Glycomics Institute of Alberta

Our Leadership

Our directors share a common interest in the study of glycans, and believe the integration of glycomic datasets with genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics is necessary to gain a systems-level understanding of critical biological functions.

GlycoGang member Iduronic acid (IdoA) pointing to a chart.

Lara Mahal


Lara K. Mahal is the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Glycomics at the University of Alberta. An expert in glycomics and systems-based approaches to understand glycan regulation and function, she developed lectin microarray technology to understand systems from clinical cancer research to host-pathogen interactions. She is also known for her work on microRNA regulation of glycosylation. Professor Mahal was a University of California Regents Scholar, graduating with Highest Honors and a BA in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) in 1995. After obtaining her PhD in Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley (2000) with Professor Carolyn Bertozzi, she was a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor James Rothman at Sloan-Kettering Institute (2000-2003). She started her first independent position as an Assistant Professor in Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin in 2003. Post-tenure in 2009, Professor Mahal moved to New York University, where she was faculty member from 2009-2019. In September 2019, she joined the faculty of the University of Alberta as the CERC in Glycomics. She has received numerous awards for her work including the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Fellowship (2004), NSF Career Award (2007), Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2008), National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award (2008), the Horace Isbell Award for Carbohydrate Chemistry from the American Chemical Society (2017).

Simonetta Sipione

Associate Director

Simonetta Sipione is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and in the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada). She is also a member of the Group on the Molecular and Cellular Biology of Lipids at the University of Alberta. Simonetta obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Catania (Italy) and then performed post-graduate research training at the University of Milano (Italy) and in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Alberta, before being recruited as a Faculty member in the Department of Pharmacology. Research in the Sipione Lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration, with a special interest in Huntington’s disease and in the role of lipids and glycolipids in disease pathogenesis and treatment.

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