Univerity of Toronto
Professor Gilbert Walker is the Canada Research Chair Professor of BioInterfaces, in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto. An enthusiastic nanomedicine researcher and team builder, Walker is developing cell surface technologies for biomedical diagnostics. His group’s aim to improve the number of distinct cell surface markers (proteins) that can be simultaneously detected, thereby improving leukemia and lung cancer cell detection and patient prognosis. These detection platforms are based on nanoparticles as well as components of lab-on-chip devices that analyze blood and tissue samples, addressing challenges similar to those encountered when assaying marine biofouling. Recently, Walker has developed a new method to characterize amyloid protein aggregates in model membranes, which is being used to identify the structure of toxic oligomers involved in Alzheimer’s. Several nanomedical technologies innovated in Walker’s labs have become products, and recently Walker has been participating in efforts to create a national NanoMedicine Innovation Network, and further Canada’s lead in three areas: 1) nanomedicines that enhance the therapeutic properties of small molecule drugs; 2) nanomedicines that enable gene therapies; and 3) new diagnostics based on nanotechnology. Walker led the NSERC Strategic Network for BioPlasmonic Systems, which was also biodiagnostics focused.