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Christopher Anthony Dieni is originally from the suburb of Pierrefonds in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He holds degrees in Biochemistry (BSc, Titorenko Lab) from Concordia University and Chemistry (PhD, Storey Lab) from Carleton University. He has also held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Benkovic Lab at Pennsylvania State University, a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council-Industrial Research and Development Fellowship (NSERC-IRDF) at Micropharma Ltd in Montreal (acquired by UAS Labs in December 2014), and a Margaret and Wallace McCain Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Mount Allison University. As the McCain Fellow, he taught undergraduate courses and participated in research in the lab of Dr. Tyson MacCormack, within which he established a small internally-funded research group of his own, independently supervising summer research/honours thesis students. He also participated in collaborative, interdepartmental, externally-funded, and academic-industrial research (e.g. an NSERC-Engage) with other faculty members at Mount Allison. Following completion of the 2-year McCain Fellowship at Mount Allison, Chris returned to Ottawa as a research associate in the Storey Lab, where he worked to bridge his research in nanotoxicology with his earlier research in signal transduction and protein phosphorylation. He received independent research funding in the form of a Carleton University Development Grant. He also maintained an active teaching role as a contract instructor in the Institute of Biochemistry at Carleton University, teaching required undergraduate courses for programs such as Biochemistry, Biochemistry & Biotechnology, Computational Biochemistry, and Bioinformatics. He additionally has experience as a Professor (Part-Time) in the School of Advanced Technology at Algonquin College (teaching primarily for the “Biotechnology – Advanced” program). Most recently, Chris served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Ursinus College over the 2016-2017 academic year, where he taught courses to undergraduate students in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and other programs, and mentored an exclusively-undergraduate research group.
Chris’ efforts in research, mentoring, and teaching, have been widely-recognized. He is a winner of a 2016 Capital Educators’ Award. He was also nominated by his students for the 2015 Faculty of Science Excellence in Teaching Awards (Carleton University), the 2014 JEA Crake Teaching Award in Science (Mount Allison University), and the 2013 Mount Allison Students’ Union (MASU) Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2013 he was named as the inaugural winner of the Carleton University Alumni Association Young Alumni Achievement Award (the gala program detailing Chris’ award is available here).
When not engaged in teaching or research activities, Chris has also busied himself with organizations involved in the community or social aspects of science, and the post-secondary educational environment as a whole (i.e. service and outreach). In recent years, he has participated in the 2015 edition of TEDxCarletonU and the Mount Allison/Moncton Public Library Lunch and Learn program. As a grad student at Carleton University, he was involved with the Graduate Students Association and the Carleton Chemistry and Biochemistry Society. As a postdoc, he was active as an Executive Council member of the Penn State Postdoctoral Society. He maintains strong ties to both his alma mater by volunteering as a mentor for the Carleton Alumni Mentor Program and the Concordia Mentor Program. Chris contributes regularly to professional service and has peer-reviewed for a number of journals. Moreover, he is a science writer and has contributed to online science magazines, including: BenchFly, Bitesize Bio, the Genome Alberta Genomics Blog, MolBio Research Highlights (currently known as the MolBio Hut), and Naturally Selected, the Faculty of 1000 blog.