luby (USRA), Stacey Tokhar (USRA), Benajamin Adams, Brady Vigliarolo, Morgan Lockhart




PET imaging bio-organic chemistry probes for imaging enzyme activity radiochemistry

Education & Training

Ph.D. in Chemistry (2007)
University Of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Bachelor of Science Dual Major Degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry (2000)
University of Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan