Sheref Mansy, BS, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Science - Chemistry


Professor, Faculty of Science - Chemistry
(780) 492-8823
W5-70C Chemistry Centre - West
11227 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G2



Sheref S. Mansy completed his BS and PhD degrees from Ohio State University with JA Cowan and postdoctoral work at Harvard with JW Szostak. After winning a career development award from the Armenise-Harvard Foundation, he began his independent career at the University of Trento in Italy. In 2019 he moved to the University of Alberta. He is a Simons Investigator.


We explore the life-like chemistry that emerges from mixtures of prebiotically plausible molecules. In particular, we probe the metabolic-like chemistry of one of life’s most ancient cofactors, iron-sulfur clusters. The fact that life as we know it is completely reliant on metal ions likely reflects a primordial dependence on these natural catalysts. We also construct protocells, and investigate how the chemistry of iron-sulfur peptides could have helped sustain the existence of protocells. Students working with us have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of spectroscopic techniques, collaborate with scientists from disparate disciplines, and enjoy the challenge of trying to solve one of life’s greatest mysteries.


CHEM 405 - Special Topics in Chemistry

Prerequisites: a 300- level CHEM course and consent of Instructor; prerequisite courses vary, depending on topic. Course may be repeated for credit, provided there is no duplication of specific topic.

CHEM 451 - Chemical Biology

Advanced methods used to analyze and manipulate biological systems using engineered biomolecules and synthetic organic molecules. Topics may include biomolecule structure and function, enzymology, molecular biology, protein engineering, genome engineering, bioinformatic methods, inhibitor design, library screening methods, fluorescent probes, bioorthogonal chemistry, and various chemical biology methods. Prerequisites: CHEM 351 or BIOCH 200; CHEM 361 (can be taken as co-requisite).

CHEM 553 - Chemical Biology II

Six week course that provides an introduction to modern chemical biology methods with particular emphasis on the use of synthetic organic molecules and modified biomacromolecules as tools to probe biological systems. Not open to students with credit in CHEM 451.

CHEM 659 - Special Topics in Chemical Biology

Six-week course with advanced discussion of selected topics in chemical biology. Course may be repeated for credit, provided there is no duplication of specific topic.

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