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Facilities and services

These Faculty of Science-based resources offer state-of-the-art opportunities for team-based research:

McGill Nanotools and Microfabrication

An integral component of the McGill Institute for Advanced Materials (MIAM), the Nanotools Microfab laboratory is a FABRICATION FACILITY open to multi-disciplinary research initiatives spanning the life-sciences, sciences and engineering. While a wide array of substrate materials and sizes can be accommodated, our entire toolset is 150mm wafer compatible, thereby allowing for small volume prototyping as needed.

Further details: McGill Nanotools - Microfab

Zamboni Chem Solutions (ZCS)

Located in the McGill Department of Chemistry, ZCS provides MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY SYNTHESIS and CONSULTING services free of charge to McGill researchers.   Researchers shall only have to  provide consumables required to perform a specific Project.  ZCS has no claim to intellectual property rights.  ZCS also works with external clients as an independent contractor.  The services offered include:


Consultation and provision of advice regarding optimization of medicinal lead compounds:

  • Discussing selected Projects
  • Evaluation of lead compound structures,
  • Development of structure-activity relations (SAR)
  • Synthesis of compounds, including scale up when necessary for in vivo studies.
  • pharmacokinetic studies in rodents (half-life, metabolism, plasma levels after i.v. and po dosings) and interpretation of results thereof; 
  • synthesis of labeled materials.

Project proposals shall be submitted electronically (pdf format) to erica [dot] besso [at] mcgill [dot] ca  (Research Innovation Office of the Faculty of Science),  using the ZCS Proposal form. The triage and selection of Projects is performed at the sole discretion of ZCS.


People:      ZCS group members are Robert Zamboni, John Colucci, Michel ThĂ©rien and Yves Gareau.  Robert Zamboni retired from Merck Frosst in 2005 as vice president of Medicinal Chemistry (after 25 years of service).  Since then, he has been a consultant for large and small pharma.  Present clients include Amgen, Vertex, 3V bio, Constellation, Biocryst, Third Rock and KPCB (venture capitalists).  The group has extensive experience (over 10 years for each member) in all aspects of drug discovery and development, including PK measurements, process optimization, scale up of reactions and synthesis of labeled compounds.  When at Merck Frosst, the group was directly involved in many successful drug development programs including Singulair and Vioxx.

Lab setup:    Equipment includes an LCQ desktop (hands on) mass spectrometer which enables the quick determination of whether a reaction gives the desired compound.  Several TSQ7000 triple quad mass spectrometers are used to perform PK measurements.   ZCS uses the departmental nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers and is currently in process of re-commissioning a peptide synthesizer.  

Molecular Forecaster

Developed by medicinal synthetic chemist Nicolas Moitessier, FORECASTER is a novel and highly accurate SOFTWARE PLATFORM for DRUG DISCOVERY, design and process chemistry.  This software suite fills the key need to optimize the conformational fit between a potential drug and its receptor.  Such in-silico lead compound elucidation offers a tremendous improvement over the current approach. A German independent study conducted in 2009 compared the performance of eleven competitive commercial products in that field and gave first place to the McGill-developed software. 

The spin-off Molecular Forecaster Inc. (http://fitted.ca/), formed in 2010 to market and support the product, provides solutions in drug discovery such as virtual ligand screening, custom library design and lead optimization.  McGill researchers are encouraged to contact the company via its website for free consultation.

McGill University Statistical Consulting Service

Operating in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics since January 2000, the main goal is to enhance the quality of research at McGill by providing expert advice on the optimal way to collect data and on how to analyze these data once they have been collected. Faculty on either the downtown McGill campus or the MacDonald College campus as well as at McGill teaching hospitals can use the SCS for the preparation of grant proposals, for their ongoing research, as well as for the revision of manuscripts. Graduate students across campus are invited to consult the SCS while conducting their thesis research.

Further details: http://www.math.mcgill.ca/~scs/

High Field (800 MHz) NMR Facility

An 800 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometer is available at the Quebec/Eastern Canada High Field NMR Facility. Services are offered to both McGill and outside users.

Further details: Quebec/Eastern Canada High Field NMR Facility