PhD, Princeton University
B.Sc. University of Toronto
Dr. John Chik's interest in questions that lie at the intersection of biology, chemistry and physics was planted when, as a graduate student at Princeton University, he became fascinated by how living organisms exploit adenosine triphosphate hydrolysis as an energy source for mechanical processes such as muscle contraction. His current research focus deals with elucidating how the “crowded” environment within living cells affect enzyme function. Enzymes are the molecular “machines” that facilitate life-enabling chemical reactions. Much of our current insights into how these amazing molecules operate has been gained through experiments conducted under highly dilute solution conditions very different from their native environments. Dr. Chik and his students has been using neutral solutes to simulated the crowded intracellular milieu and interpreting their data through using a combination of Michaelis-Menten kinetics and osmotic stress. Finally, Dr. Chik is very interested in exploring and improving the role of laboratory and other forms of experiential instruction in science education such as community service learning. He has implemented a novel laboratory pedagogy, referred to as REAL labs (REAL - Real Experience and Learning) in his two third-year biochemistry classes, BCEM 3201 and BCEM 3202.