Lara Mahal, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Science - Chemistry

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Professor, Faculty of Science - Chemistry
(780) 492-5847
W3-39B Chemistry Centre - West
11227 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G2


Area of Study / Keywords

Chemical Biology Systems Biology


Lara K. Mahal is the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Glycomics and a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Alberta. She is the Founding Director of the Glycomics Institute of Alberta.  She obtained her B.A. in Chemistry at UC Santa Cruz (1995), her Ph.D. in Chemistry at UC Berkeley (2000) with Professor Carolyn Bertozzi and was the Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Professor James Rothman at Sloan-Kettering Institute (2000-2003). She started her first independent position as an Assistant Professor in Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin in 2003.  Post-tenure in 2009, Professor Mahal moved to New York University, where she was faculty member from 2009-2019.  In September 2019, she joined the faculty of the University of Alberta as the CERC in Glycomics. She has received numerous awards including the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Fellowship (2004), NSF Career Award (2007), Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2008), National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award (2008), the  Horace Isbell Award for Carbohydrate Chemistry from the American Chemical Society (2017).


The Mahal Lab is a world leader in creating and utilizing systems-based approaches to decode the glycome. In 2005, we created lectin microarray technology – a simple, yet powerful tool to profile the glycosylation of complex samples. Our integration of the glycome with other data has led to insights in cancer metastasis and host-response to pathogens. We have also uncovered glycan regulation via microRNA (miR, miRNA), noncoding RNA that tune protein expression. Our work has led to a new hypothesis on the role of miRNA in identifying functionally relevant genes and to the discovery of new modes of action for microRNA. We are currently using chemical biology to understand miRNA biology and the glycome.

Featured Publications

Faezeh Jame-Chenarboo, Hoi Hei Ng, Dawn Macdonald, Lara K. Mahal

ACS Central Science. 2022 November; 10.1021/acscentsci.2c00748

Daniel Bojar, Lawrence Meche, Guanmin Meng, William Eng, David F. Smith, Richard D. Cummings, Lara K. Mahal

ACS Chemical Biology. 2022 November; 10.1021/acschembio.1c00689

Rui Qin, Guanmin Meng, Smruti Pushalkar, Michael A. Carlock, Ted M. Ross, Christine Vogel, Lara K. Mahal

Journal of Proteome Research. 2022 August; 10.1021/acs.jproteome.2c00251

Daniel W. Heindel, Shuhui Chen, Peter V. Aziz, Jonathan Y. Chung, Jamey D. Marth, Lara K. Mahal

ACS Infectious Diseases. 2022 May; 10.1021/acsinfecdis.2c00082

Rui Qin, Guanmin Meng, Smruti Pushalkar, Michael A. Carlock, Ted M. Ross, Christine Vogel, Lara K. Mahal

2022 February; 10.1101/2022.02.09.22270754

Chu T. Thu, Jonathan Y. Chung, Deepika Dhawan, Christopher A. Vaiana, Lara K. Mahal

ACS Chemical Biology. 2021 October; 10.1021/acschembio.1c00247

Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP. 2021 October; 10.1016/j.mcpro.2021.100160

Rui Qin, Lara K Mahal

Current Opinion in Structural Biology. 2021 June; 10.1016/

Shuhui Chen, Brian Kasper, Bin Zhang, Lauren P. Lashua, Ted M. Ross, Elodie Ghedin, Lara K. Mahal

Journal of Proteome Research. 2020 November; 10.1021/acs.jproteome.0c00455

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2020 October; 10.1073/pnas.2008203117

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