Home People Research Positions Teaching

Welcome to the Gillies Research Group

Our group is part of the Department of Chemistry, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, and the School of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Western Ontario

E.R Gillies

Dr. Elizabeth. R Gillies

BSc, Queen’s University, 2000
PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 2004
Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Bordeaux, France (2004-2006)
Dr. Gillies leads a research program in smart materials and biomaterials spanning from fundamental discoveries to applications with a focus on polymer chemistry and the design and synthesis of materials with new properties and functions. She is collaborating with other research groups to explore applications of her materials in drug delivery, regenerative medicine, and agriculture.
  • NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, 2017
  • Florence Bucke Prize in Science, 2017
  • Fallona Interdisciplinary Science Award, 2016
  • Faculty Scholar, Western University, 2016-2018
  • Petro Canada Young Innovator Award, Western University, 2012
  • Early Researcher Award, Government of Ontario, 2008-2013
  • Tier 2 Canada Research Chair, Government of Canada, 2006-2016
  • John Charles Polanyi Prize, Government of Ontario, 2006

Research Focus

I. Functional Biodegradable Polymers

Biodegradable polymers are of increasing interest for a wide range of applications including tissue engineering, drug delivery, and medical devices. We have been developing biodegradable polymers that degrade by novel mechanisms, potentially allowing for unprecedented control over the degradation rate and for the triggering of polymer degradation under specified conditions. For example, we are developing new "self-immolative" polymer backbones, which depolymerize by an end-to-end mechanism upon the cleavage of a stimuli-responsive end-cap from the polymer terminus. We are studying their depolymerization and exploring their potential for various applications.
We are also developing poly(ester amide)s and using them to prepare drug delivery vehicles and tissue engineering scaffolds.

II. Macromolecular Assemblies as Biomaterials

Recent developments in controlled polymer synthesis, and the imaging of polymeric assemblies provide access to a wide variety of systems ranging from hydrogels to micelles, worms, vesicles, and nanoparticles. The properties of these systems can be controlled by the structures of the constituting polymers, and the conditions under which they are assembled. The potential applications of polymeric assemblies in biology and medicine are very diverse ranging from the delivery of small molecules, proteins, and DNA in vivo, to their use as scaffolds for tissue engineering.
To realize the potential for polymeric assemblies in medical applications, significant progress is still required to control their behaviour, particularly in vivo under biological conditions. Here we are focusing on preparing new functional and biodegradable polymers, and using these to make polymer assemblies with controlled biological behaviour. In addition, we are working on functionalizing polymer assemblies with specific chemical units, either to control their localization in the body or to impart specific biological properties. Assemblies of self-immolative and other stimuli-responsive assemblies allow us to trigger the assembly and disassembly of these materials in a controlled manner.

III. Links To Works



Positions in the group

Contact Beth to hear more info about the research in our group
Masters and PhD Positions:
Please feel free to contact Beth if you are interested in joining the group. Admissions to the graduate program in Chemistry or Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Western are handled by the admission’s committee. Detailed information on admissions requirements is available on the departmental websites at http://apply.chem.uwo.ca/ for chemistry or http://www.eng.uwo.ca/chemical/prospect-grad.htm for chemical engineering
Postdoctoral Positions:
Interested applicants should send a copy of their current CV via either e-mail or regular mail


  • Dr. Xiaoli Liang

  • Charmainne Cruje (PhD student, jointly supervised with M. Drangova)
  • Trent Gordon (MESc student)
  • Quinton Sirianni (PhD student)
  • Jue Gong (PhD student)
  • Siamak Keshtpour (MSc student)
  • Karanpreet Gill (MSc student)
  • Ian Villamagna (PhD student, jointly supervised with F. Beier)
  • Tristan Harrison (PhD student, jointly supervised with P. Ragogna)
  • Monica Vasquez (PhD student, jointly supervised with P. Ragogna)
  • Xueli Mei (MSc student)
  • Eric Grolman (MESc student, jointly supervised with Maria Drangova)

  • Aneta Borecki

  • Ivana Perkucin (Chemistry 4th year thesis student)
  • Ally Hung (Chemistry 4th year thesis student)
  • Yashveer Soni (Co-op student, Waterloo Nanoengineering program)

  • Amir Rabiee Kenaree (postdoc, 2017-19)
  • Rebecca Yardley (PhD, 2019)
  • Arthi Shridhar (PhD, 2019, jointly supervised with L. Flynn)
  • Yu-Ting (Natalie) Liang (MSc, 2019, jointly supervised with L. Flynn)
  • Yi Zhu (MESc, 2019, jointly supervised with W. Siqueira)
  • Andy Prince (MSc, 2019)
  • Benjamin Hisey (PhD, 2018, jointly supervised with P. Ragogna)
  • Spencer Heuchan (MSc, 2018, jointly supervised with H. Henry)
  • Joshua Jadischke (MSc, 2018)
  • Bo Fan (PhD, 2018)
  • Kai Cao (postdoc, 2016-18)
  • Jarret MacDonald (postdoc, 2016-17)
  • Tommy Gambles (MSc, 2017)
  • Tyler Cuthbert (PhD, 2016, jointly supervised with P. Ragogna)
  • Andrew (PhD, 2016)
  • Olivier Nguon (postdoc, 2015-16)
  • John Trant (postdoc, 2013-16)
  • Brooke Raycraft (MSc, 2016)
  • Shuyu Liu (MESc, 2016, jointly supervised with K. Mequanint)
  • Trevor McIntosh (MSc, 2015)
  • Thomas Gungor (MSc, 2015)
  • Ryan Guterman (PhD, 2015, jointly supervised with P. Ragogna)
  • Darryl Knight (PhD, 2014, jointly supervised with K. Mequanint)
  • Melessa Salem (MESc, 2014 jointly supervised with S. Rohani)
  • Greg Whitton (postdoc, 2013-14)
  • Amira Moustafa (MESc, 2014)
  • Namrata Jain (MSc, 2014)
  • Inderpreet Sran (MESc, 2014)
  • Solmaz Karamdoust (PhD, 2013)
  • Ali Nazemi (PhD, 2013)
  • Rasoul Soleimani (PhD, 2013)
  • Ryan McBride (MESc, 2013)
  • Bethany Turowec (MESc, 2013)
  • Mahmoud Moustafa (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2011 - 2013)
  • Matthew McEachran (MSc, 2013)
  • Fatimah Al-Garni (MSc student, jointly supervised with J. Wisner)
  • Jose Samuel Mejia (MSc, 2012)
  • Matt DeWit (PhD, 2012)
  • Wei Wu (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2011-2012)
  • Christa Homenick (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2010-2012)
  • Eric Chen (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2010-2012)
  • Greg Zilinskas (MESc 2011)
  • Ryan Amos (MESc 2011)
  • Colin Bonduelle (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2009-2010)
  • Katelyn Atkins (MSc 2010)
  • Dr. Romain Perrier-Cornet (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2008-2010)
  • Jessica Watson (MSc 2009)
  • Dr. David Thompson (Postdoctoral Fellow, joint with LANXESS and Surface Science Western, 2008-2009)
  • Dr. Greg Davidson (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2008)
  • Amanda Martin (MSc 2008)
  • Bo Li (MSc 2008)