RESEARCH

Doctoral Thesis (2021): Synthesis, Characterization and Biological Investigation of Self-delivering and Modified Short Interfering RNAs (siRNAs) - Nominated for Outstanding Thesis Award

Dr. Salim completed a PhD in Applied Bioscience at Ontario Tech University. As part of the Desaulniers Lab, she specialized in the synthesis of chemically modified short interfering RNAs (siRNAs). These molecules have important applications as gene-silencing therapeutics, as they work within the native RNA interference pathway to reduce the expression of target proteins. Dr. Salim's dissertation primarily focused on the development of safe and effective delivery system for modified siRNAs and resulted in three primary publications, a review article and a preparation manuscript (to be submitted this year). 

Undergraduate Thesis (2016): Chemical Synthesis of GABOB Derivatives to target Haemonchus contortus UNC-49 GABA Receptors

Dr. Salim completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biological Science at Ontario Tech University. Her Undergraduate Honours Thesis was co-supervised by Prof. Jean-Paul Desaulniers and Prof. Sean Forrester. This interdisciplinary project involved the chemical synthesis of γ-Amino-β-hydroxybutyric acid (GABOB) derivatives to target GABAA receptors in the important parasitic worm Haemonchus contortus. This work led to a publication in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters in 2017. 

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1. M. L. Hammill, L. Salim, K. Tsubaki, A. Varley, M. Kitamura, T. Okauchi, and J.-P. Desaulniers. "Building siRNAs  with Cubes: Synthesis and Evaluation of Cubane-Modified siRNAs"ChemBioChem, 2021


2. S. Habibi and L. Salim. "Static vs. dynamic methods of delivery for science communication: A critical analysis of user engagement with science on social media"PLoS ONE, 2021

3.  L. Salim, E. Goss and J.-P. Desaulniers. "Synthesis and Evaluation of Modified siRNA Molecules Containing a Novel Glucose Derivatives"RSC Advances, 2021

4. L. Salim and J.-P. Desaulniers. "To Conjugate or to Package? A Look at Targeted siRNA Delivery via Folate Receptors". Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, 2021


5. A. Varley, M. L. Hammill, L. Salim, and J.-P. Desaulniers. "Effects of Chemical Modifications on siRNA Strand Selection in Mammalian Cells"Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, 2020

6. L. Salim, G. Islam, and J.-P. Desaulniers. "Targeted Delivery and Enhanced Gene-Silencing Activity of Centrally-Modified Folic Acid-siRNA Conjugates"Nucleic Acids Research, 2020

7. L. Salim, C. McKim, and J.-P. Desaulniers. "Effective Carrier-Free Gene-Silencing Activity of Cholesterol-Modified siRNAs"RSC Advances, 2018

8. S. G. Forrester, J. Foster, S. Robert, L. Salim, and J.-P. Desaulniers. "Efficient Synthesis of the GABAA Receptor Agonist trans-4-Aminocrotonic Acid (TACA)"Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett, 2017

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1. Oral Presentation: Synthesis, Characterization and Biological Investigation of Self-delivering and Modified Short Interfering RNAs (siRNAs). PhD Exit Seminar and Defense, Ontario Tech. July 2021.

 

2. Virtual Seminar: Targeting the messenger: a look at chemically modified siRNAs for RNA interference applications.

Oral presentation. Applied Bioscience PhD Seminar, Ontario Tech. March 2021.

3. Virtual Poster: Targeted delivery and enhanced gene-silencing activity of folic acid-siRNA conjugates in cancer cells.

RNA 2020 Virtual Conference. May 2020.

4. Virtual Flash Talk: Targeting the messenger: silencing gene expression in cancer cells. Leaders Overcoming Gender Inequality in Chemistry (LOGIC) 2020 Virtual Retreat. May 2020.  Award Winner

5. Poster: Centrally modified folic acid-siRNAs exhibit enhanced gene-silencing activity and efficient receptor-mediated uptake in cancer cells. Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society Annual Meeting, Munich, Germany. October 2019. Travel Award Winner.

6. Poster: Targeted delivery of short-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to cancer cells via folate receptors.102 Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, Quebec City, Canada. June 2019. 

7. Oral Presentation: Targeted delivery and enhanced gene-silencing activity of centrally modified folic acid-siRNA conjugates.10th Annual Graduate Student Research Conference, Ontario Tech, Oshawa, Canada. May 2019. Award Winner.

8. Virtual Seminar: Synthesis and investigation of unnatural nucleic acids: RNAi and beyond. Applied Bioscience PhD Seminar, Ontario Tech. January 2019.

9. Poster: Synthesis and biological activity of folic acid-modified siRNAs. 101 Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, Edmonton, Canada. June 2018.

10. Oral Presentation: Targeted delivery of short-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to cancer cells via folate receptors conjugates. 2nd Annual Ontario Tech-KIT Mini-Symposium in Chemistry, Ontario Tech, Oshawa, Canada. September 2018.

11. Oral Presentation: Synthesis of siRNAs with central-region folic acid modifications to assess gene silencing efficacy. 1st Annual Ontario Tech-KIT Mini-Symposium in Chemistry, Ontario Tech, Oshawa, Canada. September 2017

12. Oral Presentation: Synthesis of short interfering RNAs with central-region folic acid modifications to assess gene-silencing efficacy. Applied Bioscience PhD Seminar, Ontario Tech. January 2017.

13. Oral Presentation: Synthesis of the GABOB-derivative trans-4-Aminocrotonic Acid (TACA). Honours Thesis Seminar and Defense, Ontario Tech. April 2016.