Doctoral Thesis (2021): Synthesis, Characterization and Biological Investigation of Self-delivering and Modified Short Interfering RNAs (siRNAs) - Nominated for the 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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9 .M. L. Hammill, K. Tsubaki, L. Salim, A. J. Varley, I. Giorgees, M. Kitamura, T. Okauchi, and J.-P. Desaulniers. "SiRNAs with Neutral Phosphate Triester Hydrocarbon Tails Exhibit Carrier-Free Gene-Silencing Activity". ACS Med. Chem. Lett., 2022, in press.

8. 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

7. 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

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

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

4. 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

3. 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

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

1. 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