CURRENT GROUP MEMBERS
Matthew Nodwell 🇨🇦
Matt is a BC native from Penticton. Before joining the Britton group, he did his Ph.D. with Dr. Raymond Andersen at UBC, then worked as a Humboldt postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Stephan Sieber at the Technical University of Munich. He is happy to be back home, where he can pursue outdoor activities such as mountain biking, skiing, and camping.
Narasimha Thota 🇮🇳
Narasimha ("Simha") was born and raised in Andhra Pradesh, India where he received his M.Sc. in Chemistry from the IIT-Bombay in 2011. He completed his Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Todd L. Lowary, working on the total synthesis of the Campylobacter glycan fragments. Joing the Britton group in 2019, his research involves the synthesis of nucleoside analogues. Outside of the lab, Simha enjoys playing badminton, squash and cricket.
Matthew Anketell 🇬🇧
Matthew grew up in the south east of England. He studied for his undergrad at the University of Cambridge, doing his masters project on the total synthesis of patellazole B in the lab of Professor Ian Paterson. He continued to do his Ph.D. in the Paterson lab, completing the first total synthesis of the actinoallolide family of antiparasitic polyketide natural products. He has many hobbies including reading literature, hiking, birdwatching, cooking and programming.
Bara Singh 🇮🇳
Bara is an Indian native who hails from Punjab. He received his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science and Educational Research in Mohali, Punjab, in November 2022, working under the guidance of Dr. Sripada S. V. Ramasastry. His Ph.D. research focused on developing new strategies for synthesizing small and medium-sized rings with an all-carbon quaternary/spiro center based on sulfur ylide and π-allylpalladium chemistry. In October 2023, Bara joined the Britton lab as a postdoctoral fellow and is currently working on synthesizing bicyclic nucleoside analogues. He enjoys studying literature, going to the gym, and playing cricket.
Guillermo Caballero Garcia 🇲🇽
Guillermo (nickname Memo) was born and raised in central Mexico. He studied chemistry at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, graduating in 2014. He then taught chemistry at the high school level (at the same high school he attended) for one year before starting his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge. During his Ph.D., in Jonathan Goodman's group, he worked on asymmetric organocatalysis using chiral phosphoric acids and did computational chemistry to explain enantioselectivity outcomes. Memo joined the Britton group in 2021 and he's currently working on the total synthesis of complex molecules. When he is not doing science you can find him at the Jackalopes reading sci-fi novels while enjoying a beer with nice metal music.
Dimitrios Panagopolous 🇬🇷
Dimitri was born and raised in Athens, Greece, where he received his B.Sc. in Chemistry in 2012 from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He then moved to Vancouver, where he pursued an MSc in Chemistry in the lab of Dr Marco Ciufolini. Following that, he started his Ph.D. degree at SFU in the Britton lab in Fall 2016, where he is pursuing the formal synthesis of eribulin. You might see him some times walking around town with a camera on his hand (both film and digital).
Darryl Wilson 🇨🇦
Darryl was born and raised in Abbotsford, BC. In 2017 Darryl received his B.Sc. in chemistry from the University of the Fraser Valley, working with Drs. Noham Weinberg and Cory Beshara where he was able to explore both synthetic and computational chemistry. He joined the Britton and Linington groups at SFU to combine data mining and synthetic chemistry for the development of novel natural product-like compounds. Outside of class his hobbies include: curling (yes the sport!), fountain pens, fantasy novels, and anything science fiction.
Garrett Muir 🇨🇦
Garrett was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He attended university at Mount Allison University where he completed his B.Sc. (Hons) in chemistry under Dr. Khashayar Ghandi. He then started his Ph.D. at SFU in the fall of 2017 in the Britton lab, where he is studying the synthesis of nucleoside analogues and the total synthesis of Phormidolide A. Apart from the lab, he enjoys cooking, reading, and visiting the Vancouver Aquarium along with snowboarding, hiking, and kayaking when he gets outside.
Josiah Newton 🇨🇦
Josiah received his B.Sc. (Hons) in chemistry under the supervision of Dr. Chadron M. Friesen at Trinity Western University (TWU) in 2017, where he explored the synthesis of hydrofluoroethers. Josiah joined the Britton Group at Simon Fraser University in the Fall of 2017, under the joint supervision of Chadron M. Friesen and Robert Britton. His work focuses on the synthesis of fluorinated small molecules. Outside of the lab, Josiah enjoys playing video games, cooking, and listening to music.
Daniel Driedger 🇨🇦
Daniel was born and raised in Abbotsford, BC, where he completed his B.Sc. in chemistry at the University of the Fraser Valley. During his degree, he worked under the supervision of Dr. Chadron Friesen (TWU) on the development of a difluoroalkyl ether synthesis. He joined the Britton lab in the summer of 2019 and is excited to be pursuing a Ph.D. focused on the development of new synthetic methodology. Apart from lab work, he enjoys playing sports (hockey, volleyball, squash, tennis), cycling, board games, guitar, and listening to worship music.
Callum Lucas 🏴
From Ayr, Scotland, Callum graduated with a MChem from the university of St Andrews in 2019. Currently in his 4th year and working on the synthesis of thionucleoside analogues. Callum enjoys hiking, going to concerts, and playing golf and football (soccer).
Cohan Huxley 🇦🇺
Cohan completed his Bachelors of Biomolecular Sci. (Hons) at Griffith University in 2018 with Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services under Dr. Urs Wermuth and Dr. Mark Coster. After completing his degree Cohan worked with Griffith University in technical support and nature products research under Dr. Rohan Davis before starting with the Britton Lab in late 2019. Cohan enjoys listening to music and podcasts and playing guitar.
Tommi Muilu 🇫🇮
Tommi was born and raised in the Capital Region of Helsinki, Finland. After finishing the International Baccalaureate (IB) program in Finland, Tommi moved to Scotland where he completed his undergraduate and masters in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry at the University of St Andrews. After graduating in 2021, Tommi started his PhD degree at SFU and is now working on the synthesis of novel, locked nucleosides. Outside the lab, Tommi enjoys hiking, playing tennis and throwing a frisbee around.
Bryce Kirk 🇨🇦
Bryce was born and raised in Edmonton, AB, where he completed his BSc in chemistry at Concordia University of Edmonton in 2021. He joined the Britton lab in September 2021 in pursuit of a MSc, currently working on the total synthesis of dragocin A. In his free time Bryce enjoys rock climbing, cooking, and going to baseball games.
Damian Szymor-Pietrzak 🇨🇦🇵🇱
Damian was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. He received his B.Sc. in chemistry from the University of Alberta in 2020. During his days as an undergraduate he had the opportunity to work in the laboratory of Prof. D. L. J. Clive. His research project involved developing a methodology to access meta-Aminophenols. He is currently pursuing an MSc at SFU in the laboratory of Prof. Robert Britton, where he is involved in the total synthesis of Eleutherobin. Besides chemistry, he enjoys exercising, playing videogames, and relaxing in the sauna.
Carolyn was born and raised in Waterloo, Ontario. She later completed her undergrad at the University of Western Ontario where she looked at the effects of corrosion on nuclear fuel waste containers under the supervision of Dr. Samantha Gateman. Carolyn joined the Britton Lab in May 2022, working on synthesizing carbafucose prodrugs. Outside of chemistry, she enjoys spending time outside hiking, scuba diving, or playing sports.
Suping Baikabi 🇧🇼
Suping hails from Malaka, a small village in the central part of Botswana. He completed his B.Sc. in Chemistry at University of Botswana in 2019. Inspired by the Britton lab's work, and its relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic, he joined the group in the summer of 2022 in pursuit of a Ph.D. His research focuses on method development for synthesis of nucleoside analogues. Outside the lab, Suping enjoys road cycling and listening to music.
Alan Brooke 🇨🇦🇬🇧
Alan completed his B.Sc. in chemistry at Trinity Western University (Langley, BC) in 2022, where under the supervision of Chadron Friesen he helped develop novel methods for the synthesis of fluorine-containing small molecules. As an undergraduate researcher, he worked with the Britton lab in the summers of 2021 and 2022 developing a novel method for the synthesis of α-haloaldehydes. In Fall 2022 he began his Ph.D. degree as a graduate member of the Britton group focusing on the same method and its applications. Outside of the lab, Alan enjoys playing soccer and ultimate frisbee, working out at the gym, watching movies, and listening to music.
Huyen (Minh) Tran 🇻🇳
Huyen (Minh) Tran, from Hanoi, Vietnam, completed her Combined Chemistry and Biochemistry (BSc.) degree at the University of Victoria in 2022. During her undergraduate degree, she had a chance to work on photoaffinity labeling chemistry under the supervision of Dr. Jeremy Wulff. She joined the Britton lab at SFU in the Fall of 2022 in pursuit of a M.Sc. Her project focuses on improving both the diastereo- and enantioselectivity of the synthesis of nucleoside analogs. Outside of work, she enjoys drawing, writing, and movies.
Ethan Fung 🇨🇦
Ethan was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C where he graduated with a B.Sc. (combined honours biochemistry and chemistry) from UBC. At UBC he discovered a passion for organic chemistry working under professor David Perrin for two years. During his time at UBC, Ethan worked on synthesizing unnatural amino acids for incorporation into potential peptide therapeutics. Afterwards, Ethan joined the Britton lab in 2023 as a Ph.D. student working on the synthesis of carbocyclic nucleosides analogues. Outside of the lab he enjoys playing sports, reading about physics and finance, and is striving to learn the piano.
Makenzy Kennedy 🇨🇦
Makenzy completed their undergraduate degree (Chemistry and Biology) at the University of Sioux Falls in May 2023, competing for the NCAA varsity swimming team during their time there. They then went on to join the Britton lab for a summer of undergraduate research on the synthesis of natural products, prior to beginning the M.Sc. program in Fall 2023 studying the synthesis of nucleoside analogues. Outside of the lab, they enjoy being a part-time coach for the SFU swim team, hiking, and getting outside to read when the weather is nice.
William Yang 🇨🇦
William completed his B.Sc. in Chemistry, Life Science, and Environmental Science at UBC in 2023. During his time at UBC, he had the opportunity to work with several distinguished organic chemistry researchers. He discovered his passion for organic chemistry in the classroom and in the research lab from Dr. Glenn Sammis, where he utilized thionyl fluoride as a reagent for synthesizing pharmaceutically relevant sulfur-based compounds. William joined the Britton Lab in 2023 in pursuit of an M.Sc. working on the total synthesis of Dragocin. Outside of the lab, he can be found hiking, playing video games, and wandering around the far depths of yonder (exploring).