Effusive thanks to past colleagues, students, mentees, and readers who have willingly and publicly expressed their support. Some of these testimonials were originally posted as recommendations for Chris’ LinkedIn profile. Additional letters of support can be found in Chris’ teaching portfolio.
“Chris was without a doubt one of my most inspirational TA that I had as an undergraduate student, however, his support continued while I was a researcher in Dr. Storey’s lab. Chris was always a thorough teacher and always took the time out of his busy schedule to make sure that his students understood the science behind our work. During my early time as a graduate student, Dr. Dieni helped me in becoming an independent researcher. I am indebted to him for his guidance and am confident that he will make a successful scientist.”
– Oscar Aguilar, MSc, doctoral student at the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Taught by Chris in the lab section of Methods in Biochemistry (BIOC 4001). Worked with Chris in the Storey lab as an undergraduate and then graduate student.
“I worked with Chris when I was a first year graduate student and he was a post-doc at Penn State. I was undertaking a new research project that had a very strong molecular biology component. Coming to graduate school with a chemistry background and knowing very little biochemistry laboratory practice, Chris was kind enough to take the time to show me a number of lab techniques even though we were not directly working together. He also offered great advice when I ran into roadblocks on my project. It is clear that Chris has a strong passion for science and enjoys sharing his knowledge of science with others.”
– William Aumiller, PhD, postdoctoral associate at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA. Chris and William’s labs at The Pennsylvania State University- the Benkovic Lab and Keating Lab, respectively- collaborated on a project.
“I have had the pleasure of being the student of, and co-worker with Chris Dieni for several years and he has always shown himself to be an outstanding teacher and communicator. […] he was the teaching assistant for my fourth year biochemistry lab and showed an amazing ability to introduce and explain new theoretical and practical biochemical ideas to inexperienced students. As I progressed into my Master’s degree, I entered into Dr. Ken Storey’s lab where Chris was working towards his PhD. Chris ended up being a crucial source of scientific knowledge and practical know-how that helped guide me through my graduate degree. He was particularly adept at explaining complex biochemical problems from first principles, often incorporating theory from multiple scientific fields (including chemistry, biology, and physics) to explain the answer to a problem. Above all, Chris would go above and beyond to ensure that his students knew the answers to their problems and knew the details and reasons behind the techniques they were using in the lab. His base of knowledge, his ability to communicate clearly, and his patience make him a very skilled teacher.”
– Ryan Bell, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), ON, Canada. Taught by Chris in the lab section of Methods in Biochemistry (BIOC 4001). Worked with Chris in the Storey Lab as an undergraduate and then graduate student. Also worked alongside Chris as a fellow lab teaching assistant for Methods in Biochemistry (BIOC 4001).
“I have had the opportunity to take two classes taught by Dr. Dieni thus far, and am currently collaborating with him in research leading to several publications. From the first day in the classes, it was evident how much work Dr. Dieni puts into his teaching. He teaches material with an emphasis on understanding and application, as opposed to rote memorization. More importantly, Dr. Dieni is completely approachable and down-to-earth, willing to spend hours to make sure a student understands a key concept. Also impressive the work he put in to redesign and overhaul both courses, to emphasize key concepts and promote methods to assist in his philosophy of mentoring and teaching for comprehension. The result of this teaching philosophy is a continuing series of lectures designed to teach and be applied far beyond a test, or even a degree. His feedback, both verbal and written, is invaluable in its suggestions for improvement. Dr. Dieni, being a dedicated, hard worker values and encourages these qualities in his students, and never allows complacency in class when learning is possible. I believe that the lessons taught by Dr. Dieni will be invaluable for many students in a variety of applications, far beyond the scope of their first degrees.”
– Neal Callaghan, MSc, doctoral student at the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Taught by Chris in Immunochemistry (BIOC 4011), Signal Transduction (BIOC 4031), and Toxicology (BIOC 3991). Worked with Chris in the MacCormack Lab as a Carnegie Summer Research student. Neal also conducted summer research (Goodridge Summer Undergraduate Award) and his undergraduate honours thesis research as a member of the Dieni Research Group.
“The other day, Chris demonstrated to a few co-workers and me, the Flash Freezing technique. His explanations were clear, thorough, and easy to understand. He is very kind and patient; always willing to take the time and effort to help explain things which further exemplifies how enthusiastic and knowledgeable he is in his field of study and research. Overall, Chris is a very good instructor and I am glad to have worked with him.”
– Ally Chen, MSc, research scientist at BGI- Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. Worked with Chris at Micropharma Ltd.
“During my summer internship at Micropharma Ltd, Dr. Dieni guided me through the conception of an enzyme assay by instructing me on how to study the activity of enzymes. He freely gave an in-depth story-like lecture about the important aspects of enzymology and its study. He always offered a helping hand and truly displayed an innate love and understanding for his work. He is a hard-working and very well-informed scientist.”
– Anastasios Chountalos, CRP, clinical research associate at Quintiles. Worked with Chris as a summer intern at Micropharma Ltd.
“Chris often took the time to explain and demonstrate crucial lab techniques to the less experienced students. I was fortunate enough to experience this first hand. When I first entered the Storey lab, Chris was very busy writing his PhD thesis and finishing experiments. However, he always made time to help me in these early days of my research. I undoubtedly owe much of my success to the patience and guidance demonstrated by Chris despite the demands of his own commitments. Chris is a very organized, helpful and enthusiastic mentor.”
– Neal Dawson, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada. Worked with Chris in the Storey Lab as a graduate student.
“Chris speaks very good English. Since his pronunciation is nice and clear, it is very easy to understand especially for people whose native language is not English. Because of his profound knowledge in Biology and Chemistry, he can clearly and systematically explain scientific concepts in a way people can easily understand. Besides, when he talks, his confidence and passionate in science can largely stimulate the interest of audience. He is nice, patient and willing to spend his time and energy on helping people. I believe he can be a really good teacher.”
– Zhenqian “Jenny” Feng, MSc. Worked with Chris at Micropharma Ltd.
“Chris is a total professional scientist, trustworthy and results oriented individual. He is highly motivated, reliable, very valuable person, very effective team player, and adds tremendous value to all the projects he handles. His drive and research awareness make him a great asset for any research organization. I liked his teaching skills and ability to deliver the material in a creative manner. Chris’s teaching skills and science knowledge is a great asset to any research organization. I wish him all the very best for all his current and future endeavors.”
– Fatima Hasanain, MSc, polymer materials specialist at Nordion, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Taught by Chris in BIOC 4001 – Methods in Biochemistry.
“I contacted Chris through the Carleton Career Connections Program in my second year looking for information about careers in scientific research. Chris was very helpful. He answered all my questions. He was very knowledgeable and had a lot to say. Talking to Chris gave me a better understanding of how scientific research works from an organizational perspective and how people progress through science as a career. It is ironic that I ended up working in the same lab at Carleton where Chris did his Ph.D.”
– Joshua Hefler, BSc, medical student at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Was a mentee of Chris’ through the Carleton Career Connection program (now known as the Carleton Alumni Mentors program).
“I contacted Chris through Concordia University’s Mentor Program. I wasn’t expecting much, but as it was an option made available to me, I gave it a try and contacted him being straight forward about my lack of experience and the fact that finding what I wanted to do with my life after finishing my B.Sc. in Biochemistry had become overwhelming. I was considerably surprised at the effort Chris put into understanding my specific situation. He was incredibly supportive, but also gave me realistic expectations which I valued so much. Optimism is vital, but the fact that Chris was incredibly proactive in helping me by providing me with not only important information and a straight forward opinion about my skills and prospects, but also by guiding me towards avenues I would not have thought of before. I was nervous about how to approach him again, more due to the fact that I wasn’t sure how the Mentor Program worked, but was pleasantly surprised that Chris invested an interest in my progress and took the initiative to keep up with my situation. Chris is someone I have come to respect and trust as an excellent mentor.”
– Aisha Hussain, BSc, X-LIMS Business Development and Sales, Burlington, MA, USA. Was a mentee of Chris’ through the Concordia Mentor Program.
“Chris and I collaborated in multiple projects at Micropharma. During this time, Chris was involved in a number of projects that required expertise in cellular, molecular, and in vitro techniques in biochemistry. Chris not only demonstrated to be proficient in all these skills, but was also very thorough and completed his tasks in a timely manner. Not only he succeeded at the bench, but also at communicating his results. He is a very knowledgeable person in biochemistry and makes very didactic presentations. He also interacted with all the personnel at Micropharma in friendly terms and it was always a pleasure to discuss science with him. I strongly believe he is and will be a successful mentor, teacher, and scientist.”
– Jorge Ganopolsky, PhD, Assay and Service Development Manager at Dynacare, Laval, QC, Canada. Worked with Chris at Micropharma Ltd.
“I had the pleasure of working with Chris Dieni as a Ph.D student in the same lab. As a senior Ph.D student, Chris was always very organized, conscientious, and motivated. He displayed a strong work ethic and a good capacity for problem-solving, knowing the ins and outs of his various projects. In addition, he has trained me in several laboratory techniques and has demonstrated an excellent capacity for teaching, always explaining every procedure very clearly, answering any questions I had with great detail and warning of potential bottlenecks. I would gladly recommend him for a faculty position.”
– Anastasia Krivoruchko, PhD, project leader in Systems and Synthetic Biology at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. Worked with Chris in the Storey Lab as an undergraduate and then graduate student.
“On numerous occasions, it was Chris who would take the time out of his day to help train the younger grad students on how to use the various lab equipment or computer technologies. He is a very thorough teacher with a very large knowledge base; yet can still explain techniques and concepts in a very easy-to-understand method. He has demonstrated patience as well in re-explaining these same techniques to a few generations of lab students.”
– Judeh Lama, MSc, high school science teacher and Science Department Head at St. Pius X High School, Ottawa Catholic School Board, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Taught by Chris in the lab section of Methods in Biochemistry (BIOC 4001). Worked with Chris in the Storey Lab as an undergraduate and then graduate student.
“In my first year in Dr. Kenneth Storey’s lab (Carleton University), I began my research on the enzyme kinetics of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. Chris was my mentor at this point, providing me with excellent instruction in both the techniques and theory of protein biochemistry. Chris was exceptionally patient and generous with his time, and guided me to a successful undergraduate project. Subsequently, I have had the privilege to work with Chris, as a graduate student, and continued to observe his role in instructing junior students in the lab. Chris is an outstanding scientist, diligent tutor, and a consistent source of assistance and advice during my tenure in the lab.”
– Benjamin Lant, PhD, postdoctoral researcher at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada. Taught by Chris in the lab section of Methods in Biochemistry (BIOC 4001). Worked with Chris in the Storey Lab as an undergraduate and then graduate student.
“Shortly before the beginning of the Fall 2006 semester, we lost a veteran lab coordinator who had been running the BIOC 4001 (Methods in Biochemistry) labs single handedly for over 20 years. A replacement coordinator was found at the last minute, but ultimately no new lab coordinator with limited experience could hope to take over these duties, seamlessly, on such short notice. Given his prior 2 years of experience as a BIOC 4001 teaching assistant, Chris, now in his 3rd year and the senior TA, stepped up and effectively filled a dual-role of helping to train and guide the replacement coordinator, and continuing his expected duties of presenting lab talks to the students before the experiments began, supervising students during their experiments, holding office hours, and grading lab reports. Moreover, this was also the year in which the Ontario double-cohort arrived in their 4th year, doubling the typical number of students expected in this lab course, and forcing us to open another section. Chris helped in recruiting a third TA to satisfy that demand (I was that third TA), and made sure that both TAs in addition to himself, who were both new to this course, were properly trained. He has a helpful nature which makes it easy for students to approach him. Working with him I could tell that he is also passionate about teaching, as he would put extra effort in the lab to ensure students are not just doing experiments correctly but understanding the core concepts of biochemistry.”
– Pratik Lodha, PhD. Worked alongside Chris as a lab teaching assistant for Methods in Biochemistry (BIOC 4001).
“In my first year as a teaching assistant, I had the pleasure of being paired with Chris Dieni as my senior laboratory teaching assistant. Chris spent a great deal of time showing me the ropes of being a teaching assistant including marking, teaching and answering questions. In addition, Chris was an excellent role model. Not only was his passion for teaching and science very motivating, he showed me that caring for students and being patient went a long way in helping students to learn and succeed in science. Since that first year, Chris and I have kept in touch and he has continued to act as a mentor for me with respect to my research and teaching and career goals.”
– Maureen McKeague, PhD, postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA. Worked alongside Chris as a lab teaching assistant for Chemistry for Engineering Students (CHEM 1101).
“Chris possesses a wealth of expertise in biochemical reactions specifically reduction/oxidation reactions and has been instrumental in optimizing methods to detect them. This has led to the development of several assays to measure endpoints which are critical to the pre-clinical research conducted at Micropharma. Equally important Chris has also demonstrated great skills as a mentor, taking on undergraduate students and teaching them not only the technical details of various procedures and assays or the underlying biochemical principles behind them, but how to conduct quality scientific research independently while adhering to the proper scientific method and the demands placed on researchers by industry.”
– Adrian Moores, MSc, Inside Sales Supervisor – Genetic, Medical & Applied Sciences Division at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Burlington, ON, Canada. Worked with Chris at Micropharma Ltd.
“You know how to write a piece that both scientists and kids can understand. That’s a skill.”
– Nikos Parisis, PhD, postdoctoral researcher at L’Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Monpellier, France. Reader of Chris’ online writing.
“I had the distinct pleasure of working with Christopher during my undergraduate studies at Carleton University. As a teaching assistant, Christopher was very knowledgable, kind and willing to go the extra mile to help his students. He was patient, ensuring that every student with whom he interacted with understood the concept and could apply the concept beyond the task at hand. Furthermore, Christopher and I have discussed scientific research, outside of classes, on many occasions. Christopher is keen to answer significant scientific questions, to try novel approaches to solving problems and to apply his expertise in collaborating with other scientists, such as myself. As such, his knowledge helped to further my research. Overall, I highly recommend Christopher in both teaching and research positions.”
– Robert Smith, PhD, Assistant Professor at Nova Southeastern University. Taught by Chris in the lab section of Methods in Biochemistry (BIOC 4001).
“Chris is extremely knowledgeable and willing to help person. I met Chris when I began a new sub-project for my thesis research. That sub-project involved a completely new for me method of analysis – isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Luckily I found out that Chris is an experienced user of the calorimeter. He was extremely kind and helpful and taught me the basics of the ITC measurements. Later during that project we had really nice discussions with Chris during which I got several invaluable advises.”
– Tatyana Sysoeva, PhD, postdoctoral associate at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA. Tatyana’s doctoral work at The Pennsylvania State University involved use of equipment in the Benkovic Lab (e.g. ITC) for which Chris was responsible.
“I came across your research while I was looking for material to better describe the freeze thaw process that happens in wood frogs to a high school biology class. It is pretty fascinating. Your articles made the material more accessible and understandable, thank you for posting them. I have found that there are few individuals who excel at both research and teaching.”
– Leah Taylor, science educator and interpretive writer and design specialist. Leah created an online Prezi called “Cold Blooded” for teaching high school students about the freezing process in Rana sylvatica. This Prezi utilized Chris’ picture, name, area of research, a quote from one of his science blog posts at MolBio Research Highlights (website is still online but no longer active and supported), and a graph from his paper on creatine kinase phosphorylation in wood frogs.
“As a young professor Dr. Chris Dieni lectures well beyond his years. His enthusiasm and clarity make him a very impressive lecturer never failing to deliver his points. I was fortunate to be enrolled in his Winter 2013 Signal Transduction class and must say I was continually impressed by his ability to deliver such inter-tangled concepts. Besides his gifted ability to lecture, Chris provides much support for his students outside of classroom. He is often available for questions and never hesitates to discuss papers and solidify information covered in class. I personally believe Chris does an outstanding job with his current work.”
– Alex Whynot, BSc, medical student at Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada. Taught by Chris in Signal Transduction (BIOC 4031) and Toxicology (BIOC 3991).
“I become to know Christopher through univeristy (sic) career connection program, he gave me lots of useful career suggestions. He is a nice and smart person, it is always a pleasure to talk to him.”
– Ming Ye “Lilly” Yuan, MASc, system validation engineer at GM PATAC, Shanghai, China. Was a mentee of Chris’ through the Carleton Career Connection program (now known as the Carleton Alumni Mentors program).