Gonzalo Cosa

Director of Graduate Studies (Post-Graduate)

B.Sc. (Univ. Nacional de Río Cuarto, Argentina, 1996)
Ph.D. (University of Ottawa, 2002)
Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Texas at Austin, 2002-2004)

2009 - Present Associate Editor for the journal “Photochemistry and Photobiology” (American Society for Photobiology).
2012 - 2015 Editorial Advisory Board Member for the journal "Langmuir" (American Chemical Society)

2015 Canadian Society of Chemistry Keith Laidler Award
2014 NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement, 2014 competition
2012 Visiting Scholar, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
2012 American Society for Photobiology New Investigator Award
2009 European Society for Photobiology Young Investigator Award
2009 Inter-American Photochemical Society Young Investigator Award
2009 Tomlinson Science Award, Faculty of Science, McGill University
2008 CNC-IUPAC (Canadian National Committee for the IUPAC) Travel Award
2003 IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists awarded to the most outstanding Ph.D. Thesis in the general area of the Chemical Sciences
2003 39th IUPAC Congress Travel Grant for Young Chemists
2002 Governor General's Gold Medal to the best Ph.D. Thesis in Sciences and Engineering, University of Ottawa, Canada
1997 Asociación Química Argentina Award

Member, NSERC CREATE Bionanomachines
Member, Centre for Self-Assembled Chemical Structures (CSACS)
Member, Centre en chimie verte et catalyse (CCVC)
Member, CIHR Drug Design Training Program (DDTP)
Member, Groupe de Recherche Axé sur la Structure des Protéines (GRASP)

Office: Pulp & Paper 109A

Phone: (514)398-6932

Email: Gonzalo.Cosa [at] McGill.CA
Web Page: http://gonzalocosa-group.mcgill.ca/

Lab: Pulp and Paper 300-1-2-3
Lab Phone: (514)398-6230

Research Themes:

Chemical Biology
Materials Chemistry

Research Description:

Interests in my research group involve the development of fluorescence-based methodologies to study complex systems. The integrating element in our research program is the exploitation of microscopy, photophysics, photochemistry, and organic chemistry, towards imaging processes at the cellular or molecular level with enhanced sensitivity and specificity. Our interests/questions center on the role reactive oxygen species play in live cells, and on elucidating complex dynamics in self-assembled biological systems and biomaterials/nanomaterials. The tools utilized in our research group span from the utilization and development of state-of-the-art single molecule fluorescence microscopy techniques including single molecule fluorescence imaging and super resolution fluorescence imaging, to the assembly of highly hierarchical supramolecular systems, to the rational design and preparation of new fluorescent probes.

i. Imaging redox reactions with newly developed fluorogenic probes: My research group designs and synthesises fluorogenic probes for the spatiotemporal imaging of reactive oxygen species in live cells. A number of applications to fundamental understanding of ROS in disease onset and towards new diagnostics are in progress. We are currently extending the use of this redox active probes to the chemical mapping of redox reactions not only on cells but also on nanomaterials, e.g. semiconductors, exploiting newly developed single molecule spectroelectrochemistry tools.

ii. Interplay of Morphology and Exciton Transport in Lipid-Conjugated Polyelectrolyte Complexes: We work on the construction and single-molecule fluorescence study of hybrid lipid-conjugated polyelectrolyte nanostructures. The new structures provide a platform for fundamental photophysical studies on conjugated polyelectrolytes and towards developing biosensors.

iii. Synthesis and Single Molecule Visualization of biomaterials: A major thrust in our research group is to develop single molecule spectroscopy methods to assemble study and characterize DNA based nanomaterials. Work in collaboration with Prof. Sleiman of McGill, has demonstrated the assembly, single molecule fluorescence visualization and structural characterization of single DNA nanotubes of predesigned shapes.

iv. Single Molecule Biophysical Studies on Polymerase activity: Our single molecule spectroscopy work extended single molecule fluorescence methodologies to mechanistic enzymatic studies on the activity of viral enzymes, involved in virus replication, in the presence and absence of inhibitors, providing a mechanism for enzymatic activity and drug inhibition.

Currently Teaching:

CHEM 243 Intro Phys Chem 2 2 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

CHEM 575 Chemical Kinetics 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer