• Developing cutting edge chemical and systems biology tools to understand glycosylation in human health and disease

  • miRNA Proxy Approach

    Identifying and leveraging glycan-control mechanisms to decode the functional glycome

  • Host-Pathogen Glycomics

    Determining the roles of glycans in host-pathogen interactions and host response

  • Cancer Glycomics

    Identifying glycans driving cancer pathogenesis

Lara Mahal is the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Glycomics

Acknowledged as a world leader in glycomics since 2019

For the past 17 years, the Mahal Lab has been on the leading edge of creating and utilizing systems-based approaches to decode the glycome. In 2005, we created lectin microarray technology – a simple, yet powerful tool to profile the glycosylation of complex samples. Our integration of the glycome with other data has led to insights in cancer metastasis, a new understanding of glycan regulation via miRNA, and a new hypothesis on the role of miRNA in identifying functionally relevant genes – the miRNA proxy approach.

Discovering Novel Health Solutions through Glycomics Research

Utilizing systems-based approaches to identify the roles of glycosylation

Glycans, also known as carbohydrates, oligosaccharides, or sugars, are now understood to be pivotal in nearly all biological processes and could be part of novel solutions to many health problems. For example, the ABO blood group system is based on different glycan structures and impacts the compatibility of blood transfusions, transplants, and even COVID-19 susceptibility.

The Glycomics Institute of Alberta (GIA) Launched October 2022

Lara Mahal is the Institute Director guiding GIA's strategic development

The Glycomics Institute of Alberta (GIA) celebrated its launch in October 2022 with talks from internationally recognized scientists and a public lecture by Dr. Lara Mahal centering on the sugar code as it relates to health and disease. GIA aims to advance research in health, agriculture and biotechnology by fostering collaboration across disciplines.

Lab News

The Mahal Lab is hiring!

We are looking for a junior lab technician. If interested, apply here: https://www.careers.ualberta.ca/Competition/S104949576/

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What is the Canada Excellence Research Chair?

The Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) Program awards universities up to $10 million over seven years to support world‑renowned researchers and their teams to establish ambitious research programs at Canadian universities.

Where is the University of Alberta?

Located in beautiful Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the Chemistry Department at the UofA is renown for its active research. It is one of the best equipped and well funded departments in Canada.

What is lectin microarray technology?

It is a glycomic technology developed in the Mahal Lab, provide a rapid analysis of the glycome (1-3). These microarrays utilize immobilized carbohydrate-binding proteins at high spatial density to give specific information on the repertoire of glycans present.

Why study microRNA regulation of glycosylation?

miRNA can be used to identify glycosylation enzymes and their corresponding glycans that drive disease states.

How do I apply for grad school?

At the UofA, you do not have to find a supervisor in order to apply. The department has a process in place for students to find a supervisor and join a research group once they arrive to start their program. However, it is recommended for applicants to contact chemistry faculty members whose areas of research are of interest to you. Information about requirements and how to apply can be found here.

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