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Karen Maxwell, Ph.D. completed her graduate studies at the University of Toronto in Dr. Marvin Gold’s laboratory, where she studied the viral assembly process of bacteriophage l using structural, biophysical, and genetic approaches. She completed her postdoctoral work with Dr. Aled Edwards at the Ontario Centre for Structural Genomics, applying structural genomics to characterize the genes of unknown function in a variety of bacteriophages.
In her own laboratory, Maxwell studies various aspects of the phage-host evolutionary arms race, including CRISPR-Cas and chemical anti-phage defense. She has published extensively, secured extramural funding and established a strong track record as a researcher, educator, and mentor. Maxwell was honored to receive the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council 2020 John C. Polanyi Award for her group’s discovery of chemical anti-phage defense and was recently appointed the Joan Dixon and Joel Parkes Endowed Research Professorship.
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