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Anna Maystrenko

Position/Title: M.SC. by thesis
Phone: ext. 53435
Office: ANNU Room 212

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  • Bachelor of Science in Animal Biology, University of Guelph (2018)

I am currently a M.Sc. thesis student studying Animal Physiology under the supervision of Dr. Julang Li. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Honours Animal Biology at the University of Guelph in 2018. As an undergraduate student, although I had assisted in a number of research projects spanning several disciplines including, animal welfare and animal nutrition, the topics that interested me the most involved infectious disease and immunology. After completing a research course project with Dr. Li, I decided to stay on in the lab and continue the project in my graduate studies.

My project focuses on designing novel synthetic antimicrobial peptides (AMP) as possible alternatives for antibiotics, in the interest of fighting antimicrobial resistance. AMP are the molecules released from the white blood cells of our immune system which are responsible for killing microorganisms. The main cause of bactericidal activity of AMP comes from their ability to disrupt the cell membrane, causing cell death. Although natural AMP have been cited as having great antimicrobial activity against a wide spectrum of organisms, their therapeutic potential is limited by several factors. These factors include the poor stability of AMP in physiological conditions, adverse activity against mammalian cells, and expensive production costs. To remedy these issues, the aim of my project is to design a synthetic AMP based off the structural motifs in natural AMP. If successful, this project can offer an alternative treatment solution to microbial infections that can be used in the veterinary and human medicine.

In the future, I would be interested in pursuing a career involving infectious disease surveillance and applications towards disease prevention.

Outside of the lab, I am part of the executive team for the University of Guelph Sign Club. My other interests include travelling, snowboarding and spending time with friends and family.