PhD Students


Matt Hammill

Matt Hammill grew up in Cobourg Ontario, 90 minutes east of Toronto and attended Trent University to study chemistry and biology, graduating in the spring of 2014 with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry. Currently he is a second-year PhD student in Applied Bioscience at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa. Outside of school, Matt plays sports such as fencing and softball, but also enjoys reading, video games and spending time with friends and family.


Lidya Salim

Lidya Salim was born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela, until she moved to Canada in 2011. She is currently entering her third year of graduate studies at Ontario Tech University. Lidya is very passionate about education and, as part of the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), advocates for social change and equity. She is also very involved in campus activities and events and loves meeting new people. During her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with her family and friends.


Andrew Varley

Andrew Varley was raised in Oshawa-Whitby where he developed his passion for learning and exploring ideas. He began his studies in engineering and physics before discovering his desire for human studies through his undergraduate degree in Biology at Ontario Tech University. He continued his studies at Ontario Tech University in a microbial biochemistry laboratory to earn his Master’s degree in Applied Biosciences and is now pursuing a PhD in chemical biology with the Desaulniers lab. Andrew stays committed to the community and school through science outreach programs and committee memberships. He enjoys spending his free time snowboarding, going to the gym, with motorsports, or simply playing some videogames.


Samira Mansouri

Samira holds a B.Sc. in Biology from University of Iran (2007-2011) and afterwards, studied ‘Chemical Laboratory Pharmaceuticals’ at Seneca Collage at York university (2012-2014). Then, she transferred to the university level to strength her chemistry knowledge. Her enthusiasm toward learning and discovery has lead her to pursue her PhD in medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry at Ontario Tech University. She is working on a collaborative project co-supervised with Prof. Bolshan. She is currently a part-time pharmacist technician, she finished all the certificates up to platinum in this field. She is also passionate about mathematics, and tutoring math since she was nominated for mathematics Olympiads. During her free time, she plays music, writes, and reads. Nothing in this world amuses her more than music, nature, books (and chemistry!). The quote of her life is: “There is no deadlock for grand people, because they believe they will either find a way or make a way.