Youla Tsantrizos

Youla TsantrizosProfessor


B.Sc. (McGill University, 1977)
M.Sc. (McGill University, 1979)
Ph.D. (McGill University, 1990)
Postdoctoral Fellow (Brown University, 1991)

Positions Held

Group Leader/Distinquished Scientist (Boehringer Ingelheim, 2003-2008)
Senior Research Scientist (Boehringer Ingelheim, 1998-2003)
Visiting Professor (Stanford University, 1997)
Assistant & Associate Professor (Concordia University, 1991-97)
Professor Vanier College (1979 - 1987)

Awards & Recognitions

Present Scientific Advisory Committee Member at SPP-ARC (Striving for Pandemic Preparedness-The Albert Research Consortium) at the University of Alberta (2023)
Present Member of the Joint Assembly Canada-France Committee on Science-Technology-Innovation; Pandemic Preparedness Expert (2023)
Member of the Canada-United Kingdom Expert Roundtable on Pandemic Preparedness (2021)
Member of the Canada-France Expert Roundtable on Pandemic Preparedness (2021)
Core Member of the COVID-19 Therapeutic Task Force (Government or Canada) (2020-21)
Science Advisor for the COVID-19 Bio-manufacturing Sub-committee (Government or Canada) (2020-21)
Boehringer Ingelheim Scientific Advancement Grant in Catalysis (2017)
Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Grant for Translational Research (2017-2019)
Boehringer Ingelheim Scientific Advancement Award in Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry (2016)
Scientific Advisory Board Member, Clearsynth (2015 – present)
Past President of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (2015 – 2016)
President of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (2014 – 2015)
Vice President of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (2013 – 2014)
Associate Editor, Frontiers in Chemical Biology (2013-present)
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012
Fessenden Professorships in Science Innovation, 2011
International Boehringer Ingelheim Research & Development Award, 2000
Convocation Commencement Speaker, Vanier College (1992)
Dean's Honour List, McGill University 1990
Canadian Pacific Fellowship in Biotechnology, 1988-1990
Equipes et Seminnaires (Collegial) FCAR, 1986 - 1988



International Committee Member, Faculty Hiring and Promotions, Universities of Greece
Committee Member, NSERC Discovery Grants
Committee Member, CIHR Foundation Grants
Committee Member, CIHR Prof-of-Principal Grants
Committee Member, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Review of Investigator Award Retention and Promotion
Member, NSERC CREATE Bionanomachines
Member, CIHR Drug Design Training Program (DDTP)

Contact Information

Office: 316
Phone: (514)398-3638
Email: Youla.Tsantrizos [at]
Lab: Otto Maass 300
Lab Phone: 514-398-5675
Web Page: Tsantrizos Group Website

Member of the protein structural research center GRASP
Mentor in the McGill Canadian Institute of Health Research Training Program in Drug Development

Research Themes

  • Chemical Biology 
  • Synthesis/ Catalysis

Research Description

Phosphorus-containing compounds constitute an important class of human therapeutics. Additionally, such compounds are valuable molecular tools in chemical biology and important ligands in enantioselective organic synthesis. The main focus of our research is the design and synthesis of phosphorus-containing heterocyclic compounds, including compounds with a chiral phosphorus center. We are developing synthetic methodologies that (a) are amenable to high throughput parallel synthesis of compound libraries and (b) result in high enantiomeric purity on the phosphorus atom.  Subsequently, we use or biologically active ligands to interrogate various biochemical pathways involved in cancer and neurodegeneration. Furthermore, we used our P-chiral phosphorus ligands to explore novel transition metal-catalyzed reactions and non-metal mediated organocatalytic reactions that are important in the multi-kilo production scale of human pharmaceuticals. 

Currently Teaching

CHEM 502 Advanced Bio-Organic Chemistry 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

CHEM 503 Drug Discovery 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

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