The Research Team


Dr. Joerg Overhage, Principal Investigator


Joerg is an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow and an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences. His research group uses a combination of functional genomics, metabolomics, biochemical and microbiology techniques to study antimicrobial resistance and chronic biofilm infections. He studied microbiology at the University of Muenster (Germany) and undertook postdoctoral research at Massey University (New Zealand), UBC (Vancouver) and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (Germany). In 2010, he started his research group at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, Germany) and relocated to Carleton University in 2017. He has published over 50 peer reviewed papers and review articles and filled 3 patent applications.


Graduate students


MSc Waleska Stephanie da Cruz Nizer


Waleska is from Brazil, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Bioprocess Engineering (2016) and a master’s degree in Biotechnology (2018) from the Federal University of São João del-Rei. She received a scholarship from the Brazilian government to a full-year non-degree study at Florida A&M University (2013-2014). Waleska is currently a Ph.D. student at the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton University where her research focuses on the stress response of Gram-negative bacteria to reactive chlorine species (RCS). These studies use a combination of microbiological and molecular approaches to better understand the regulatory network involved in bacterial resistance to RCS, such as hypochlorous acid, the active component of household bleach and an innate defence compound. 


BSc Zoya Versey (co-supervised with Dr. Edana Cassol)


Zoya grew up in Botswana, where she spent many years nurturing her penchant for science and medicine. Upon returning to Canada, she pursued a BSc Honours degree in Biochemistry at Carleton University, Ottawa. Building on her Honours Thesis Project, Zoya’s research investigates how macrophage interactions with bacterial biofilms alters cellular metabolism. Using microbiological and immunological approaches, her research aims to understand how these immune-microbe interactions play a role in driving chronic wound formation. To conduct her research, she works collaboratively with both the Overhage Lab and the Cassol Lab (Systems Immunology Lab) in the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton University.


BSc Fahad Kabir


Fahad completed his bachelor’s at the University of Waterloo, where he found his interests in Microbiology and Health. Combining both, he now pursues a Master’s in Health Science at Carleton University where his research centres on understanding the diverse microbiome of chronic wounds; particularly, wounds related to pressure ulcers, surgical sites and non-diabetic foot ulcers. Through biochemical and microbial analysis, recognizing who is present and their impacts on disease progression, can lead to developing effective therapies against these types of wounds.


Undergraduate students


Kylen Ridyard, HSRI student


Kylen is currently a 4th year student in the Bachelors of Health Science program with a concentration in disability and chronic illness. She is researching LL-37, a human peptide that has demonstrated antimicrobial activity against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Kylen focuses on the resistance mechanisms of bacteria against LL-37, as well as the anti-biofilm properties and treatment applications of this peptide.




Carole Beaulieu, Lab Technician


Caro completed her B.Sc. in Biochemistry with distinction at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) in 2003. From 1998-2009, she worked at MethylGene Inc. and advanced as a Research Biologist within the preclinical Oncology research team, where she gained substantial experience performing different molecular/cell biology methods and assays for the development of an anticancer drug (multi-kinase inhibitor MGCD516/ Sitravatinib) which is now in phase 3 clinical trial. After moving to Ottawa, she started her family before pursuing her science career in 2018 as a Research Technician for Dr. Joerg Overhage in the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton University.